How to Become a Full-stack Developer

If you’re confused about how to give a headstart for being a developer then follow some simple steps (mentioned below) and you would find yourself standing somewhere or willing to start accordingly.

Before taking this “Full-Stack” path, you must know about other areas as well. Usually, people get confused and refer to everyone as a developer doing programming, but that’s not the correct way to identify a developer.

Know The Difference

The design, color, font, or UI that you see in a website or an application is part of the front-end development which you can also refer to as client-side development. So the visual user interfaces, aesthetics, and layouts are designed by front-end developers.

Now, this design has to be stored somewhere and needs to contact the server so that an application could work. So here comes back-end development; the application logic, web services, or APIs are designed by back-end developers which you can also refer to as server-side development.

Since we’re discussing about being a full-stack developer, we should initially know what it means:

The person with a blend of front-end and back-end developer is a full-stack developer. S/He must be aware of all the skills required to start designing UI till deploying it. We will discuss that in detail further.

Where To Start?

I would say, go with the learning procedure first. 

  • Since now you’re aware that learning front-end languages are required, go for it! Learn HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, these are the basics and important. Besides these 3, knowledge of one third-party library would be recommended like- jQuery, Angular, etc (you may also refer to the list mentioned below).
  • Now, back-end language is also required, so choose anyone (you may also refer to the list mentioned below) and master it.
Front-End LanguagesHTML, CSS, Javascript
Front-End FrameworksBootstrap, React, Angular, Vue.js, jQuery, Ember JS, Semantic UI
Back-End LanguagesPython, Java, PHP, C#, Ruby, JavaScript
Back-End FrameworksDjango, Flask, Laravel, Cake PHP, Ruby on Rails. Spring Boot, Node.js

There are many more languages and frameworks, these are just some examples.

Also, learn how to use database management system software. Like-

  • Oracle
  • MySQL
  • SQLServer
  • SQL Developer
  • MongoDB
  • Derby
  • DB2

What Skills Are Required?

Let’s see what are the skills required for becoming a full-stack developer.

  1. Client-side development

HTML, CSS, and JavaScript; these would be necessary to learn, along with these would be advised to learn a third-party library and a framework also. (you may also refer to the list mentioned above)

  1. Server-side development

Pick one language and excel in it along with a framework that would help you in the foundation, structure, and development of an application. (you may also refer to the list mentioned above)

  1. Database and web-storage
  • Besides learning a database management system software, one must also know how to work with XML and JSON.
  • You must also learn about web storage; where web applications can store data locally within the user’s browser.
  1. Understand Web Architecture

We are continuously talking about client and server, but have you ever tried understanding this architecture? If not, let us understand it with the below diagram:  

  • The client includes all client/browser side languages and frameworks. It requests (HTTPRequest) services from the server and displays the results the server returns.
  • The server responds to the requests and provides the data and services in response(HTTPRespone).
  • A connection is made from server to database using different techniques like JDBC etc, and this is how the server accesses data from the database and sends information back to the client, and displays it to the user.
  1. Web Services/API

Learn web services and know their types:

  • REST
  • SOAP

Learn to use API and know the difference between Web Services and API.

API is an interface that allows you to build the functionality of another application (works as an intermediate for two applications), while a web service is a network-based resource that works as a messaging system between two devices.

  1. Server

Learn to handle the servers and how to make and implement one. You can use any of these:

  • Apache Tomcat
  • Oracle Weblogic
  • Nginx
  • Red Hat
  • IBM Websphere
  • IIS

There are many other servers available, suit yourself and choose to work and excel on anyone. For administering servers you can learn Linux, which would be a good option.

  1. VCS

Version Control System would help you to manage your data, code, documents, any changes, websites, or any collection. I am sure you must have heard of GIT, and some of you would have your account on GitHub. That’s exactly what I am talking about, Git is VCS.

VCS other than GitHub are:

  • Git Lab
  • Per Force
  • AWS CodeCommit
  • Apache Subversion etc.
  1. Additional Knowledge

There would be some other tasks that you would be asked to perform being a professional full-stack developer, you do not have to excel in these areas beforehand but knowing these would help you to get places easily and also gain practical knowledge. Like-

  • Security
  • Testing
  • Algorithms and Data Structures
  • Debugging

“Stack” In Full-Stack

Since the discussion is on a full-stack developer, we must know what “Stack” stands for. Software stacks are the collection of programs that work together in a certain order to produce a specific result or the goal we want to achieve. For example-

  • Windows-based stack- WINS (Windows Server, Internet Explorer, .NET, SQL Server)
  • Linux based stack- LAMP (Linux, Apache, MYSQL, Perl or PHP or Python)
  • MEAN stack-
    • M = MongoDB: NoSQL Database
    • E = Express: web program framework
    • A = Angular.js: framework for developing HTML5 and JavaScript- web programs
    • N = Node.js: server-side JavaScript run time

There are many more stacks available, you can use these in case you want minimal software to be installed for a project or application. They are very beneficial because they come with an entire package in them.

Practice Hard!

Learning a language or a skill, or just having its certification is not enough when you are willing to be a developer for any company or project and want to start working professionally. It needs practical knowledge and experience. Now you must be wondering that being a fresher how you could gain experience, the answer is:

  • Practice the skill learned
  • Develop your application or project
  • Spread your knowledge- by teaching others or writing blog/articles
  • You could work as a freelancer
  • Learn new things or technologies

Soft Skills Can Make You Or Break You!

Since you, as a full-stack developer would be willing to work in a reputed MNC thus being an expert in technical areas is not enough. As per the studies, most of the developers excel in their technical skills but lack communication, listening, or speaking skills.

You would be given tasks in which sometimes you have to handle a foreign client, sometimes you would be needed in meetings where you have to explain your work or thoughts to a bunch of foreign clients or product owners/managers; what would you do in these scenarios if you lack confidence or people/social skills?

Skills that you must work on:

  • Communication
  • Patience
  • Adaptable
  • Creative
  • Accountable
  • Confident
  • Management
  • Team Work

If you have these qualities/skills, then you are fully prepared or apt to say groomed to be a professional full-stack developer. This would help you to handle any probing or difficult person or situation very easily.


So this is it, now you know how to become not just a full-stack developer but a well-groomed professional full-stack developer. Just follow these steps and for sure you’ll succeed with flying colors.

And after following the above steps you would not just be eligible to be a full-stack developer, you could also work as a front-end developer or back-end. Besides this, you can also take up your job in the database area. So now you would have a broader vision for your career.

Give it a headstart and go for it.

Thanks for reading!!

Ashwin Joy

I'm the face behind Pythonista Planet. I learned my first programming language back in 2015. Ever since then, I've been learning programming and immersing myself in technology. On this site, I share everything that I've learned about computer programming.

2 thoughts on “How to Become a Full-stack Developer

  1. Hey yo man!
    How many hours per day you think I newbie should study to become a back end developer?
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Hey man, I can’t say any exact answer for this question. It totally depends on a lot of factors and varies from person to person. In general, I think you can be a good back-end developer in three months, if you can put in effort for at least 2 hours per day.

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