Reasons to Become a Full Stack Developer
According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the demand for web developers and digital designers is projected to increase by 13 percent from 2020 to 2030. This growth is representative of the growing digitization as businesses seek to streamline their operations.
A full-stack developer is a person who codes both the front and back end of a website, mobile application, software or web application. The front end is the side of an application that a user sees and interacts with. The back end comprises behind-the-scenes functions that run in the background to complete processes or send information from the database to the user and back.
This means that full-stack developers are both web developers and digital designers. They not only understand how to build applications and their user interface but also all the technologies involved in each step.
If you’re considering a career as a full-stack developer, the industry’s future sure does look bright. But where do you start? And how do you become a full-stack developer?
Five Steps To Becoming a Full Stack Developer
Following the steps below will put you on the right track to becoming the full-stack developer career of your dreams.
1. Gather Information About the Career
Before diving into the learning, you must understand the facts and misconceptions about full-stack development as a career. This information will help you know what’s expected of you to give it your best and make informed decisions. Learning about the career will also minimize your mistakes as you grow your skills and get into the job market.
Find out as much as you can from online sources, job fairs and developers in your network. You can also contact a school that offers this course to learn more before starting.
2. Learn the Skills You Need To Become a Full Stack Developer
As a full-stack developer, you need to learn the technical skills for developing both the back and front end of an application. Some veteran developers recommend understanding the front end first before moving to the back end. Different styles of learning suit different people, so you should always go with what suits you.
- Back-end Skills: The most basic programming languages for back-end development include PHP, Python, Java and Ruby on Rails. You’ll also need to understand database management in languages like SQL.
Where To Learn Full Stack Development
While becoming a full-stack developer doesn’t require a degree, you’ll still need some training. There are several ways you can acquire these skills:
- School. Colleges that offer technical courses like software engineering, computer science and information technology are an ideal place to start your full stack developer career. The best thing about degrees like these is that the education is comprehensive. You start with the basics, learning both theoretical and practical concepts. While it’s not a primary determinant, having a related college degree on your resume might impress recruiters more than one without.
- Online Courses. The growth of virtual learning means that students can now enroll in a course, learn and even get certification without ever meeting their educator physically. There’s a sea of online courses for full-stack developers, both free and paid. If you choose to begin here, assess the course, check reviews and get recommendations from fellow developers. Remember, not all online courses are valuable. Platforms like Udemy and Coursera are ideal for beginning your research.
- Tutorials and ebooks. There are a ton of other online tutorials, ebooks and digital media you can refer to when learning full-stack development. From audio to visual or written material, there’s a means for every type of learner. Just like online courses, tutorials can be free or paid. If you go with the latter, do your research so that you’re getting value for your money.
- Boot camps. Popular in the tech learning space, boot camps are short intensive training programs that focus on equipping learners with skills so that they’re ready for the job market. If you’re planning to set aside a few months and learn, a full-stack development boot camp might be the best option to get started. Boot camps also provide a chance to build long-lasting industry connections that can help grow your career.
3. Create a Portfolio and Update Your Resume
The best way to grasp full-stack development concepts is through practice. As you do this, you’ll work on projects and build applications with your educator.
Select some of your best projects from these samples and start building a portfolio. This is a web-hosted platform where you can run and showcase your projects for potential clients to see your skills.
Include screenshots, scrollable media and comprehensive descriptions highlighting how your project solved a particular problem. Portfolios are ideal for putting action into your resume words or interview talks. If you’ve previously worked with a full-stack client who was impressed with your work, you can request them to leave a review as proof of your competencies to future clients.
Update your resume, too, so that it’s geared toward full-stack development jobs. When you apply for an opening, always customize your resume to fit the job description. This will catch a recruiter’s eye compared to a generic full-stack developer resume.
4. Apply for Full Stack Developer Jobs
Now that you have the fundamental skills you need, it’s time to start hunting for a job. Determine the type of employment that suits you most and choose from either full-time, part-time or freelancing. Then start sending applications out.
As you browse through job descriptions, take note of the common requirements and either hone those skills or include them in your resume.
Take advantage of online sites like WeWorkRemotely, GitHub, RemoteOk, and other job boards to find a full-stack developer job. Leverage social media sites like LinkedIn and Twitter for self-promotion to build new connections and find work.
5. Passing Your Interview
You’ve finally been invited for a full-stack developer interview. Congratulations!
How you perform during the interview determines whether the recruiter hires you or calls you back for a final round of practical tests. While interviews tend to give a lot of people the jitters, the most common cause is poor preparation.
Anticipate common questions in such interviews and determine the best way to answer them beforehand. Some developer interviews also include a practical test or short test. Go in prepared to showcase your skills in such an environment.
How Much Does It Cost?
The cost of learning and becoming a full-stack developer will depend on the learning method you choose.
College degrees may be more expensive because it accounts for four years of practice, as well as related projects to help you put the skills you’ve learned into use. Boot camps are the second most expensive way to become a full-stack developer due to their high specialization and intense training.
Yet there’s a way to become a full-stack developer without spending a dime, especially for learners on a budget. Taking a free but valuable online course can save you money while still providing value.
What’s the Average Salary?
The average salary of a dream career matters as much as the demand for related skills.
According to a survey conducted in 2020 by Stack Overflow, the mean annual salary for a full stack developer is around $112,000. But just like any other industry, there are things you can do to earn way above this average amount, including learning more programming languages or niching down to work with a particular category of clients or industry only.
What Kind of Personality Does It Take to Succeed?
Besides the hard skills that you learn through a course program, being a successful full stack developer also depends on your soft personality skills. The personality you adopt as you begin learning and taking assignments will determine your results.
Some of the personality traits it’ll take to be successful include:
- A consistent willingness to learn more
- Have patience as you learn and before your career takes off
- Good communicator
- A winning mentality
- Curious and open to learning
What Is the Career Outlook?
There has been a continuous increase in the demand for full-stack developers. This is mostly because of their all-rounded and holistic knowledge of a project from the beginning to its end. Having a single person with all this information about any part of a project, from its start to end, makes for a valuable asset.
As more businesses continue to embrace digital marketing, process digitization, and e-commerce, the need for developers will continue to rise in the coming years. Finally, more and more full stack developer jobs will increase their flexibility and offer fully remote positions.