Here are the scope, skills needed, preparation tips and interview guide for a career as a Full Stack Developer.

ncreasing digital adoption of products has enabled penetration of web & software technologies to the deepest level possible. With increasing options of platforms – Desktop, Web, Mobile, AR/VR etc., the scope for software development is only going to increase. With a lower cost of development, many non-tech companies are becoming tech-savvy and we are going to see a future where every company is going to be a tech company.

NASSCOM predicts the Indian IT/ITeS Industry to increase to USD 350 BN by 2025 which results in an addition of Job opportunities of around 2.5-3 million jobs!

Also, as per the World Economic Forum, software developers are the fourth largest in demand as emerging job roles. This clearly shows the evergreen nature of software development jobs.

The nature and tools of the job might change, but the core engineering mindset of software development is going to remain.

Who is a Full Stack Developer?

A Full Stack Developer has a variety of skills. As per a top-voted answer of Quora, he/she is an engineer who can handle all the work of databases, servers, systems engineering, and clients.

Depending on the project, what customers need may be a mobile stack, a Web stack, or a native application stack.

Why do we suddenly need Full Stack Developers?

While the software industry initially focused on hiring/developing super specialised personnel like front-end developers, back-end developers, database engineers, testers, site reliability engineers etc. who worked on specific aspects of the software development life cycle (SDLC), the emergence of multiple frameworks, tools and libraries have provided a chance for someone to handle end-to-end development of software applications in addition to testing, building and deploying applications.advertisement

This has led to the emergence of the Full Stack Developer who can handle end-end development of applications and also deploy the applications.

A modern software developer is well trained in various technologies and tools, understands the engineering craft and follows the Agile methodologies and processes of software development.

Career Prospects for a Full Stack Developer

Major companies have shifted their focus on hiring and training Full stack developers instead of specialised roles. This provides them amazing flexibility with respect to skills availability, projects and resource planning.

Due to end-end product ownership at earlier stages, Full Stack Developers generally have a fast-tracked career path to becoming Software/Technical Architects.

While there is a myth that only startups hire full stack developers, we observe a higher demand from mid- and large-scale MNCs where the majority of the FSD jobs lie.

Current quality of Indian IT talent

While from a quantity standpoint, India has a major pool of software and engineering talent, what really stands out is the lack of quality software engineering talent.

As per an Aspiring Minds employability survey, only 3.84% of Indian engineers possess the technical, cognitive and linguistic skills required for software-related jobs.

The current engineering education has failed to make the graduates IT job-ready which is forcing companies to rely on internal and external training wings to build.

What does a Full Stack Developer need to know?

Based on our conversations with multiple industry experts and our programme advisors who work as CTOs and Chief Architects in major companies, we’ve listed down the key expectations of companies from a Full Stack Developer:

  • Solid hands-on experience on one of the latest technologies and tools
  • Experience of building at least 2-3 end-end full-stack applications within any one tech stack
  • Engineering craft: Proficiency in writing production quality code instead of just functional code
  • Understanding and following the software engineering practices and processes: Agile Development, Sprint planning, Git version control, etc.
  • A good Full Stack Developer should not limit himself to only development but also imbibe Test Driven Development / Behavior Driven Development (TDD/BDD) principles to build quality applications
  • Build and deploy applications using various Cloud and DevOps tools

What does it take to be a good Full Stack Software Developer?

It doesn’t matter which technologies and tools one works on, at the end of the day, software engineers build technology products solving respective business problems. To be a great software developer, one should possess:

  • Engineering mindset: the joy of creating new things
  • Logical and problem-solving mindset: analytical and logical approach to problem-solving
  • Patience and perseverance: Rome wasn’t built in a day, similarly, great software products go through multiple iterations and go through multiple roadblocks before achieving the current stage

How to prepare to be Full Stack Developer

Based on the expectations mentioned above, if you’re looking to prepare yourselves to become a full stack developer, you need to work on the following:

Step 1: Choose a tech stack

While there are many languages/frameworks to pick and choose, here are the major decision points based on current industry trends:

  • Front end frameworks – Angular vs React
  • Back end languages – Java (Spring) vs. Node.js (Express)
  • Database – mySQL vs Mongo DB

You can either pick MEAN/MERN stack which is a complete JavaScript based stack to build applications or Java(Spring) + React/Angular for building web applications. But the important point here is to stick to the stack and build experience and proficiency in the same.

We’ve observed that majority of startups which are looking for faster implementations and working on low scale/internal products choose the MEAN/MERN stack but majority of the enterprise applications which are complex and handle large scale, JAVA is still the preferred back-end language.

While we also observe huge demand for Python, this is majorly due to the extensive usage of Python for Data Sciences and Machine Learning but not much on Web development front.

Stackoverflow Developer Survey 2019 (Top languages)Stackoverflow Developer Survey 2019 (Top languages)

Step 2: Find a good mentor

While you can find tons of content outside to learn different languages, the rarest commodity is finding a mentor who is going to help you with this upskilling journey.

Find yourselves a mentor (preferably a senior software engineer/architect in your company) to guide you in your code reviews to improve your code quality/engineering craft.

Step 3: Build applications

With multiple free and open-source tools available out there, all you need is a good laptop, internet connection and loads to time and effort from your side to start building applications. You’ve literally run out of excuses to not build applications now, so go build few applications right away!

Be cognizant in picking the applications you want to build as the application use case should be relevant to the majority of the domain use cases like e-commerce, Banking and Finance, Supply Chain etc. so that companies looking to hire you would find relevant software development experience.

Create a kick-ass Github portfolio by building these applications and also contributing to a lot of open-source projects in Github.

Step 4: Prepare for that dream job interview to be a Full Stack Developer

  • Prepare for the interview – refresh your data structures and algorithms concepts
  • Start working on HackerRank/Hackerearth coding challenges
  • Prepare a solid, crisp and impactful resume – clearly mention the projects/applications you’ve built, your Github link, Hackerrank/Hackerearth profiles
  • Leverage your connections/network to know about the openings in the target company
  • Understand the role, the technology the company works on, the kind of the business problems the company is trying to solve and figure out whether that interests you or not
  • Get mock interview practice through your mentor/friends