How to Get Started
as a Full Stack Developer

Refine Your Skills and Remain Relevant

The pathway to becoming a full stack developer is not as complicated as it may sound. You do not necessarily need a college degree to enter the field if you have a bootcamp certificate. As long as you have the right skills, you can get one of the highest-paying tech jobs and work in software development or database operations.

The technical skills you need to become a full stack web developer can be obtained through bootcamp programs, online courses, or degrees. This article will guide you to the best educational tracks you can pursue while getting the skills you need to start your web development career.

What Is a Full Stack Developer?

A full stack web developer is a web developer who is highly competent with both front end and backend web development. The front end is associated with the development of client software, while backend development is associated with the development of server software. Both parts of the development process are important building blocks for any software.

A professional full stack developer knows how to build a browser, a server, and a database. All three of these are highly specialized skills that a full stack developer must master equally to be proficient at their job. According to PayScale, the average salary for full stack developers is $78,961.

How Does Full Stack Development Relate to Data Science?

Now that machine learning and data analysis are becoming more popular, hiring managers are looking for developers with these skills. More experienced web developers with data science skills can create and maintain a wide range of databases within the websites that they build. This is why learning data science skills is relevant for full stack developers.

How Long Does It Take to Become a Full Stack Developer?

If you enroll in a full stack developer bootcamp, you can complete a course in as little as 30 hours. Students in these programs will work on development teams and create developer portfolios. However, if you want to learn more and broaden your skillset, you could earn an associate degree that will take you two years to complete.

You could also go the long route by earning a four-year bachelor’s degree. The problem with longer degree programs, in the context of full stack development, is that they also tend to teach you extra topics you don’t need. Degree programs require a massive time and financial investment, which is why bootcamps are a better option.

Where to Study Full Stack Development

Where you study will depend on your goals as a full stack developer. Web development skills can be obtained at a community college, at universities, at coding bootcamps, and through the completion of online courses. The essential question to ask is which specific coding skills you want to acquire.

Full Stack Development Community Colleges

Your typical full stack development program at a community college will equip you with the skills that you need to use in-demand coding technologies. A certificate program like this will cover HTML, CSS, JavaScript, React.js, Python, XML, JSON, MongoDB, SQL, Redis, API development, and Git.

Full Stack Development Universities

A Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science or a related field is more than you need to become a full stack developer. However, if you want to become the best full stack developer you can be, this is possibly the best route. Earning a bachelor’s degree or even a graduate certificate will open you up to a wide range of job opportunities in the tech field.

Full Stack Development Coding Bootcamps

There are many coding bootcamps that can equip you with the skills you need to become a full stack developer. There are also bootcamps for specific subjects like API, artificial intelligence, big data, business intelligence, C++, data analytics, data structures, and data engineering. Look into SQL, Python, and JavaScript bootcamps to get yourself on the right track.

Full Stack Development Online Courses

Your software engineer learning journey can be simplified by online courses, which are usually sanctioned by established institutions of learning. These courses can be completed through platforms like Coursera, Pluralsight, and Udemy. Some of the courses are also done in conjunction with Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle.

Full stack developer working in an office. How to Become a Full Stack Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Become a Full Stack Developer: A Step-by-Step Guide

Becoming a full stack developer is not something you will need to do completely from scratch. Usually, any tech course that incorporates coding in some form should provide a sufficient base on which you can build, even if your primary focus isn’t front end or backend development. Read below and follow these basic steps to enter the field.

Learn about the field

Full stack web development is a demanding field that can also branch off into other fields that are more relevant to data science. You need to establish what the links are and how you think you can fit into that industry.

Evaluate your own skills

Firmly establish what development skills you have. Perhaps you know more about front end engineering than you do about backend tools. Maybe you are a backend developer who needs to bolster their knowledge of front end languages. Use a bootcamp to fill in the holes of your knowledge.

Research branches of tech

In the context of this article, you want to research the links between full stack development, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Find out how your full stack skills can complement your database management skills.

Educate yourself

Based on the findings of your research, you can then enroll in a bootcamp, course, or even a degree program. You should also try and bolster your knowledge of database systems where necessary.

Gain practical experience

The biggest currency in a field like this is hands-on experience with application programming interfaces, front end engineering, backend tools, application architecture, user experience, version control, and front end languages.

Entry-Level Full Stack Developer Job Requirements

To be employed as a full stack developer, you will need project management skills and some experience with real-world development projects. This is in addition to technical knowledge of version control systems, access control, front end technology, source code, popular languages, and application logic. A bachelor’s degree is often a requirement for applicants as well.

Full Stack Developer Salary and Job Outlook

The job outlook for a full stack web developer for the period 2020 between 2030 is currently 13 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The BLS also reports that the average salary is around $77,200. With the right soft skills, experienced developers can earn up to double this median salary.

Example of Full Stack Developer Job Interview Questions

  • What programming language are you most comfortable with?
  • Do you prefer a technical role or a managerial role?
  • Please explain continuous integration.
  • Can you explain what pair programming is?
  • Explain your web design process. What design aspect of a website is most important to you?

What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

A full stack developer completes programming and design tasks that have to do with a website. You will have to balance client needs with the design and functionality of a website. They complete coding exercises, work on mobile applications, and create development frameworks. Read below for more full stack development responsibilities.

Creates and Tests Applications

This includes the development and maintenance of interfaces and navigation menus for websites. A full stack developer needs to be able to ensure their creations are functional as well as visually pleasing. While backend development focuses on the nuts and bolts of an application and how it performs, front end development is all about the user experience.

Writes Code For A Website

Among the primary functions of a full stack developer is being able to write clean and readable code for a website using languages like HTML and XML. Proficiency in these languages ensures that you can handle both backend and front end development assignments. It’s a full stack developer’s job to make sure each component works as it should.


Full stack developers are also expected to integrate design, graphics, audio, and video into a website. How each of the front end and backend components interact with each other is essential to the final product created by full stack developers. The main objective is to deliver a seamless experience by honing both the technical and visual aspects of an application.

Full stack developer working on a laptop. Essential Full Stack Developer Skills and Certifications

Essential Full Stack Developer Skills and Certifications

Full stack developers are expected to have a wide range of skills, ranging from knowledge of JavaScript-based technologies to cascading style sheets. Below is a list of the most essential skills and certifications a full stack developer should possess.

Full Stack Developer Skills


Python is a high-level general-purpose programming language that was designed to write clear and logical code for small and large-scale projects. It’s considered relatively easy to learn for those in the tech industry.

The open source language can be used for a variety of applications, including websites, software, and data analysis. Learning Python is one of the first things an aspiring full stack developer should consider.


JavaScript is also a high-level programming language that delivers similar functions to Python. However, among the dynamic features of JavaScript is that it is a multi-paradigm programming language.

According to Statista, JavaScript is the world’s most popular programming language. JavaScript was created in 1995 and is still in use today, which is a testament to its functionality. Developers can use this language for both front end and backend development.


PHP is a general-purpose scripting language that was designed specifically for web development. Web-based development is a defining feature of full stack development, and PHP is an important tool for stack engineers. PHP is mostly used to create dynamic and interactive websites and can be embedded into HTML code.

Full Stack Developer Certifications

The full stack certifications listed below are directly related to the skills that are most associated with full stack web development. If you want to earn a high salary in the field and prove your skills to potential employers, you should earn one of these certifications.

Certified Entry-Level Python Programmer

This certification program is sanctioned by the Python Institute. There are no prerequisites to be met when signing up for this certification exam, which will cost you $59. This credential certifies your ability to perform coding tasks using Python.

JavaScript Certification

This certification program is provided by the International JavaScript Institute. For the certification exam, you will be tested on the general principles of programming, JavaScript fundamentals, numbers, arrays, strings, indexed collections, object-oriented programming, and functions. To sit the exam, you will need to pay about $88.

Zend Certified Engineer

This certification program is sanctioned by Zend. It will cost you $195 to sit for the certification exam. Your exam topics will include PHP basics, functions, data types, object oriented programming, web features, databases, SQL, arrays, and error handling.

Reasons to Become a Full Stack Developer in 2022

Full stack developers are unique in that they carry a useful all-around skill set, which makes them exceedingly difficult to replace within an organizational structure. If you’re looking for job security and a high salary, becoming a full stack developer is your best choice.

Full Stack Developer FAQs

Which programming languages do I need to know for full stack development?

For full stack development, you are expected to have sufficient knowledge of Python, JavaScript, and HTML.

Do I need formal education for full stack development?

While it will be in your best interest to earn an associate or bachelor’s degree, you can also enroll in a coding bootcamp to learn the essential skills of the trade. All of these options can give you the foundation that you need to thrive in full stack development.

What is the difference between a full stack and front end developer?

Full stack developers are backend developers who are also competent enough to deal with software applications and tools that are relevant for the front end part of web development.

Can you become a full stack developer with a high school diploma?

Yes, although you will need to earn the skills for full stack development in a different way. Many employers will often look for somebody with an associate degree at the very least, unless you can prove your skills.

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