In the realm of web development, choosing between a generalist full-stack developer and a specialist is a critical decision that should not be taken lightly. To arrive at an informed conclusion, it is essential to gauge the specific needs and demands of each unique situation.
For remote businesses that require a precise understanding of the requirements before engaging freelance or contract developers, choosing between a full stack developer and a specialist developer holds even greater significance.
To determine the most effective hiring strategy between a full-stack and specialist software engineer, it is advantageous to evaluate and compare the responsibilities of the two roles. This will enable businesses to ascertain the optimal time to build a full-stack team.
Elucidate the distinctions between a Full Stack Developer and a Specialist.
Full-stack developers, colloquially known as ‘Jacks of all Trades’, possess a thorough understanding of the software engineering process because of their adeptness in both the front and back ends of website creation (server-side).
Specialized developers are extensively trained and experienced in their specific technology stack. When given the chance to work with their preferred tools, they are capable of providing efficient troubleshooting and developing robust, scalable solutions.
Distinguishing Characteristics of Full-Stack Developers compared to Other Programmers
|Engineer of All Trades||Specialist Programmer|
|A familiarity with both front- and back-end technologies is required.||Should be well-versed in either front- or back-end problems|
|Familiar with a broad variety of skills and technology||Specialized education and work experience in a single field.|
|Capabilities in project management, software testing, and other related areas are required.||Should focus on mastering one skill set at the exclusion of others.|
|Independent enough to handle the whole job by themselves||Focus on a single component of the project at a time.|
|They may be hired at a lower price than comparable employees.||Full-stack developers tend to have lower rates than their specialised counterparts.|
Capabilities of a Full Stack Developer
The Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS) has predicted a substantial surge in the number of full-stack developer positions, increasing from 135,000 in 2023 to 853,000 in 2024. This underscores the high and escalating demand for competent full-stack developers, which is expected to persist in the future.
To qualify as “full stack” developers, proficiency in the following areas is required:
- Expertise in fundamental web design using HTML and CSS
- Web architecture
- Git and GitHub proficiency
- In particular, mastery of HyperText Transfer Protocol/Representational State Transfer
- Proficiency in programming languages for system development
- Capacity for information retention
- Basic principles of Design
- Proficiency in design software
Several advantages of hiring full-stack developers
1. Analyzing problems
To identify potential issues early in a project’s development cycle, full-stack developers are equipped with comprehensive training across all aspects of software development.
2. They are quick learners.
As a full-stack developer, one can quickly grasp new technologies and concepts. With a strong understanding of the basics, they can gain the expertise of a seasoned developer.
Engaging a full-stack developer can be a smart approach to cutting operational expenses. Since they can manage both front-end and back-end functions, it may enable you to minimize your workforce needs.
If it is uncertain which kind of developer is needed, it may be more economical to hire a full-stack developer instead of engaging front-end and back-end developers separately.
4. Shorten the Development Timeline
Thanks to their extensive expertise in both client and server aspects of software development, full-stack developers can handle a broad range of assignments with little guidance. This translates into less time spent discussing tasks among team members and more dedicated to actual work, resulting in reduced development time.
5. Decrease in the Number of Meetings and Discussions
When working with multiple developers, meetings can be a frequent occurrence. However, having a full-stack developer on the team can greatly decrease the necessity of regular meetings.
The Drawbacks of Hiring Full-Stack Developers
1. May not keep up with Latest Technological Advancements
As full-stack developers possess broad technological proficiency, they are in high demand and have limited downtime. If your product hinges on the latest technology that require regular upkeep, then full-stack developers may not be the most appropriate solution.
2. Monitoring Project Progress can be Challenging
When each team member is a full-stack developer, you don’t need to assign tasks to different individuals. Full-stack developers have the ability to view the project as a whole, instead of breaking it down into individual tasks. However, keeping track of progress once they’ve begun working on the project can be difficult.
3. There is a Possibility of Subpar Service.
Due to their broad range of skillsets, full-stack developers may not necessarily possess the specific knowledge required for a particular project. Therefore, they may not be the ideal choice if specialized expertise is required.
As a result, full-stack developers can provide a wide array of services related to project development, but they may not be able to fulfil all your needs in certain crucial areas.
4. Undervaluation of Work
As the demand for full-stack developers rises, more high-paying projects become available to these professionals. Regrettably, this results in a decrease in the value placed on their services.
5. Difficult to find a Replacement
If a full-stack developer fails to meet a project’s deadline, it could cause significant disruption. To ensure successful completion, having the support of a full-stack developer is crucial, and losing such a resource could be disastrous.
Benefits of Hiring a Developer Specializing in a Specific Area
1. Excellent Results
Partnering with Specialist Developers ensures excellent results, as they are acknowledged experts in their specific domains. When it comes to overall project excellence, specialist developers surpass full-stack developers.
2. They Stay Up-to-Date with the Latest Technological Advances.
Keeping up with the latest advancements in the specialist developer field is crucial for success. If it is financially feasible, employing experienced developers to work on your project is expected to yield significant returns.
3. Roles and Responsibilities are Easily Assigned
As a result of their proficiency in a specific field, assigning duties to the specialist developers on your team will be more effortless. This would enable them to efficiently split up the tasks.
4. Finding a Replacement Worker is Effortless
Sourcing full-stack developers can be difficult, but finding developers with specialized knowledge is notably easier. As a result, software programmers have more job opportunities available to them.
There are plenty of developers who choose to specialize in specific areas. This provides your company with access to the right programmers for your needs.
Challenges of Utilizing a Highly-Skilled Programmer
1. High Cost
When partnering with specialist developers, it is essential to establish two separate teams: one for front-end work and another for back-end duties. On the contrary, only one team is needed for full-stack developers to accomplish the project. This may result in additional expenses when hiring expert developers.
2. Dependence on Contingencies
Placing more confidence in the specialists responsible for coding your project is vital. Cooperation between the front-end and back-end developers is imperative for the project’s progress.
3. Collaborative Management
The specialized development team operates interdependently, thus necessitating effective communication for successful project management. It is crucial to ensure that all team members have a clear understanding of the expectations before embarking on any major project.
Generalist or Specialist: Which Developer is Superior?
WHEN to Hire a Full-stack Developer?
Presumably, you are presently working on something quite simple.
Full-stack developers are suitable for smaller projects as they are capable of independently handling a broad range of technologies whilst keeping the project’s objectives in mind. Moreover, they can manage numerous projects simultaneously without compromising quality or missing deadlines.
Currently, the level of complexity involved in the task is quite low.
For intricate projects, it is recommended to hire specialists with expertise in the relevant domain. For simpler assignments or projects, full-stack developers are ideal candidates for the job. Additionally, they possess the experience of working remotely on particular projects with predetermined protocols.
There is a limit to how much money can be spent.
A limited development budget is better allocated to full-stack developers than to specialists.
There is an extremely tight timeline available.
Full-stack developers have the ability to handle numerous tasks concurrently and the proficiency to independently complete a project. When timelines are limited, and the project completion needs to be accelerated, it is advisable to hire a full-stack developer.
You are a business owner, either at the start-up stage or operating a small business.
Start-ups face limitations in terms of time and money available to them. When validating the concept or gearing up to launch a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), there may not be a need to invest in specialized services.
You are working on a tremendous project.
When embarking on a substantial project, involving a specialized development team to support in breaking down the project into more feasible components can be beneficial, allowing you to achieve your goals more efficiently.
The project’s quality must not be compromised.
If your project is of paramount importance and demands precision and attention to detail, we suggest seeking the assistance of professional developers. With their knowledge and years of experience, they can assure the delivery of top-notch work with exceptional accuracy.
There are numerous challenging tasks involved in this project.
When dealing with a complex project, it is advisable to engage subject-matter experts. Their ability to achieve their objectives is dependent on their extensive understanding of the subject matter. In certain cases, a full-stack developer may not be the most suitable option.
A complete stack of what technology?
Full-stack refers to an approach to web development that includes front-end and back-end systems. A full-stack developer is an individual proficient in both front-end (the system’s user-facing aspect) and back-end (the application’s server-side aspect) technologies.
Does a full stack developer denote a developer who employs all technologies?
Absolutely not! Full-stack encompasses both front-end and back-end development. A developer may specialize in one area or both, qualifying them as “full stack” or knowledgeable and skilled in both.
What differentiates a software engineer from a full-stack developer in terms of skills?
Between a web developer and a full-stack developer, which is more valuable?
Full-stack developers are experts in web development who specialize in both front-end and back-end elements, making them comparable to other web developers in their ability to oversee website development.
Do specialized full-stack developers exist?
While full-stack developers may have a more diverse skillset compared to front-end and back-end specialists, it is clear that they still require a broad range of knowledge and expertise to accomplish their duties at a high level.
Between generalists and specialists, which is better?
Your preferred working environment and job role will be significant considerations to your decision.
Full-stack developers are frequently recruited by smaller organizations for less complex projects, while either front-end or back-end specialists are more sought-after for more extensive enterprises and businesses.
What are common issues in finding and recruiting full-stack developers?
Full-stack developers frequently need to remain up-to-date with a wide assortment of languages and technologies, as well as the constantly-changing industry. Nonetheless, their comprehensive skillset may result in insufficient expertise in certain areas, most notably when a project is more complex or requires more intensive work on a particular aspect of the stack. As a result, they may not be as well-versed in the most recent advancements in their field compared to a front-end or back-end developer.
What challenges arise when attempting to recruit specialist developers?
When working with a restricted budget, recruiting highly-skilled professionals can be difficult. Additionally, their knowledge will be especially valuable when addressing certain facets of the project’s development.
Elucidate the primary difference between full-stack and specialized developers.
The main difference between full-stack and specialist developers is their proficiency and comprehension in their particular fields. Full-stack developers are skilled in both front-end and back-end (server-side) web development technologies, while specialized developers focus on one or two technologies.
The most in-demand full-stack developer is .
Python, which is gaining momentum and is increasingly utilized for back-end programming, is also worth mentioning.
It is crucial to ensure that your potential developer possesses extensive knowledge of these and any other technologies utilized by your organization.
Generalizing the requirements for each specific project is impossible. To ascertain whether your project requires a full-stack or specialized developer, an evaluation should be performed. Prior to initiating the recruitment process, it is advisable to generate a list of the technical prerequisites outlined by your CTO or technical team.
At Works, we’re available to assist whether you’re beginning to assemble your team or recruiting new developers.
Our worldwide network of recruiters can assist you in discovering the technical expertise you require. Additionally, we offer development principle training services and remote staffing. To obtain assistance with your projects, you may learn more about bespoke software development and compare popular programming languages, such as Angular and React.
Contact us and let’s discuss how we can assist you.