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Career Path: How to Become a Full-Stack Engineer

Full-Stack Engineers are highly-skilled experts in the web development world. These engineers are familiar coding for both the user-side frontend of a website, as well as the backend, server-side that powers the user-side. Becoming an employable Full-Stack Engineer requires years of dedication that combines educational and work experience.

Typically, these engineers have taken computer science and/or programming courses and have degrees in this or related subjects. Having a portfolio filled with websites and apps you have coded, for either the backend, frontend, or the full...more

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Career Path: How to Become a Full-Stack Engineer

Full-Stack Engineers are highly-skilled experts in the web development world. These engineers are familiar coding for both the user-side frontend of a website, as well as the backend, server-side that powers the user-side. Becoming an employable Full-Stack Engineer requires years of dedication that combines educational and work experience.

Typically, these engineers have taken computer science and/or programming courses and have degrees in this or related subjects. Having a portfolio filled with websites and apps you have coded, for either the backend, frontend, or the full-stack, is a wonderful way for employers to notice you.

Getting Through the Door

Full-Stack Engineers are constantly evolving. Commonly they have a background in computer science and enjoy coding. Though a professional in this field often start out not having mastered every aspect of both front and backend development, they are interested in trying to perfect their skills on both sides to become more full-stack savvy.

Full-Stack Engineers often have migrated into this role having initially served as either a frontend engineer or a backend developer but may have seen the shift in the employment trends leaning towards an interest in those individuals who can do both. They typically start at the entry-level and with time move on to junior and eventually senior-level Full-Stack Engineering. Some skills to keep in mind to become a more attractive candidate to employers include:

  • Demonstrating a desire to master full-stack duties
  • Creating applications that speak to the needs of the company
  • Taking time to learn from feedback and advice from managers and colleagues
  • Sharpening your technical skills by learning new programs and languages that complement and enhance your Full-Stack toolkit

Degrees and Experience

Full-Stack Engineers often have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or information systems and may have taken online courses specific to web development. Some employers prefer their Full-Stack Engineers to have a master’s degree. Others will employ a Full-Stack Engineer who has years of hands-on experience in lieu of a degree or certification.

Many have held positions as either a backend engineer, specializing in the development of how a website functions, or in frontend engineering, creating the layout and features with which clients interact. An interest in furthering these skills and working as a highly-employable Full-Stack Engineer can help steer a professional from just a backend engineer or a frontend engineer to a career in the full-stack.

To continue moving forward in your career as a Full-Stack Engineer, employers may encourage you to take seminars or additional educational courses that help expand your skills related to web development and software, as well as to increase your understanding of business practices.

Working as a Junior Level Full-Stack Engineer

Full-Stack Engineers at the junior level have attained 2-5 years of on the job experience, a degree in computer science or information systems, or a mix of experience and education. They are starting to gain fluency in all layers of computer software development and while not mastering these, at least can understand how all features on both user and server sides function from top to bottom. As your experience as a Full-Stack Engineer deepens, so will your ability to anticipate and identify issues, making your value as a team member increase.

Moving up the Ranks

Full-Stack Engineers are predicted to continue having a bright future, as they are needed by companies across the globe, in all sectors, to create visually stunning and highly-functional applications that help users connect with the company. The work a skilled Full-Stack Engineer creates can make a business more popular and stand out from its competitors, meaning the company can be more profitable as well. By demonstrating your capacity to take on more responsibilities over time, taking on new initiatives including mentoring or training more junior colleagues and introducing your company to newer and better technologies, Full-Stack Engineers can easily move up the ranks in their role.

Advance Your Career: How to become a Senior Full-Stack Engineer

Full-Stack Engineering offers plenty of job growth, so with the right amount of dedication, perseverance and willingness to learn, a Full-Stack Engineer can graduate into a more lucrative and better respected senior position over time. There are several ways in which a Full-Stack Engineer can develop and hone their talents; some of which may be directed by employers, others discovered by networking and some you may take on yourself. The key to moving forward in this dynamic and ever-changing field is the desire to learn, grow and embrace changes as they occur.

Study the Core Fields

Full-Stack Engineering is concerned with the total output and function of an application, so there are many technical tools to understand. Regular use of HTML and CSS are necessary to understand as they are the backbone to all web pages. JavaScript is the most popular language for frontend and backend development and there, a Full-Stack Engineers most reliable language. Frameworks like Python, Ruby and Node.js are exceptional for building solid server-side logic. While Ruby on Rails and Express help Full-Stack Engineers design websites that catch the user’s eye and make them want to come back time and again.

Invest in Yourself

Staying relevant in a competitive field is tricky, but with Full-Stack Engineering, it is not impossible. Keeping up with the latest trends and newest software in web development will help your skills stay sharp and keep you trained to handle future movements or issues. Network with colleagues at web development conferences, through internet groups and even on the job so you are always apprised of trends and changes that can affect your career.

Don’t Stop at Full-Stack Engineering

One of the most interesting things about Full-Stack Engineering is that it is just a piece of the web development pie. Most Full-Stack Engineers understand one aspect of web development, i.e. backend logic, better than the other components necessary to successfully complete regular tasks. By pushing yourself to better understand areas that are still unclear, you can become a more well-rounded developer overall.

Familiarizing yourself with multiple platforms, be it web or mobile, is also important to the continued growth and development of a successful Full-Stack Engineer. Just as understanding the full-stack of technologies is key to a Full-Stack Engineers job, so is branching out and understanding the full-stack of platforms available for you to work on and transform.

Full-Stack Engineer Job Description

Full-Stack Engineers continue to be one of the most exciting and in-demand developer jobs available. These engineering wonders combine the work traditionally done by Backend and Frontend Engineers to code a website or application on the server and the client-facing side. It is a role that fuses both creative and practical concerns, as these engineers are responsible for everything the website user encounters, including scrolling functions and graphics, as well as creates the logic, database interactions and server configuration on the application's backend.

In addition to programming the various features of client-side and user-side applications, Full-Stack Engineers are expected to upgrade and maintain both the back and frontend as needed. As new technologies emerge and platforms are expanded, the role of a Full-Stack Engineer will likely transform to suit these changes.

What We Need Your Help With

  • The development and maintenance of client-side and server-side applications.
  • Working with other web developers as well as marketing teams and engineers to ensure the right look and necessary features are included in your work.
  • Designing tests that will be implemented to keep software functional.
  • Full-Stack Engineer who can adapt and help us stay on top of expanding technologies and engineering trends.

We Look For

  • Proficiency with HTML and CSS
  • Being able to code with languages like JavaScript, Core MVC, and ASP.NET
  • An adroitness with SQL, Ruby and Java for backend programming
  • Building and accessing databases with NoSQL and Node.js
  • Understanding the ins-and-outs of HTTP protocols, developer tools, SSL certificates and web application architecture
  • Keeping track of changes made to code with Git version control system

These Would Also Be Nice

  • Good communication skills
  • Thriving as a member of a team
  • Understanding the needed technology for web development
  • Keeping business needs in mind
  • Wanting your work to appeal to clients
  • Having the desire to continuously grow and learn

Senior Full-Stack Engineer Career Paths: Where to Go from Here

Working your way towards a Senior Full-Stack Engineer position can be exciting and is indicative of years of hard work and earned experience. Senior Full-Stack Engineers can easily stay in their position for years and enjoy a varied and exciting career, using their fluency in front and backend coding to help mentor junior members of your team. Senior Full-Stack Engineers may also wish to move onto other compatible job roles. Most often these include senior software engineers and principal software developers, leading teams to design and deploy software that can help guide an entire company.

Experts agree that Full-Stack Engineers will continue to be an in-demand profession needed to help meet the evolving requirements of businesses that rely on having a strong web presence to appeal to clients and consumers.

Ruby is a dynamic, highly object-oriented scripting language developed in 1995 by Yukihiro Matsumoto in Japan. In recent years Ruby has seen a huge surge thanks to the Ruby on Rails framework becoming one of the de-facto leaders in modern web dev...

PHP

PHP is a widely-used open-source scripting language that has seen wide use in web application development. PHP code must be processed by an interpreter like the Zend Engine. With a strong open-source community and large adoption world-wide, PHP ...

JavaScript is a scripting language, originally implemented in web browsers, but now widely used server-side via the Node.js platform. It supports a runtime system based on numerical, Boolean and string values, with built-in, first-class support f...

.NET is a framework created by Microsoft that consists of common language runtime and its own class library. Its key benefits are managing code at execution in the form of memory management, thread management and remoting. It also has added safet...

C++

C++ is an object-oriented language derived from C, and invented by Bjarne Stroustrup, while working at AT&T's Bell Labs. It is widely used for systems-level programming, and building applications on Windows and various Unix operating systems (Lin...

Java is a statically-typed, cross-platform language. It is concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented. It has minimal implementation dependencies and compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilat...

C

C is a widely used low-level, static-typed, compiled computer language known for its efficiency. Developed in the late sixties, C has become one of the most widely used languages of all time. It provides direct access to memory and due to its de...

Python is an object-oriented programming language notable for its clarity, power and flexibility. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that an interpreter reads and runs the code directly, rather than compiling down into static lower level c...

HTML, or HyperText Markup Language, is a markup language derived from SGML, used to describe web sites and applications to be run in a common web browser. Invented in 1993 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, HTML documents are broken up into HTML elements, w...

Top industries hiring Full Stack Engineers

eCommerce

The retail landscape has changed dramatically over the past few decades. Retail was once a brick-and-mortar industry, comprised of small, independently owned-and-operated businesses and large chain stores with multiple outposts throughout the c...

Education

The education industry involves working in an environment that implements and teaches various skills and applicable material. Formal education typically involves various levels of education, including preschool, primary, secondary, tertiary, vo...

Marketplace

The marketplace industry is made up of digital platform companies that exist to connect business owners with consumers and facilitate trade. It is an ever-growing sector, with marketplace businesses like Lyft, GrubHub, Etsy and UpWork replacing...

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