? ’Are Full Stack Developers Still A ‘Thing
The term ‘ fullstack developer’ can make some in computer science well up
with pride, and others quietly seethe behind the desk. It’s not a term that is
unanimously agreed upon across the industry and can even be contentious
in some circles.
As the world moves on from the COVID-19 pandemic and looks ahead into
what the 2020s as a decade maybe like, now is the time to wrap up the
terminology and answer the question of whether or not a full-stack developer
is a thing, or if we need a better name for this varied job.
Across the computer science field and industry, there are different streams
and, although many fullstack developers are skilled in other areas, they
usually specialize in one area to become proficient or an expert in that area.
Some of the most common process streams are:
Back End Developers – Working with the ‘behind the scenes’ of a
website, how the application works on the server, handling databases, etc.
Database Administrators – Taking care of the backend databases, modeling
information, working on application interactions, etc.
Testing Technicians – An expert team dedicated to combing through new
software and projects to find and report on bugs.
Mobile App Developers – Developing apps specifically for mobile environments
such as Google’s Android system or Apple’s iPhone system.
? Fullstack – A Jack of All Trades
As you may have guessed from the above list, a ‘full-stack’ developer usually has experience in most of those areas and may be quite proficient in all areas.
It’s more typical that fullstack developers will be experts in at least one field
but have extensive knowledge of one or more of the other fields. For example, your fullstack developer may be able to build the back end of a website as well as make
it look good on the front end, but they may not have the necessary skills and
experience to test it fully.
That’s not to say that they can’t test it, but the testing may be only within their
own skills and experience area, leading to outsourcing of that particular area|
of the job to someone who is more skilled and experienced in testing.
Fullstack Meeting Demands
As the world moves on full steam ahead into the digital revolution, individuals with a wider range of skills and experience will be required at every level. That makes a strong case for the continuation of the ‘full-stack developer’ role, but it does mean there could be some changes over time.
As automation and machine learning becomes more prevalent in the workplace and across the business, individuals who have a wide range of skills can be supported by AI to make up for any shortfalls in their knowledge.
When we look at the future of work and the future of the fullstack role through that lens, the possibilities are much brighter and the landscape for change a lot more exciting.