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What Is a Full Stack Engineer? Full Job Description + Duties

Michelle Han-Taylor
3 min read

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for full stack developers and engineers remains strong. From 2022 to 2032, the occupation of a full stack developer is expected to grow 25% — much higher than the average for other professions. On average, approximately 153K+ openings for software developers, quality assurance analysts, and other similar software development roles are projected each year over the decade.

With so much growth projected for full stack engineers, businesses need to understand the important role they play in a company’s DNA, what to look for in a candidate, as well as the difference between full stack developers vs. back-end developers and front-end developers.

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What Is a Full Stack Engineer? Definition & Key Distinctions

Full stack engineers build, test, and develop various software applications and scalable web services, and typically provide leadership to coding teams or junior developers.

A full stack engineer has an ambidextrous skill set.

The term “full stack” is used to describe a high-level software engineer or developer with the skills and knowledge to work on both the front-end and back-end of software or web development. This means they work on what an end-user sees and the client-side of how they interact with a program (the front end), as well as all the technical programming that makes this possible (the back end).


What’s the Difference Between Full Stack vs. Back-End vs. Front-End?


Full Stack Engineers

Back-End Engineers

Front-End Engineers

Are involved in all stages and areas of development, including UX design, code review, performance evaluation, troubleshooting, and deployment.

Manages everything that users cannot see (often referred to the server side). Focused specifically on the functionality of a program.

Manages everything a user can see (often referred to as the client side). Focused specifically on the user experience, including elements of design, navigation, and user interface.


An Important Note About Full Stack Engineers

Keep in mind that full stack engineering is a specific type or subset of the software engineering profession. This means that all full stack engineers are software engineers — however, not all software engineers are full-stack engineers.


What Does a Full Stack Engineer Do? Role & Responsibilities

While some duties and responsibilities may vary depending on the individual business and its unique needs or product, a full stack engineer’s typical duties are as follows:

  • Work across the full stack of software development. Build, test, and maintain scalable web applications, web services, and APIs that drive positive user experiences and business growth.
  • Design user interaction and experiences on web pages, focusing specifically on accessibility, functionality, performance, and responsiveness.
  • Write clean code according to industry best practices, using relevant frameworks and programming languages; conduct detailed code reviews, ensuring high quality and reusability. 
  • Deploy applications using cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS, or Google Cloud, as well as containerization technologies.
  • Conduct frequent UX/UI tests to optimize user experience, including troubleshooting and debugging applications. 
  • Collaborate closely with product managers, DevOps/development teams, and other team members to define project goals, drive optimization, and support where needed throughout the development process.
  • Contribute to a work environment that prioritizes continuous improvement and innovation; stay current with the latest technologies and industry trends to improve business processes.

Found this full stack developer job description helpful? Discover more of our comprehensive engineering and technology job descriptions in our resource library.


Full Stack Engineer Job Requirements & Qualifications

Similarly, job requirements and qualifications for this role will differ slightly from one another according to your organization. Typically, however, full stack engineers should possess or demonstrate: 

  • A bachelor’s degree in software engineering, computer science, information technology, or related field.
  • Proven experience (typically 2 to 3+ years of experience) as a full stack developer or in a similar role focused on web design, application development, and related projects. 
  • Hands-on experience with front-end development languages and frameworks such as React, Vue.js, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and Angular. 
  • Advanced proficiency with back-end languages and frameworks such as Python, Java, Ruby, PHP, and Node.js.
  • Strong working knowledge of software development methodologies (Scrum, Agile, etc.) and industry standards.
  • Familiarity with various cloud platforms such as Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.
  • Knowledge of database technologies such as SQL, NoSQL, mySQL, Oracle, MongoDB, and others; as well as an understanding of version control systems such as Git.
  • Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with cross-functional teams.
  • Strong project management skills, attention to detail, and ability to adapt to shifting priorities according to business needs and company focus. 


Engineering Certifications

Depending on your business’s needs, you may look for specific certifications in a full stack engineer candidate. Here’s a list of helpful certifications and what they mean.

  • AWS Certified Developer: Certification in designing, developing, and deploying applications specifically on the Amazon Web Services platform. 
  • Google Professional Cloud Developer: Certification in designing scalable applications using Google Cloud Platform and Google services, specifically cloud-native application development and deployment.
  • Certified Scrum Developer: Certification in Agile software development, specifically within Scrum teams.
  • MongoDB Certified Developer: Certification in designing and rolling out applications using MongoDB, a noSQL database frequently used in full stack engineering. 
  • Certified Professional in Python Programming: Certification in Python programming language, which is frequently used in full stack development for development, data processing, and scripting. 


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