How to Know if You’re a Full-Stack Web Developer

Back when I was interviewing for my current role, the notion of calling yourself a Full-Stack Web Developer came up, and the interviewer asked me what I thought it meant. My answer was pretty simple: it’s just the idea that given enough time, I could create and deploy the whole application by myself.

This would include designing, coding, and testing the

  • front-end,
  • back-end/API layer,
  • data access layer,
  • authentication/authorization,
  • communications architecture (polling?, web sockets?), and
  • application security pieces.

Then, you have to be able to deploy it — somewhere. Perhaps you’re not an expert in cloud operations, but you should at least be able to stand it up live on the internet, ideally via CI/CD.

Does it matter which stack you choose? No.

Are there Junior, Mid-level, and Senior Full-Stack Web Developers? Of course.

In short, to consider yourself a Full-Stack Web Dev, be able to affirmatively answer the question:

“Given enough time, could I develop and deploy the entire application myself?

P.S. “develop” above of course includes writing tests. After all, no self-respecting web developer skips writing tests.

Image Credit: “Web Development Technologies” by daniel_iversen is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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Zachary Keeton

Zachary Keeton

11 Followers

A 15th-year Web Dev/Engineering Manager. Formerly building products and leading teams at Plus One Robotics in San Antonio, Texas, USA