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Become a Full Stack Web Developer: Everything You Need To Know

Become a full stack web developer

Make no mistake, a full stack web developer is the Swiss Army knife of the coding world. Having this designation means that you can produce an end-to-end solution with respect to web development, which is a pretty remarkable skillset to possess. But how do you become a full stack web developer?

Well, whether you have no skills, are seasoned, or specialized in one aspect of web development, there is a lot of fodder to chew here. However, before we jump right into it, let’s start by understanding what full stack web development is.

What Is A Full Stack Web Developer?

Within the software programming landscape, it helps to have multi-talented team members. These programmers have the expertise and versatility to assist with different phases of application development.

In web development, such professionals are called Full Stack Developers. These programmers not only specialize in any single role such as Back End or Front End development but handle both, hence “Full Stack.”

A Full Stack Web Developer works with both the Back End and Front End of an application. These professionals have extensive skills in coding niches such as UX management, databases, and graphic design. They’re more of a fixer, always ready to fix or troubleshoot an issue. Full-stack developers typically have various skill sets in the following disciplines:

  • Front End: HTML, JavaScript, JQuery, CSS, and Bootstrap
  • Back End: Python, PHP, Ruby on Rails, and NodeJS
  • Databases: CouchDB, MySQL, MongoDB, Hadoop

Become a full stack web developer: a beginner's guide

Full Stack developers are multi-talented programmers with comprehensive programming knowledge. If you’re looking to learn how to become a Full Stack developer, consider these six essential steps and tips to get started:

Learn a programming language

Full-stack development is made up of several disciplines and skill sets. And while you can master all of these skills, it is rather better to identify what you’d like to learn to help your niche down.

Also, each learner’s pre-existing skills and experience are different as they determine which path you can take. If you’re a total beginner or if you’ve been building simple websites as a hobby, you can start with specialized training and project experience. This way, you can upskill your expertise and prepare for professional opportunities. Here are the primary programming languages suitable for beginners and hobbyists:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Java
  • JavaScript
  • SQL/NoSQL
  • DOM Manipulation
  • Object-Oriented Programming

While the educational requirements for Full Stack developers are extensive, the above skills help you get off on a strong foundation.

Set a timeline…and stick to it!

Ask yourself how soon you would want to transition from a beginner student to an entry-level developer. In the same way, it’s crucial to pick a skill set that matches your capabilities, so you also need to choose a timeline that fits into your educational and career goals.

Choose a learning format…or platform

Once you’ve identified your ideal skill set and learning timeline, the next step is choosing a learning format that suits your situation. There are several learning formats for Full Stack developers. They include: 

  • Self-Guided Courses
  • BootCamps
  • Books and tutorials
  • Degree programs

Build up your portfolio

Every professional web developer (including Full Stack) needs an equally professional online portfolio. Every potential employer needs social proof of your qualifications which you can demonstrate through a portfolio. 

A portfolio is like your resume and should showcase your most outstanding projects. Remember, this is where you get to shine and demonstrate to the employer why you’re better than the rest.

If you’re still a beginner, you can pick from your course your best mock projects and add them to your portfolio. Any excellent code can be used, whether done for clients or for fun.

Time to put your skills to work

Full-stack development is one of the modern professions with immense flexibility. Just like other professions, there are several job boards that you can use to land a role in full-stack development. Some of these job boards are specifically for Full Stack developers. For example:

  • Glassdoor
  • GitHub Jobs
  • Indeed
  • RemoteOk
  • com
  • Stack Overflow Jobs

Ace that interview

All steps completed. Your last huddle to fulfilling your dream of becoming a Full Stack developer is to ace the interview. With the proper skill set and a professional portfolio, your chances of landing an opportunity with the top hires are undoubtedly high.

When you’re called for an interview with a potential employer, show up like you would for a professional job interview. Maintain professionalism, confidence, and remember to convince the panel that you’re the best candidate for the job. As an entry-level employee, you can work under the following titles:

  • Junior Full Stack Developer
  • Full-Stack Developer
  • Full Stack Engineer
  • Software Development Engineer
  • Full-Stack Software Engineer
  • API Engineer

What is a career in full stack development like?

Full Stack web development is a rewarding job with the highest demand for the best talent. Full Stack developers are also among the highest-paid professionals within the tech industry. This is mainly because they have the advantage of being multi-talented in various disciplines and can leverage their extensive skills to maximize their earnings.

According to ZipRecruiter, an entry-level full stack developer earns a minimum of $58,040 per year. High-Level professionals earn an average of  $102,744 per year. This impressive career outlook includes a massive demand for qualified full-stack developers.

More and more companies are looking to hire professionals who can take on multiple development roles since it is more cost-effective than working with specialists.

Again, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be an estimated 189,200 Full Stack developer job openings between 2020 and 2030. That indicates a stable job market for qualified Full Stack developers, at least for the next decade.

This particular industry also comes with a great deal of flexibility. Besides the advantage of being knowledgeable in the software development processes, Full Stack developers can also choose to work anywhere. This way, they have complete control of their work-life balance and can pursue other interests.

Another advantage of being a Full Stack developer is the available opportunities for career growth. In this industry, you can start as a front-end or back-end developer and move through the ranks as you further your studies and upskill.

Is Full Stack Web Developer a Good Career?

Full Stack development is a rewarding career for people interested in being part of the web and software development field. In this tech-enabled work, there’s no better time to pursue a career in Full Stack development than now. The advantages of this job are numerous and attractive: good pay, flexibility, several career options, and room for growth.

In addition, most companies provide benefits and bonuses such as comprehensive health coverage. According to PayScale, about 81 percent of Full Stack developers receive a full medical cover from their employers. Another 73 percent enjoy dental health plans, and 64 percent benefit from full vision care.

With the above advantages and benefits, it’s no doubt a career in Full Stack development is something worth pursuing and one you’d enjoy.

Top programing languages for full stack web developers

There is no doubt that the demand for full stack developers is on the rise. But with plenty of programming languages to learn, where exactly do you start? Well, do not worry. Here is a comprehensive list of full stack programming languages worth checking out:’

HTML and CSS

A web page comes with text, audio and several other elements. Writing it in HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) lets the browsers interpret what you want the page to display. HTML is the primary language for any website development project. This programming language comes with several features that make it wonderful to learn and master.

Alongside HTML, you will also need to learn Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). While HTML gives your webpage its structure, CSS gives it its appearance. In other words, CSS determines how your webpage will look at feel like.

Best online HTML and CSS courses to get you started:

  1. Introduction to HTML and CSS – FREE course from Udacity
  2. HTML and CSS: Building a Single Page Website
  3. Programming Foundations with JavaScript, HTML and CSS  from Duke University
  4. HTML and CSS Fundamentals by W3C
  5. Introduction to Programming Nanodegree Program

JavaScript

Once you have mastered HTML and CSS, you need to move on to something more complicated. You need to learn JavaScript. Developers love this programming language for a reason: it is critical for front-end development.

JavaScript is a scripting language that allows you to include animations, update your site’s content and perform several other tasks. So while HTML and CSS focus on your webpage’s structure and appearance, JavaScript impacts its interface by determining how users interact with your webpages.

Best online JavaScript courses to get you started:

  1. Front end Web Development Nanodegree
  2. Intermediate JavaScript Nanodegree
  3. Fullstack JavaScript Nanodegree 
  4. HTML, CSS and JavaScript for Web Developers
  5. Web Design for Everybody: Basics of Web Development and Coding

Python

HTML, CSS and JavaScript are basically front-end languages. But to be a full stack web developer, you need to master both front-end as well as back-end or server sided programming languages. And one of the most popular programming languages you can learn for back-end development is Python. This versatile programming language finds its applications in several fields including data science and machine learning.

Python is quite easy to learn. And for your back-end web development, you will need to learn Django, which is built in Python.

Best online Python courses to get you started

  1. Intermediate Python Nanodegree
  2. Python for Everybody
  3. Programming for Everybody (Getting Started with Python)
  4. Introduction to Programming with Python and Java
  5. Crash Course on Python

SQL

Used for database management, Structured Query Language (SQL) is commonly used for backend development. SQL is used for updating and managing records as well as accessing and changing databases. And since just about every website utilizes back end data storage, SQL provides the foundation necessary for database-oriented literacy required in full stack development.

Best online SQL courses to get you started:

  1. Introduction to Structured Query Language (SQL)
  2. SQL Nanodegree 
  3. Database: Relational Databases and SQL
  4. Introduction to SQL by IBM
  5. Learn SQL Basics for Data Science

 

Java

Java is one of the most popular programming languages among full stack web developers. This general-purposes programming language is mostly used in back end web development in the construction, maintenance and conceptualization of the web pages.

Best online Java courses to get you started

  1. Java Programming Nanodegree
  2. Java Web Developer Nanodegree
  3. Object-Oriented Java Programming: Data Structures and Beyond
  4. Introduction to Java
  5. Introduction to Programming with Python and Java

Ready to get started?

Full stack web development is one of the most exciting careers in the Internet age. And the good news is, anyone can learn full stack web development on their own. All you need to do is get the right resources and, of course, the passion to learn. Happy learning!

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