Technical Community

What Full-stack Engineer Really Is In 2020?

August 27 ,2019

Full-stack is a word you must hear a lot in recent years. Hence, we must admit the truth that it is great if someone knows all about web development. According to a Stack Over Flow survey, there are 60% of respondents consider themselves as a full-stack engineer. This index is just 48,2% in 2018, people are striving to become full-stack!

As many skills you gained, as much benefit you have.  So now, what full-stack engineer really is in 2020? What’s making it so hot right now?

So first of all, what is full-stack?

Nearly the word “full-stack” show everything about it. They engage themselves in end-to-end app development, from front-end to back-end, from DBMS to network security. 

“In fact, full-stack refers to the collection of a series of technologies needed to complete a project. “Stack” refers to a collection of sub-modules. These software sub-modules or components combined to achieve the established function while without the need for other modules.”

For example, if clients assign a feature to a full-stack developer, he/she will do everything from taking customer requirements, UX/UI design, a database system for backend, writing API and other stuff to make that app/ feature run smoothly with just a little help or coordination.

A truth is that you do not have to master all of those skills but you must understand and study quickly to apply in the projects when needed.

Is there any difference between a full-stack engineer and a full-stack developer? 

Well, yes and no. In most cases, it is a 2-different name for the same position. However, to recognize their effort, the in-depth knowledge and the greater responsibilities of a developer, people call them “engineer”. 

Undoubtedly, more than a full-stack developer, an engineer must know all about the architecture and design, they always looking at a “bigger picture” They may also act as a Project Manager or DevOps when needed. These things make full-stack engineers become a hard position to reach. As a result, people always find them very prestige – a reference for every situation. Controversial, a full-stack developer is just someone can code both backend and front end.

“A developer focus their talents often on a single area, a specific task, or within a specific environment, without looking at the “bigger picture”. 

They do not care much about the architecture or database system or we sometimes call a “ code monkey”.

But somehow we must admit that the title is not a problem. You can change your title from developer to engineer without any complaint from other people as long as you deserve it. People just care about what can you do with your knowledge and experience.  If you consider yourself as a full-stack engineer then show them your skill. Do not let them down – let them beyond their expectations.

What is the different between full-stack engineer and other software engineers?

Distinguishing and understanding clearly the differences will help you find the right development team for your project. 

Let’s look at the below table: 

Front-end Back-end Full-stack
Responsible for Client-side Sever-side Both + other tasks to make the software complete
Programming Language HTML/ CSS/ Javascript A Server-side language: Python, PHP, C, Java, Golang… Both
Goal The website is accessible to all users, and it remains responsive in all views – mobile and desktop. Make sure that the website opens up and functioning properly. To complete a whole application with full back -end and front-end and all functions customers may need.
Qualities Visual aesthetic

Up-to-date knowledge

UX/UI sensibility

Time management


Detail – orientation

Logical thinking 

Analytical mind


Love for learning

Attention to detail

Creative vision


Front-end and back-end development are the key components that maintain optimal system function in applications and websites. While full-stack is responsible for both client-side and server-side, front-end or back-end developer is in charge of a specific area. They obviously have absorbed an intensive knowledge of their expert.  

This means that front-end developers are responsible for everything that you see when you’re navigating around the Internet, from fonts and colors to dropdown menus and sliders. A front-end developer has a solid base of HTML/CSS, JavaScript and its framework to support the task.(Bootstrap, jQuery, AngularJS, ReactJS, VueJS….). An awareness of UX/UI design or Photoshop skill is also competitive for their job. Moreover, it is also important to have knowledge of Ajax or responsive UI design. Do you recognize that while you click on a menu on the Designveloper homepage, from white text color and black background they are highlighted with yellow text background? A front-end developer makes it!  

Back-end architects design and built the systems, data layers and other services that support a website. Back-end development helps all the systems behind run fluently. User can recognize a front end developer work by looking at the app interface but not with back-end.

A Backend developer must know at least one server-side programming language like Java, Python Golang, Ruby on Rails and related frameworks to support the tasks.

According to TopDev (an IT-recruit agency in Vietnam)  lastest Vietnam Developer Report, JavaScript and Java are the most famous programming language in 2020 due to its widespread.

Besides programming language, Backend Developer must master Database SQL like MySQL or NoSQL, web service and API (REST & SOAP). Some Backend developers even have the ability to write unit tests, awareness of security concern and knowledge of algorithms.

One quality of a backend developer is logical thinking as they have to build the whole system to support the front-end. For example, when front-end requires a registration function, a back-end developer has to calculate all steps to build that function and all problems may cause to assure no error is found.

In fact, some freshers first start their career as a front-end developer, then back-end. After mastering back-end, they can become full-stack engineers with a higher position. While back-end is very difficult to learn with enormous knowledge, the front-end is a rational start.

Full-stack as we discuss above, is the combination of both back-end and front-end. A full-stack engineer act as a back-end in the server-side but also master the front-end languages to control the content on the web interface. The skillset required to become a full-stack engineer are front-end technology, programming languages, database, basic design ability, server, working with API and version control systems

Why enterprises should outsource full-stack development in Vietnam?

As we discussed so far, Vietnam is the new dreamland for outsourcing, but why full-stack development service?

First of all, Vietnam has a large amount of available full-stack developer accounting for 47,3% of the whole industry. As a consequence, you can find the best team that fits your project. Many national companies provide a consulting and full-stack development service that suitable for every requirement. Another plus point is that you can have a full set of skillful engineers, aesthetic design and available resources for just a rationale price.

More than that, the talent and knowledge of a full-stack engineer is undeniable. Hence, right from the start, they can show a comprehensive view with many valuable reviews to the project. For example, they can show you this function does not meet your requirements and find you a better solution instead. They also know about all the components, how they interact with each other in the development process then combine them into a complete product. 

Last but not least, they will definitely help you save all the resources inside as they are so versatile. With their flexibility, they can be responsible for any positon in the development process. A full-stack engineer is suitable for startups and small enterprises who just need to build an MVP with a limited budget or a big project that needs cohesion and has a communication channel among their teams about their codebase. But to be fair, if the systems getting more and more complex, the full-stack developers will reveal weaknesses, they can hardly control the entire stack anymore. Now we will need experts for each component. There are a lot of common mistakes when you think that if you hire a full stack developer you won’t need to hire another team.

Just image that having a person who has a comprehensive understanding of the components, combining them, then working with each expert in each section to be able to deliver the perfect product is an extremely important task. And that’s where the full stack developer role is most clearly expressed.


Also published on

Share post on