Proficient in both front-end and back-end coding, full-stack developers are required to have multiple skill sets and qualities. Accordingly, to gauge your abilities, interviewers come up with an interview process that’ll test you on all fronts.
So what does a full-stack developer do? Their main responsibilities are designing user interactions on websites, building servers as well as databases for website functionality, and coding for mobile platforms.
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To help you prepare for the full-stack developer interview, in this article, we’ll be covering:
- What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?
- What Are the Responsibilities of a Full-Stack Developer?
- What Is a Typical Full-Stack Developer Job Description?
- Skills and Qualifications Required to Become a Full-Stack Developer
- How Much Do Full-Stack Developers Make?
- How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Interview Process and Prep
- FAQs on Full-Stack Developer
What Does a Full-Stack Developer Do?
Full-stack developers are responsible for a number of different things. They’re required to have expertise in developing websites that include a robust internal architecture and an interactive UI for the clients.
- They begin by brainstorming platforms to work on with a graphic design team and usually review prototypes before they’re turned into coded products.
- After that, crafting functional databases and servers. These are used to support the content that’ll be consumed by the client.
- They also evaluate how responsive an app is for the end-users and troubleshoot problems whenever necessary.
To answer the question “what does a full-stack developer do” — the best ones do all the above and keep track of the latest industry trends, emerging technologies, and learn how to use the upcoming technologies that’ll suit the needs of their employer.
What Are the Responsibilities of Full-Stack Developers?
In their day-to-day work, the responsibilities of a full-stack developer include:
- Building front-end website architecture
- Creating user interactions on web pages
- Building back-end website applications
- Optimizing cross-platform for mobile phones
- Building servers and databases for functionality
- Making sure that the applications are responding
- Collaborating with graphic designers for web design features
- Supervising the product from initial creation to the final launch
- Developing and designing APIs
- Ensure that technical and consumer needs are met
- Taking the help of prototyping minimal viable products when communicating with the company’s stakeholders
- Staying up-to-date with the latest developments in web applications and programming languages
Essentially, a full-stack developer is responsible for ensuring that a project goes from conception to the product’s final launch. The job requires the developer to have good organizational skills and a detail-oriented approach.
What Is a Typical Full-Stack Developer Job Description?
A typical full-stack developer’s job description looks something like:
- Looking for a highly-skilled computer programmer who can easily carry out front- and back-end programming.
- The full-stack developer will be required to help develop and design front-end web architecture, ensure responsiveness of applications, and collaborate with graphic designers for web design features.
- The full-stack developer will need to see through a project right from conception to the final product. Must also have good organizational skills and attention to detail.
Skills and Qualifications Required to Become a Full-Stack Developer
When hiring for the position of a full-stack developer, companies are looking for the following skills and qualifications:
- A degree in computer science
- Good organizational skills as well as project management skills
- Proficient in server-side languages like Python, Ruby, Java, PHP, and .Net
- Comfortable using database technology like MySQL, Oracle, and MongoDB
- Great communication skills
- Excellent problem-solving skills
- Detail-oriented approach to work
- Team player
What a full-stack developer does in their day-to-day tasks and how well they perform is fully dependent on the skills and qualifications listed above.
How Much Do Full-Stack Developers Make?
A lot of factors determine the salary of a full-stack developer, such as experience, location, skills, and so on. The average salary of a full-stack developer in the US is $103,811 per year with a $4,200 cash bonus.
As you go up the ladder and gain experience, the salary naturally increases. A table to show this progression:
Junior full-stack developer
Senior full-stack developer
Senior or lead developer
Chief technology officer
How to Become a Full-Stack Developer: Interview Process and Prep
To become a full-stack developer, in addition to having the required qualifications and skills, you’ll also need to get familiar with the interview process and prepare accordingly.
Going in, you can expect four different types of tests that’ll help recruiters assess your skills.
1. Live Coding
The typical technical interview for full-stack developers, wherein:
- You’ll be asked to write a working code in 30-40 minutes
- You might be asked to identify and fix a bug and pass the test suite
- And explain your thought process throughout
Here, you probably won’t be asked to fix something complex. All you need to be able to do is read a test spec and discern the code that’ll block it. This is an effective pair programming exercise. Your interviewer will be joining you.
When you’re preparing for this type of test, practice writing code that doesn’t fall under your ideal environment. So just keep practicing coding with no autocomplete, key bindings, dual-screen setup, and custom dotfile aliases.
Read this article on Coding Interview Practice to prepare for the coding round of your full-stack developer interview.
2. Take-Home Test
Here you’ll be getting the home advantage — use Google, StackOverflow, and your laptop. Generally, there is a set time frame within which you have to complete the task (could be 3-4 days or 4 hours). So be prepared for both scenarios. Ensure that you give yourself ample time to review your work.
When prepping for this round, you can go about it the same way as live coding. Only your results presentation style will be different.
For instance, you can be asked to read a product spec and carry out a Soduku validator, which includes a test suite. While validating Sudoku isn’t necessarily that tough, how you go about it, follow the instructions, and understand the requirements will be assessed.
Also, when you’re presenting the solution:
- Take the interviewer through your approach
- Tell them about the assumptions you made going in
- The options you took into consideration
- How you could get better results in the future
Be ready for follow-up questions.
3. Design Challenge
You might be asked to design something, such as a messaging application or social platform. You’ll be given certain conditions (such as making it text-only or web-based) and a prompt (“What types of data will you need to manage and how would you model it?”).
As they assess your answer, the interviewer might also gradually increase the scope. There can be questions about networking, refactoring, taking you from a simple concept to the conceptualization of a full-scale application.
The interviewers will try to throw you off and question your approach. Even if they change the boundaries or something in the middle, you should know how to adapt without losing your cool.
In such situations, you must stay calm and speak confidently. You can begin your prep by going over some projects you’ve worked on in the past. Methodically analyze how you went about it.
Read How to Crack a System Design Interview for more tips on cracking this full-stack interview round.
4. Trivia Quiz
Knowing your fundamentals is critical. In such types of tests, you can expect conceptual questions such as “What is Big-O notation? Why is it important?” or questions based on a particular language.
When preparing, concentrate on the basics of control flow, object-oriented programming, common sorting algorithms, data structures, and string manipulation. Even though implementing a Radix sort in five languages or anything won’t be expected from you, knowing what it is and its limitations are important.
For more information on cracking a full-stack developer interview, read How to Prepare for Full-Stack Developer Interview.
FAQs on Full-Stack Developers
Some commonly asked questions on what does a full-stack developer do are:
Q1. What is the role of a full-stack developer?
A full-stack developer is essentially a web developer or engineer who is responsible for both the front- and back-end of a website or application. They might be involved in giving end-to-end service, work on projects that include databases, and build user-facing websites.
Q2. What are the skills a full-stack developer needs?
Some must-have skills for a full-stack developer are knowledge of front-end languages and frameworks and back-end technologies and frameworks, database management systems, version control, and soft skills.
Q3. Is full-stack developer a good career option?
Yes. As per the U.S. Bureau Of Labor Statistics, the growth rate for web developer jobs is predicted to be 13% from 2020 to 2030. In this context, the demand for developers who can work on the full stack and possess multiple skillsets and qualities will be high.
Q4. What is the average salary of a full-stack developer?
On average, a full-stack developer makes $103,811 per year with a $4,200 cash bonus.
Q5. What languages should I know to become a full-stack developer?
Want to Land a Full-Stack Developer Job?
If you’re looking for guidance on how to start prepping for your next full-stack developer interview, then check out our Full-Stack Developer Engineering Interview Course.
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