Full stack developers are in high demand right now. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected web development employment growth at 13% between 2020 to 2030. This translates to numerous web development job opportunities in 2022 and beyond. The good news is that figuring out how to become a full stack developer is not as hard as you might think it is. In this article, we highlight key considerations to guide you on how to become a full stack developer.
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In this article on how to become a full stack developer, we’ll discuss:
- Understand the full stack developer career path
- Develop key full stack developer skills
- Get full stack developer certifications or education
- How to become a full stack developer with no experience
- Learn how to crack full stack developer interviews
- FAQs on how to become a full stack developer
Understand the Full Stack Developer Career Path
The first step in figuring out how to become a full stack developer is to understand the career path and growth options for this role. This will help you decide what level you should be at, based on your current skills and experience.
Full Stack Developer Career Path
A typical full stack developer’s career progresses along the following path:
Entry-Level or Junior Full Stack Developer ⇒ Mid-Level Full Stack Developer ⇒ Senior Full Stack Developer ⇒ Director ⇒ CTO
Junior Full Stack Developer
If you don’t have any experience or the required skills, you will start as an entry-level full stack engineer. As a junior developer, you will have to execute web development tasks as directed by a senior developer.
Mid-Level Full Stack Developer
If you have web development experience, as a front-end or back-end engineer, or software engineering experience, you can make a lateral switch or move into a higher position by developing key skills required for the role. At a mid-level position, you would be expected to manage and execute tasks proficiently on either the client-side or server-side, or both.
Senior Full Stack Developer
Getting to a senior full stack engineer position will require a few years of experience as a full stack developer. At a senior level, you would be expected to be able to provide leadership and technical direction and manage complex projects and development teams.
A full stack developer may also specialize in a particular domain, e.g., data science, machine learning, artificial intelligence, etc., and branch off into more specialized roles in these areas such as data scientist, DevOps engineer, machine learning engineer, etc.
- HTML, CSS
- Node.js, Express.js
- SQL, MongoDB
Develop Key Full Stack Developer Skills
When wondering how to become a full stack developer, it’s a no-brainer to say that you should possess the right skills.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Full Stack Developer?
If you’re an experienced software engineer, you may already have an overlapping skill set. If not, full stack developer technical skills are not hard to learn. You can learn these skills in about three to six months with daily study and practice. With minimal time commitments, you can be job-ready in a year.
Top Technical Skills Needed to Become a Full Stack Developer
Full stack developers must be proficient in front-end and back-end development technologies, tools, and frameworks.
- Web Architecture, Systems Infrastructure, HTTP, TCP/IP
- Front end programming languages
- HTML, CSS
- JQuery, Bootstrap, Flutter
- Back end programming languages, Object-Oriented Programming Languages
- Python, PHP, Scala, Java, Rust
- Node.js, Express.js
- DMBS, SQL, no SQL, my SQL, MongoDB, Oracle
- APIs, REST, SOAP
- Servers, Apache, NGINX, IIS
- Operating Systems
- VCS, Git, GitHub
- Basic Design, UX/UI
- Testing, Debugging
- Tech Stacks — LAMP, MEAN, Django, Ruby on Rails
- Coding, algorithms, data structures
Top Soft Skills Needed to Become a Full Stack Developer
Full stack developers work with multiple teams and stakeholders making interpersonal and behavioral skills an important part of their overall skill set:
- Analytical and critical thinking
- Project management
- Time management
Get Full Stack Developer Certifications or Education
Another step closer to how to become a full stack developer is by upskilling and obtaining the right qualifications for the role. This can be done either by obtaining an educational degree or professional certifications.
Educational Qualification to Become a Full Stack Developer
Companies usually expect full stack developers to possess a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field. However, if you’re wondering how to become a full stack developer without a degree, note that companies consider related degrees and certifications as well.
Most companies look for practical work experience when hiring full stack developers, so working on projects, attending full stack development bootcamps, or undertaking professional certifications is a viable option to building required skills.
Professional Certifications to Become a Full Stack Developer
Here’s how to become a full stack developer through professional certifications
- Full Stack Coding by MIT xPRO
- Developer Certificate by DePaul University Chicago
- IBM Full Stack Cloud Developer Professional Certificate
- Become A Full Stack Web Developer by LinkedIn Learning Lynda
- Post Graduate Full Stack Web Development Certificate Program by Caltech
How to Become a Full Stack Developer With No Experience
Here’s how to become a full stack developer if you have limited or no experience in this field:
- Internships: If you’re a new graduate or starting out in your tech career, undertake an internship to get practical exposure to full stack development.
- Projects: Actively look for and work on full stack development projects either in your current organizations or by developing your own personal projects or working on open-source full stack projects.
- Bootcamps, Volunteer Work: Develop practical skills through bootcamps and volunteer work.
- Get certified: Professional certifications will act as qualifications in lieu of experience.
Gain Experience as a Full Stack Developer
One of the best ways to become a full stack developer is to gain experience in front-end and back-end development. To progress to a mid-level full stack developer position, you will need about three to five years of experience as a junior developer. Similarly, to progress to a senior full stack developer position, you will need about five years of experience as a mid-level developer.
While certifications and professional development are steps in the right direction, you will need to prove working knowledge and hands-on experience with full stack development to land a job at a top tech company.
Create a project portfolio to track and showcase your full stack development experience. Work on different projects to gain experience in diverse skills. Also, gain experience working on projects of varying complexity, size, and technologies.
Learn How to Crack Full Stack Developer Interview
Once you’ve zeroed in on what a full stack developer career path looks like, and the skills, qualifications, and experience required, the next step in how to become a full stack developer is to identify the right full stack developer jobs. You can do this by:
- Finding open full stack developer positions on online job portals and company career pages.
- Networking to learn of opportunities even before they are advertised and to get internal referrals for interviews.
Once you identify the right job, the final step in how to become a full stack developer is to get through developer interviews and land the job you want. The best way to do this is to adopt a professionally structured interview prep approach. Cracking the interview will require you to ensure your skills are up to scratch and that you are job-ready.
Landing the right full stack developer jobs is necessary if you want to garner the right experience and work on the right projects to progress down your web development career path.
FAQs on How to Become a Full Stack Developer
- How long does it take to become a full stack developer?
It takes about three to six months to learn skills required to become a full stack developer. You can gain considerable knowledge and experience for this role within a year by upskilling and working on the right projects.
- What skills are required to become a full stack developer?
- Is becoming a full stack developer a good career option?
Yes, full stack developers are in high demand, command high salaries, and have strong learning and growth potential. Full stack developers are needed by companies across industries, making it a stable career option.
- How hard is it to get a full stack developer job?
By upskilling and with the right interview prep, you can land a good offer for a full stack developer role at a top tech company — besides possessing the right skills.
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