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Full Stack Developer Skills Checklist

Becoming a competent full stack developer entails harnessing the necessary skills for the craft, which includes knowledge in both the back and front end of an application or a website. Let us discuss what it means to be a full stack developer and the skills needed for the job.

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The Full Stack Developer

Full stack developers are programmers who develop the client side and server side of an application. They often work in software and business applications development, and are equipped with knowledge and experience in both front end and back end of an application. They know how to deal with databases, user interface, UX design, systems engineering, and server configuration to provide a seamless user experience for their clients.


Front End vs. Back End

 Before talking about the skills required from full stack developers, let us first differentiate the front end from the back end.

Front End

What users see as they open an application is its front end. Every time you press a button on an app, you are using its front end. Because of this, front end developers ensure that their apps and websites should not only look pleasing to the eyes but should also provide seamless user experience. Thus, they should also know how to work with colors schemes, layouts, and typography. They use programming languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript in building the front end. Professionals working on the front end include web designers, user interface designers, user experience designers, and front-end developers.

Back End

On the other hand, the back end refers to the part that users do not see. Codes make up the server-side of an application, creating the logic to make the application work. They are responsible for sending communication between the database and the website or app to guarantee that it is working correctly. The back end also deals with cybersecurity, server configuration, automated testing frameworks, and network scalability. Generally, back end developers deal with an application or website’s functionality through the use of various programming languages, including Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby on Rails.

Overall, both front end and back end developers contribute to guaranteeing the best user experience for site and app users.

Full Stack Developer Skills Checklist

Below, we have identified the primary hard and soft skills needed by full stack developers to execute their job correctly.

Hard Skills

As an overview, a full stack developer must know how to navigate the conceptual structure of the world wide web, the web architecture. They should know how the code and data should be organized. Thus, the following are hard skills that full stack developers must have to do well in the profession:

  1. Databases and Web Storage

    Websites and applications require databases for data storage. Thus, developers should understand how to utilize programming languages to properly connect sites and apps to their respective databases, such as MySQL, Redis, MongoDB, and SQL Server.

  2. Git

    This is a distributed version control system which helps you keep track of all the changes made in your source code during cloud-based or desktop software development. Git helps programmers who are collaboratively working keep track of these changes.

  3. JavaScript

    JavaScript helps developers realize automation, animation, and interactivity on their websites or applications. Other programming languages include C#, PHP, Python, and Ruby on Rails, which cater to database operations, authentication, and more.

  4. HTML and CSS

    Full stack developers use HyperText Markup Language (HTML) in building content for websites and applications. Meanwhile, full stack developers use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) in creating aesthetically pleasing designs and layouts for websites and applications.


    HTTP and HTTPS fosters secure communication between web clients and servers. HTTPS is encrypted using Transport Layer Security. Moreover, Representational State Transfer (REST) defines a set of constraints that should be used in the creation of web services. REST API ensures seamless communication between the front end and back end of a site or app.

  6. Back end and Basic Server Management

    This includes basic shell scripting and connecting to remote servers through the terminal (in non-GUI environments). They should also have experience in managing users and groups on a server, server programs (i.e. Apache, Nginx, etc.), and firewalls and other permissions. Lastly, they should know how to install new software and update its distribution.

Soft skills

Of course, you are not required to be experts in these. However, applying these skills in your job as a full stack developer will take you a long way:

  1. Problem-Solving

    As a full stack developer, you will always find mistakes in coding and other errors. Thus, you must have sufficient understanding on how to correct such mistakes and move forward.

  2. Creativity

    Full stack developers working on the front end need to hone their creative skills into making websites or applications that not only look good but are also functional.

  3. Attention to Detail

    You need close attention to detail most especially when you are creating a code. One way to hone this skill is through organizing. First, assess and review the code, and then improve on your work.

  4. Patience

    Coding takes a lot of time. Therefore, a full stack developer must practice patience. Having this skill and attitude will surely help in the long hours you will be needing to ensure that all parts of a website or application are working as intended.

  5. Communication

    As a full stack developer, you should be someone that other people can work well with. You should have the capacity to explain the intricacies of your work to clients and coworkers in a way that they would easily understand.

Full Stack Developer Coding Computers laptop blue

Image Source: Freepik

Become a Successful Full Stack Developer!

If you are an aspiring full stack developer or if you already are and you wish to improve in your job, then take note of the information detailed above. Don’t worry. No one is expecting you to become fully-accomplished overnight. You just need to lay down a strong foundation, develop your skills, and learn as you go. Most importantly, enjoy your craft!

Adam Tan


Adam is a charming geek who loves his family's Siberian Husky, enjoys the occasional night out with friends and, most of all, lives and breathes new trends and updates about the web and its technicalities. If you want to stay updated with changes or new trends on the web or learn about the technicalities that are involved, he's your guy. He's capable of writing cheesy stuff as well, but he'd rather stick with the manly stuff.

    Find more about me on:
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