How to become a full stack developer

How to Become a Valuable Full Stack Developer

I am a ___ developer.

If you fill the blank with any single technology say Java or anything else then you are about to become a history. Those days are gone when developers use and code in just one programming language and get paid a lot. Full stack developers are the hottest thing in 2017 and it will continue.

So who is full stack developer and how to become one? In this article, we are going to cover few points to consider which of course came from my own experience and a graphical roadmap of technology you should learn in order to become a valuable full stack developer.

Tip #1 Find the language

While front end technology is dominated by JavaScript, you still have various options to choose in the backend. Choose which language you want to be an expert.

Consider the following:

  • Java
  • Python
  • Javascript
  • Ruby

My expertise is in Javascript and I am full stack Javascript developer. Depending upon your backend language, you can be called full stack ___ developer. Fill the blank with the language you are good at.

Note: Though you are going to be expert at one language, you must know the working and have hands on in other language too.

Tip #2 Start from weak point

If you are already doing a front end for so long, then start your process with the backend, otherwise vice versa.

If you don’t have expertise in any i.e backend and front end then I will suggest to start with the backend technology and then moving to the frontend.

It’s my personal experience though, let me know yours.

Tip #3 Develop something

I believe the best way to learn is by doing it. Don’t just sit around and learn theories and concepts. Code it, develop something which demonstrates what you learned and by doing it you will face issues and problems which no theory book will teach you.

Tip #4 Read Read Read

Learning never ends and so the reading. Don’t think that by learning basics you have achieved the expert level. Read every day. Follow good publications on Medium, follow people, subscribe to newsletters and make sure you have surrounded yourself with a good amount of learning materials.

Tip #5 Learn best practices

Learn best practices to code and package your software. Whether it is Javascript or python, there is always a best practice to code in that language. Find them, learn them and apply it in your code. The sooner the better!

Tip #6 Learn deployment

The majority of articles covering full stack development says that the developer who knows the front end and back end can be called a full stack developer.

I disagree.

It’s not just knowing and coding in one stack. Deployment is also a part of full stack developer profile. You need to learn few methods and technology of DevOps as well to handle the deployment by yourself.

Roadmap diagrams

Now, to answer most asked question.

Which programming languages/tools/frameworks I should learn to become full stack developer?

This has been answered by the Github user Kamran Ahmed. Let’s start with the front end.

Front end technologies

How to become a full stack developer

Open the image in new tab and zoom in to read better. It’s high-resolution image.

Backend technologies

how to become a full stack developer

Depending upon your choice of programming language, follow the path and learn.

Let’s look at DevOps tools. Now, you don’t need to learn everything in DevOps specs but the important ones are continuous deployment and monitoring tools.

How to become a full stack developer

The only point I disagree in all three roadmap diagrams is that building stuff is at the end. It should be at every step as I mentioned earlier.

Once you learn all these tools and frameworks, you can effectively call yourself a valuable full stack developer.

Conclusion

We look over the definition of full stack developer and what they should do. I mentioned few personal tips of mine to consider in order to become a full stack developer. The roadmap diagrams are quite helpful and you should consider the tools and frameworks mentioned in it.

 

 

Shahid (UnixRoot) Shaikh

Hey there, This is Shahid, an Engineer and Blogger from Bombay. I am also an Author and i wrote a programming book on Sails.js, MVC framework for Node.js.

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7 Comments

  1. We’re in 2017 and I must admit I don’t believe in Full-Stack developer anymore. To start with, I found it hard to find a dev that is really good with one language. In my experience, almost all “full-stack” developers can be categorized as front or back within a week of working with. Sure they know at least an other language, but the level of quality they achieve in that language is usually similar to what a junior that studied that stack would achieve.

    To me, hiring a full-stack developer is like going to the chinese store at the corner of the street that does pad thai and also repair shoes. You didn’t end up saving alot of time, but you took a huge quality drop.

    1. You are right, almost all “full-stack” developers can be categorized as a front end or back end. I myself thinks I am proficient with back end than the front end. But the quality drop depends on the developer to developer.

  2. I think there is missing here. In order to be called as a Full stack developer he/she must also experience in building mobile apps either Android or IOS? Am I correct ?

  3. Hi Shahid,
    Can you tell me how many years you took to become a full stack developer?
    Currently, i am a back-end PHP Laravel and am learning Angular 2. And do you have any recommendations for me to become a full stack developer as fast as I can?
    thanks

    1. Hi Geordy,

      Thanks for asking this important question. Regarding the timeline, I ( Or anyone for that matter ) cannot give you an exact timeline to become full stack developer because it’s subjective and depends on the learning curve of the person.

      As you said, you already know PHP and learning Angular, I think you need to sharpen up the few more front-end libraries and framework such as bootstrap, foundation for css and may be react too and learn one SQL, one NoSQL, and one Key value store database. It should be enough. And I think you should learn all that in 12 weeks timeline.

      Hope it helps.

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