With the rise of tech-led business landscapes, the need for full stack software engineers has been rising in recent years. Full stack engineers are versatile, well-rounded developers who can manage all aspects of a software development project from start to finish.
Evans Data forecasts the global software developer population to reach 27.7 million by 2023, and rightfully so. Today, almost every business needs software to automate its processes and scale its growth. As a result, there's an increased demand for developers across the globe, and companies may find themselves struggling to find the right talent.
Here's a detailed guide on how you can hire a full stack engineer for your organization. You'll also learn about full stack software engineer skills and salary range.
What Is a Full Stack Software Engineer?
Full stack software engineers are professionals who can develop and manage all aspects of a software application or product. They can often work independently on projects, as they have a good understanding of both front-end and back-end development.
The term "full stack" is derived from the fact that these engineers work with all parts of the software "stack," which includes the user interface (UI), the application programming interface (API), the database, and the webserver. Therefore, full stack engineers are responsible for building and maintaining all aspects of the software application or product, from the UI to the back-end systems.
These professionals typically have a strong understanding of multiple programming languages and experience with various web development frameworks. They are also familiar with both relational and non-relational databases.
Companies typically hire full stack software engineers to work on a specific project or product. In some cases, full stack engineers may be responsible for managing a team of developers and overseeing various aspects of the software development process.
What Does a Full Stack Engineer Do?
Full stack engineers typically work on both the back-end and front-end of web applications. They are responsible for managing the application's web server, database, and networking layers. In addition, they also work on the user interface and experience (UI/UX) of the app.
Front End Development
Back End Development
The back end of an application runs server-side operations. A back-end developer uses languages such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, and Node.js to build the app's back end. They also ensure that the app can handle large amounts of data and user information.
Generally speaking, back-end development includes the app's database, security, and scalability.
Responsibilities of a Full Stack Software Engineer
The duties of a full stack software engineer differ based on the industry or project they're working in, but some typical tasks include:
- Assisting in software design and development
- Debugging and testing software for optimization
- Deploying software updates and features
- Working with other engineers and developers to create cohesive software
- Creating, maintaining, and managing software documentation
- Ensuring the quality of the codebase through code reviews and other means
- Optimizing the application for performance and scalability
- Developing RESTful services and APIs
Why Hire Full Stack Engineers
Why hire a full stack engineer when you can work with front-end and back-end developers separately? The answer is simple: a full stack engineer can do it all.
Full stack engineers have the skills and experience to work on both the front-end and back-end of an application. They can take on projects from start to finish without any side help.
Here are some other benefits of hiring a full stack software engineer:
Since full stack engineers have a diverse range of skills, they can work on various aspects of a project. They are not just limited to coding or developing.
Full stack engineers can wear many hats. Because they understand how the entire system works and how each component affects the other, these professionals can be designers, testers, and marketers all at once. Therefore, companies that need their engineers to take on end-to-end projects may want to choose full-stack developers.
Improved Internal Communication
Full stack engineers can also improve the communication between other team members in a company. Because they have a deep knowledge of both front-end and back-end development, they are always on the same page with designers, other developers, and even project managers.
Moreover, since full stack engineers understand the entire system, they can quickly relay information to other team members. Such a skill can be highly beneficial for projects that require collaboration among different teams.
Higher Project Quality
Full stack engineers can improve the quality of a project by ensuring that all aspects are working together seamlessly. They can catch errors and bugs that other developers might not see.
By detecting errors early on, full stack engineers can save the project time and money. They can also provide insights on improving the quality of the project as a whole.
Full stack engineers are faster when it comes to development because they work on both the front-end and back-end. They don't need to wait for other team members to finish their part before they can start working on another one. Therefore, full stack developers are ideal for projects that are on tight deadlines.
A shoestring budget makes it challenging to hire individuals for front-end and back-end development separately. It's much more budget-friendly and time-efficient to hire one full stack engineer instead. As these professionals can take on the entire project, you won't even feel like lacking the personnel.
Qualifications to Look For in a Full Stack Software Engineer
A full stack software engineer should have the perfect blend of qualifications, programming knowledge, and experience. Before you hire a full stack engineer, you should consider the following:
- Databases: In any web-based application, data gets stored in a database. A full stack software engineer should be able to work with different databases, including MySQL, MongoDB, and Cassandra.
- Web Servers: These make websites accessible to everyone. A full stack software engineer must have experience working with different web servers, such as Apache and NGINX.
- Operating Systems: A full stack software engineer should be comfortable working with Linux and Windows.
- Version Control: Keeping track of all the code changes is crucial for any software development project. Full stack developers should be familiar with Git, SVN, and Mercurial.
Programming knowledge is a must-have skill for all full stack software engineers. They should be able to write clean and readable code and have experience with the following:
- MVC: This is a framework that helps developers create applications. A full stack software engineer should be familiar with different MVC frameworks, including Laravel, Ruby on Rails, and Express.
- Web Development: A full stack software engineer should be able to build a website from scratch. They must be able to work with web development technologies, such as AngularJS and ReactJS.
- API: An API is a set of programming instructions that allow different software applications to communicate with each other. Full stack software engineers must understand different API protocols, including REST and SOAP.
- Project Management: Full stack software engineers should be able to manage a software development project from start to finish. They should know how to use project management tools, such as Jira and Trello.
In addition to the technical skills, full stack software engineers should also have strong problem-solving skills. They should be able to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.
Since they'll probably be working on projects with a team of other developers, good communication skills are also a must. Full stack software engineers should be able to communicate their ideas and collaborate effectively with others.
Lastly, these professionals should be able to stay up-to-date with the latest trends in the tech industry. In addition, they should be familiar with the latest frameworks, programming languages, and tools.
How Much Do Full Stack Engineers Make?
On average, full stack engineers make $119,514 per year in the US. The figure represents the median salary that most full stack engineers make. However, experience level and location can play a significant role in how much money someone in this field can earn. For example, a senior engineer with five or more years of experience can make over $200,000 per year.
Similarly, the company also determines the pay grade of its developers. For example, full stack developers at IBM earn around $116,639 per year. Meanwhile, those at American Express make about $99,000 per year.
Junior/Entry Level Full Stack Engineer Skills and Salary
Junior full stack engineers are expected to have the skills and an understanding of:
- One or more back-end programming languages (such as PHP, Ruby on Rails, Java, or .NET)
- One or more front-end frameworks (such as AngularJS, ReactJS, or Vue.js)
Junior full stack software engineers can make $69,000 to $88,000 per year, depending on their skills, geographical location, and place of employment.
Senior Full Stack Software Engineer Skills and Salary
Senior full stack software engineers have more skills and tasks than their junior counterparts, such as:
- API design and development
- Scalability and performance optimization
- Security best practices
- Continuous integration/continuous deployment (CI/CD)
- Microservices architecture
How to Hire a Full Stack Engineer?
Nowadays, it is imperative to have a great website if you want your business to succeed. A website can help you promote your products or services, reach out to potential customers, and even sell your products or services online.
A full stack engineer can help develop apps and websites for your business. But how do you find and hire full stack engineers in a highly-competitive talent market?
Here are the four simple steps you can follow for a successful hiring process:
Step 1: Talent Hunt
The first step is to identify the top full stack engineers in your area. You can do this by searching for candidates online or asking for referrals from your network. Here are some common ways to find full stack developers:
Most companies use job boards to find candidates for their open positions. You can also use job boards to find full stack engineers. Some popular choices include Indeed, Dice, and Monster.
If you know someone already working with a great full stack engineer, ask for a referral. Your network can be a great resource when you don't want to spend too much time and money finding the talent yourself.
LinkedIn is possibly the best networking platform currently, and you can use it to find potential candidates in your area. Once you have found a few engineers, look at their profiles to see if they are a good fit for your company.
One of the best ways to find top talent on LinkedIn is to use the " Find Alumni" function on LinkedIn. This feature allows you to search for alumni of a specific school or university, which can be incredibly useful for recruiting from a particular area.
Suppose you want to hire full stack developers who live in California. You can use the "Find Alumni" function to search for alumni of UC Berkeley who live in California, and you'll get a list of potential candidates you can contact.
The downside of finding tech talent online is that you have to vet them yourself. That takes extra time and effort. But when you work with a talent marketplace like Revelo, you get immediate access to a wide talent pool of pre-vetted professionals. Revelo vets experts for your desired skills, so all you have to do is pick candidates and hire and onboard them.
Step 2: Job Posting
If you want to find a full stack developer through job boards, the next step is to create a job posting that will attract the best candidates. Here's what your job post should include:
- Job Description: The job description is essential for your job posting. Here, you tell potential candidates what the job entails and what skills are required. Make sure to be as specific as possible in your job description. For example, if you're looking for a full stack developer with experience in React, mention that in the job description.
- Duties and Responsibilities: List the duties and responsibilities of the job in detail. It will give potential candidates a better idea of what to expect if they apply for the job.
- Requirements: In addition to listing the required skills, you should also list any other requirements for the job, such as a particular degree or years of experience.
- Benefits: Don't forget to mention the benefits of working for your company. Doing this will help you attract top talent. You don't necessarily have to say an exact salary. Instead, you can write a compensation range.
Step 3: Interviewing
Once you have created a job posting and received applications, it's time to start interviewing candidates. Here are some tips for conducting interviews:
- Create a Script: Have a set list of questions you want to ask every candidate. It will help you compare candidates more efficiently.
- Ask Technical Questions: Ask each candidate technical questions relevant to the job. For example, if you're looking for a full stack developer with experience in React, ask prospective hires about it.
- Make Questions Project-Focused: If you plan to hire a full stack engineer for a specific project, make sure your questions are project-focused. The answers will help you assess each candidate's ability to work on the project.
- Evaluate Portfolios: Full stack developers' portfolios can tell you a lot about their skills and experience. Ask to see their portfolio during the interview to determine if they're the right fit for your project.
Step 4: Hiring
Once you've interviewed all the candidates, it's time to decide and hire the best one. Before you make a final decision, check each candidate's references as they can give you a better idea of their work ethic and skills. If you're satisfied with everything you received, go ahead and make an offer to the candidate.
Keep in mind that the hiring process can be time-consuming. If you don't have the time to interview and vet candidates yourself, consider working with a talent marketplace like Revelo. They'll do the work for you and provide you with the talent you need.
Hire a Full Stack Engineer With Ease
Now that you know about the skills to look for in a full stack developer and where you can find these professionals, it's time to start the talent hunt for your company's right match. If the recruitment process seems too much of a hassle, consider reaching out to Revelo.
We are a talent marketplace that connects companies to pre-vetted remote developers in US time zones. You'll get access to the top global software engineering talent with different skill sets from a single platform in only a few days.
Contact us for more information and start searching for your full stack developer today.