Full-stack developers earn some of the highest salaries in the field of software engineering. Experts in both back-end and front-end programming, these developers need to know multiple languages and have a comprehensive understanding of the entire web development process.
Front-end development involves handling the visible parts of a website or app. This includes formatting content on a page, constructing the layout, adding images, and adjusting fonts and colors.
In back-end development, you’re working with databases. You’re responsible for maintaining the data received from users and making sure it’s stored securely by the server.
Full-stack developers combine both skills. And as you’d probably expect, the demand for full-stack developers is high.
A long and prosperous career starts with a great entry-level job. So if you’ve got some coding experience in the books and you’re ready to start the job hunt, here’s a crash course in what it means to be a full-stack developer, and how to land that first full-time gig.
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How to Land an Entry-Level Full-Stack Development Job
First off, let’s make sure you’re eligible for a full-stack development role.
In order to earn this title, you need to know both front-end and back-end development processes and languages.
So if you’re still in the early stages of learning HTML, you’re probably not ready to get hired in a full-stack development position. You’ll be better off starting with a internship or formal education in software engineering.
If you do know back front-end and back-end programming, then you can start the process of getting your first full-stack development job. Here are the basic steps you’ll need to follow:
- Hone your full-stack coding and collaboration skills.
- Enroll in a course that preps you for success in the job market.
- Create a portfolio that displays your depth of coding knowledge.
- Start your job search.
If you’re ready to get started, here are the ins and outs of every stage of your education and job search.
Front-End Development Skills
HTML (HyperText Markup Language): HTML is the principal language you need to know to build a website. Almost all websites are HTML-based. With HTML, you can build the structure and content of your web pages. At present, HTML5 is the version being used although the basics of HTML are largely the same.
CSS (Cascading Style Sheets): Along with HTML, you have to learn CSS to get hired as a full-stack developer. Using CSS, you can control how a web page looks. It provides you with the options to set fonts, colors, images, and more.
The reason you need to know both HTML and CSS is that you can control the HTML elements using CSS. Presently, CSS3 is the version in use.
Back-End Development Skills
Back-end development is focused on the behind-the-scenes work of making a website. These are sections that users don’t interact with. To be proficient in back-end development, you should understand the following languages.
Python: Python is one of the most popular programming languages today, and it’s relatively easy to learn. It’s object-oriented which means that developers can use blocks of code to build sites. Python is used in software development and scripting. Generally, Python scripting is carried out on the server-side but can also work on the client-side.
Ruby on Rails: Ruby is a programming language and Rails is the framework for Ruby that helps you code intuitively and efficiently. Ruby on Rails is used to develop web applications. It provides code for many basic functions that developers incorporate in their websites. This reduces the need for coding repeated functions and ultimately makes troubleshooting easier.
Usually, web developers use it on the server-side. This means that it can be used to get the site’s content from its database and display it for the users. PHP is not the most important language you need to know but it will help you with server-side management - a responsibility that every full-stack developer will need to take on at one point or another.
Apart from these programming languages, you can opt to learn JAVA, C#, and Perl for added value.
To be a full-stack developer, you also need to know about databases for back-end development. MySQL, Oracle, and MongoDB are some of the popular databases.
Get An Education in Full-Stack Development
As you can see, being a full-stack developer requires a lot of knowledge related to client-side programming as well as server-side programming. Fortunately, there are ways you can speed up your journey to becoming a full-stack developer, with minimal toil and frustration.
To kickstart your career as quickly as possible, enroll in a course like our Software Engineering bootcamp. You'll learn all the coding languages you need to excel, and practice applying them to build real-life solutions. Your education is complimented with 6 months of complete career support while you apply to jobs and start your new career.
Build Your Portfolio
Throughout your education, you should be thinking about tailoring your online portfolio. Work on an array of projects that showcase your breadth of skills – both on the front end and back end. By creating a solid portfolio, you’ll have a better chance of getting hired.
It’s also a good idea to build a website for yourself. Building a website to display your skills and host your portfolio will show potential employers exactly what you can do, and also demonstrates your commitment to a career in full-stack development.
Launch Your Job Search
If only the jobs could come to you. Alas, even if you’ve aced all your coursework and painstakingly prepared the perfect portfolio, you still have to prepare for job applications and interviews.
Search specifically for full-stack developer jobs on multiple job boards. Apply to several positions each day, and make sure you’re putting your effort into roles where you’re appropriately qualified.
Once you’re actively searching for a job, make sure you’ve got a solid LinkedIn portfolio that links to your contact info and portfolio. Engage in online communities and hackathons so you can keep your skills sharp, and continue meeting others in the industry.
If you’re regimented about your job search, and put in the effort to prepare for interviews, then it’s only a matter of time before you get that first job offer for a full-stack development role.
Entry-Level Full-Stack Developer Titles
As you scan the list of job postings, keep an eye out for these roles – all of which are common titles for beginning full-stack developers.
- Full-Stack Developer
- Web Developer I
- Junior Web Developer
- Software Engineer
There’s often very little distinction between these titles, so be sure to read the job description carefully and make sure it’s a good fit.
Salary Of A Full-Stack Developer
As of July 2020, Indeed.com reports that the average annual salary for a full-stack developer is approximately $109,373. If you’re applying to entry-level jobs, then your first role may be a little less than that; but you can expect many years of increased responsibility and salary growth.
While you may eventually opt to specialize in either front-end or back-end programming, excelling in an entry level full-stack development position will give you great experience, and make your resume that much more appealing when you reach for higher level roles.
The First Step Toward an Entry-Level Full-Stack Development Job
You have to start somewhere, and fortunately when it comes to web development, you’ll have plenty of great job opportunities along the way. When you start by learning front-end or a back-end programming, you’ll gain valuable knowledge and experience.
Once you’ve done that, you can aim to become a full-stack developer, which will open up your career options even more and put you on track for leading an engineering team.
There are a lot of languages and web development concepts that you need to know to become a full-stack developer. This profession is ideal for those who love to learn and are motivated to grow in their career.
Like any worthwhile career, you’ll face challenges and frustrations along the way. But trust us: your dedication will pay off in the form of high salaries and great benefits.
Do full-stack developers earn more than other developers?
Entry-level full-stack developers typically have a grasp of more programming languages than entry-level front-end or back-end programmers. They can also jump in to help out in building either the client side of a site, or the database structures.
Can full-stack developers work remote?
Many developers are able to work from home full-time, or a portion of the work week. Aside from highly collaborative projects, developers are able to complete most of their work solo, and can be stationed anywhere that has wifi.
How do I create a strong full-stack developer resume?
You should make sure to highlight your knowledge of both front-end and back-end programming languages. In the body of your resume, highlight projects you’ve worked on, and your role in building both the client side and server side.
Look up other resume examples and tailor your application to each individual job to create an effective full-stack developer resume.
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