Which Should You Hire: Generalist or Expert Programmers?

Recruiters looking to fill software development positions face a decision when choosing between Full Stack Developers and Specialists. The former are versatile, while the latter are masters of a particular field. Although some IT enterprises prefer to hire freelance full-stack engineers, most opt for professionals with a broader range of capabilities. The question remains: should popularity be the main consideration or should skilled programmers be prioritised?

Allow me to simplify this matter into its fundamental elements.

Outlined below are the advantages and disadvantages of recruiting either full-stack engineers or specialists:

What is the exact meaning of a “specialist developer”?

In the context of software engineering, a “specialist developer” is a professional who specializes in a specific area of development, unlike a “generalist developer” who can handle multiple fields of development. Specialist developers possess advanced knowledge and proficiency in their area of expertise, enabling them to offer comprehensive and highly skilled services within their field.

What is the definition of a full-stack developer?

A “full-stack developer” is a highly skilled professional who has expertise in both the front-end and back-end of a software system, such as a website or application. These experts possess a wide range of skills, including frontend development technologies (Vue.js, Angular, Node.js, React), backend development languages (PHP, Java, .NET), UI/UX design, markup languages (HTML and CSS), databases (Firebase, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL), software testing tools (TestComplete, Katalon Studio, Postman, etc.), scalability, system architecture, and project management.

Hire a programmer with a diverse range of skills.

Various categories of developers, along with their advantages and disadvantages


Exceptional craftsmanship

Thanks to their specialization, these programmers are well-known for delivering exceptional results consistently. Hence, a local expert in the field may be able to provide better outcomes than a distant generalist developer.

Aligned with present-day trends

Typically, a specialist developer keeps abreast of the latest industry news and advancements. Because they concentrate on one specific area of development, they are better equipped to track changes compared to developers who cover the entire development cycle.

This simplifies the allocation of responsibilities among group members.

Gaining insight into the skills and talents of individual team members allows for more efficient task allocation, resulting in reduced resource management time.


Expertise comes at a cost.

To handle front-end and back-end tasks, two separate software developers are necessary. Because of the specific skill set involved, it is more expensive to hire a developer who can work on both front-end and back-end simultaneously.

Software engineers need to depend on one another for assistance in areas outside their specialty.

A specialist developer’s limitation lies in their dependency on expert knowledge from other fields. In order to cover the entire spectrum of development activities, they require the assistance of other specialists, as they are unable to manage everything themselves.

Pros and Cons of Hiring Full-Stack Programmers



A self-sufficient full-stack developer is able to handle every phase of the development process, from front-end to quality assurance and testing. It is advantageous to locate full-stack developers who can pinpoint and resolve any problems that may arise during the process without requiring additional expert assistance.


A full-stack developer is a person who is competent in both front-end and back-end work for a project. With this ability, a single full-stack developer can perform the responsibilities of two or even three specialists, resulting in cost savings for the organisation.

Offers choices

Full-stack developers are on hand for recruitment and can provide an advantage over specialists, thanks to their understanding of both client and service sides. This leads to a more seamless transition between domains, which reduces development time.


They may not be up-to-date with current technological advancements.

Remote full-stack developers are not completely detached from current events. Unlike developers who focus solely on particular aspects of software, they are responsible for managing a wide range of duties simultaneously. This makes it more difficult for them to stay up to date with all of the technologies they deal with, adding to the complexity.

The likelihood that they may not bear the entire burden

Full-stack developers frequently have to manage several projects simultaneously instead of breaking them down into smaller assignments. Developers who are prepared to assume full responsibility for the project should not be confused by this approach. However, it may be challenging to monitor the advancement of the project as a whole.

Now the dilemma is how to choose between hiring generalist software developers or more specialised software engineers.

When tackling this question, the key factors to consider are the project’s scope, timeline, financial resources, and quality. A comprehensive analysis of these variables is indispensable.

The extent of the task in hand

When a startup intends to construct a software engineering team, it is advantageous to recruit a full-stack web development squad for smaller projects. For larger projects, a team with a diverse range of specialized skills is necessary to accomplish the multitude of tasks.

How adaptable is your current enterprise

When making a decision, it is critical to consider how often the project’s requirements may change. For projects with particularly rigorous criteria, it is advisable to engage specialized developers.

The amount accessible for expenditure

When factoring in the expense of a new employee, it has been proven that hiring a freelance full-stack developer is more economical than employing a specialist. Ultimately, the decision will be based on the available budget.

The precise quality of work that you need

By recruiting ‘Full stack’ developers who possess expertise in both user interface design and back-end coding, you can address all aspects of your project with a single team. This could be more cost-effective than employing specialist software engineers for each sector, ensuring a high-quality product. If your project necessitates the highest quality of outcomes, then engaging proficient developers is the reliable option.

If you are still uncertain, below are some advantages and disadvantages of hiring both generalist and specialist developers.

Do not worry! Our specialists can evaluate your requirements and identify the most appropriate developer from our vast pool of over 700,000 qualified professionals for your project. Rest assured that there are no risks involved. With Works‘s complimentary two-week trial, you can discover developers who meet your precise criteria without any risks.

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