5 Skills to Look for in a Full-Stack Developer
By Arijit Banerjee
A full-stack developer is somewhat of a unicorn in the technology ecosystem. He/she possesses a wealth of knowledge to create complex applications from scratch, including all its front-end as well as back-end components. Front-end components are those that end-users interact with while back-end components comprise server configuration, storage, database authentication, logic, etc.
Unsurprisingly, demand is at an all-time high for full-stack developers as speed is the new currency in the IT world. Facebook, Google, Twitter and the likes are aggressively hiring full-stack developers. According to the Stack Overflow 2016 Developer Survey, full-stack web development is the most popular developer occupation today.
Here are the top five skills to look for when hiring a full-stack developer:
#1 LAMP stack development capability:
The LAMP stack (Linux, Apache MySQL and PHP) forms the basis of web app development and is interchangeable with new yet similar technologies. For instance, NginX can be used instead of Apache; PostgreSQL instead of MySQL; or Ruby on Rails instead of PHP. A full-stack developer should also be familiar with the Microsoft equivalent of these technologies, such as Windows and the Microsoft IIS, plus .NET and SQL Server. Understanding of which database and web storage to use in specific situations and the ability to connect a database with the chosen back-end language is a must.
#2 MEAN development expertise:
MEAN stack represents MongoDB, Express, Angular and NodeIS and a full-stack developer must be well-versed with MEAN to be able to deliver majority of these workloads on the client side.
#3 HTML/CSS know-how:
The building blocks of the web, HTML and CSS are often the basics taught in any online or offline web development course. HTML builds a professional’s ability to add content to any website, and CSS lends the ability to style and format that content. A full-stack developer having knowledge of HTML and CSS should understand Semantic HTML, the CSS Box Model, the advantages of CSS pre-processors, CSS Media Queries and Bootstrap framework.
#5 Good grasp of web application architecture:
A full-stack developer is someone who can see the forest as well the trees i.e. has a broad technical profile yet working knowledge of both front-end as well as the back-end tasks. Though it requires considerable experience on top of educational qualifications to become a full-stack developer, the rewards far outweigh the efforts.