Understanding Full-Stack Development
What are the differences between front-end, back-end, and full-stack development?
By Leila Kojouri
When it comes to software development, there’s no shortage of titles, surnames, and appropriations in the many job roles associated with the field.
Front end developers, for example, focus on the actual presentation of your website, and how the information is laid out in browsers and on mobile devices.
Visual Appeal and Feel: Front End Development
Everything you see on a website, such as a layout, positioning of text and images, colors, fonts, buttons, and so on—are all factors that the front-end developer working in web applications must consider in their roles. The “user experience,” for example, is largely dictated by the works of the front-end developer.
The main goal of a front-end developer is to provide the platform for visitors to interact with, a platform that provides and receives information. This means some developers will be well-versed in web design and using software such as Photoshop and Illustrator to create graphics and themed layouts.
Data Centric Roles: Back End Development
While front end developers concern themselves with all things visual, back end developers concentrate on the creation, flow, and management of data. Some of the processes most often associated with back end development involve creating, editing/updating and recollecting data.
Common scripting languages include PHP, Ruby, and Python. With these languages, a back-end developer can create algorithms and business logic to manipulate the data that was received in front-end development.
This means that a back-end developer must have the ability to write code, required to receive the information input from the user – and saving it somewhere – like in a database. SQL is the language used for database management, which helps the developer interact with the database.
The Best of Both Worlds: Full Stack Development
Full-stack web developers – good ones, anyway – seek to integrate the best of both worlds in front and back end development.
The phrase “full-stack” quite literally means the full-stack of technology that makes up a website – so the full stack developer is proficient in both front-end and back-end programming languages and frameworks, as well as in server, network and hosting environments.
Usually, most full-stack developers will have spent many years working in a variety of different roles to get to this breadth and depth of knowledge.
They also tend to be well-versed in both business logic and user experience, meaning they are well-equipped to get hands-on – but can also guide and consult on strategy, too.
Given this dynamic ability to use the full spectrum of development skills, it’s no wonder full stack developers are in such high demand.
A full-stack developer has all the keys to the house – there is no door that you cannot open.
It provides unparalleled freedom to simultaneously work on front-end and back-end development and evaluate the capabilities and potential of your website in real-time without having to wait for another developer to review if what you’re desiring is possible or not.