What is a Full Stack Developer?

5 min readNov 9, 2021


Developers play an extremely important role in building a website, and your website plays an extremely important role in building your business. So, you definitely need to have a strong and efficient team of developers ready to help you along the way. But just what type of developers do you need? And what are the different types that are out there? Once you might be wondering about is just what is a full stack developer?

The Basics of a Full Stack Developer

If you’ve ever heard of a frontend developer or a backend developer (or both) you’re already partway to understanding just what a full stack developer is. That’s because the full stack developer is kind of like both of those other two developers rolled into one. They’re able to do the work of either of these developers, which makes them invaluable on your team.

The Full-Stack Developer Works on:

  • Programming
  • Web design
  • Coding
  • Security and best practices
  • User experience

Diving into Full Stack Development

When you look at these different skills, you can see that they actually represent the main skills of both a backend developer and a frontend developer. For example, programming and security are commonly backend development work, but a full stack developer can be responsible for both. Web design, coding, and user experience are typically frontend development work, but a full-stack developer can do these as well.


Programming usually takes place behind the scenes but involves languages like Ruby, PHP, and Python. For a full stack developer, it’s important to have a good understanding of at least the basics of these languages so you can build the background of the website or at least keep it up and running if there’s a full backend developer who creates it in the first place.


The security aspects of development are extremely important because if something gets into your website and is able to cause problems it could be damaging for your business and your users. This is why a full-stack developer needs to understand not only the basics of security but the best practices as well, so they can make sure that your website is up to the standards of the average website.

Web Design

Making your website look good is extremely important and it’s what most people are going to notice when they first see your page. It’s what people are going to judge your company based on. So, you want someone who can take care of making sure the entire website looks good. This is typically a frontend aspect, but a full stack developer would be able to work on the design elements as well, or at least update them along the way.


This is another aspect that’s primarily based on the frontend developer role. It usually uses languages such as HTML, CSS, or JavaScript and goes into the process of making sure that the website looks good for any potential users. You want your full-stack developer to have a good understanding of coding languages so that they can update things on your website along the way to keep up with any changes you want to make.

User Experience

The user experience is the most important aspect of your website. Without a positive user experience, your users aren’t going to stick around. They’ll look for someone else that can give them the same or better information in an easier-to-use format. So, you need a full-stack developer that can capitalize on the user experience and make sure it’s as positive as possible.

Is It Better to Have a Full Stack Developer?

Some people will say that it’s a good idea to have a full stack developer instead of two separate developers from frontend and backend. Others will say that it’s better to have a frontend and backend developer instead of a full stack developer. The truth is, it’s going to depend on a number of factors.

First, do you have enough money to hire both a frontend and backend developer? If your business is just starting out you may need to focus your attention on a full stack developer because they can do it all, but they generally don’t do it all as well as individual frontend and backend developers. That means you can save a little money going with this type of professional instead of two more advanced ones.

You’ll want to think about just what you want your developer to do as well. If you’re starting from scratch and you want high-end everything you may need to hire a backend developer and a frontend developer to get you started but you may be able to use a full stack developer once that’s done. That way, you can save a little as you’re working through updates and other things your full-stack developer should be comfortable with.

For those who already have a foundation to build on or who don’t want to get as specific or advanced, a full-stack developer may be able to do everything you need. Or, if you’re willing to pay more for a full stack developer who actually does have all the skills you may be able to hire just one person, which makes the communication and updates a little easier along the way.

What You Need to Know

Overall, there are good reasons to hire a frontend and backend developer. There are also good reasons to hire a full-stack developer. It’s going to be entirely up to you what works out best for your needs and even what those needs are.

Take a look at who you can find if you go with either option and just what you want to do with your website. These factors will help you decide if you’re better off in one direction or another. Or maybe it’s going to be entirely up to your personal preference.

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Originally published at Upstack.co on Sep 2, 2021, by Samantha Dewitt.