Why full-stack developers are a valuable asset to start-ups

It is hard to imagine a time before the Internet. Only 25 years ago, the world was sans social media, and Amazon (originally called Cadabra) was an online bookstore. Google (then known as BackRub) had not even been founded. How fast things change.

Now, there are over 1.7 billion websites worldwide and almost 4.57 billion people actively online.

Sought-after skills – and ways of working – have evolved with the nature of our digital world. According to Tech Nation, there has been a 150% increase in demand for roles within digital technology over the last four years, with software development consistently ranked as one of the most in-demand careers.

Here’s how full stack developers can bring these valuable engineering skills to start-ups – and what it takes to land one of these coveted roles.

First, what exactly is a full stack developer?

There are 3 key layers to the software/app/web development process: the front-end, the back-end, and the database architecture connecting everything in between. Full stack developers are highly-skilled professionals with proficiency in all three of these.

They can technically do it all: work independently on any web development project (the “full stack” of an application or website, hence the name) to build innovative tech solutions – coding for both the user-side frontend as well as the backend.

This means they can create amazing pixel-perfect user interfaces as well as complex back-end systems.

At a time where we are witnessing the way COVID-19 is shaping new opportunities in tech, especially across healthcare, full stack developers can be very useful to med-tech start-ups looking for custom web solutions or powerful apps that can be used by millions.

Innovation is a word that gets bandied about a lot – but if you’re bringing out a new app, for instance, you’re also competing against 2.56 million other existing ones. For new businesses to make a dent in the market requires investment in the right talent.

So what do full stack developers bring that you couldn’t get from hiring specialist front-end and back-end developers separately?

“It is a mistake to hire huge numbers of people to get a complicated job done.” – Elon Musk

Firstly, these developers are great, but they also operate within their own realms, and therefore can’t manage all the intricate layers involved in the whole web development process, i.e. both client- and server-side.

A good full stack developer will be able to guide you through all of these requirements.

They have overview (and ownership) of the whole project and all the different components involved, meaning a more synchronised picture (and realisation) of your company’s vision. It also means one person in charge, putting all these vital elements together.

Start-ups especially tend to operate with a small team and limited funds, and hiring a professional who can work on many of the different software projects needed to get started can be very useful in cutting costs – without sacrificing value.

It goes without saying (but we will say it anyway), websites are critical for any business to stay competitive – while embracing digital transformation can be key to making or breaking it in a post-COVID19 world. Creating an intuitive, visually appealing experience through an app/website – which is today the face of your company – is crucial in creating happy, loyal customers.

For that to happen, of course, requires the right pair of hands.

So, what does it take to become a full stack developer?

“Talk is cheap. Show me the code.” ― Linus Torvalds

You’ve got someone’s attention for about 15 seconds before they decide whether to continue reading that article (hopefully you are still reading this article) or click on the ‘x’ in the corner. User experience is life or death online.

Backend development has been described as the skill that powers the web.

Front-end and back-end development are two essential skills in the tech industry, and mastering both can add a big advantage to your career (another string to your bow, as the old saying goes).

However, becoming an employable full stack developer requires hard work and training. It means you have an in-depth knowledge of programming languages (HTML, CSS, JavaScript, NodeJS, Python) and as importantly a solid understanding of their technical foundations and application.

Demand for a Full Stack Developer has more than tripled in the last four years. It’s definitely an area where demand outstrips supply – you can’t get more “future-proof” than that.

So, if you’re considering a career change, how do you go about becoming a full stack developer?

If you’re a beginner, take the time to learn basic HTML and CSS (the fundamentals of the web); next, JavaScript (the framework). Here are our top picks of online training courses which will take you through these vital steps:

The Full Stack Web Developer Academy for Beginners (Packt) – Learn about HTML, CSS, JavaScript, APIs – and finish off with an app-building project. You can access this course for free with a 10-day trial! Duration: 24 hours

Full-Stack Web Development Course with React (Coursera) – A 4-part certificate course created by The Hongkong University of Science and Technology. Learn how to use Bootstrap 4, React, React Native, Node JS, Express and MongoDB. You can try it for free! Duration: 16 weeks

Beginner Full Stack Web Development: HTML, CSS, React & Node (Udemy) – Learn front-end and back-end development with HTML, CSS, Bootstrap 4, ES6 React and Node. Ideal for beginners! Duration: 25.5 hours

(According to online bootcamp Skillcrush, you can also do it all in 90 days.)

Next steps …

As tech recruitment specialists, Vivo Talent can help start-ups find the right talent to bring their web development projects to life, including full-stack developers and data architects.

If you’re looking for an exciting career change or want to learn more about full stack developer opportunities, we are happy to connect you with companies who can offer the right training – get in touch today.