What does a full stack developer do?
A Full Stack Developer is a relatively new role which brings together the skills and roles for what were traditionally known as web designer and web developer. Web designer worked on the design of the site, and the web developer worked on the code. As the web has grown more and more complex, and customers are seeking more complex solutions for their on-line presence, the two roles have become more specialised and technical. Further in some cases, the two roles and skills have become inter-linked, resulting in the position of Full Stack Developer.
The different categories are:
- front end development (the visible parts of a website or application)
- back end development (the “under the hood” databases and infrastructure)
- full stack development (a hybrid of both). Full stack can apply to a web stack, mobile stack, or a native application stack (i.e. software programs for specific devices)
A full stack developer is a web developer or engineer who works with both the front and back ends of a website or application. In this sense, they provide an end-to-end service, and can be involved in projects that involve databases and building user-facing websites. Their role can extend to working with clients during the planning phase of projects.
As the line between the front end versus back end increasingly blurs, more developers are becoming “full stack.” A lot of employers (especially agencies who work on different kinds of sites) are looking for developers who know how to work on all the parts of a site, so they can use the best tools for the job regardless of whether it’s technically “front end” or “back end.”
For large or specialised projects, often the Full Stack Developer may involve others to write specialised code - although importantly, the Full Stack Developer must be familiar with and highly skilled in most aspects of web and application development.
Full Stack Developer responsibilities
The primary responsibility of a Full Stack Developer includes designing user interactions on websites, developing servers and databases for website functionality and coding for mobile platforms.
Particular responsibilities often include:
● Developing front end website architecture.
● Designing user interactions on web pages.
● Developing back end website applications.
● Creating servers and databases for functionality.
● Ensuring cross-platform optimization for mobile phones.
● Ensuring responsiveness of applications.
● Working alongside graphic designers for web design features.
● Seeing through a project from conception to finished product.
● Designing and developing APIs.
● Meeting both technical and consumer needs.
● Staying abreast of developments in web applications and programming languages.
Typical career path of a full stack developer
Usually, Full Stack Developers have a degree in computer science and/ or have completed programming courses. Often times, Full Stack Developers will also have degrees in programming or related subjects.
On a practical level, Full Stack Developers also have considerable experience and a portfolio of work on websites and applications they have developed, for either the backend, frontend, or the full-stack.
Full Stack Developers often begin their career as either a front or backend developer, and they have mastered skills in both and are looking at extending their skills to include the interface between both.
Full-Stack Developers at the junior level usually have 2-5 years of on the job experience, a degree in computer science or information systems, or a mix of experience and education. Practical experience includes gaining fluency in all layers of computer software development and a preliminary understanding of how all features on both user and server sides function from top to bottom. On going experience, will help develop your ability to anticipate and identify issues, making your value as a team member increase.
To continue moving forward as a Full-Stack Engineer, you are advised to focus on continual professional development, via seminars or additional educational courses. These courses should focus on helping you expand your skills related to web development and software, as well as to increase your understanding of business practices.
Full stack developer skills
The skills required for a Full Stack Developer will vary based on the responsibilities required and the type of organisation or task.
Typically skills may include:
● Degree in Computer Science.
● Strong organisational and project management skills.
● Proficiency with server side languages such as Python, Ruby, Java, PHP and .Net.
● Familiarity with database technology such as MySQL, Oracle and MongoDB.
● Excellent verbal communication skills.
● Good problem solving skills.Attention to detail.
Full stack developer qualifications
It is possible to work as a Full Stack Developer without formal qualifications, however many employers prefer individuals to have qualifications in the field of computer science.
In addition, the following qualifications are recommended and may be required:
- A qualification in computer science with a focus on software development. This could be a Certificate IV in Programming (ICT40515), a Diploma of Software Development (ICT50715), or a Bachelor degree majoring in Software Development.
- Participation in an internship program while studying. This will provide you with relevant experience as well as guidance and mentorship from experienced Full Stack Developers.
- Complete online or in-person courses to build your specialisation in one or more programming languages.
Common web development terms
Full Stack Web Developer Salary
Web developers in Australia earn anywhere between AUD50,000 and AUD105,000. The average salary is AUD90,000. The salaries vary between roles and across organisations and cities. The following are the average web developer salaries in major Australian cities:
- An entry-level developer may earn AUD66,350 in Sydney.
- The same developer would earn AUD63,000 in Melbourne.
- Brisbane-based web developers take home AUD58,800 annually.
- Web developers in Perth and Newcastle make AUD59,000 and AUD60,000 respectively.
This salary guide is a compilation of salary and market information provided by Hudson consultants, clients, candidates and other sources across Australia. Information was gathered by drawing on the extensive knowledge of our specialist recruitment consultants across Hudson's specialist practice groups. Salary ranges are approximate guides only.
They relate to base salaries and exclude superannuation/bonuses/incentive schemes/stock options.
Our full stack developer recruitment specialists
Our consultants know what good looks like when it comes to IT talent. Whether you are looking to hire or to place yourself in a new role, we are here to help.