Grandma asked “What is full stack developer” – tough one ha?!
Granny: Your cousin Ally got a job as Full Stack Developer. I ain’t know non’ of dat stuff. Is she working as stocking items on shelves full time in the groceries?
Imagine your grand mother, assuming she is not that tech savvy :), asks you what full stack developer is and you have to do a good job of explaining that to her to get an ol’ good cookies.
Here is how I attempted it. – yeah go ahead and judge me.
Me: Cousin Ally works on computers not in groceries at the moment. Granny, you know Ms Burnie who is running a restaurant down the street?
Granny: Yea, I know her for a long time. She is a very good cook and her daughter Rossie is waits tables at her restaurant.
Me: Yeah, do you know who else working in the restaurant?
Granny: John also works as cashier and handling and stocking whatever is missing. Gregg helps the bar also. Am sure there are others also helping.
Me: Your right, you have mentioned the major players in the restaurant. Mrs Burnie works in the back of the kitchen and not visible much to customers/clients. That is, she handles the backend.
Rossie, handles customers/clients and hence she handles the client side of the restaurant. And the casher is the payment handler or a payment gate.
Now all of them have their own expertise to contribute. And when one of them is no-show, you can imagine what can happen.
Granny: Yes that is true. If Mrs Burnie is skipping days I can’t imagine how to run that restaurant at all.
Me: Well, now imagine if Rossie is skilled in cooking, cashiering and waiting table also. You can see that she can help in a lot of places and if she decided to work for other restaurant she will be well qualified as she can work pretty much in any position.
Granny: Very true, having multiple skill does pay well and also finding a new job will make it easier as she can apply in multiple places and bosses like to see one with multiple skills.
Me: That is a kind of job cousin Abby is doing right now. She works in the computer but she is covering a work that is an equivalent of customer handling, the client side, and also the preparing what the client will be picking, the backend side, and also some of the delivery jobs by herself. That is what she is referring it as full stack.
Granny: Wow, I am so proud of her. She must be doing a great job and also making good money. I am glad to hear that she is holding such a great skill on her.
Adding a bit more..
Full stack developer is relatively new lingo added to the IT jargons recently. It is a title, per se, like that of the developer, DBA, QA and the like.
A software is a product of lots of “stacks”. To name few, database, front end, backend and testing among the many others. So knowing a couple of these can make you full stack developer. Additionally, knowing a couple of them gives a good understanding of how the whole ecosystem works.
Back in the day, there was a hardline between IT disciplines like database developer, backend developer, tester and the like. And job openings are handled in such a way. We still have it like that. But the trend seems to be more towards those who have a lot to offer.
Fast forward, we are in the era where a lot of tools and frameworks are introduced almost every night making a disruptive tone in the marginalized disciplines and making them easier to pock around and become a good level expertise on them.
Just to see where the market is heading, a quick search on the great tech job website – dice.com – Taping the job with the following search for Washington DC area has provided the following results
Full stack developer – 480 results
Web developer – 142 results
Database developer – 49 results
*These are results at the time of this writing, numbers could change as it will be a live check every time.
Be a part of this wide opportunity – Start here.
Of course, this is just a glimpse of the reality. Depending on how you search and how in depth you filtering, you may get different result. The big picture is, with the known and simple terms of search, you can see the lion share is for full stack developer. It is worth checking other sources of data consumption as well.
What is the take away?
As the tools makes it easier to work with technology, it becomes apparent that one can perform multiple tasks rather than sitting just on one discipline he/she knows years ago. It is a matter of when that whatever the skill that we have can be done with much easier tool or process and it can make the skill obsolete/irrelevant in short period of time.
So, the market is more towards to IT professional who have more skills than one. It kinda makes sense. If two candidates are evaluated for the same job and one has more skill than the other – though it is not the only decisive factor – it can tap the balance over the other.
Also, as mentioned above, it is getting easier from time to time. So, if you haven’t done so, it will be a good idea to pick one or more stuff and make your resume more shiny.
One thing to notice is, being full stack developer, just evolves through times as programmers start to acquire different skills over the period of time. But some of the programming languages and areas have made it easier for starters to take part of the pie. Just a note that, just like any discipline, it requires work and attention.
Do you know you can also claim it?
If you are new to the industry or if you have been on one area, it seems intimidating to get into it. It is not be that surprising if you think it that way. Depending on how you are approaching it, it is achievable though. Yes, it is very achievable for a new comer or for those from other discipline.
The approach matters though. Some of the “stacks” are easy to jump start, while others are more affordable to get a hang of them once you digest the others. With that and a good mentorship, anyone can join the bandwagon of “full stack developer”. Just keep in mind all types of languages and tools are not created equal. That means, some are not that easy to pick for us who are just starting, but are accessible once you path the initial phase.
As they say, how much you read books and view tutorials on swimming, hangout with the best swimmers, attend swimming seminars – you wont learn how to swim unless you jump into the pool and apply the techniques you gather.
It is a good time to be a full stack developer and benefit from it – only because you can do it. If you want to get into it, we can also help on that. Check out our program here.
Any questions you have, call us at 240 877 8161 or email us at info@thePracticalIT.com