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Advantages of being a full-stack developer

If you want to thrive in today’s ever-evolving technology, you need to learn new skills quickly and produce high-quality work at the same time. There’s no getting around it. The market rewards those who “move fast and break things”, to quote Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg. As we move towards a quintessentially digital economy, becoming well-versed in the emerging technologies could be your ticket to a stellar career in the software industry. There are guarantees in life, mind you. If you really want to succeed at something, you have to work hard at it. It has become a cliché, for the simple fact that it’s true. Sure, you may have a lucky break every now and then, but just remember that no one has ever made it by simply waiting for opportunities to be thrown at them. Preparation trumps luck every single time.

Most people in the software industry talk about the immense advantages of being a full-stack developer. But, really, what is a full-stack developer? Ultimately, it all comes down to being comfortable enough to work with both front-end and back-end technologies. On the surface, it might look daunting, scary and all, but think about it this way. If you really want to make an impact as a developer, if you want to ride the coming wave, you have to produce work at an elite level.

Times have changed. Specializing in one particular area of software development may have paid its dividends in the past, but that is no longer enough in an uber-competitive market.  Just a couple of years ago, being seasoned in the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL and PHP) meant you could find a good job without going through much hassle. But that is about to change. They are still highly-valuable, marketable skills in the industry, make no mistake about it. Until the 20th century, people would tinker with something they were good at and they would make a living out of it. They could master it, hire an apprentice and so on, but that was it. They would stick to it until they were no longer able to work and retire eventually. We now live in a full-fledged digital economy. There’s no such things as job security. Certainty is an illusion. What, then, can make you indispensable in the rapidly changing software industry? What are some of the advantages of being a full-stack developer?

Full-stack developers are in high demand

For starters, being able to work with both front-end and back-end technologies will be in huge demand. In fact, the market for full-stack developers is at an all-time high. Startups and well-established companies need top talent now more than ever, and given the growing interest in practical applications of machine learning, artificial intelligence, big data or the Internet of Things (IoT), demand for full-stack developers will go through the roof. Being a linchpin never goes out of style. In fact, being a jack-of-all trades will soon be a solid and valuable asset in the software industry.

You acquire a set of indispensable skills

Whether you are part of a local startup or a large company, your quality of work affects people’s lives, and ultimately, the world. Ideally, a full-stack developer should be at ease at back-end technologies such as Web servers (Apache), programming languages (PHP, NodeJS, Python, Ruby), database (MySQL, SQL, Mongo DB, JSON) and be well-versed in front-end technologies such as HTML/HTML5, CSS/CSS3, Javascript,, JQuery, AngularJS, AJAX, Meteor.js, etc. It doesn’t stop here, though. A full-stack developer should also have a good grasp of UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience).  Why be confined to just two or three technologies when you can become a well-rounded developer? Why settle for ordinary in the first place?

You can be an integral part of world-changing projects

It doesn’t matter if you work for a newly-minted startup, an established firm or a large corporation: your contribution affects how businesses operate, how people lead their lives and how the world at large operates. Being a full-stack developer is like having a Swiss army knife while being stranded in the middle of nowhere: you might face a lot of problems along the way, but your skill sets and tools will ultimately prevail. Hard as it may seem to believe, your quality of work can and will affect people’s lives.  Deliver high-quality work and you shall be rewarded.

Becoming a full-stack developer is hard work, but ultimately it pays off.  If it was easy, everybody would do it. The quality of your work might affect the lives of thousands, millions or billions of people. You’re here to change the world. Because as Steve Jobs once put it, “We’re here to put a dent in the universe. Otherwise why else even be here?”