Traditionally, companies hired developers to fill specific roles. Depending on the needs of the project, they would hire front-end, back-end, mobile, cloud, database administrators, or other types of experts. But there also is a trend for making custom software development teams as lean as possible. Many companies opt for hiring experts who can fill several roles at once. They are called full-stack developers – experts who can cover several aspects of project development from back-end to front-end.
Let us see what the true value of full-stack development services is, what makes these experts desirable for business, why they are so hard to find, and how you can benefit from their extensive knowledge.
What makes a full-stack developer special?
There exists a myth that any senior software engineer who’s been in the industry for up to 10 years is automatically a full-stacker. The idea behind that assumption is that experienced engineers have been working with numerous technologies and programming languages throughout their careers in custom software development. Accordingly, they have already mastered several stacks and can thus be called full-stack developers.
The fact of the matter is that most developers still lean heavily towards one area of expertise. But full-stackers are different.
A full-stack developer is an expert who covers a wide range of technology services - they can work with front-end, back-end, databases, APIs, and more. They also have a solid command of multiple programming languages. Simply put, a full-stack developer is a Swiss Army knife; they can take care of a vast multitude of tasks on their own or as valuable members of a team.
How full-stack development contributes to your business
Each software development project has its specific needs and each type of software engineer can bring immense value in a specific business context. Sometimes, the needs of your project might be vague or too broad. In such cases, you need a Swiss Army knife, a more efficient and compact tool that takes care of multiple tasks at once. And that is exactly what full-stack services are for - giving you that one tool you can use to address a number of business needs.
One of the main benefits of full-stack development is that it allows you to diversify your teams and make them more flexible. This is especially good for large projects that go on for many months and even years. If you have multiple experts who have a precise understanding of the project needs, you can easily diversify the team, shift the team members around, replace them, if needed, and continue the development process without interruptions.
Similarly, if you have a number of smaller projects to work on, you can relocate your full-stack experts without having to onboard new people. Full-stackers will be able to transition to a different project faster, and you won’t have to spend too much time hiring new people.
Thanks to the vast experience and a profound understanding of the project, full-stakers can help in the decision making process concerning the technology needs of your business and the product. Experience and knowledge drive technological innovation, which can benefit your product as well as your business as a whole.
- Reduced operational costs
Technical expertise helps you find the most cost-efficient ways to achieve project goals without compromising the product quality. For that reason, full-stack development outsourcing ultimately results in faster product delivery, reduced cost overheads, increased time-to-market, and faster ROI. Even though full-stack experts are individually more expensive to hire, they help you strike that perfect balance between cost and efficiency.
- Reduced communication delays
The fewer people you have on the team, the less communication they’d require to set up efficient cooperation. Experienced and confident experts can make and validate the decisions on their own. Lean teams can move through the development stages and achieve the expected results much faster. To rephrase a famous quote, with great responsibility comes great power, and experts can achieve increased efficiency without having to discuss decisions with an extensive list of people.
- Full involvement and dedication
Full-stack development gives confidence in the project continuity and the continuity of your vision for the product. The experts are involved throughout the entire duration of the project - from the product discovery and up to market launch. That way, you can be sure that all the technical needs of the product are addressed in a timely manner with adequate solutions and an optimal amount of resources.
Full-stack development offers an enormous value to different types of projects. Starting with small startups and ending with enterprise-grade software, as individualists or as members of larger teams, such experts will be valuable assets for your business delivering ROI and technological innovations you seek.
But before you go all-in on full-stack development services, we must acknowledge that it is not the only choice you have.
Panacea or selective treatment: Can full-stack solve all problems?
Do not think of a full-stacker as some kind of magician who can just cast your ideas into existence. Remember, a person can only work so many hours a day, which means that a single developer would hardly be able to deliver results faster than a whole team. Also, factor in such things as exhaustion and overworking - being a single person on the job is rather stressful and can hinder the productivity of the expert.
Looking for the Jack of all trades…
A strong specialist would always beat a strong generalist in a particular niche. You need to clearly understand the goals of your project and know what kind of expertise you need to drive your product home. Let’s say you need to rework the user interface of your web application; would you need full-stack services in this context? You could hire a full-stacker to handle that task, but a strong front-end specialist would do the job just fine.
If you need to perform a very specific set of tasks on your project that require a specific and narrow skillset, you might be better off hiring a specialist rather than generalist. Do not look for a full-stacker when you might not even need one, as there are other types of developers who could suit your technology and business context better.
…You may end up with the master of none
Additionally, you’ve got to be 100% sure of the expertise of full-stack developers as they would be solely responsible for the outcomes of the project. A poorly experienced developer might fail to perceive all the minute aspects of the project. For that reason, a small team of specialists might be a better option than a single generalist in certain cases. The choice will depend on the needs of your project first and foremost, and the degree of your trust in the capabilities of the experts you hire.
If you opt for full-stack development outsourcing, you need a partner who can guarantee the quality of software development services and provide experts with the adequate experience behind their belts.
If you’ve been looking for a full-stack development services provider for some time, you might have already noticed that they can be the hardest to find. But why is that?
Why is it so hard to find a true full-stack developer?
Full-stack developer is a generalist by choice. These experts dedicate themselves to mastering several technology stacks at once, which requires much more learning time, more years in the industry, and an unparalleled mental capacity to keep all that knowledge fresh and active. That dedication and a broad range of knowledge makes finding a truly good full-stacker a challenging task for any business.
High requirements for becoming a full-stacker is the main reason why there are not so many of them on the market. Considering that full-stackers are hardly the highest-paid experts across the IT industry, the majority of developers would rather focus on a single area of expertise and excel in it then invest all of their inner resources into becoming experts in several areas at once.
Another reason why full-stackers are so hard to come by is an increasingly high demand. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of workplaces for full-stackers is expected to grow from 135,000 up to 854,000 by 2024, which reflects an acute need for full-stack development services on the market. That is why many US companies turn to full-stack development outsourcing looking to fill their talent pools with experts from Europe and other parts of the world.
Despite being a tough challenge, finding full-stack developers is possible. To make sure you get the industry’s top-tier talent, you need to find a reliable full-stack development outsourcing company.
Look in the right place, choose wisely, hire the best
Instead of looking for individual developers on your own, find a trusted technology partner who can just give you all the people you need. You want to be adamant about the expertise of the people you hire, and that is where you will need a vendor who can guarantee access to the industry’s best developers. Here are some of the essential factors you should consider when choosing a technology partner for your project:
- Years on the market
The first thing you must pay attention to is how many years has your vendor been in the business. To avoid risks, you must stay away from the rookies and stick to the long-standing companies that have a proven record of success.
- Convenient location
The vendor’s location can make or break your project as communication delays and cultural mismatch might hinder your ultimate success. Select a vendor who has multiple global locations, preferably, in close geographic proximity to your location.
- Number of experienced experts on board
You need a vendor who can give you access to a vast talent pool. Mid-sized companies are perfect as they hit the balance between operational flexibility and a considerable number of employees.
- Industry expertise and proven success
Select a vendor who has a diverse expertise working with clients across different industries like manufacturing, logistics, automotive, retail, fintech, telecom, healthcare and more. Also, make sure to check their portfolio and see what clients they worked with before. See if you find any notable names among their clients and look for their testimonials. Broad expertise means that their developers already have experience working with a wide range of clients. A considerable number of successful projects proves that they are able to solve complex problems and deliver expected results.
- Available technology stacks
There are different stacks that match the requirements of different projects, and the developers you hire will have to define the stack that suits your project requirements. Three of the most popular stacks are:
- MEAN stack (MongoDB + Express + Angular.js + Node.js) - best suited for building dynamic web sites and web applications.
- MERN stack (MongoDB + Express + React + Node.js) - similar to MEAN stack, MERN replaces Angular.js with React to slightly increase the speed of development for smaller web applications.
- LAMP stack (Linux + Apache + MySQL + PHP) - most commonly used for developing large, high-performance web applications.
- The right business context
Full-stackers can play an important role in almost any type of project, though their expertise could be of major value to businesses working on smaller projects, building MVPs and prototypes, as well as projects with stable tech stack that is not going to change throughout the development cycle. Of course, large long-term projects can benefit from full-stack expertise too, which is why it is necessary to evaluate your business context and consult with the right partner to make the right choice.
Finding a reliable software development vendor is a challenge in its own right, but once you partner with a reliable company, you will get access to the talent you need. N-iX is one of such companies that has two decades of experience providing products and services to clients across continents and industries. Being a European software development company N-iX operates 9 global locations in Europe and the US. The company also offers a talent pool of 2,000+ experts, 10% of whom provide full-stack development services.
Full-stack development services can be invaluable to the business trying to make the development process more efficient, save costs, create lean teams, reduce overheads, and launch the product faster. Though full-stack development is not a silver bullet and there are other routes you can go in different situations, it is one of the most efficient ways to get your project going strong.