Full stack development refers to the end-to-end application software development, including the front end and back end. The front end consists of the user interface, and the back end takes care of the business logic and application workflows.
The main components of a full stack development are the front-end, back-end and database
Consider a retail website. Users can browse or purchase specific items, delete or add items in cart, change their profile, and do many other things. All these actions require a front-end user interface (UI), as well as some business logic, written in the back-end.
The back end is written in programming languages like Java or Python. Further, a good web application would need scalability, event handling, and routing, which are usually handled by libraries and frameworks like SpringBoot or Django.
The back end also consists of logic that can connect the application to other services and databases. For example, all the user and transaction data is stored in a database through specific drivers handled on the back end.
A full stack developer is one who can single-handedly implement both the front-end and back-end workflows, like placing the order or changing the user profile.
Demonstration of full stack development in an end-to-end workflow
Full stack developers must have knowledge of an entire technology stack, i.e., the set of technologies that are used to build an end-to-end application quickly and efficiently. For example, if they want to build an application using the MEAN stack, they should know how to work with MongoDB, Express, Angular and Node.
Full stack developers should be able to judge whether the selected technologies are the right choice for their project during the early phases. Some responsibilities of a full stack developer are to:
Help in choosing the right technologies for the project development and testing both on the front end and the back end.
Write clean code across the stack by following the best practices of the tools used.
Be up to date with the latest technologies and tools to make the best technology usage decisions.
It’s also a popular and convenient practice to use full technology stacks like MEAN stack, MERN stack, Ruby on Rails, and LAMP for faster and more efficient development, and an easier learning curve.
Applications that require higher scalability and more complex workflows require broader skill sets and collaboration across teams. For example, the front end may be handled by the UI team, and the back end by another team. In some organizations, individuals will be required to work on both the front-end and back-end implementation of a feature. This is where full stack developers would come into play.
There are many advantages of hiring full stack developers for web application development:
Complete ownership and understanding of the project
Saves both project time and cost, and enhances productivity
Faster bug fixing due to knowledge of complete system
Easy knowledge transfer to other team members
Better division of work amongst team members
Full stack development provides a faster and more efficient development experience to build web applications, as team members are equipped with the knowledge of various technologies and tools and can use their diverse knowledge for development as well as future research. The two most popular technology stacks—i.e., MEAN stack and MERN stack—use MongoDB as their core database, which has a flexible schema and provides scalability and high availability for any project size.
Full stack development is the end-to-end development of applications. It includes both the front end and back end of an application. The front end is usually accessed by a client, and the back end forms the core of the application where all the business logic is applied.
Full stack development encapsulates different type of skills:
Technical skills: Full stack developers need to know all the technologies used in the web application, and help in speeding up the project with their expertise.
Soft skills: They should communicate effectively, have clear ideas in mind, and design and code each workflow meticulously.
Management skills: Full stack developers should be good time managers, follow deadlines, and have good experience in handling multiple technologies simultaneously.
Software engineering is a general term, whereas full stack development is a part of software engineering that requires knowledge of front-end and back-end technologies to create end-to-end web applications. A full stack developer works on a complete technology stack which generally includes a back end and front end. A software engineer is mostly an individual contributor who can work on a specific module or technology at a time.