Full stack development refers to building end-to-end solutions including front-end (client-side), back-end (server-side), database, and debugging of web applications and or websites. Full-stack developers are full-feature, all-around programmers who work on nearly every part of a development stack and need to know many different technologies. You might say they’re a “stack-of-all-trades.”
Working with full stack developers can reduce the number of people you need to hire for product development, which often saves time and money. Here’s an overview of what full stack development is and how it can benefit your business.
Deconstructing Full Stack Development
Full stack development happens in two arenas:
- Front-end development is all the user-facing (UX) part of software development. Front-end developers implement visual elements such as how the app or software will look and perform for those using it.
- Back-end development covers everything that’s done to make the software function well (UI). Back-end developers spend a lot of time creating and working with databases.
Because full stack developers understand how tech layers interact with each other, they bring incredible value to a project. When you hire a full stack development company, it’s essential to choose one who understands all the tech stacks that are critical to software development:
- Backend architecture
- Back-end and front-end technologies (UI/UX design)
- Cloud services
- Database and cache technologies
- Front-end technologies
- Mobile app development
- Version control system (VCS) and debugging
For most software development projects, full stack development is a given. Its practitioners have mastery over HTML and CSS, know how to code browser applications, and are able to develop server applications.
That said, there is often one downside to full stack development. While a full stack developer is indeed a jack-of-all-trades, they’re often a master of none. For that reason, many projects begin with a couple of engineers who are full stack developers, but as the team grows, newcomers typically specialize in front-end and back-end disciplines. This approach increases quality and ensures end-users have a satisfying experience.
Examples of popular stacks are:
- Django: Django, Python, and MySQL as Database
- LAMP: Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP
- MEAN: MongoDB, Express, AngularJS, and Node.js.
- MERN: MongoDB, Express, ReactJS, and Node.js
- Rails/Ruby on Rails: Ruby, PHP, and MySQL
Advantages Offered by a Full Stack Development Company
To get to a place of high proficiency in full stack development, most full-stack developers spend many years working in a variety of different roles. They’re well-versed in both business logic and user experience, meaning they’re not only well-equipped to get hands-on but can also guide and consult on strategy too.
Benefits to working with a full stack development company include:
- Mastery of front-end and back-end development. Professional full stack developers easily pivot between front-end and back-end development according to project requirements. Clients save time and money, as one person can resolve multiple complexities and issues; there’s no need to explain the code or design to another person or team.
- Provides the design structure. Full stack development companies don’t just work on web development. They also look at the design structure of the project. Their viewpoint on product design and architecture is well-considered and helpful. As they have a thorough knowledge of both coding and design, they’re able to mitigate common pitfalls of web development.
- Accept project responsibility. Experienced full stack development companies take ownership of the entire design and implementation for a project. This increases efficiency by keeping developers focused on their job.
- Cost-effectiveness. Specialized teams start with one front-end and one back-end developer; minimal full-stack squads have one developer. The increased efficiency a full stack team brings to the table means more work is accomplished in a sprint. You achieve the same results with fewer people, and the process tends to be a bit faster, as they test solutions on the actual software or app.
- Faster and more timely project delivery. Full stack development teams divide the work of development and design as needed. Collaboration helps them provide on-time delivery of the project.
- Easy maintenance and regular updates. Full stack development companies tend to stay current with the latest tools and technologies. Their extensive knowledge in all aspects of new techniques and methods makes maintenance and upgrading more accessible.
Lastly, with full stack development, engineers tend to suffer less professional burnout as they get to frequently switch between software development technologies and tasks. They also avoid boredom, even when doing more straightforward tasks. Creativity and enthusiasm are maintained, and the project is the better for it.
Full stack development is a rounded solution with fewer bugs and higher efficiency. It reduces operational and contractual costs and allows you to take advantage of the versatility and vast experience of accomplished software developers.