What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

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A full stack developer is a professional who can work on the server-side and on the client-side. On the server-side, full stack developers address actions that the users can interact with. On the client-side, they handle information that users cannot interact with.

What does a full stack developer do? In short, everything. Well, not exactly. But full stack developers are the drivers of holistic software development.

Full stack developers have the skill set to approach software development from all angles. This can be an invaluable asset when it comes to problem-solving and technical analyses on either side of development.

To learn more about full stack developers, specifically, “What does a full stack developer do?”, keep scrolling. This piece will take you where you need to go.

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What Is a Full Stack Developer?

A full stack developer is a software professional who has the capacity to work on both the server-side and client-side. 

The client-side, alternatively called the front-end, addresses actions and interactions that happen in the browser (in regards to web development) or leastways that the user sees directly.

In contrast, the server-side, or the back-end, handles information and protocols that occur in the server or where the user cannot see.

Full stack developers possess the tools necessary to function well on each end of development.

Related reading: Knowing the difference between front-end vs. back-end development

What Does a Full Stack Developer Do?

A full stack developer may be put to work on the front-end or the back-end. A full stack developer who is by definition familiar with both ends will optimize development and communication from one end to the other.
If not that, a full stack developer could very well be responsible for the entirety of development. Called full stack development, many technologies or developers enhance the software development process through this methodology. Working on both sides means greater understanding and efficiency.

Much of front-end development involves building user interfaces (UI). The undertakings that happen on the back-end often revolve around data management, application programming interfaces (APIs), and server scripting.

Full stack developers will have proficiency in managing both these tasks. Knowledge in several programming languages and configuring servers and databases are principal examples of the expertise of full stack developers.

What Are the Skills Needed for Full Stack Developers?

The front-end side of full stack development is comprised of technologies like CSS, JavaScript, and HTML. 

JavaScript is a programming language that emboldens dynamic content on web pages. This means that content that would otherwise be static will react to user behavior. Anything from button clicks to scrolling is the result of well-written JavaScript code.

The visual aesthetics of web pages involve the use of CSS and HTML. Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), in particular, defines elements of a web page’s layout like the background color and font. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML) defines the structure of the web page like the placement of text.

Professional full stack developers should have comprehensive knowledge of these technologies and how to use them.
Similarly, on the back-end, full stack developers should have familiarity with numerous technologies: APIs, version control systems (VCS), databases, server-side programming languages, etc.

VCS software like Git allows developers to collaborate on code by ‘pushing’ and ‘pulling’ changes. Developers can update the codebase without causing internal issues.

APIs work as a liaison between different software. Your weather app, for example, probably uses an API to source weather information and deliver it to your phone.

Databases require query languages to be utilized properly. SQL is pretty much the only language of its kind but different management systems have different solutions. For example, PostgreSQL is best for complex queries while MySQL is best for web-based projects.

Server-side languages for full stack development projects might include Java, Python, or Ruby. You’ll learn more about this later on. Keep in mind that frameworks like Ruby on Rails or Django will ease development, making these helpful assets to full-stack developers as well.

What Are the Most Common Languages for Full Stack Development?

As mentioned above, Java, Python, and Ruby stand out as popular programming languages for full-stack development. Qualified full-stack developers will be adroit at writing maintainable code in multiple languages.


Java is an object-oriented programming, general-purpose programming language. Its design emphasizes fewer dependencies. ‘Write once, run anywhere’ is Java’s defining maxim, meaning that its cross-compatibility spans several systems from mobile devices to video games.


Python is a long-standing favorite in the software development world. The language is general-purpose and interpreted. Python’s designers center code readability in its grounding philosophy. Python’s significant whitespace — as an alternative to the brackets of other programming languages — is one representation of this philosophy.


Ruby is similar to Python in many ways. Like Python, it is also a general-purpose, interpreted programming language. The designer of Ruby sought to make a language like Python, but even more object-oriented.

What Are the Differences Between a Full Stack Developer and a Full Stack Engineer?

Sometimes ‘full-stack developer’ and ‘full-stack engineer’ are interchangeable titles. But when the differentiation does matter, it’s important to know the difference.

Full-stack developers have all the skills listed above and then some. They work on the client-side and server-side towards bringing together a complete software development project.

What does a full-stack engineer do? Many of the same things. Except engineers often take on a managerial or administrative role as well. They are senior-level executives who oversee entire systems and manage projects.

How Much Does a Full Stack Developer Cost?

Full stack developers bring home $108,683 a year in the United States, or at least that’s Indeed’s approximation as of February 2021.

Naturally, full-stack developer positions are highly valued given the numerous specializations that a full-stack developer has in various front-end and back-end technologies.

How to Hire the Right Full-Stack Developer?

What does a full-stack developer do? Hopefully, you know by now. Because to write an appealing job description, you need to know who you want to hire in the first place.

Prepare to do careful research. What you’ve read here is just a start. And you can read more about hiring developers in similar pieces.

Whichever way, hiring developers from scratch is still an exhausting process that takes not only time but money. Consider outsourcing developers as an alternative option.

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Once over, “What does a full stack developer do?” A little bit of this and a little bit of that. Full-stack developers are jacks of all trades, the neat hybrid between a front-end developer and a back-end developer.

In effect, there are many technologies that full stack developers are expected to know. But your job is to pinpoint exactly what your expectations are for your next software development project  and hire full-stack developers accordingly.

Need some help? Trio is here.

At Trio, we’re not just about quality software content; we connect you with top South American developers. Explore our talented Argentinean, Chilean, and Brazilian developers for outsourcing excellence.

By lending pre-vetted, screened, and trained full stack developers to your team, Trio can see your project from start to finish. Hire qualified full stack developers with Trio today!

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With over 10 years of experience in software outsourcing, Alex has assisted in building high-performance teams before co-founding Trio with his partner Daniel. Today he enjoys helping people hire the best software developers from Latin America and writing great content on how to do that!
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