During the Covid-19 pandemic, businesses had to migrate to the virtual world and those who opted for full stack development, managed to finish software projects in time and stayed afloat. The demand for these engineers hits full boil today as well. And when you think about full stack developers’ skills and expertise, it’s not difficult to see why. These guys have knowledge of both frontend and backend development, so when you’re looking to develop, for instance, a minimum viable product (MVP), they can make it by themselves.
This article is a must-read for you, if full stack developers have long been on your wish list or you simply want to know whether they’re a good fit for your project. To help you hire a top full stack candidate, the JatApp team will arm you with valuable insights about their skills, where to find them, common hiring practices, and effective assessment strategies.
What is a full stack developer?
Full stack software developers are engineers that work with both frontend and backend technologies, namely, a set of technologies necessary for building an app. The frontend refers to the client side of an application. It’s everything that users can interact with, like the login page or two-factor identification. By contrast, the backend is the main logic of an app, database, and application programming interface (API). More specifically, the main logic of the product is integrated with API and database to transmit data from the frontend.
Why full stack software development is blowing up
Digital transformation has been forced upon various businesses that today have no choice but to adopt innovative solutions in response to the global pandemic. In this new reality where companies heavily rely on technologies, full stack developers stepped in to build digital products way faster compared to the separate teams of frontend and backend developers.
Gone are the days when frontend and backend engineers took their time to develop their parts of the project. Tight deadlines coupled with limited budgets have increased the demand for full stack programmers who have a bird-eye view of the project from planning to release. Even though full stack development is not a magic pill for all companies, it does help to build software on time without having to recruit additional developers.
Full stack developers’ availability according to HackerRank
What do full stack engineers have to know?
Full stack developers are do-it-yourselfers, as they not only work on user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) web design but also write the code and structure the server side. These types of engineers should have a wide range of hard and soft skills. Let’s discuss the most important ones for this role.
- Proficiency in markup languages, like HTML and CSS, as well as several frontend frameworks, such as Vue.js and React.js;
- Knowledge of backend programming languages and frameworks, like JS (NodeJS), PHP (Symphony, Laravel), or Python (Django);
- Expertise in working with the databases (MongoDB, MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL);
- Competence in performing e2e test and unit tests (Jest);
- Experience in dealing with Docker;
- Understanding of Agile practices (Kanban or Scrum).
Full stack developers’ technical skills
- Passion for learning;
- Resilience and ability to handle challenging tasks;
- Intermediate level of English.
When do you need to hire a full stack developer?
When your budget is limited
If you don’t have enough resources to recruit a coder for each layer of software or web development, it can be a good idea to opt for a full stack engineer. Even though a full stack developer may cost you money, they’re still less expensive than hiring backend and frontend engineers separately. Instead of recruiting two teams of five developers, you may have only one team of seven coders, saving on the cost spent on three workers while not sacrificing the product quality.
When you look for product manager
Full stack engineers are typically good product managers, as they have a sufficient technical background, yet understand the business requirements well. When a company makes decisions that involve both business and technical aspects, full stack developers become increasingly valuable.
When you need an MVP
Full stack engineers are able to develop an MVP on their own, thereby helping a company better understand whether there’s a potential in their product idea or changes to the requirements are necessary. Additionally, they understand how the product should look at the end and are aware of possible challenges that can pop up throughout the process. As a result, this allows a company to build an MVP that meets users’ expectations.
When you need a co-founder
Sometimes founders have excellent ideas for web applications but need someone that can implement them in real life. If you’re looking for a co-founder, full stack engineers can make good partners. Technical competence and a common business vision can help you form a genuinely harmonious team.
How should you hire full stack developers?
There are three ways you can recruit your full stack developers: work with freelancers, hire in-house engineers, or partner with an outsourcing vendor. In case you feel puzzled, not knowing what method suits you best, we’ve put together pros and cons of each hiring approach.
Freelancers refer to independent full stack programmers who aren’t dedicated to any particular employer and receive payment only after completing a specific project. The major benefits of choosing freelancers for your project are:
- Freelancers come with fewer expenses compared to other recruitment methods;
- There’s no management burden and overheads associated with office rent, equipment purchase, life insurance, and similar.
But beware of the following cons related to this hiring approach:
- Since freelancers are not committed to a specific project, they may not put the same effort as in-house coders or outsourcing teams.
- Freelancers often work on multiple projects and therefore have higher chances of missing a deadline;
- Your data is vulnerable to theft, loss, or misuse due to the lack of security in freelancers’ equipment and software.
In-house full stack developers
Hiring in-house engineers means that you have a team of dedicated full stack engineers that are a part of your organization. With this hiring method, you can expect the following advantages:
- You have a full control over your software project;
- Face-to-face communication with your team leads to higher quality outputs;
- In-house full stack coders are bound by organizational regulations, which helps to ensure advanced cybersecurity;
- In-house employees share your company’s values and culture.
However, recruiting in-house workers may entail these disadvantages:
- You need to take care of many additional tasks, ranging from finding talents to providing your team with the workspace;
- This hiring method is the most expensive option, as apart from employee salaries you need to pay for vacations, sick leaves, and so on;
- You can hire only full stack programmers that live in your area or don’t mind relocating.
Outsourcing your project means hiring a third-party provider that builds a product for you. The following strategy has a number of benefits:
- You can hire full stack developers from all over the world, so chances are you get top tech talents;
- A vendor helps to maintain your team in terms of payroll, rent, workspace, equipment purchase, and so on;
- You can scale the size of your team up and down in response to your business needs;
- The cost of outsourcing is generally lower compared to having an in-house team.
There are also certain drawbacks you need to consider:
- Time zone differences may hinder communication between you and your remote developers;
- Language barriers may spring up, affecting your cooperation with the team.
To overcome the disadvantages mentioned, you need to make sure that the company you collaborate with is both reliable and competent. JatApp has been on the market since 2015 and can boast of profound experience in working with clients from all over the world. Our full stack developers are professionals with a high level of English proficiency and strong teamwork skills. In our daily practice, we use both synchronous communication tools, like video conferencing platforms, as well as technologies for asynchronous cooperation, such as Slack or Jira. This helps our teams stay on the same page with the client, regardless of the time zone differences.
Video conferencing via Google Meet
Where to look for competent full stack developers?
According to HackerRank, the most common destinations where you can find qualified full stack developers are Eastern Europe, Latin America, India, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The choice of the location mainly depends on how much you’re ready to spend on software development. If you’re short on budget, you may want to consider countries with a low full stack developers’ salary, like India, Brazil, and Argentina. Yet, the quality of the code may leave much to be desired in these destinations.
Italy and the United Kingdom are also quite popular in recent years and are known for relatively high hourly rates that may reach $90. Meanwhile, in the United States, the price for full stack developers may get even higher, approaching an overwhelming $150 per hour.
By contrast, Eastern European countries are a real catch for those who care about the quality of the final product but don’t want to overpay for app development. For instance, in Ukraine, the full stack developers’ hourly rates are between $45-55, which is twice lower than in Italy and three times lower than in the United States. We’ve made a comparison table for you to better grasp the difference in the costs.
Full stack developers’ hourly rates by country
What questions to ask during the interview?
Once you’ve got a handful of applicants, you need to make sure that they’re qualified for the role of a full stack developer. By asking these questions during the interview, you’ll be able to find a tech talent that will turn your project idea into a fully functional application.
- How do you measure the success of a new functionality?
- What are your best practices for performing a code review?
- What production issues did you handle last year?
- Could you name at least three strategies that you use for website optimization?
- Can you describe your best software development experience?
- When starting a new software project, how do you choose the right technologies?
- What approaches do you use to debug and address a website problem?
- How would you make sure that a bot doesn’t affect your publicly accessible API?
- How do you understand that the product deployment is not consistent?
- Name a couple of things to take into account when writing a SEO-friendly code.
Once you know what full stack developers are and how to recruit them, it’s high time that you select a hiring strategy that aligns with your business needs. If you opt for outsourcing your project to a software provider, you’ll need to check whether your partner has solid experience and good reputation.
JatApp is a software company with more than 200 projects behind our backs. By cooperating with our full stack engineers you can save up to 60% on web development. At the same time, you’ll get a high quality product that meets all your business requirements. Thanks to commitment to product excellence and creativity, our web developers, including full stack coders, were recognized as the second most talented in Ukraine.
If you want to cooperate with us, feel free to send us a note to discuss your project requirements.