The advantages and disadvantages of full-stack developers

The advantages and disadvantages of full-stack developers

Be it mobile app development, web development, or software development, all these are team processes and there are various types of professional developers who come together to build the best solutions based on the business's requirements.

We can classify these developers broadly into two categories:

  • Front-end developers
  • Back-end developers

The front-end developers are concerned with developing the client-side of an application. The dedicated front-end developers develop those aspects of the application that will be seen by the users.

The front-end developers are concerned with developing the client-side of an application. The dedicated front-end developers develop those aspects of the application that will be seen by the users.

Front end developers build elements like:

  • Layouts
  • Navigation
  • Images
  • Animations

The Back end developers on the other hand are concerned with developing the server-side of an application. The dedicated back-end developers develop those aspects of the application that are responsible for ensuring that the front-end of the application keeps on running smoothly.

Back end developers work on tasks like:

  • Troubleshooting and debugging applications
  • Database management

Full-stack application development is concerned with handling both the front-end as well as back-end development.

Full-stack developers are those experts who possess skills in both the front-end as well as back-end programming. While hiring dedicated developers, one needs to decide whether to go with full-stack developers or specialized front-end and back-end developers for their project requirements.

Full-stack professionals are experts at a wide range of programming languages. Entrepreneurs usually hire full-stack developers for developing an MVP (minimum viable product).

An expert full-stack developer usually has years of experience in both front-end and as well as back-end programming languages. They can easily execute agile projects with skill and proficiency. The developers providing full-stack development services can also act as technical heads as they have a detailed understanding of the programming languages. Moreover, The best full-stack developers will have experience in building Native as well as Hybrid mobile apps.

Mentioned below are the principal elements of a front-end tech stack:

HTML

This is a markup language for creating and displaying web pages. HTML is a critical component of web development as it affects the placement of content on a web page.

CSS

Cascading style sheets are responsible for the format and layout of the web pages. CSS includes the color, layout, and font styles of a web page.

Top web Developers can use various JavaScript-based libraries and frameworks like React and Angular.js to make the content more interactive.

The following are the major components of the back-end tech stack:

Programming languages

The programming languages build the logic for websites and apps and help link the web to the database. Python, PHP, and JavaScript are some of the most popular programming languages used in building the back-end of an application.

Servers

Servers like Apache and Internet information servers provide the necessary support to manage client requests. Such latest servers also prove to be the backbone of any system.

Databases

The application stores its data using common databases like MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL. The databases help to store data in an organized way and also keep them secure.

Pros of hiring full-stack developers

Let us have a look at some of the benefits of hiring full-stack developers.

Problem-solvers

The experienced Full-stack developers are a perfect choice for startups and small businesses as they are excellent problem solvers and can handle every aspect of the project development right from the beginning till its deployment.

Wide range of technology skills

Top Full-stack programmers prove to be a great package for businesses as they possess multiple skills in a wide range of domains and can learn new skills easily. Also, They look at the project from a macro perspective and possess knowledge and experience to add better features to the project.

Executive and management skills

An experienced full-stack application developer can easily take up executive and management roles as they have extensive knowledge of front-end, back-end, and middle architectural layers. The developers with full-stack development expertise normally take up the role of technical heads in a company.

Years of experience

To become a professional full-stack developer the developers need to be well-versed in various phases of the software development process like front-end, back-end, and testing and even have knowledge about the architecture of code. This extensive knowledge requires years of experience which is acquired by working on different types of projects. The years of experience that full-stack developers have proves to be an asset for the top software development companies who hire them.

Learn new language or framework

The IT domain is a fast-paced field where programming languages become outdated within a matter of months. Full-stack app developers can prove to be an asset for the company as they can easily learn a programming language or framework as they have the knowledge of multiple languages and help their team members to learn it too.

Cost

While hiring a full-stack developer, a company replaces a front-end developer, a back-end developer, and a QA tester. Thus hiring a full-stack developer can result in cost savings.

On-time delivery

Experienced full-stack developers with problem-solving capacity ensure timely delivery of the project. A small team of full-stack developers can easily replace a large team of front-end as well as back-end developers and save the company from missing the deadlines.

Troubleshoot issues

As full-stack application developers are experts in every aspect and stage of project development process, they can easily identify errors and implement long-term solutions. This ensures the optimal functioning of the web or mobile application.

Cons of hiring full-stack developers

Till now, we have seen the benefits of hiring a full-stack developer; let’s move to the disadvantages of hiring them.

Not able to keep up with the latest trends and technologies

There are numbers of frameworks and libraries that a full-stack developer needs to keep track of. Moreover, the full-stack developers also need to keep themselves updated with new technologies like IoT, Big Data, AR & VR.

With continuous updates in Programming languages, frameworks, and technologies, it is hard for Even for experts like full-stack developers, at times it becomes difficult to keep up with the latest trends, tools, and technologies that keep on coming in the IT domain. This can prove to be a drawback sometimes.

Diversified knowledge is a curse sometimes

Sometimes it is found that a specialized front-end or back-end developer has better knowledge than a full-stack developer in their specific domain. This is because a full-stack developer has to gain knowledge of a lot of technologies and frameworks simultaneously while a specialized developer can focus on gaining deep knowledge about a specific domain like front-end or back-end.

Hence it is found that with developers providing full-stack development services, there is a lack of in-depth knowledge in one particular technology, While a specialized developer will always have an in-depth understanding of the particular technology than the one whose attention is diversified over different programming languages and frameworks over a period of time.

Slows down the process

Full-stack web developers need to switch between various programming languages and frameworks when they are working on a project. This is a time-consuming process as they need to revisit the basics of each language and even brush up their skills by referring to various forms and books.

Increasing number of stacks

Modern IT technologies are not only limited to just front-end and back-end programming languages but also stacks like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, data analytics, web and mobile, blockchain, and IoT. These stacks will grow immensely in the future and full-stack developers will find it difficult to learn and integrate these new technology stacks into their existing knowledge.

When to Hire Full-stack Developers?

There are some cases when hiring full-stack developers can prove to be the correct choice while there are a few cases where the idea could be dropped. Let us discuss when should a company hire full-stack developers and when it should go for specialized developers.

When the company is young

Full-stack developers with experience and expertise can really help a young company or startup grow fast. They can create solutions from scratch and layout all application components where it need to be, creating the basic architecture of the project.

A dedicated full stack developer can help a company finish their MVP much faster as compared to specialized developers. Also, if the project is of a small scale then hiring a full-stack developer makes sense.

When you want your project to be led by a technically sound professional

An experienced developer with full-stack development programming skills can easily take up the role of a technical lead; hence it is a good idea to hire a full-stack developer as a technical lead if the development team of the company requires one.

A skilled full-stack developer has a broad knowledge and hence can make sure that everything works together properly. With an experienced Full-stack developer as a technical lead, the team members would not waste their time on unnecessary stuff.

When cost is a constraint

A limited budget demands hiring an app developer with full-stack development knowledge. Although it is true that the development process won’t be as fast as hiring a team of skilled individuals focused on front-end and back-end. Still, with a full-stack expert on board, the development will progress smoothly.

When the company wants to build an MVP

Minimum viable product(MVP) is a version of the product that consists of only the absolutely necessary features. Before building a full-fledged app, it is always a good idea to build an MVP to know whether the application performs as expected or not.

Once the company launches its MVP, it would get feedback from the users about the things that are lacking in the application. The company can then add these features in the subsequent versions of the application. The full-stack developers would prove to be the correct choice in terms of cost and delivery when the company intends to build an MVP.

When the project complexity is more

Small and medium-sized projects may work well with freelancers and general software developers who are novices or have moderate knowledge about coding. Nevertheless, if the project is complex, requires more accuracy, and more professionalism, hiring top development companies with best full-stack developers is the best choice for your project requirements.

Projects from big enterprises, MNCs, governments, and other reputed companies opt for full stack development in order to get feature-rich and objective-specific software for their services and products.

Also Read: Why is Hiring a Company Better Than Freelancers Though They Are on Peak Today?

When to Hire Specialized Developers?

Hiring specialized developers always has an added advantage. They are experts in their niches and domains and hence, perform better in development. They have intense knowledge of technical tools and hence they can use them for better outcomes. Other than this, here are a few important factors to consider while hiring specialized developers.

When speed and load optimization is required

Once the company has a stable application, they might want to focus on optimizing speed or make the app compatible to handle higher traffic. Under these circumstances, it is best to hire specialized developers who have deep experience in certain technologies.

The specialized application developers will have years of experience in a particular technology and will know all the problems and bottlenecks of the technology.

When the company already has a large development team

Once the application reaches a certain scale, then the company would require more people who are specialized in particular aspects. A stage will come when the app would need people that can handle small parts of the app solution really well. Such an approach would help the company to dramatically increase the quality of the final product. Path-breaking solutions are always created by a team of specialists.

When the nature of the work demands specialized knowledge

Sometimes the work is such that it requires specialized knowledge of a certain layer. If the requirement of the app is to create an API service, then it is better to hire a specialized back-end developer as compared to a full-stack developer. If the company wants to create a static website or a SPA, then a front-end developer can do the job.

Summing up

A full-stack developer has knowledge of multiple technology stacks, programming languages, and frameworks, and can prove to be an ideal hiring option for a startup. While Specialized front-end and back-end developers are better in certain conditions.

At the end of the day, it all boils down to the requirement of the project and the budget of the company. Professional IT companies can help a business decide whether to go with full-stack developers or specialized developers.

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