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Top 10 Skills to Become a Full-Stack Developer in 2024

In the modern world, if we talk about professional versatility, there’s no one better than a Full Stack Developer to represent the term “versatile.” Well-versed in both frontend and backend web development, Full Stack Developers are the multi-talented professionals that every company and brand covets. 

Since the dawn of the digital era, more and more companies and organizations are creating their unique online presence through their websites. Naturally, the domain of web development is witnessing a growth like never before, thanks to which the demand for experienced and skilled Full Stack Developers has spiked considerably. If you consider doing full stack web development course to upskill yourself, check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s PG Diploma in Full-stack Software Development which has placement assurance or money back guarantee. 

This course will teach you important aspects such as what is full stack web development and  how to become a full stack developer

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What is full stack web development?

Full stack web development is a process of computer system application which handles two separate web development domains named front end and back end.

The term “full stack development” refers to knowing how to make the part of a website that people see (like buttons, forms, and pictures) and also the part they don’t see (like servers, databases, and how everything works behind the scenes). A full stack developer is someone who has proficiency in both. 

On the front end, they craft user-facing elements using languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, often incorporating frameworks like React or Angular for dynamic interfaces. Meanwhile, on the back end, they manage server-side functionalities, databases, and server configuration using languages such as JavaScript (Node.js), Python (Django), or Ruby (Ruby on Rails). 

To become a full stack developer, you must master the art of crafting visually appealing websites while ensuring that everything runs seamlessly behind the scenes.

Before understanding how to become full stack developer, let’s first recognise what is a full stack developer and what does full stack developer do?

Who is a Full Stack Developer?

To fully comprehend the role of a Full Stack Developer, you must first understand the components of web development. Essentially, web development has two parts – frontend and backend development. Thus, every web or mobile application includes two parts, a frontend, and a backend.

full stack web development course

While the frontend comprises the visible part of the application with which users interact (user interface), the backend is where all the actual magic happens. The backend of an application includes business logic (how the system functions and how the data flows via a series of tasks), how the data is stored, and where the solution runs. 

Both the frontend and backend combine to create the Full Stack. A tech stack comprises an operating system, a server, a database, and other vital tools like libraries, frameworks, environments, and so on. When multiple such tech stacks are layered and run together, they create a Full Stack.

how to become a full stack developer

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What does fullstack developer do?

Now, a Full Stack Developer is a software expert who’s equally proficient in frontend (client-side) development and backend (server-side) development. Full Stack Developers are familiar with each layer of tech stacks that go into the making of a software product. They know how each layer functions and, most importantly, can manipulate all the backend components.

Full Stack Developers have a broad skill set and extensive knowledge base. Thus, one needs years of experience in software development to earn the title of a Full Stack Developer. They are highly valued by large companies and small startups alike. Doing full stack web development courses significantly increases your chances of getting hired in your dream company as adding certifications from authorized institutions increases the weightage of your resume. 

Related Article: Full Stack Developer Salary in India

Hope you got a brief understanding of what is a full stack developer, now let’s move on to, how to become a full stack developer.

What are the crucial Full Stack Developer skills?

As we mentioned before, a Full Stack Developer boasts of a wide variety of skills. Here are Full Stack Developer skills that are non-negotiable!

1. HTML/CSS

While HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. HTML is used for adding web content, and CSS is a personalization tool for designing and styling a website. Both HTML and CSS determine the look and feel of a website, which ultimately plays a major role in attracting prospective customers. 

Full Stack Developers have to work with HTML to define the structure of web pages by using markup. They must also be proficient in CSS for effective presentation of the HTML elements. Full Stack Developers must have extensive knowledge in both of these programming languages for creating an interactive, intuitive, and engaging frontend for applications. 

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2. JavaScript

When it comes to web and software development, JavaScript is a mandatory Full Stack Developer skill. The object-oriented scripting language is mostly used for adding behaviors using HTML. It is one of the most widely used languages for writing frontend and backend code for servers. Furthermore, JavaScript is the only programming language that can run natively in the browser and on the server-side (Node.js). 

Full Stack Developers must have in-depth knowledge of JavaScript along with its concepts and features like React and Angular. One of the best things about JavaScript is that it includes numerous useful features, including functions, prototypes, higher-order event delegation, and closure, which help create responsive web pages.

It is also mandatory for Full Stack Developers to upgrade their JavaScript knowledge as and when new frameworks, libraries, and tools are launched. Apart from this, Full Stack Developers must know how to use DOM and JSON.

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Checkout: Full Stack Developer Project Ideas for Beginners

3. Git and GitHub 

Every developer, as well as aspiring developers, has heard of Git. It is an open-source “distributed version control system” that can handle all your development needs. It promises speed and efficiency for both small and large-scale projects. With Git, developers can seamlessly manage all the changes made to applications, codes, websites, documents, and other information associated with software/application development. Professional developers usually have a GitHub profile, which is compulsory if working in a team. 

As for Full Stack Developers, Git allows them to track every minor modification done to the application codebase. They must be aware of all the basic Git commands and examples. Using Git empowers Full Stack Developers to explore unique opportunities for security, productivity, and management. Knowledge of Git allows Full Stack Developers to better collaborate and cooperate with their fellow developers/programmers who are working on the same project. 

Learn more: Git vs Github: Difference Between Git and Github

4. Backend languages

While we’ve covered the two most critical frontend languages, HTML and CSS (along with JavaScript), the other pivotal part of an application or software is the backend. While backend development is a whole different game, there’s plenty of programming languages to choose from. Doing a full stack web development course will help you learn the required languages necessary to become a full stack developer. 

A Full Stack Developer must know at least a few of these languages for backend development:

  • PHP – One of the most popular choices for backend development, PHP is an open-source, cross-platform compatible language that can work seamlessly on Unix, macOS, and Windows.Renowned for powering numerous prominent websites and web applications, PHP’s popularity comes from its user-friendly attributes. Its extensive functionality and vast community support contribute to its widespread usage. 
  • Python – Python’s English-like syntax, smooth learning curve, and a vast assortment of libraries and frameworks is what makes it extremely popular among developers and coders around the world.Simple and readable, Python’s broad range of libraries simplifies various backend development tasks, allowing developers to build robust and scalable applications efficiently.
  • Ruby – Ruby is a robust programming language. An active community of developers backs it, but it also boasts of excellent documentation and dependencies, making it the ideal choice for backend development.
  • Java – Java is a multipurpose programming language. It can be used for web, desktop, and mobile application development. Plus, Java has a wide range of frameworks that further simplify the process of backend development.Java offers an extensive ecosystem. This ecosystem enhances its adaptability, making Java a go-to choice for developers seeking a comprehensive solution for diverse backend development requirements across different application types.

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5. Web architecture

Full Stack Developers are the wizards of software development. They are equipped with multiple skills pertaining to both frontend and backend development. 

Full Stack Developers need to know the nitty-gritty of web architecture. Since their primary responsibility is to develop complex software applications from scratch, they must know how to structure the code, categorize the files, structure the data in databases, and perform the necessary computational tasks. Read more on Web development project ideas.

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6. HTTP and REST

Both HTTP and REST serve two unique purposes. HTTP is the protocol used for facilitating communication with the client, whereas REST is an interface between systems using the HTTP protocol to gather data or perform different operations (in various formats) on the data. So, REST acts like a translator between the frontend and the backend. 

Since HTTP and REST are necessary for Full Stack development, Full Stack Developers must master both.

7. Database storage

All web applications need a database where all the data will be stored. This is to ensure that developers can access the data later. Database storage calls for an experienced and skilled Full Stack Developer who knows relational databases and database storage inside-out. Full-stack developers must be adept in database management – they should be able to design, understand, and manipulate database queries. They must also know how to work with XML and JSON. 

Things that a Full Stack Developer must know concerning database storage and management:

  • Characteristics of relational/non-relational data.Relational databases organize data into tables with predefined relationships, following the principles of ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, Durability). They ensure structured data storage and enforce schemas, ideal for complex relationships and transactions. Non-relational databases, often termed NoSQL databases, handle unstructured or semi-structured data more flexibly. They offer scalability, high performance, and schema flexibility but compromise on certain transactional properties for speed and scalability.
  • Knowledge of NoSQL databases.NoSQL databases encompass various types like document-oriented (e.g., MongoDB), key-value stores (e.g., Redis), column-oriented (e.g., Cassandra), and graph databases (e.g., Neo4j). Understanding these databases helps a developer choose the right type for specific use cases based on scalability needs, data structure flexibility, and performance requirements. NoSQL databases are often chosen for handling large volumes of unstructured data or when scalability and agility are crucial.
  • Knowledge of web storage.Web storage refers to techniques and technologies used to store data within web applications. This includes various methods like cookies, local storage, session storage, and indexedDB. Full stack developers must understand the differences and use cases for each storage method. For instance, cookies are used for storing small pieces of data that need to be sent back to the server with every request, while local storage is suitable for larger data that persist even after the browser is closed.

Read: 21 Interesting Web Development Project Ideas For Beginners

8. Basic design skills

As we’ve made it clear that a Full Stack Developer is concerned with frontend and backend, they must possess the fundamental design skills. The knowledge of frontend design is crucial to make a website look attractive and appealing. A website with a neat and user-friendly design always wins the hearts of the users. 

Thus, Full Stack Developers must know the basic design principles, including UI & UX design, prototypes, scalability, etc. 

9. NPM

NPM is the package manager explicitly designed for Node.js. It aids in the installation of different packages. It also offers relevant solutions for various dependencies. NPM allows developers to place modules optimally to help the node to find them and manage the dependency conflicts accordingly. NPM is highly configurable, and thus, it can be used for many applications, including the development, publishing, discovery, and installation of node programs. 

10. Soft skills

When you aspire to become a Full Stack Developer, technical skills solely won’t suffice. You must possess the perfect balance of technical knowledge and soft skills. Every Full Stack Developer must have the following soft skills:

  • Analytical bent of mind: Developers must think logically, troubleshoot systematically, and break down complex problems for efficient coding solutions.
  • Good time management skills: Efficient task organization, prioritization, and timely project completion are vital for developers to meet deadlines and maintain productivity.
  • Curiosity for learning: Embracing continuous learning, exploring new technologies, and adapting to industry changes are essential for developers to stay updated and enhance their skills.
  • Attention to detail: Meticulous code review ensures accuracy and quality, preventing bugs and ensuring high-standard coding practices.
  • Creative vision: Developing innovative and user-friendly solutions requires creative problem-solving and thinking beyond traditional approaches.
  • Patience: Remaining composed during debugging and persistently working through challenges ensures thorough error resolution and optimal project outcomes.

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How to Become a Full Stack Developer

Becoming proficient in full stack development takes time and consistent effort. Start by mastering the fundamentals, practice regularly, work on projects, and stay curious to keep learning and evolving your skills.

For starters, here is a composite list of things to learn for full stack developers:

  • Learn front-end technologies: Begin by understanding HTML (Hypertext Markup Language), CSS (Cascading Style Sheets), and JavaScript. HTML forms the structure of web pages, CSS styles how they look, and JavaScript adds interactivity. Explore modern frameworks and libraries like React, Angular, or Vue.js as they simplify and streamline front-end development.
  • Master back-end technologies: Choose a programming language for server-side development, such as JavaScript with Node.js, Python with frameworks like Django or Flask, or Ruby with Ruby on Rails. Learn how to build server applications, handle databases, manage server-client communication, and understand concepts like APIs (Application Programming Interfaces).
  • Understand version control: Familiarize yourself with version control systems like Git. Learn how to use Git for managing code, collaborating with teams, tracking changes, and maintaining different versions of your projects.
  • Gain practical experience: Apply your theoretical knowledge to practice by working on projects. Start with small applications or websites and gradually take on more complex challenges. Contributing to open-source projects or building personal projects helps understand real-world scenarios and problem-solving.
  • Continuously learn: Keep up with industry trends, new technologies, and best practices. Attend workshops, online courses, webinars, and read articles or books related to web development. Practice regularly and challenge yourself with new problems.
  • Network and seek guidance: Engage with the developer community through forums, social media, or local meetups. Networking with other developers can provide insights, guidance, and mentorship opportunities. Learning from experienced developers’ experiences and advice can significantly benefit your growth.

Frameworks

One of the top skills for a full stack developer is knowledge about different frameworks. Full stack developers should be aware of the different frameworks required to back up the front end of an application. The top frameworks that full stack developers should know about include Angular, React, and Vue.js. 

We have briefly discussed the top frameworks below:

Angular

Developed by Google, Angular is a comprehensive front-end framework used to build robust, scalable, and feature-rich applications. It follows the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture, helping organize and manage code efficiently. Angular provides a wide range of tools and functionalities for building single-page applications (SPAs) and offers features like two-way data binding, dependency injection, and routing.

Angular suits enterprise-scale applications with complex requirements and provides a comprehensive solution with a strong ecosystem of tools.

React

Created by Facebook, React is a powerful JavaScript library used to build user interfaces. It’s known for its component-based architecture, enabling developers to create reusable user interface components. React offers efficient rendering using a virtual DOM (Document Object Model), making it fast and suitable for developing large-scale applications. React’s popularity stems from its flexibility, performance, and vast ecosystem of supporting libraries and tools.

React excels in building dynamic and interactive user interfaces and is favored for its flexibility, scalability, and community support.

Vue.js

Vue.js is a user-friendly JavaScript framework focused on gradual adoption and seamless integration. It lets developers build interactive and reactive user interfaces. Vue.js adopts a component-based approach similar to React and offers features like data binding, directives, and computed properties. Vue’s gentle learning curve makes it popular among developers, especially for smaller projects or when integrating with existing applications.

Vue.js is user-friendly, lightweight, and ideal for rapid development or when transitioning from traditional HTML-based development to a more modern framework.

Any full stack developer course will teach you these important frameworks for building web applications’ frontends, with practical exercises to ensure proficiency. Knowing these frameworks is crucial for creating modern, interactive user interfaces in web development.

Knowledge About Operating Systems

Proficiency with different operating systems is an important full stack developer skill set. Before beginning with the software development process, full stack developers need to determine the platform where it will run. If your software runs locally, it will need a machine. Eventually, the machine will need an operating system to run. 

Therefore, knowledge about operating systems is one of the key skills required for full stack developers. A few things that to know what are the skills required for full stack developers are memory management, distribution file system, virtualization, inter-process communication, and more. 

Version Control System

You should also develop the full stack developer skills or skills for full stack developer to understand version control systems. Full stack developers should understand project management and manage to track the entire history to be proficient with version control systems. 

A version control system includes details about a company’s workflow. Therefore, having knowledge about popular version control systems can help solve different operational challenges. While acquiring full stack Java developer skills, it’s crucial to learn about different version control systems like GIT, GitHub, Apache Subversion, and GitLab.

Database Knowledge

Knowledge about different databases is one of the most important Java full stack developer skills. Full stack developers must have a proper understanding of where and how data will be stored. Being a full stack developer means you will have to write queries to call data when required.

Therefore, full stack developers should be able to design and manipulate database queries. You will be required to work with both relational and non-relational databases as a full stack developer.  

Monitoring Tools

Apps have the tendency to crash, particularly when developers are ready to push it live. That’s when the need for monitoring surfaces. Therefore, proficiency with monitoring tools is one of the most crucial full stack developer skills 2024.

Full stack developers should be able to monitor application logs and server status. They should also know how to solve complexities in an app after it is live. The key monitoring tools that a full stack developer should be familiar with are as follows:

  • Monitor analytics: Helps with predicting and analyzing requirements or issues. Analytics tools collect user data to understand behavior and improve the application’s features. They track user interactions, helping developers identify popular features and areas needing improvement for a better user experience. Knowledge in monitor analytics falls under the top full stack developer skills in the software development industry.
  • Preventing crashes: Preventing crashes helps with solving complexities easily.

Tools for crash prevention proactively detect and fix code issues before deployment. This prevents unexpected crashes in live applications, making it easier to handle complexities after deployment. Proficiency in using said tools is one of the full stack developer required skills that you will need to master if you want to succeed in this field.

  • End-to-end monitoring: Useful for monitoring across the environment.

One of the crucial full stack development skills is expertise in using tools to track the entire user journey, offering insights into performance issues across different application parts. This comprehensive view helps developers quickly diagnose and resolve issues.

  • Performance monitoring: Used to monitor logs, metrics, and more.

Regarded as one of the key skills for full stack developer, knowledge of performance monitoring tools can be highly useful for tracking metrics to identify areas needing optimization. They help in improving the overall efficiency and responsiveness of the application.

  • Monitor InfraL: Useful for monitoring containers, servers, and more.

Knowing your way around infrastructure monitoring tools is one of the crucial full stack developer skills required. It can help you observe servers and containers, providing real-time data on resource usage. They help maintain a stable and scalable infrastructure for the application’s reliable performance.

Testing

If you want to know “what are the skills required for a full stack developer,” testing skills are one of them. Testing involves determining the success of any software. The primary aim of the testing process is to ensure that a software solution is free from deadlocks. 

Among the different full stack developer skills required, testing skills ensure data loss can be prevented from a software solution. Full stack developers need to perform different categories of testing, including functional, structural, and non-functional testing. The key testing tools used by full stack developers include data factory, turbo data, and data generator. 

What are the vital backend developer skills?

One of the vital full stack developer requirements is expertise in backend development. The backend is the core of any application, handling data storage, server logic, and ensuring smooth communication between the server and the user interface. The major backend developer skills include –

  • Python:  It is one of the most used development languages and is considered the fastest-growing programming language due to its ease of learning. The langue easily supports multiple programming styles and helps create excellent data visualisation. Hence, learning Python becomes a must.
  • HTML: It is the building block of the internet. Hence, it can help backend developers determine the web page structure while working alongside other languages.
  • JavaScript: Similar to HTML, this language is primarily used for web pages, but platforms like Adobe Acrobat also use it for smooth functioning. 
  • SQL: For backend developers, Structured Query language AKA SQL is an important tool as it majorly helps manipulate relational databases. Apart from that, it also helps delete and insert records swiftly and run tasks like creating new tables, establishing permissions on the table or file queries against databases.
  • API (REST & SOAP): Knowing how to create REST and SOAP is a highly valued skill for any full-stack developer. Therefore, knowing API is vital if you wish to be a part of great projects. 

Present Market for Full Stack Web Developers

There are more than 10,000 job openings for full stack developers alone in India. Giant companies like Amazon, Mastercard, Walmart, Adobe, Google and IBM are constantly posting for various full stack developer jobs across India. These types of jobs are majorly permanent. However, there are also 150+ jobs that are either part-time, contract-based or internships. Amazon is one of the most active hirers for full stack developers, extending both on-site as well as remote opportunities. 

Read our Popular Articles related to Software Development

Future of full stack web developers 

The future of full stack development seems extraordinary, with a tremendous growth opportunity and lucrative salary packages. A full stack developer can be an asset for a company if they can also perform mean-stack development and DeVos development. As most companies prefer hiring a generalist more than a specialist, a full-stack developer remains on top of their lists. The number of tech-inclusive companies is constantly rising, and even if a company isn’t very tech-savvy, they still require web development to some extent. Hence, there are and will always be ample opportunities for full stack developers. 

Conclusion

To conclude, Full Stack Developers are highly skilled experts who can handle everything related to web development. These Full Stack Developer skills are what distinguishes them from Frontend and Backend Developers. 

With full stack developers claiming the position of second most in-demand job role after DevOps engineers in 2023, choosing full stack development as a career now can not possibly go wrong. Fuelled by digital innovations, the business landscape will continue to seek experienced developers to expand and grow, thus continuing to feed the demand for FSDs in the coming years.

Why doing a full stack web development course will help?

  • Structured learning
  • 1 to 1 mentorship
  • Job assistance
  • Latest language and tools
  • Career support and more.

If you’re interested to learn more about full-stack software development, pursuing a full stack web development course will help you master full-stack web development. Check out upGrad & IIIT-B’s Executive PG Program in Full-stack Software Development which is designed for working professionals and offers 500+ hours of rigorous training, 9+ projects, and assignments, IIIT-B Alumni status, practical hands-on capstone projects & job assistance with top firms.

How to become a full stack software developer?

You can become a fullstack programmer if you learn to be passionate about two things: learning and logic. To become a fullstack software developer you need to learn a thing or two about a thing or two. You need to learn how to create a backend using PHP or Javascript or Java, how to create a frontend using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, and how to write some SQL. And once you master these on the side, you should learn how to create a database and how to work with that database via those back and front-end languages. And this is just the start.

How much does a full stack developer earns?

The annual salary of a full stack developer ranges from $68,000 to $96,000, depending on the company and the employee’s job function. There are multiple factors that determine the annual salary of a programmer, some of which are discussed below: The location of the company: the average annual salary of a full stack programmer is approximately $70,000 in US, whereas it varies from $49,000 to $52,000 in India. The major driving factor behind this difference is the cost of living. Location of the company: the cost of living in US is far more than India. The place where you are looking for a job: the demand for full stack developer is high in US, whereas in India, there are several other jobs available for a full stack developer.

How to prepare for a full stack developer interview?

Full Stack Developer Interviews are getting more and more popular these days. Here are few things to prepare before you join any full stack developer interview. First, you need to understand full stack developer interview will cover everything you have learned in the previous years in college. You will be asked about computer science topics, algorithms, data structures, database, networking and also your skills. You can take few hours from your daily routine to learn these topics by using online tutorials and courses.

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