In the tech industry, particularly regarding developers, there are two main divisions—the front-end and the back-end. Front-end developers work on aspects of development that users will see such as website or app appearance and their performance. Back-end developers, on the other hand, work with everything behind the scenes. This involves the software, programming, and so on elements of development. However, full stack developers can complete front- and back-end tasks. Their skills can encompass all aspects of the development process.
Full Stack Developer Skills
Due to the varying nature of the tech industry and how each project is set up, the skills a full stack developer needs may also be different for each job. For example, when a business is just starting out, they have a tendency to seek out developers who have skills with what can be called ‘MERN’—MongoDB, Express, React, Node. This combination of programming languages covers the front- and back-end stages of development, which means full stack developers would have knowledge and experience with those languages.
Other combinations of programming languages for the development process might be React on the front-end and Python or Ruby on Rails (RoR) on the back-end. To know which kind of combination is helpful to have experience with, a full stack developer should analyze the systems of companies they want to work for as well as companies who are in their target market.
Say a developer has front-end experience or back-end experience but isn’t considered a full stack developer—he or she could transition to a full stack developer over time. Take the initiative to learn skills that could benefit a business, particularly if those skills are desired by a rival company.
The Hiring Process: Stand Out from the Slush Pile
Beyond educational knowledge and certificates, experience is the most important thing any developer can bring to the table. Practical applications of skills that have been taught are valued as learning experiences. Adapting to a demand in shifting skillsets with various programing languages—or rather, a mentality of always wanting to learn—is another vital skill to make developers stand out from piles of viable candidates in the hiring process.
Gathering a portfolio of relevant work experience will catch the eyes of hiring managers and recruiters as well. However, this does put aspiring developers fresh out of college at a disadvantage. Experienced developers advise building that portfolio quickly (while maintaining quality work, of course). Networking, acquiring proper job hunting skills, and reaching out directly can be good too.
An Over-Saturated Industry
The tech industry has seen fluctuating ratios of jobs to qualified applicants. While the fluctuations have primarily been increasing, the availability of jobs and candidates means the industry has become over-saturated. Developers are some of the most desired people in the world. Full-stack developers and people with various skills alongside their experience will be preferred over fresh additions to the applicant pool. Remember, experience is key—just as much as being willing and able to adapt to the demand for technological evolution.