When you first come into the world of developers, some of the jargon you will hear may confuse you.
You have a clear dream or career path. For instance, you are fascinated by mobile apps and want to learn how to develop them.
Then you come across a term like “full-stack development” and wonder if you are in the right field.
Yes, you are. Let us define the term for you.
What is full-stack development?
You will often come across employers looking for full stack developers.
What they are simply looking for is a developer who understands all the components of an application.
By components, we mean the front-end and back-end parts of an app, which we shall define shortly
Full-stack development also includes an understanding of database portions and debugging, especially for web applications.
If you are such a developer, you understand every aspect of an app. You can build it from the conceptualisation of the idea to presenting a final product to the client.
The front-end component of any app includes its appearance to the users.
It includes the elements that users see when they install an app including the layout, colors, and buttons.
The back-end component makes the front-end elements work. It includes the infrastructure and databases that makes an app function.
The component is invisible to users but it is the engine that makes every other element work.
The full-stack development process
You can tell from the simple definition of terms above that a lot goes into the process.
Some developers opt to specialise in the front-end features while others specialise in the back-end features.
A complete development team needs experts in both components to create a functional app.
The full stack development has three major layers, which are defined below.
The presentation layer: It is the end-user or client-side of an application. It contains the elements that your client will see when you present the final product.
You need to be careful with these components because they can make or break your contract with the client.
End users do not understand the work that goes into building an app from scratch.
The greatest concern for your client is that the final product has all the features needed.
The app should be appealing and easy to use for end users to keep it installed. The development jargon you use in a presentation does not impress a client if the visible elements are unappealing.
For developers, the layer includes all the elements used to build the app interface.
Business logic layer: The components in this layer are invisible to end users. It contains the back end elements we defined earlier.
The layer acts as a bridge or connection between the database and presentation layers.
When the user gives a command on the presentation layer, the business logic layer retrieves and transfers the data to the database layer.
The process sounds simple but it involves a series of complicated operations that enable the user to interact with the app’s database.
Database layer: The layer supports all the operations that involve data including adding new data, using, and reading data.
It supports deleting, storing, and managing the app’s data in the database.
The data or database layer retrieves and stores data in the app’s system in a way that the same data is available whenever the system restarts.
The level of knowledge or skill required here depends on the database you choose.
Some of the common databases that developers use include Oracle, MySQL, and MongoDB. Others include Cloud Firestone and PostgreSQL.
Full Stack Development languages
We defined two major components of full-stack development, that is, front-end and back-end development.
You need to know the languages used for both processes as a full-stack developer.
You must have come across some of these names when looking for a programming coding school.
The main front-end languages include:
HTML: Developers use HTML to build all web pages. It is considered the backbone of web development.
If you are looking for the first step in web development, you found it. Learn HTML before you start learning other languages.
CSS: The initials stand for Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). The language interprets how HTML elements are displayed on different media.
CSS is responsible for the function and appearance of HTML on a web page.
The main back-end languages include:
PHP: The language is used for web applications. It is a server-side scripting language, which is the back-end side of a web app or page.
Java: It is a class-based and object-oriented language. Developers use it to create applications with the least possible dependencies.
C++: It is widely used in complex programming. It gives the developer much control over the programming resources and system memory.
Python: The high-level language enables developers to create readable codes. Many programmers prefer Python because of its efficiency in creating and integrating multiple systems.
The list of programming languages can intimidate you. However, you learn a new language at each stage of your learning curve.
You do not become a full-stack developer overnight. You learn one aspect of it at a time.
Alongside the programming languages, you need to learn how to use front-end and back-end frameworks and libraries.
Again, the functions of frameworks will make sense when you start learning how to code.
We will just mention the main libraries and frameworks that you will come across.
The front-end frameworks and libraries include SASS, jQuery, AngularJS and Bootstrap.
Back-end developers use Django, laravel, Express, Spring, JS and Rails.
The right framework depends on the programming language used. For instance, Django is a python-based framework while Laravel is a PHP-based framework.
We have given you an overview of full-stack development including the languages you should expect to learn. The reality is that it takes a while to master all the languages. However, becoming a full-stack developer gives you an edge in the job market. It also positions you to become a freelance developer. You do not need to outsource any part of the development process when you master both front-end and back-end processes.