How to Become
a Full Stack Developer
Best Education Tracks, Key Skills, and Top Certifications
We have compiled a comprehensive guide to help you learn how to become a full stack web developer. In this guide, you will find top-rated full stack web development education pathways, technical skills, and certificate programs. Read on to find out why a full stack development job is a fantastic career path for you.
What Is a Full Stack Developer?
A full stack web developer works on both the front end and backend of a website or an application. This means they can handle multiple products from start to finish.
When it comes to the backend of a website or an application, you should consider learning Python, Ruby, and PHP. These backend programming languages will help you solve complex coding problems. A combination of front end and backend skills forms the basis of full stack web development.
Often, full stack web developers are mistaken for full stack engineers. The most significant difference between the two professions is education and level of expertise. Full stack engineers build a specific part of an application, unlike full stack web developers who develop the entire product.
What Type of School Should You Attend
to Become a Full Stack Developer?
To become a full stack web developer, you need to acquire the appropriate skills and knowledge to navigate the tech industry. You can easily start your career in full stack web development by attending a bootcamp. Coding bootcamps are a popular way to help students fast-track their careers in tech.
Keep reading to find out all of the ways to get an education in full stack development.
Best Full Stack Developer Education Tracks
If you want to become a full stack web developer, you have a wide array of options to get started. You can choose to attend a bootcamp, community college, massive open online course (MOOC), or university program.
Community colleges allow students to grow their knowledge and skill base. The two-year programs properly train students on the best practices when it comes to learning how to code. In the program, you will also learn the fundamentals of coding.
An associate degree will help you advance as a full stack web developer. If you want a bridge to a four-year degree, community college is the way to go.
According to NCES, the average yearly cost of attending a two-year institution is $16,445 for students living on campus. If you don’t need to pay for housing, the cost drops to $10,024 per year.
Full Stack Development Degrees
The most popular way to start a full stack web development career is by attending a four-year university degree program. Most companies prefer to hire full stack developers with a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering.
A doctoral degree is not common amongst industry professionals. However, if you want to become a researcher or a professor, a PhD would be the most suitable. The program will help you advance your research skills to provide value for other developers. Your knowledge base will also be extensive enough for you to take up teaching.
Full Stack Development Bootcamps
Full stack web development bootcamps are exceptional at providing short immersive training in web development. The courses train students in the best practices when it comes to coding. These coding bootcamps offer flexibility for work professionals who want to learn how to code.
Some of the best web development bootcamps are BrainStation, Coding Dojo, Hack Reactor, and The Tech Academy. These bootcamps will help you study programming languages without having to quit your job.
The popularity of coding bootcamps is on the rise because of the convenience they provide. Instead of attending a four-year degree in computer science, you can select a two-week immersive program. Most of these bootcamps feature career services, which will put you in a prime position to find a job after graduating.
Full Stack Development Courses
Massive open online courses (MOOCs) offer free training to aspiring web developers. Whether you want to change your career or advance it, MOOCs are an exceptional option. The short coding courses will help you cover the fundamentals of programming as well as advanced practices.
Students prefer full stack development courses because they are short, effective, and affordable. For a fee, some MOOC courses offer a certificate of completion to validate your training. Consider attending these courses before you sign up for a full-time program. However, bear in mind these are self-paced courses so you will need to be motivated.
How to Become a Full Stack Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide
Now that you know the available education paths that can lead you to a career in full stack web development, let’s examine the best steps to take.
These major steps will ensure that you become fluent in top programming languages and land a full stack web development job in the industry.
Sign up for a MOOC
It is key to do ample research before committing your time, money, and efforts to a coding program. You can sign up for an introductory course in web development to gauge your commitment. A MOOC or a coding bootcamp prep course will give you comprehensive insights into the life of a programmer.
Attend a coding bootcamp
A coding bootcamp will equip you with the proper skills to succeed in coding. The bootcamps design the programs to give maximum benefits to aspiring full stack developers. You will learn a variety of programming languages and best practices in programming.
Earn a bachelor’s degree
A bootcamp certificate is great, but a four-year degree program will make you stand out. As much as bootcamps partner with top companies to offer an easy transition for graduates, it may not suffice in all instances.
Find a job
Nothing will put things into perspective like actual work experience. A good job will help graduate students learn what the life of a programmer looks like. It also allows developers to specialize in a particular niche.
If you want to become the best full stack web developer, you should not stop practicing. Always be open to learning new skills and best practices from other industry professionals. Like any skill, if you do not polish it, you will soon lose your edge.
Key Full Stack Developer Skills
It is not enough to have a degree in full stack web development. You must prove to companies that you possess the right combination of skills to fulfill the requirements of a full stack web development job. To successfully land a coding job, you should have a mastery of both technical and soft skills.
Below you will find a list of technical skills you need to advance your development career.
A full stack web developer with knowledge of more than one programming language is an added advantage during the recruitment process. You should familiarize yourself with the top programming languages to design the best coding career path.
HTML, CSS, PHP, and Node.js will help you build the best web applications for your clients. The more programming languages you know, the better your chances of employment. It will also help you find solutions to coding problems easily.
As a developer, you should know how to create a database for different projects or products. You should try mastering Redis, MySQL, MongoDB, and SQL Server. These databases have different uses, depending on the project you want to develop. Knowing which is the best database for your project will save you time and associated costs.
Web architecture refers to the conceptual structure of web application components. To be a successful full stack web developer, you must create effective web application architectures. These include progressive web architecture, single-page web architecture, and legacy HTML web app, and are key in creating the best storage for data.
Web Design Skills
You cannot be a full stack web developer without basic web design skills in web development. You should take it upon yourself to master UI/UX design. These are essential skills to help present aesthetically pleasing projects to clients. It should be your aim to make your applications not only functional but attractive.
Full Stack Developer Salary and Job Outlook
According to 2020 figures from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average web developer salary is $77,200 in the United States.
Furthermore, the employment of web developers will rise by eight percent by 2029, according to BLS. As ecommerce grows, the need for web developers will naturally increase. The steady increase in mobile phone usage will also lead to increased demand.
Entry-Level Full Stack Developer Job Requirements
Most companies only require entry-level applicants to complete an Associate Degree in Software Development.
However, if you want to add more skills to your full stack developer resume, you should consider attending a bootcamp program or earning a master’s degree. These education tracks are designed to help professionals like you advance in your career.
What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?
Full stack web developers have myriad responsibilities to ensure successful product development. As a professional responsible for developing client and server-side software, you should master PHP, HTML, and CSS.
Read on to find out the job description of a full stack web developer.
Front End Web Development
It is part of your job description to know programming languages like HTML and CSS, as well as frameworks like React, Redux, jQuery, and Angular. These help developers give users a real-world experience when using their websites or applications.
Backend Web Development
The backend relies on other programming languages. To develop the backend of a website or an application, you should consider learning PHP, Java, Python, Ruby, C#, and C++. These are key programming languages to help build the server side of a project.
Designs Web Architecture
It will be your main responsibility to build a solid web architecture for the organization. Software architecture is the system of components and their interdependence. This may feature design, business strategy, human resources, and the IT environment. You should be able to balance the needs of the organization with those of the development team.
Collaborates with Other Team Members
As a full stack web developer, you will have to work with different practitioners to achieve the organizational objectives. In a day-to-day scenario, expect to interact with stakeholders, digital marketers, software engineers, project managers, and web designers.
Full Stack Developer Certificates
There are no certification programs for full stack web developers. However, there are certificate programs that may help you advance your career in coding. These certificate courses equip students with industry-specific skills to help them find their feet in the coding industry.
Full Stack Web Developer | Udacity
Would you like to learn full stack web development from scratch? Udacity’s nanodegree program will give you a solid foundation to build applications, websites, and even databases from start to finish. In four months, you will sharpen your CSS, HTML, Git, and Python skills. Get job-ready by attending this comprehensive program.
Full Stack Java Developer | Simplilearn
This full stack Java developer course will help you acquire the pertinent skills and knowledge required by the industry. In just six months, you can launch your career in full stack development. The Simplilearn certificate of completion is recognized throughout the industry.
How to Prepare for Your Full Stack Developer Job Interview
Just like any other job interview, you should practice for it. All recruiting teams are keen on employing expert candidates with extensive skills in programming.
Below are some of the full stack interview questions that will help you ace your job interview.
Full Stack Developer Job Interview Practice Questions
- Which programming languages do you know currently?
- Which are the major development projects you have worked on of late?
- How do you ensure you keep abreast of the best practices and trends?
- How do you ensure you keep abreast of the best practices and trends?
- Why should you be hired over the other candidates?.
How Long Does It Take to Become a Full Stack Developer?
The fastest way to become a full stack web developer is through a bootcamp program. On average, bootcamp programs take a matter of weeks to complete. The platforms will equip you with the knowledge and skills to become a successful full stack web developer.
Most hiring companies may opt for professionals with a four-year degree in any related field. So if you want to further increase your chances of employment, you should consider getting a four-year degree in computer science.
Should You Become a Full Stack Developer in 2021?
Yes, you should become a full stack web developer in 2021. The full stack development career path is lined with endless opportunities. Companies seek individuals with a solid foundation in front end and backend web development. Once you master the necessary skills and knowledge, you will tackle any web development problem with ease.
Full Stack Developer FAQ
Will a full stack development course equip you with skills in digital marketing?
The program will cover front end development, which can play a role in marketing. Most of the programs are coding-centered, so you may want to explore further courses to equip you with additional skills.
Is coding difficult to learn?
Learning how to code is relatively easy, depending on the program you select. As a beginner, you should sign up for bootcamp prep courses or beginner-friendly programs before committing to two- or four-year degree programs.
Can I transition to becoming a UX designer?
Full stack web development teaches you all the aspects of building websites and web applications. Along your educational journey, you can develop a solid foundation to transition to different web-related careers.
What are the challenges of becoming a full stack web developer?
Learning how to use different programming languages and applying the knowledge can be quite daunting. As a full stack web developer, you must also be prepared to work relatively long hours, especially if there is a hitch in the coding lines.