How to Become a Full Stack Web Developer (Detailed Guide 2019)

become full stack developer guide

A Full Stack Web Developer is a programmer that is skilled enough to develop both client and server software. The client or frontend software basically refers to the user-facing components of the application and how the software/application would communicate with the user. The server or backend software, on the other hand, refers to how a software/application would function while interacting with the front-end components.

While full-stack web developers are expected to be accustomed to a wide array of skills, having a strong grip over all the areas isn’t necessary. However, Full Stack Web Developers should have enough information, skills, and knowledge to be able to work on both ends and understand the processes within the application/website.

Advantages of Becoming a Full Stack Web Developer

  • Full Stack Web Developers are extremely flexible, making it easier for them to switch between tasks/jobs in accordance with the requirements of the project. This also enables Full Stack Web Developers to come up with solutions to problems which otherwise, would have taken longer to solve.
  • Owing to the knowledge and wide pool of knowledge at hand, it is easier for full-stack web developers to become accustomed to new technologies and tools.
  • Full Stack Web Developers can help reduce the costs of projects as they could eliminate the need for hiring separate front-end and back-end developers.

Limitations of Full Stack Web Developer

  • Becoming a successful full stack web developer is increasingly complex and requires a lot of skills and knowledge, which might be difficult to acquire for some
  • Hiring a full stack web developer would mean that a company is almost entirely dependent on a single person and absence of that one person due to whatever reason might cause the entire project to halt.

Skills and Tools Required to Become a Full Stack Web Developer

Becoming a Full Stack Web Developer and successfully landing projects requires a vast skill set and a wide knowledge base. Below mentioned are the things that you must learn in order to become a full stack web developer.

HTML & CSS

HTML and CSS are the fundamentals or the building blocks of the web, which you’re going to encounter the moment you step into web development.

HTML lets you define and structure the content of a website by using a simple markup syntax i.e. add content to a website while CSS allows you to style your content through fonts, colors, and layouts, etc.

Since HTML and CSS are the basis for everything else in web development, a strong grip over these is one of the most basic of requirements for a full stack web developer.

JavaScript

Javascript is another essential skill to learn for any full stack web developer. Javascript is also the basis for many advanced front-end and back-end frameworks, which will be discussed later on.

Javascript has also remained the most popular programming language for the seventh year in a row as suggested by Stackoverflow’s survey in 2019.

It is held in high regard by full-stack web developers, primarily because it can be used for both front-end and back-end processes. Javascript is the only language out there that can run natively in the browser and double as a server-side language.

For those beginning from the scratch, understanding the working principles of JSON and DOM, learning functional composition, prototypal inheritance, event delegation and other important features of the language, having a strong grip over at least one framework while acquiring sufficient knowledge about testing frameworks would be good enough to begin with.

Back-end Language

Once you’re comfortable with HTML, CSS, and Javascript, you can move on to a back-end Language. Back-end Languages are responsible for handling logical operations of the application, database operations, and user authentication.

You’re supposed to select one back-end language of your choice, learn everything you can about it, and stick to it. It is important to note that a complete understanding of one back-end language and proficiency in it instead of a basic understanding of multiple back-end languages is what will help you succeed as a full stack web developer.

Databases & Web Storage

You would be required to store data wisely and access it later, regardless of what type of project you’re working on. Ideally, a full stack web developer is expected to have sufficient knowledge about a few databases and must know about their functionality and dynamics.

Initially, as a full stack web developer, you must choose the appropriate database to store your data and interact with it later on.

MySQL, Redis, Oracle, and SQL server are the most commonly utilized databases these days. You must understand how each of these work before employing any of these databases for your projects. Knowing how to connect a database to a back-end language is also extremely important.

Lastly, full stack web developers must also be knowledgeable about web storage to store sessions, cached data, and cookies in the browser.

HTTP & REST

HTTP is an application protocol that is responsible for establishing communication between clients and servers. HTTPS, where s stands for secure, is more commonly employed these days due to that fact that HTTP isn’t secure enough.

Beginners should start by learning about REST and its importance in web applications and HTTP protocol. Beginners should also acquire knowledge about designing RESTful API, Chrome DevTools, SSL certificates, web workers, web sockets and service workers.

Web Application Architecture

Once you’ve got a strong grip over everything mentioned above, you’re supposed to move on to the tricky part, the web application architecture.

Creating complex web applications in accordance with the requirements of a certain project would require a full stack web developer to know how to structure data in the database, structure the code, distinguish the files, host large media files, perform computational tasks, etc.

To begin with, you could learn a few things and gather information about them to strengthen your understanding of web application architecture.

You could start by learning about platforms as a service, performance optimization of browsers and applications, codebases of popular projects, etc.

Git

Git is a popular version control system that enables developers to update codes/parts of the code, fix things where needed, and get latest data, which also makes cooperation between multiple developers working on the same project easier.

Full Stack Development Courses and Tutorials

If you’re interested in becoming a full stack web developer, you cannot do it on your own and seeking help through courses and tutorials would be your best bet.

Since full stack web development comprises of a huge amount of information and knowledge, diving right into it without proper guidelines would leave you overwhelmed right at the beginning.

Consequently, it is suggested to look out for a properly organized course or tutorial for full stack web development that covers everything required but in an organized manner, ensuring that you retain the information and skills.

If you’re lucky enough, you may find a free course that suits your requirements. In other cases, you should carefully go through the overview and reviews before purchasing any course to gauge what it has to offer.

Your best bet for paid courses would be Udemy or Lynda.com

Full Stack Web Developer Jobs & Salary

Since becoming a full stack web developer isn’t a piece of cake and it requires extensive knowledge and a wide skill set, it certainly is rewarding in the job market.

Payscale suggests that a full stack web developer, on average, earns $66,000 per annum globally and $75k/annum in the United States. Full Stack Web developers can earn around 6000 AED/month in UAE.

Salaries in Pakistan

Emerging software houses and IT companies in Pakistan offer competitive salaries to full-stack web developers. Developers can find jobs in Karachi, Lahore, and Islamabad mainly, with salaries ranging from 60k PKR to 150k PKR on average, which indicates that the demand for full-stack web developers is soaring in Pakistan.

Full Stack Web Development Remote Jobs

Since Web Development or programming, in general, can be done remotely and does not require the physical presence of an employee in most cases, full stack web developers can look out for remote jobs in other countries.

Web developers are highly paid in the United States and European Countries so full-stack web developers based in Pakistan or South Asian countries can remotely work for companies based in Europe or US and earn significantly higher salaries.

Full Stack Web Developers can also opt for freelancing and land projects from all over the world. Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com are the most popular freelancing websites amongst web developers and programmers.

Final Word

Full Stack Web Development certainly isn’t something that you can become a pro at overnight. It requires an extensive pool of knowledge and a wide array of skills up one’s sleeve. In order to land jobs and projects as a Full-stack web developer, one must strengthen the core skills, keep learning and keep trying to improve. Rest assured, full stack web developers can make a handsome amount of money if they’re good at what they do.

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