The Core Skills of a Full Stack Developer

Know what to look for to hire the right one the first time

Thinking of hiring a Full Stack Developer? Curious of all the things a Full Stack Developer even can do? Perhaps you are simply wondering what skills to look for in a full-time Full Stack Developer in order to achieve all your current goals and immediate needs. As always, BorderlessMind is here to help.  

First off, we should clarify that a Full Stack Developer can be a broad-sweeping term. In general terms, a Full Stack Developer is someone who understands and can work on both the back- and front-end of systems. Essentially, it is someone who has a certain level of expertise in all technologies across all platforms. Think developing software, coding languages, or even managing databases. Things like that.  

Now before you get overwhelmed, allow us to put your mind at ease. Because as you might imagine, with a proper understanding of what they can do, hiring a Full Stack Developer can be relatively painless…if you know what to look for in a candidate. So, with that in mind, let us explore the wide-spanning skillset of these talented full-stack professionals and try to discover what specific programs and applications you need to succeed for your continued business growth.   

Basic Skills of a Full Stack Developer 

Obviously, technology is constantly evolving, and so too does a Full Stack Developer’s skills. In short, the best Full Stack Developers are open to ongoing learning as high-tech development continues to raise the bar and go even higher. However, here is what we know are the trending skills businesses are looking for in 2022 

Front-End Technologies – If you are reading this, you probably are too. Most Full Stack Developers have previously developed a certain level of expertise in these skills. We are talking fluency in general graphic design with the Adobe Suite, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to help create and build an eye-popping website or associated application that caters to a better user interface and experience.  

Back-End Technologies – Here is where the technologies start to vary a little more. These are the frameworks and languages that will help make your site run efficiently, effectively, and help store all your data along the way. There are many different back-end languages from which your Full Stack Developer can work, but you should look for the ones that are at least well practiced (and talented) in a few of the following: 

  • Python – A popular language with intuitive yet sophisticated syntax that utilizes large frameworks such as Flask and Django 
  • Node.js – Working from a JavaScript setting, it is a good one to work within and tends to be for those who just know the basics 
  • Ruby – An interpreted scripting language, it is very fast and easy to use 
  • Java – Similar to Ruby but a bit more difficult to navigate, it is statically typed and type declarations are required 
  • PHP – Primarily used for making web servers, it can run in the browser or in the command line 
  • .Net – A software development framework, it is a multifaceted platform for building and running applications in Windows 

These languages are sure to evolve in due time but are critical skills to look for when hiring a Full Stack Developer who can write reusable, testable, and efficient code today. In fact, a Java Developer was ranked as the #1 Best Job in America for 2021. And guess what? You will find that most talented Full Stack Developers have many of the above skills already.  

Desired Skills of a Full Stack Developer 

Those skills listed above are incredibly important of course, but also demonstrably common in the tech world. No, to be an in-demand Full Stack Developer, you will want to be on the lookout for qualified candidates who haven’t taken their skillset even further. This is where we get into the specialization areas of a Full Stack Developer. You probably want an expert in one of the following highly technical proficiencies, and you will be on your way to achieving and exceeding your immediate initiative in no time at all.  

  1. Git, GitHub, and SourceTree – To put it bluntly, knowledge and dexterity with Git is essential to any developer or programmer you may hire. Git is an open-source version control system that lets a Full Stack Developer manage and keep an eye on the source code history. Essentially, think of it as the most effective way to manage all the changes to various applications, codes, websites, documents, and whatever else is going on in the progress of your project. This is obviously critical to a Full Stack Developer’s day-to-day operations.  

GitHub is Git’s right-hand man. It is a cloud-based repository hosting service for Git, where code is shared with others on the cross-functional team so they can easily make any suggestions, edits, or adjustments. Supplementary features like Additional Security, Advanced Databases, the Learning Lab, and plenty more, can also be found in the GitHub Marketplace. 

SourceTree is a free Git client for both Windows and Macs. Extremely user friendly, it is basically the connection between the user and a Git. Featuring an easy-to-use, built-in system, it allows new users to grasp repository quite easily. Yet at the same time, more advanced developers will enjoy the technology because it allows them to write their code and get the job done. Not a bad thing for you to look for in a candidate. 

  1. JavaScript Language – Most Full Stack Developers duly acknowledge the need to be an expert in it to survive and thrive. But for the uninitiated, it is probably the most widespread scripting languages used today. Here’s why: 
  • As alluded to above, developers can use it for both front- and back-end technology code 
  • They can use it for scripting in order to add behaviors in HTML 
  • It can gleefully be utilized on the serve side along with Node.js 
  • It is currently (and we suppose exclusively) the only language the runs naturally in your browser 
  • It instinctively updates Full Stack Developers on new libraries, frameworks, and tools as they arise 
  • They can also gain access to key elements that will help them make your web pages more reactive through various functions, prototypes, delegations, and closures.
  1. React and Angular – While we are on JavaScript, it would probably be wise for you to also have some knowledge of both React and Angular. Developed by Facebook, React is an open-source, JavaScript library based on JSX (which, in turn, is an extension of PHP). Once a Full Stack Developer knows how to properly navigate JSX, React helps them streamline a webpage and its interface by dividing it into singular sections. 

On the other hand, Angular is Google’s baby. Initially developed to enhance Google Adwords, it too is an open-source solution, only its JavaScript framework is written in TypeScript. Primarily used by coders to create vibrant websites and apps, Angular requires a Full Stack Developer to learn basic concepts like modules, directives, decorators, services, and templates in order to successfully maximize all it has to offer.  

  1. REST (and HTTP) – A general understanding and a solid proficiency in REST Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) will definitely help a Full Stack Developer flourish in their role. REST stands for REpresentational State Transfer. It is a key architectural principle for web development and how applications and designs communicate with one another. While HTTP is the communication protocol for transferring files, REST is the interface that actually acquires the data. You will probably want your Full Stack Developer to brush up on these strategies before any venture.
     
  1. Storage Skills – Web storage and database management skills play a critical role in a Full Stack Developer’s career and should not be overlooked by you when hiring one. The collection of crucial data is elemental for the success of any customer-facing website. Think of operational objectives like what your company is selling, your general services information, past and current financial transactions, and more. Proper storage of this data is fundamental to any successful business – and a qualified Full Stack Developer is essential to the establishment and advancement of these core functions.  

So, what would a Full Stack Developer need to know? Well, there are a myriad of databases used for this goal. But for the purpose of this exercise, common databases include SQL Server, MongoDB, Oracle, and Redis. There are plenty more of course. Full Stack Developers should at least be an expert in a few, with some familiarity in as many as possible.   

Often Overlooked Skills of a Full Stack Developer 

Smart businesses – and the most successful ones – look beyond the resume when searching for the right Full Stack Developer for their team. A Full Stack Developer may know every program, every language, and every emerging application, but if they cannot play well with others, their time on these interdisciplinary teams may be extremely limited and unfortunately ineffective. Do not let this happen to you. Get it right the first time. Look for the following intangibles to distinguish the right Full Stack Developer from the pool of extremely talented Full Stack Developers you will ultimately interview to make sure they fit and are on board with your vision.  

Interpersonal Skills – Probably the most significant skill on this list. And justifiably so. Because a Full Stack Developer is involved with so many moving parts and aspects of a website and their various applications, keep in mind that they will have to collaborate with cross-functional teams and stakeholders at every level and vertical. To survive and thrive, clear communication is paramount to their success – and yours. But you know what matters even more is their ability to listen, take constructive criticism, and be open to your new ideas and suggestions along the way.
 

Basic Design Skills – While it may not be a Full Stack Developer’s job to make a site look pretty, design can and will occasionally interfere with functionality. Find a Full Stack Develop who is able to create wireframe examples of the user interface, as solid UX/UI skills will certainly come in handy. Additionally, it can hurt to be on the lookout for those adepts in a few design platforms like Adobe InDesign or CorelDraw to make this happen. You will not regret it.
 

Budget & Deadline Management – You may laugh, but seemingly simple things like being mindful of financial confines and proposed milestones are often ignored by Full Stack Developers who have tunnel vision on getting the job done right. You want your Full Stack Developer to get it right the first time, while staying within the budget and hitting your deadlines to your satisfaction. And if something comes up and they cannot, see overlooked skill #1.  

Seems trivial, but if your Full Stack Developer is adept at general project management in this manner, oftentimes you will find yourself rewarding at the end of the project – and be more likely to consider this Full Stack Developer for future endeavors.  

Multitasking Skills – This is obviously another no-brainer skill to look for in a Full Stack Developer, but the wearing many hats does need to be accentuated in your search. Full Stack Developers are often (okay, always) pulled in multiple directions on a daily basis. They usually never experience a dull moment or downtime, so you will want one that can not only multitask, but also excel at juggling new challenges as they arise.  

Keep in mind that this is a developed skill, however. While being able to prioritize requests and doing multiple actions at once might be a part of your job description, not every Full Stack Developer is skilled in the manner. Remember, these professionals are usually involved with all aspects of your project and will be in high demand at every stage of development. Make sure your candidate is up for the task. 

Staying Up to Date – While this skill matters less on a project-to-project basis, in general terms, it is central to having a long-term and successful Full Stack Developer on your team. 

We do not need to tell you that technology is always evolving constantly and quickly. Today’s programs, languages, and applications are frequently updated with advancements to make a Full Stack Developer’s life easier and more efficient. Unfortunately, this can make staying up to date with the latest and greatest more difficult.  

 It might help to set aside some time each month for them to research current happenings in their industry and yours. Have them join as many groups as they can on social media. Encourage them to subscribe to newsletters. And of course, feel free to frequently direct them to our blogs for any additional updates and insights.  

Conclusion 

This is admittedly a lot to take in, but a lot is required when searching for the right Full Stack Developer. While rather unfair, oftentimes Full Stack Developers are expected to know it all. No one can of course, so if you focus on the core skills of a Full Stack Developer – and look for a specific specialist in a few – you will find the right Full Stack Develop who outshines and outclasses the rest of the field. BorderlessMind can help you as well.  

We hope to hear from you soon. But most of all, good luck. The right Full Stack Developer is indeed out there. In fact, BorderlessMind has many top-tier candidates available for you to consider as you read this. If you now know what core skills to look for in your future Full Stack Developer to fit your immediate goals and business needs, please don’t hesitate to  contact us today. 

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