From would-be developers choosing their career paths to businesses needing to hire developers for their projects, everyone faces the dilemma of opting for full stack or specialized developers. Since both have several pros and cons on either side, making a clear choice often becomes difficult.
This is precisely why we are here to explain these two broad categories of developers and their respective pros and cons. We will also explain when you need to hire full-stack developers and when to go for specialized developers for your web project.
Who is a Full-Stack Developer?
A full-stack developer is a web developer who can handle both front-end or client-side and back-end or server-side development tasks. Because of their command of skills for both aspects of development, they can develop a web app from start to finish. They have programming skills with languages and frameworks for front-end and back-end and database technologies and middleware for handling the business logic.
A full stack developer generally has expertise with various technologies comprising both front-end and back-end frameworks. These clusters of technologies are called full tech stacks. Hire full stack developer India is skilled enough across various tech stacks MEAN stack, LAMP stack, front-end, back-end, PHP, UI, server infrastructure, etc. When you hire developers in India, the following are some of the most widely acclaimed tech stacks that they often use in projects.
- MEAN (MongoDB for database, ExpressJS for middleware, Angular for front-end, and NodeJS for back-end)
- MERN (MongoDB for database, ExpressJS for middleware, ReactJS for front-end, and NodeJS for back-end)
- MEVN (MongoDB for database, ExpressJS for middleware, VueJS for front-end, and NodeJS for back-end)
- LAMP (Linux for operating system, Apache for server configuration, MySQL for database, PHP for server-side coding), etc.
Apart from that, some server-side programming languages, such as Python or Ruby, along with other front-end frameworks, are popularly used as tech stacks across web projects. Some frameworks, such as Flutter with its robust out of the box toolset and Firebase back-end support, are also regarded as a comprehensive tech stack for web and mobile app projects.
Let’s now look at the key pros and cons of full-stack developers.
They are generally called jack of all trades in the developing world because of their ability to handle development tasks ranging from UI building to server-side configuration, API integration to QA testing. Naturally, with full-stack developers, an app project is less likely to go in the wrong direction.
Since just a couple of full-stack developers can build an entire website from start to finish, they ensure doing without different teams of specialized developers. This ultimately provides vast cost advantages for web projects.
You can only expect a specialized developer to handle one set of tasks, and they won’t be versatile enough to take care of tasks beyond their areas of expertise. In contrast, full-stack developers offer the flexibility of taking care of any task as per the emerging requirements.
Lack of Mastery of One Skill
Just because they are Jack of all trades, they often lack mastery or expertise in a single skill. A full-stack developer may not be versed with the most advanced know-how of front-end or back-end development, just like the specialized developers.
Lack of Focus
Because of their versatility, Full stack developers are often hired to take care of several development tasks simultaneously. This often results in a lack of focus, further impacting the quality of the projects.
When Should a Web Project Hire a Full-Stack Developer?
Since they have their strengths and weaknesses on both sides, not all projects and not all development needs can be fulfilled by hiring full-stack developers. Hiring full-stack developers is an ideal option for the below-mentioned scenarios.
- Small Startup Projects
Because of their compulsion to start small and go with a small developer team, startups often prefer to hire full-stack developers. This ensures quicker project completion and fewer resources.
- Simple and Low-budget App Projects
Full stack developers are ideal for simple app projects with a small development budget as just one or two developers can build the entire app from start to finish.
- Faster Development
By using their expertise and skills across different areas, the full stack developers can easily take care of tasks of both front-end and back-end simultaneously. This ultimately speeds up development and saves time.
Who is a Specialist Developer?
A specialist developer is specialized either in front-end or client-side development or back-end or server-side development. The specialist front-end developer will have command of the programming languages and frameworks needed to build the front-end. The back-end developer will have command on the same for developing the back-end. For example, as a front-end developer, you can have command on skills such as ReactJS, AngularJS, jQuery, VueJS, etc., and as a back-end developer, you can be skilled in Python, NodeJS, Ruby, Java, etc.
Let’s now explain the pros and cons of specialist developers.
- Top-notch Expertise
Just because they concentrate on a handful of technologies for one aspect of development, they become experts in their respective fields, and this expertise is sought after in challenging projects.
- Versed with advanced practices & trends
Specialized developers are specialists in their respective fields and remain versed with the latest trends and development practices. They can always bring unique attributes to a web app.
- Large project management gets easier
In large development projects, allocating tasks to different specialist developers ensures faster results without compromising quality. Full stack developers in big projects can deliver below-average quality because of handling too many tasks.
- Cost Intensive
Hiring specialist developers separately for the front-end and back-end involves higher costs and resources.
- Dependence of developer teams
Specialist developers working on the front-end and back-end need to depend on each other to complete their development tasks. This often hampers the process and timely completion.
When should a Web project Hire a Specialist Developer?
Like their full-stack counterparts, specialist developers also do not fit into all kinds of projects. Let’s find out the kind of web projects where you can consider hiring specialist developers.
- Large and Complex Projects
Particularly when the project size is big and involves complex features, it is always advisable to hire specialists who can handle their respective tasks more professionally and provide a better output.
- Ambitious and Mission-critical Projects
For web projects that are ambitious enough to compromise the slightest on the quality parameters. Or play mission-critical roles for the success of an organization. Hiring specialist developers is always recommended.
Summing It Up
You have a fair understanding of these two broad choices for hiring developers for your web project. There is no point blank good or bad for these choices. It entirely depends upon the size, complexity, budget, and critical goals of the project.