When you think about what's a full stack developer vs software engineer there's some similarities but they are vastly different in their level of specialization, the project aspects they work on, and the amount of leadership they take on.

  • Full stack developers handle the front-end and back-end development of websites or applications. Responsible for the clients, design, database, and system engineering of a software project, they’re highly skilled and have extensive knowledge of web development.
  • Software engineers plan projects and develop solutions that solve a particular issue. Whereas full stack developers concentrate primarily on web apps, software engineers focus on native apps you might download on your system.

Even though they’re fairly distinct, many of the skills in these two fields overlap, and the demand for both is significant. To help you decide which one you require for your custom software project, let’s dive in a little deeper.

The Role of a Software Engineer

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer

The keyword in this job title is “engineer,” which is defined as someone who specializes in the discipline and art of acquiring and applying mathematical, scientific, economic, and practical knowledge to design and build.

When it comes to software development, an engineer’s responsible for the entire product development life cycle. They’re given the client’s problem or need and then set about designing a holistic solution, including any interconnected elements. Before they begin, they consult with stakeholders and gather project requirements.

Like full stack developers, software engineers are well-versed in multiple programming languages. However, the programming languages they focus on are the ones used to build applications for operating systems (not apps), including Java, C++, and C#.

Full Stack Development: What It Is and Why You Need It

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer

The skill set of full stack developers is broad and includes, among other things:

  • Creating dynamic UI/UX design for web pages.
  • Maintaining databases.
  • Client interaction.
  • Maintenance of the web development life cycle.

A full stack developer’s knowledge of how critical technical layers interact with each other brings enormous value to a software development project. Full stack development is a given for most software development projects, but many also come to include software engineers who specialize in front-end and back-end disciplines.

Benefits to working with a full stack development company include everything from flexibility to access to multiple proficiencies and avoiding the common pitfalls of web development. Forming a productive partnership with a good full stack development company ensures a wider perspective during workflows and a more user-friendly approach that guarantees a product’s uniqueness and accessibility.

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer: A One-on-One Comparison

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer

Let’s summarize the full stack developer vs software engineer comparison and see how they differ.

Work tasks

Full stack developers are experts in all steps of applications, while software engineers build applications that are typically lower level like drivers, robotics, or firmware.


Where software engineers are responsible only for an application’s particular aspect, full stack developers can access any aspect of a web application without facing issues.


A full stack developer creates rapid prototype designs for a product. A software engineer, on the other hand, is typically responsible for a specific application aspect or step.


Software engineers are proficient in multiple programming languages for building operating systems and understand basic computer science concepts. Full stack developers must be familiar with databases, client-side development, server management, system engineering, and more. They’re well-versed in both front-end and back-end languages, including Python, HTML, and JavaScript.

Team Roles

Because they’re familiar with both aspects of software development, full stack developers are, in some cases, move into leadership positions easier. Software engineers are part of a team and work in a particular area.


Software engineers build low level native application code, which means their products remain installed in a device. Full stack developers work on web and mobile apps which anyone can use as long as they have access to the internet and a web browser.

When It’s Time to Choose

Full stack development offers a lot of advantages for startups and established businesses alike. Outsourcing your custom software to a full stack development company is a budget-friendly strategy for getting your product launched on time by highly qualified experts.

To learn more about Zibtek’s full stack development process and how it can be the best software solution for your business, reach out to us today.