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Is Full Stack Developer a Good Career Choice?

Posted on 
March 15, 2022
|
by 
Team Interview Kickstart

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Full stack developers are in high demand, given the rising demand for web development in the tech industry. Companies across industries, including government organizations, have an online presence, which bears on how they interact with customers and external systems. As technology keeps evolving and changing, managing their online presence, which can have direct operational and financial effects, becomes a top priority for businesses. 

New technologies and advancements in the fields of ML, AI, IoT, etc., have influenced the web development landscape, presenting new software development career opportunities. In this context, as a software developer or a software engineer, you’re probably wondering if a full stack developer career is a good choice. The answer to this question depends on many factors. 

Why are full stack developers in demand? What makes a career in this field an attractive proposition? Is it line with your personal and career interests and goals? 

To ascertain this, you’ll have to understand what a full stack developer does and the scope of a full stack development role for building a stable and rewarding career. In this article, we delve into key aspects that make a full stack developer career appealing.

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In this article, we’ll cover:

  • Full Stack Developer Demand and Career Outlook 2022
  • What Is a Full Stack Developer Role All About?
  • Does a Full Stack Developer Career Path Offer Growth?
  • Full Stack Developer Salary 2022
  • Is It Hard to Become a Full Stack Developer?
  • FAQs on Full Stack Developer Careers 

Full Stack Developer Demand and Career Outlook 2022

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 13% growth in web development employment in 2020-2030. It projects about 17,900 web development jobs being created every year. 

Demand for full stack developers comes from tech and tech-enabled companies across industries offering a lot of scope for a long-term career.

To understand the longevity of a full stack developer career, you should understand why the demand for full stack developers is rising.

  • Complex technologies call for more layers between applications and hardware. Instead of hiring front-end developers or back-end developers, each focusing on separate ends of the web development process, companies prefer full stack developers who can handle the entire web development process from end to end.
  • The growth of e-commerce and newer technologies like AI, IoT, Metaverse, Blockchain, etc., are driving demand for web development and, in turn, full stack developers. As these technologies become more widely adopted, the demand for full stack developers will only continue to grow in the years to come to help companies make their businesses more responsive and competitive. This will lead to more jobs and opportunities making for a positive career outlook.

Why Companies Prefer Full Stack Developers vs. Front-End or Back-End Developers

Although a full stack developer is considered a generalist, having a working knowledge of the web development process, end to end, enables them to work on either front- or back-end tasks as required. It also enables them to provide technical direction and manage projects.

  • Companies can hire a few full stack developers in place of multiple front-end and back-end developers, making development teams leaner.
  • Projects are better managed and executed faster by full stack developers who understand web development processes in their entirety.
  • Based on the above, full stack developers give companies the benefits of increased productivity and efficiency at lower costs.
  • An understanding of both the client and server side of web development enables full stack developers to communicate better with customers. This enables them to convert requirements to the right technical specifications and design more effective solutions. 

Companies’ preference for full stack developers over back-end or front-end developers makes it an in-demand web development career option.

What Is a Full Stack Developer Role All About?

To decide whether becoming a full stack developer is a good career option, identify if it’s a role that aligns with your career goals and aspirations.

Full stack developers possess working knowledge and skills in both front-end and back-end development. They can handle client-side as well as server-side applications.

  • Front-end or client-side development involves working on the design, user interface, visuals, presentation, interactive features, and browser compatibility of the webpage, website, or app.
  • Back-end or server-side development involves working on the underlying systems that make the websites or applications functional and useful. This includes coding back-end software programs, configuring servers, and maintaining database systems. 

Full stack developers:

  • Communicate with customers to understand requirements
  • Convert requirements to technical specifications
  • Design, build, and implement front-end applications
  • Design, build, and implement back-end systems
  • Identify and fix process errors
  • Deploy, test, debug, and maintain final products and systems
  • Refine systems to manage site or app performance
  • Collaborate with multiple teams and stakeholders to ensure execution of tasks

Does a Full Stack Developer Career Path Offer Growth?

Most companies have a defined career ladder for full stack developers. As you gain experience and broaden your skillset, you can move from junior to senior roles. A full stack developer typically follows the following career path:

  • Entry-Level or Junior Full Stack Developer — Limited web development experience
  • Mid-Level Full Stack Developer — About 5 years of web development experience
  • Senior Full Stack Developer — About 10 years of web development experience
  • Director 
  • CTO

Full Stack Developer Jobs and Roles

Full stack developer jobs exist across small and large companies, including leading companies like FAANG, Microsoft, and other Tier-1 tech companies. Multiple companies offering full stack developer jobs and differing roles make it a competitive career option.

Web development technologies are always evolving, constantly spurring demand and creating jobs. As such, a career in full stack development involves continuous learning and development, leading to many opportunities for growth and specialization. The more technologies and skills you learn, the more opportunities you will have as a full stack developer.

You can also choose a full stack developer role specialized in a particular area or tech stack. For example:

  • Python Full Stack Developer: Specializes in using Python programming language, tools, frameworks, and technologies for the entire web development stack. 
  • MEAN Full Stack Developer: Specializes in web development using the MEAN stack — MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node.js

Full Stack Developer Salary 2022

Compensation is a key consideration in determining whether a full stack developer career is worthwhile.

According to information available on Glassdoor, the average annual full stack developer salary in the United States in 2022 is approximately $99,274 (base pay). Full stack developer salaries in the United States range between $62,000 - $200,000 (base pay) depending on experience and skills.

In addition to high base salaries, full stack developers are also offered bonuses and equity as part of their total compensation. High salaries coupled with the chance to work at some of the top tech companies that offer great perks and benefits make a full stack developer career a lucrative option.

Factors Affecting Full Stack Developer Salary

Various factors influence the total full stack developer salary offered:

  • Hiring Company: FAANG+ companies are known for the highly competitive salaries they offer to top engineering talent. However, non-FAANG companies that focus on web development also offer high salaries. 
  • Location: Salaries vary according to job locations. For example, according to Indeed, a full stack developer in San Francisco earns about $142,000 per year vs. a full stack developer in Seattle who makes about $112,000 per year.
  • Expertise: With web development technologies becoming more complex, full stack developers with deep, diverse, and specialized skills are rewarded much higher than those with generalized skills.
  • Level: Every company levels differently based on skill and experience requirements and role responsibilities. Higher the level, the higher the salary.
  • Demand-Supply Dynamics: Currently, there is a shortage of skilled full stack developers. Companies are willing to pay salary premiums to get top talent to meet rising demand.

Full Stack Developer Salary by City

According to Indeed, you stand to earn a high full stack developer salary in the following cities (approximate figures):

  • San Francisco, CA: $142,000
  • Austin, TX: $113,000
  • Los Angeles, CA: $112,000
  • Seattle, WA: $112,000

Is It Hard to Become a Full Stack Developer?

It isn’t hard to learn the skills required to become a full stack developer, making it an appealing career choice.

You don’t have to master all full stack development technologies. You can begin by focusing on basic requirements to become a full stack developer:

  • HTML, CSS, JQuery, Python, or other back-end and object-oriented programming languages
  • Web architecture, DBMS, APIs
  • Basic design, coding skills 
  • Algorithms and data structures

These are all relatively easy to learn and develop expertise in.

By keeping yourself abreast of changing technologies and tools, you can land a senior full stack development position and reap exponential growth and reward benefits. 

How Long Does It Take to Become a Full Stack Developer?

Depending on which stage of the full stack development career path you are in, it can take anywhere between 3 months to a year to develop the skills required to become a full stack developer. 

Whether you’re making a lateral move or advancing in your full stack development career, getting through tech interviews to land a full stack developer job can take time. This can be overcome with adequate upskilling and the right interview prep.

FAQs on Full Stack Developer Careers 

Q1. What is a full stack developer?

A full stack developer possesses the skills and knowledge of both front-end and back-end development processes and technologies. Full stack developers handle web development from conceptualization to launch and post-deployment maintenance. 

Q2. Are full stack developers in demand in 2022?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 13% growth in web development employment in 2020-2030. It projects about 17,900 web development jobs being created every year. We infer a rise in full stack developer jobs as a result of this.

Q3. What is the average full stack developer salary in the United States?

The national annual average full stack developer salary in the United States in 2022 is $99,274. Full stack developers in the United States make between $62,000-$200,000. (Glassdoor.com)

Q4. What are the top skills required to become a full stack developer?

Full stack developers should have adequate skills in web architecture, front-end and back-end technologies and programming languages, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, JQuery, Angular, Vue, Python, Java, PHP, Node.js, express.js, servers, database management systems, Git, GitHub, APIs, Rest, SOAP, and tech stacks like LAMP, LEMP MEAN, MEVN, Django, etc.

Q5. What is the typical full stack developer career path?

With little or no experience, you can start out as a junior full stack developer. Over 3 to 5 years, by deepening your skills in both front-end and back-end technologies, you can progress to a senior full stack developer role. In the long-term, at a higher level, this can translate to a director role.

Upskill to Crack Your Next Tech Interview

If you need help with your full stack interview prep, join Interview Kickstart’s Full-Stack Engineering Interview Course — the first-of-its-kind, domain-specific tech interview prep program designed and taught by FAANG+ instructors. Click here to learn more about the program. 

IK is the gold standard in tech interview prep. Our programs include a comprehensive curriculum, unmatched teaching methods, FAANG+ instructors, and career coaching to help you nail your next tech interview. 

Sign up for our FREE webinar to uplevel your career!



WEBINAR +LIVE Q&A

How To Nail Your Next Tech Interview

Hosted By
Ryan Valles
Founder, Interview Kickstart
Our tried & tested strategy for cracking interviews
How FAANG hiring process works
The 4 areas you must prepare for
How you can accelerate your learnings

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