When it comes to technology, the discussions never stop. There’s been an interesting thread circling my corner of the internet for the last week or so. It started with a question: What is a full stack development? The following post boils the concept down to its essence. Read away!
There was a time when IT professionals could only think of becoming either a web designer or a developer or maybe both (if you are one of those rare unicorns). And then came, front-end developers, back-end developers, and full stack developers. Today, the web has grown more complex like never before. Developers are going all the guns to make a mark by becoming more specialized in their respective subject. More importantly, many of you are seen focusing on specific parts whether that’s a specific programming language, framework, or other technical areas of expertise.
Coming back to Full stack development, it mainly refers to the development of both front end and back end portions of an application. Such processes involve a bunch of three layers- presentation layer (front end part that deals with the user interface), Business Logic Layer (back-end part that deals with data validation) and the database Layer. It basically covers everything right from the conceptualization of an idea to the actual finished product. Now looking around for an expert for each subsystem proves quite complex and expensive. So what can be done is, consider hiring a team of full stack developers.
Role of a Full Stack Developer
According to Quora, The one who carries expertise in a variety of skills and use these skills to complete a product independently is known as a full stack developer. He or she must be proficient in:
- Creating and using APIs and writing backend code in Ruby, Python/Java
- Hosting systems (the computer; the OS; and supporting services like DNS, SSH, email, and Apache)
- Working with system infrastructure including hardware and OS
- Networking, Security
- Understanding, creating and querying databases
- Project management and Client coordination
That’s not it! In addition to this, they even require having hands-on experience in technologies like:
• Backend – Node.js, Meteor.js, Angular 2, PHP, Ruby on Rails
• Database – MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, CouchDB, Apache Cassandra
• Other Essential Technologies – Memcached, Redis, Apache Lucene, Apache Solr
• Debugging/Version Control – GIT, Subversion, Task Runners (Grunt, Gulp), Debuggers (Xdebug, Firedebug)
How to Become a Successful One?
Imagine a situation where you can’t have your cake and eat it too. But in case of a full stack developer, they do possess some ability to both have and eat the cake. Another crucial saying you must have heard several times is – jack of all trades, but master of none. So try focusing only on full stack development instead of becoming an empty title.
And do not forget to beef up your portfolio with some non-technical skills such as becoming a glue that binds different teams together. I mean it is pretty hard to be a multidisciplinary polyglot especially if a developer isn’t capable of speaking at the same wavelength of the front-end and the back-end teams. In addition to this, a full stack developer must be well aware regarding all the business dynamics they work in. Which means having a deeper understanding of customer needs must be the perpetual guiding force behind the design of the product.
Now, I have come across several novices who use such terms to stand ahead of the curve but surprisingly what they don’t know is the N-tier application setup. Especially for those, multitier (aka n-tier) can be defined as architecture used to divide up a web application into layers or tiers. Some of the most common divisions include the presentation tier, the middle or logic tier, and the data tier. However, there can be more divisions but in general these three act of great importance.
Tier denotes- Let’s dig into deep
The data layer or persistence layer is the layer when one can write an application’s runtime data onto the system’s hard drive. Right from relational databases to document storage (noSQL) are some of the most common technologies used in this step. Apart from this, some of the common relational database management systems include Oracle, MSSQL, MySQL, and PostgreSQL.
If we think of the file formats, they are simple text files with no formatting to CSV files. The ultimate point of this layer is to extract data from volatile runtime of your Web system’s various processes and store in such a way so that the next time you start or restart your processes. And it is still accessible. Although, there are some divisions which end the layer at the system used to manage the data; others also include the mechanism for access.
Middle or Logic layer
The middle tier is the layer that mainly sits between the presentation and the persistence layer. It is basically responsible for safely retrieving and placing the data requested or given from the consuming client and pass along to the data layer. This often involves more complicated tasks like authorization, authentication, API endpoint design, or creating logic to enforce business logic, and so forth. Apart from this, there are many flavors of technology choices available. If you ask me in person, I love Scala and NodeJS but you may even find Java, Python, Ruby, and PHP interesting.
So that’s all for now! Do you know what makes web development so great to learn? It is that it’s always changing, so even if you do choose an area, chances are that within a few years it may radically change. So be versatile, think wide while perusing your career in PHP development.