In: For Developers

A full-stack development professional is one who has sound technical knowledge of the key elements of development among other details of the technology.

  1. Frontend
  2. Backend
  3. Database management
  4. Version control
  5. System design

Full-stack web development is a sought-after career option today. Early-stage startup companies actively seek developers who have sound specializations in these multiple fields.

However today, the definition of full stack is quite dynamic and in some aspects company-specific too.

For example, cloud computing and deployment are some of the skills that a full stack developer should have along with the ones stated before. A full-stack web developer eliminates the need to hire individual role-specific people by handling the entire application themselves.

During a project’s planning phase, they are the ones who work on requirements building.

Initially, mastering both backend and frontend together is futile as you will leave out the chance of thoroughly understanding either one and end up sabotaging both stacks.  

The best way to become a full-stack developer is to specialize in either Frontend or Backend while having a working knowledge of the other and then keep improving the other part over time.

Adopting this method will enable you to collaborate on projects early on. Companies follow their own tech stacks and you should be in a position to shift to their tech stack from your working stack.

Big-tech companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, have big project teams and only if you are specialized in either frontend or backend, you can still work your way into such product-based companies.

But then again to have career growth in those companies you need to be a full stack developer, else you will be the underdog there (sad).

Startups on the other hand prefer to hire full-stack developers as they have a lean team structure and are always on the lookout for multitaskers. Having a full-stack developer on board is much more profitable than hiring niche developers.

This blog will briefly introduce you to the popular tech stacks and how you can go about mastering them, and finally how Crio’s Full Stack Web Developer Track can help you achieve your full stack developer status in the most fun way out there!

Why should you become a full stack developer?

Let’s get this cleared first. Here are the top 3 reasons why you should consider becoming a full stack developer:

1. Building unique proprietary software products

Every company/developer follows its own tech stack while building a product (as every product has its own requirements and the best set of technology is chosen accordingly).

The use of such diverse technologies makes the code base of the project complex and this eventually creates a unique code for a particular product.

2. A huge arsenal of web technologies ensures cutting-edge product development

Full-stack developers have working experience in several frontend and backend technologies (languages and frameworks) like HTML, CSS, JS, Python, Ruby, PHP, more.

This diverse working knowledge gives developers the flexibility to tailor the tools needed for the project as per the project needs and create a state of the art products; since every technology has something different to offer – broadly in terms of syntaxes, compiling time (performance), compatibility, code reusability.

3. Knowing full stack offers rapid growth in job role

To be a project manager (generally the top of the hierarchy of a project team) knowing full stack web development is helpful as you should be able to assimilate both frontend and backend mainly amongst the other tasks like database management or cloud services. Becoming a niche developer may often lead you to crossroads in your projects and due to this companies often avoid such developers.

What does a full stack developer do?

The key elements that define a full-stack developer are as follows. Mastering these skills as a bundle is what makes a developer truly ‘Full Stack’.

Frontend Development

This is the client-side part i.e. the part of the website a user sees and interacts with. A developer needs to get creative and innovative with graphics and designs for this part.

The main technologies required for frontend development are HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript (ES6). For the real bang, you need to use front-end frameworks like VueJS, ReactJS, Angular JS and etc to make your website trendy!

Backend Development 

This is the brain of the application/product and honestly, it needs some brains to build the backend of an application. All the crazy things that your application should be able to do is be scripted on this side of the app i.e. the server-side. Accessing and using databases, user authentication, validation, etc. are some of the many things needed to be done here.

Backend developers build and maintain the server-side technology needed to power the components which enable the user-facing side of the website to exist. This includes the core application logic, databases, data and application integration, API, and other backend processes.


To store and retrieve data we need a database right? There are two types of databases – relational and non-relational (SQL vs NoSQL).

Developers should be familiar with both types of databases such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Cassandra. Additionally, knowledge of caching options such as Redis, Memcached, and Varnish is an absolute plus!

Version Control System

Every product/application goes through many versions and revisions before getting compiled and deployed. A version control system should be learned and used like GitHub (popular), GitLab, Apache Subversion.

Using version control is a common practice and one of the good habits for a developer to have.

Among other things a full stack developer should know

Full-stack developers should know how to use the command line, different operating systems (specifically Linux-based), deployment methods offered by different cloud services like AWS, GCP, Microsoft Azure, etc. Knowing cloud computing or cloud related-services is something that is also expected from full stack developers these days, but that should be learned preferably only after having a solid working stack for development.

Major job responsibilities of full stack developers

Full Stack Web Developer Roles and Responsibilities

  • Developing front-end website architecture.
  • Designing user interactions on web pages to make them visually appealing.
  • Developing backend website applications.
  • Creating, managing servers and databases for functionality.
  • Designing and developing effective APIs.
  • Choosing the most appropriate tech stack needed for the product.
  • Ensuring responsiveness of applications.
  • Working alongside graphic designers for web design features.
  • Seeing through a project from conception to finished product.
  • Meeting both client needs as well as technical needs.
  • Testing and fixing bugs or other coding issues, troubleshoot, debug and upgrade software.
  • Create security and data protection settings.
  • Staying abreast of developments in web application frameworks, libraries, software, and programming languages.
  • Ensuring cross-platform optimization for mobile phones.
  • Documenting the application thoroughly and finally deploying the product using relevant cloud services or some similar methods.

Phew. That was a lot of responsibilities a full stack developer undertakes!

Let us get to the specifics now and look at some of the major tech stacks a full stack developer works with.

Popular tech stacks and which is the best one for you

Every company follows its own tech stack. The choice of a stack for a full stack web developer depends on the individual goals, performance expected from the application, company requirements, etc.

Over the years some tech stacks have become popular, thanks to their awesome capabilities and easy-to-use features.

A tech stack comprises a frontend technology, a back-end technology and a database management technology.

2021 Popular tech stacks recommended for full stack developers


MERN stack

Want to master full stack web development? Then dig right into this one!

MongoDB: A NoSQL Database that stores data in binary JSON format (called BSON).

Express: A back end web application framework for Node.js used for designing and building web applications quickly and easily.

React: A JavaScript library that is used for building user interfaces.

Node.js: A server-side JavaScript runtime environment.

LAMP stack

You may start with this old school tech stack, but do not wind yourself up too much around this one 😉

Linux: Open-source operating system that is the foundation for this stack model.

Apache: A web server that delivers web content through the internet. One of the popular HTTP client on the web

MySQL: An open-source database that can be queried by the scripting language to construct a website.

PHP: A Server-side open-source scripting language.

MEAN stack

Want to develop robust applications? Then try this one out.

MongoDB: A NoSQL Database that stores data in binary JSON format.

Express: A back end web application framework for Node.js used for designing and building web applications quickly and easily.

Angular.js: A framework for building single-page client applications using HTML and TypeScript. It implements core and optional functionality as a set of TypeScript libraries that you import into your apps.

Node.js: A server-side JavaScript runtime environment.

If you are just getting started, JavaScript based tech stacks are relatively fun and easy to learn compared to their counterparts like Java or Python.

You can always dig into Python based frameworks (Django/Flask) or Java based frameworks (Spring/Spring Boot) once you are familiar with the working elements required for full-stack development.

As told before, requirements vary but the core essence is pretty much the same.

LAMP stack is not preferred these days due to its low productivity and complex architecture. But MERN and MEAN stacks are hot and trending. Difference between the two is React and Angular.

React is a powerful and easy-to-use JavaScript library that is developed and maintained by Facebook while Angular is a TypeScript-based framework. Some basic facts about the two:

  • React gives you a bit of freestyle coding while Angular JS has predefined rules which need to be followed.
  • React involves installing dependencies as and when you need while angular gives you the entire package right when an angular project is initialized.
  • Presently React has more job markets than Angular and other technologies.

So it is safe to conclude you can start off with React and go on mastering it for a while then.

Top reasons why MERN is recommended for new age full stack developers:

1. Website performance

Since React is only a library it is super easy to integrate it into your frontend code. And hence it is also great in UI rendering performance.

2. Effective contracts between client-server

This stack uses JavaScript for both server and client-side scripting and this makes the code much more effective to write and implement.

3. Uniformity

The MERN stacks use only the JavaScript language (majority) which makes the code more uniform and straightforward. This will also help a company in terms of hiring as they only need to seek JavaScript developers now.

4. Community support

All technologies in MERN are open-source. This gave birth to the many awesome communities that are out there today for react related query support. Developers can make good use of these amazing platforms to grow their skills and also their network.

Popular companies running on React

Facebook, Netflix, Reddit, Dropbox, Airbnb, Mattermark, Atlassian.

Even Tesla has used React to build its website

React and especially MERN is the holy grail for startups’ websites.

Hence there is a growing demand for MERN specialized full stack developers in the upcoming startup world.

As I conclude for anyone who is going to become a Full Stack Developer, needs to build strong skills sets in the backend, frontend, and database because for any interview, the interviewer will ask and judge on the basis of the backend, databases, and frontend skills. And one of the best ways to start from (MongoDB, ExpressJS, ReactJS, NodeJS) MERN stack, nowadays every tech company is developing their product on the MERN stack. Learning is the most beneficial component in software engineering.

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