Hiring a full-stack developer? There is no gainsaying that it is an arduous process. From evaluating the skills and experience to choosing the right hiring model, the task never gets easier, especially for non-tech startup founders.
Aside from that, many full-stack developers are in the market, making it more difficult for startup founders or CTOs to find the right programmer.
What is a full-stack developer? Where can I find full-stack engineers? This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to hire a full-stack developer for your web development project.
- A full-stack developer is a software engineer who can build a web application's user interface and server side.
- Aside from using front and back-end technology, full-stack developers must be able to test and debug software to ensure it works properly. Also, they must collaborate with all the stakeholders involved in the development process.
- You can find full-stack devs using freelancing sites, forums, social media, online job portals, and outsourced teams.
- To hire full-stack devs, you should list all your project requirements, check professional experience and skills and interview before you sign contracts.
What Is a Full-Stack Developer?
A full-stack developer is a programmer capable of handling front and back-end development.
Front-end is that part of a web application that focuses on what the users can see. Developing the front end involves building all the visual components your visitors will interact with.
Back-end refers to that part users cannot see, like the server, database, etc. Building the back end means developing the site architecture, database, and server that powers it from behind the scene.
Full-stack engineers are experts in front-end and back-end programming languages and frameworks and server, network, database, and hosting environments.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Full-Stack Developer?
From designing the user interface to building to creating the backend logic and testing the application, a full-stack programmer ensures that the system functions smoothly. Here are some of the responsibilities of a full-stack developer.
- Designing the user interface of a website to ensure it is responsive on all devices.
- Collaborate with other team members and stakeholders to build a functional web application.
- Designing and developing APIs.
- Writing the system logic that powers the application.
- Creating and managing the database to store, update and delete users' information.
- Writing clean code.
- Testing and debugging the web application to fix errors.
Why Do Businesses Hire Full-Stack Developers?
Businesses and organisations hire full-stack programmers for several reasons. Here are reasons you should contemplate employing a full-stack programmer.
- You need an MVP.
- You own a startup.
- You need a project manager.
- You need a CTO.
Hire Full-Stack Developers if You Need an MVP
A minimum viable product is introduced in the market with basic features to get customers' attention and fulfil the business needs. Hiring a full-stack developer is the best bet if your business operation is lean and you want to validate ideas by introducing an MVP. Full-stack programmers can easily turn ideas into fully-functional prototypes.
Hire a Full-Stack Developer if You Own a Startup
Getting a ready-to-market software product can be challenging if you are starting your business. You may not be certain about the kind of application you need at first, making it difficult to hire programmers for specific skills. A full-stack engineer can be a good fit for your startup in the experimental stage.
Hire a Full-Stack Developer if You Need a Project Manager
If you are planning to form an in-house team of developers, having someone with extensive knowledge of software development is a good idea. This is where hiring a full-stack developer will prove to be beneficial. Since they have extensive front and back-end knowledge, full-stack engineers can supervise a project better.
Hire a Full-Stack Developer When Cost Is a Constraint
To build a complete project, you must hire front and back-end developers. But if cost is a constraint, you can hire a single developer to build your web application's user interface and back-end. While hiring full-stack engineers don't come cheap, it is a great way to cut back costs.
What Are the Skills of a Full-Stack Developer?
A full-stack engineer should be a master of both the front and back-end programming languages and frameworks to build a fully operational web application. Here are some skills of a full-stack developer you should watch out for when hiring.
Knowledge of Front-End Technologies
A full-stack programmer must have a strong grasp of front-end technologies like coding languages and frameworks. Some examples of coding languages a programmer must know are
- HTML and CSS. These are markup languages used to design and develop the user interface of a web application. HTML is used to build the structure, while CSS is used to style by adding color, font size and style, etc.
- Libraries and Frameworks. Aside from having a solid grasp of markup and coding language, the developer must have knowledge of libraries and frameworks used in web development. Examples of such libraries and frameworks are jQuery, Backbone.js, React.js, Bootstrap, Angular.js, Vue.js., etc.
Knowledge of Back-End Technologies
Another full-stack developer skill is knowledge of back-end programming languages and frameworks.
- Python. This is a general-purpose, dynamically-typed coding language used to build the server side of a website.
- PHP. Like Python, PHP is a general-purpose, open-source, server-side scripting language used in web development to create dynamic websites and web apps.
- Java. Java is another programming language for server-side web development used to build enterprise-scale web applications along with Android, desktop and scientific apps.
- Frameworks. Frameworks make it easy for developers to build the server side of a web application. Full-stack developers must be skilled in using some or all back-end frameworks like Laravel, Django, Ruby on Rail, Flask, ASP.Net, etc.
Basic Design Skills
Aside from knowledge of front-end and back-end programming languages, full-stack developers must have basic UI/UX design skills. These skills will be useful in creating attractive and user-friendly websites for their clients. Also, the programmer must have a solid grasp of responsive web design.
Git and GitHub
Git, a version control system, allows developers to handle every stage of the web development process. GitHub is a platform that lets programmers work and manage multiple projects simultaneously. Also, it makes it easy to track changes made to code. Full-stack engineers must be skilled in using Git and GitHub.
Another skill of a full-stack developer you should consider when hiring is database creation and management. The programmer should be able to build, store, retrieve, edit and delete data from the database.
Another full-stack developer skill is writing clean code and testing the system to ensure it works. The programmer should be able to debug the application to identify and fix errors to improve performance.
Aside from hard skills, a full-stack developer must have the right soft skills to make collaboration easy.
- Communication. One obstacle to software development is the inability of the developer and the clients to communicate. A full-stack engineer must be able to communicate in your language to make cooperation easy.
- Time-Management. Every software development project must have a deadline for all the deliverables. You should hire a full-stack programmer that can manage time and finish a project before the deadline.
- Team Work. Full-stack engineers must be able to work as part of a team.
Where to Find Full-Stack Developers?
You can find and hire full-stack developers for your project in different places. While some methods offer easy hiring, remember that you are not just hiring a developer; you are looking for someone who is right for your project.
Job portals. You can find experienced full-stack engineers by searching the various job portals in your location. Most businesses hire in-house full-stack programmers by posting advertisements in different job portals.
To do that, you must write an accurate job description (which is an arduous task if you are a non-tech manager) outlining all you want the programmer to do.
And when you find one, you have to screen by checking the programmer's portfolio and conducting interviews. Hiring in-house full-stack engineers presents another setback; you will spend more money to set up office space and buy the resources the programmers will need.
Freelance websites. There are many freelance sites out there that you can use for hiring full-stack programmers. The advantages of using freelance sites are flexible hiring, many freelancers, and cheaper rates.
While finding freelance full-stack developers may be easy, finding the right expert, as in other software development projects, is always difficult. And when you finally find one, managing your project will be challenging.
Freelancers work with multiple clients, making it hard to find a dedicated programmer. Aside from that, since they are unsupervised, freelancers tend to finish projects late.
And if you decide to scale your team, getting more than one freelancer to work in sync will be a problem.
Social media. Another way to find a full-stack developer is through social media platforms like LinkedIn. You can connect and view the developer's profile on social media and decide if you should proceed to interview before you hire.
Online directory. Another place to find full-stack developers is by using online directories. These directories serve as communities for programmers, where you can easily communicate with anyone.
Forums. You can use online forums like Reddit to find full-stack developers to work on your project.
Outsourced team. Another way to hire full-stack developers is by contracting an outsourced team. The outsourced team works with a separate software development company and can use their skills and years of experience to make the perfect web application for your business.
There are three types of outsourced teams - onshore, offshore and nearshore. Knowing the difference between them will help you select the best option that works for your business.
In onshore outsourcing, you contract developers to work remotely for you from a software development company in your country. Hiring onshore full-stack engineers makes it easy to collaborate in real-time because you are in the same time zone. But they usually charge more than offshore and nearshore programmers.
Offshore full-stack developers are located in a country far from you and charge less because their living cost is way lower than yours. But the setback with offshoring is that collaborating in real-time may be hard because you are not in the same time zone and may not share the same work culture.
The best of the three is nearshoring. In nearshore software development, you outsource your project to a software development company like Deazy. It will make it easy for you to build a dev squad, form a dedicated team and hire a project manager to supervise your project from start to finish.
Key Strategies on How to Hire a Full-Stack Developer
Hiring a full-stack programmer doesn't have to be difficult if you follow the steps below.
Write Out Your Project Details
Your project details will help the full-stack developer to know what to expect before building your software. It should include a list of the tech stack your project requires and the features and functions you want in your web application. The complexity of your project determines the programmer's experience level and the skills you will look for.
Check Professional Experience
Experience matters when hiring a full-stack developer. You need a programmer that has done something similar to yours if you want a software product that meets your users' expectations. Ensure the full-stack engineer has enough experience building web applications for customers. Hiring a senior programmer is the best choice if you want a single developer to work with you.
Check Technical and Soft Skills
Full-stack engineers must be skilled in using front and back-end technologies to develop software products for their clients. Some of the must-have skills of full-stack programmers are
- Java, Python, or PHP,
- Laravel or Django,
- React.js, Vue.js, or Angular,
- Software testing,
- Organisation skills,
One way to assess the skills of the full-stack engineer is by conducting interviews and a test project.
Interview the Full-Stack Developer
Before you interview the full-stack developer, you have to prepare and ensure you ask specific questions related to your project. Some common interview questions are
- What tech stack do you use as a full-stack developer?
- Can you describe a web application you developed and the technology you use?
- What technologies and framework will you use to build my project if you are hired
- How do you test and debug software?
- Can you describe an instance when you encounter a setback in the development process and how you overcome it?
- What front and back-end programming languages do you have the most experience with?
- How do you build an SEO-friendly website?
- How do you decrease the load time of a website?
After interviewing the full-stack engineer, you can give a short test project to assess the skills. If you are certain you have the right fit, you can proceed to hire.
A full-stack developer is a software engineer capable of building a web application's front and back end. While many developers are out there, hiring the best is not easy.
To summarise, the process requires due diligence if you want the perfect fit for your project. From listing your project requirements to choosing a hiring option, evaluating the programmer's skills and experience and interviewing, you must invest your time and resources to find the best.
You don't have to go through all these steps if you outsource your project to a nearshore software development team like Deazy.
You only have to tell us your ideas, and we will match the right full-stack developers to turn them into ready-to-market software products. Also, you can hire a dedicated team or build a dev squad of experienced full-stack programmers to work on your project.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Full-Stack Developer?
Why Should I Hire a Full-Stack Developer?
You can hire a full-stack engineer if you are a startup with a small development team. Also, you can engage a full-stack engineer if you want someone to lead your development project. Most businesses hire full-stack programmers to save costs because hiring separate programmers for the front, and back end is expensive.
What Is Meant by Full-Stack Development?
Do Full-Stack Developers Need Coding?