Full Stack vs Specialized Developer: A Complete Guide
If you own a software development company and want to hire web developers, you mainly have two options that are either hiring a “Full stack developer” or a “Specialized developer,” but it can be tough to tell the difference.
Do we know how they differ?
To clarify, full-stack professionals can design both front-end and back-end applications. Specialized software engineers are front-end or back-end experts.
A full-stack developer can manage a whole project, while a specialist developer can modify an existing app.
Ultimately, while hiring you should focus more on the context and your specific needs.
Now, let’s dive further into detail to help you in your hiring a lot easier.
Full Stack Developer Vs. Specialized Developer
A full-stack developer is a programmer who is well-versed in the front-end, back-end, and database layers of an application. They are proficient in all facets of application development and can contribute to any stage.
On the other side, a specialist developer excels at one particular type of development, such as front-end, back-end, or mobile. They know all the ins and outs of the tools and techniques employed in their field.
Let’s see what kind of data Google Trends has accumulated for these terms.
Source – Google Trends
Now let’s start by comparing their skills, strong points, and weak points.
Skills of Full Stack Developers
Full stack developers are some of the most sought-after professionals in the current job market. With the ever-changing technologies and the need for businesses to stay competitive, having a full-stack developer with the right skills can be a great asset for any organization.
What makes a full-stack developer stand out from the rest? What skills do they need to possess to excel in their role? Here we’ll take a look at the full-stack developer’s skills, and what makes them so valuable when it comes to software development.
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Second, full-stack developers need to have a solid grasp of databases. This means they should understand how to use Structured Query Language (SQL) to create, update, and delete data from a database. Additionally, they should be able to integrate the database with the application they’re developing and create efficient queries to ensure the best performance.
Because they conserve time and money, full-stack developers are in high demand. By 2024, there will be 135,000 more full-stack development jobs available, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
It is one of the highest-paying jobs, with experienced workers earning up to $110,737 per year in compensation. According to their scores, the full-stack developer position ranks second.
Based on all the facts, it’s clear that full-stack development isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Advantages of Hiring Full-Stack Developers
Having full-stack developers on a team has many benefits. To name a few:
Working on all facets of an application, from the front end to the back end, is possible for full-stack developers, which can speed up the development process. Before moving on to the next phase of development, they don’t have to wait for the other team members to finish their work.
Depending on the requirements of the team, full-stack developers can work on various aspects of a project. In a hectic development environment, they can quickly switch between front-end and back-end tasks.
Full-stack developers are adept at finding innovative solutions to issues that arise throughout the development process because they have a thorough understanding of the entire process.
Full-stack developers are able to communicate and comprehend the needs, problems, and solutions pertaining to the entire project. They are also able to better understand those needs and communicate them to other team members.
Having full-stack developers on a team can save money because they can handle a variety of tasks, thereby reducing the need for specialized developers for each project component.
Full-stack developers, who have a broad range of abilities and knowledge in many facets of software development, can take on the role of CTO if necessary. They are capable of making informed decisions on technical matters that have an impact on the project because they have a thorough understanding of the entire development process.
Please take note that full-stack developers may not be experts in all technologies, but they have a solid grasp of all the application’s layers and are capable of working on them.
Disadvantages of Hiring Full-Stack Developers
Although hiring full-stack developers has many advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks. To name a few:
Since full-stack developers must be knowledgeable in a wide range of topics, they may not be experts in any particular technology or language. When working on complicated or specialized tasks, this could result in a lack of depth in some areas.
Due to their versatility and wide range of skills, full-stack developers may be paid more than specialized developers.
Difficult to manage:
Full-stack developers can have a wide range of abilities, which makes it challenging for managers to monitor their progress and make sure they are focusing on the most crucial tasks.
Difficulty in developing highly specialized apps:
Developing highly specialized apps can be challenging because a full-stack developer may lack the knowledge and experience necessary to produce the best results for apps like AI/ML or blockchain.
Lack of concentration:
Because full-stack developers work in a variety of fields and technologies, they might not have the concentration and knowledge of a specialized developer.
It is crucial to remember that these drawbacks can be minimized with proper management, transparent communication, and by giving full-stack developers the required tools and resources.
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Skills of Specialized Developers
As businesses and organizations increasingly rely on technology to stay competitive, they need skilled and experienced professionals to help them make the most of their technology investments. Specialized developers are an essential component of any successful technology team, as they possess the technical skills and knowledge needed to build and maintain complex software applications.
Specialized developers possess a wide range of skills and abilities, including programming languages, database management, web development, mobile applications, and more. They are also knowledgeable about the latest software, platforms, and technologies, allowing them to quickly adapt and develop new solutions to meet the ever-evolving needs of their clients.
Programming language skills are an essential component for specialized developers. They must have a deep understanding of the various programming languages and frameworks that are used to build software applications. This includes mastery of object-oriented programming languages, such as Java, C#, and Python, as well as knowledge of the latest frameworks, such as React and Angular.
Specialized developers are also excellent problem-solvers, able to think quickly and respond to challenges in a timely manner. They have the ability to quickly understand complex business requirements and develop solutions accordingly.
Advantages of Hiring Specialized Developers
Having specialized developers on a team has many benefits. To name a few:
You can anticipate high-quality work from specialized developers because they are subject matter experts in their fields. In general, their output is better than that of full-stack developers.
Knowledge of the newest trends and technologies
Because they are concentrated in a particular field, specialized developers stay current with emerging trends and technologies, which raises the caliber of the final product.
Easy task Allotment
It is simple to divide up tasks and responsibilities when using specialized developers. The work can be broken up into tasks and given to developers with specialized skills.
Easier to Hire
In comparison to hiring full-stack developers, hiring dedicated developers is simpler. The market has a large variety of talent pools, which allows the business to assess them and choose the best resource for them.
Read Also: Top Emerging Web Development Trends
Disadvantages of Hiring Specialized Developers
There are some possible drawbacks to hiring specialized developers even though they can bring a high level of expertise in a particular area of software development. To name a few:
When working on a project that calls for a variety of skills, specialized developers may only be skilled in a particular area of development. As a result, there might be less flexibility and more coordination with other team members.
Because they have a deep level of expertise in a particular area of development, specialized developers may command higher salaries than generalist developers.
Dependency on other team members:
Skilled developers might need assistance from other team members to complete specific tasks. A front-end developer might be required by a back-end developer to finish the user interface and vice versa.
Difficulty in understanding the whole picture:
Understanding the bigger picture and making decisions that are best for the project can be challenging for specialized developers because they may not have the same level of understanding of the entire development process as full-stack developers.
Because they may be too specialized in the particular technologies they are proficient in, specialized developers may find it challenging to adapt to new technologies and trends.
Dependence on specialized knowledge:
If their particular area of expertise is not required, specialized developers may find it challenging to work on a project.
It is significant to note that these drawbacks can be minimized with proper management, transparent communication, and by giving the specialized developers the required training and resources. To achieve a good balance between flexibility and expertise, the team should include a mix of generalists and specialized developers.
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When Should You Hire a Full-Stack Developer?
You should hire a full-stack developer when you need a developer who can work on all aspects of a software application, from the front-end to the back-end, and has a broad understanding of the entire development process. Here are a few situations where a full-stack developer would be beneficial:
Small to medium-sized projects:
For small to medium-sized projects, where a single developer or a small team can handle every aspect of the development process, full-stack developers are an excellent choice.
Rapid prototyping or MVPs:
Full-stack developers can quickly prototype an MVP and can assist you in quickly launching your product.
A full-stack developer can handle multiple tasks, reducing the need for specialized developers for each component of the project. Start-ups frequently have a small team and few resources.
Companies with a limited budget:
For businesses with a limited budget, full-stack developers may be more cost-effective because they can handle a variety of tasks without the need for specialized developers.
Lack of specialized developers:
A full-stack developer can fill in for a company that lacks specialized developers in certain areas and needs to quickly fill a development role while it looks for a specialized developer.
Full-stack developers can be helpful for quick projects where a specialized developer may not be required or if the project is anticipated to change quickly and require the developer to work on various project components.
When Should You Hire a Specialized Developer?
You should hire a specialized developer when you need a developer who has a deep understanding of a specific area of software development and can bring a high level of expertise to a project. Additionally, here are a few situations where a specialized developer would prove beneficial:
Large and complex projects:
Large, complex projects requiring a high level of expertise in a particular area of development are best served by specialized developers.
Specialized and high-tech projects:
For projects that call for a high level of expertise in a particular field, like AI/ML, Blockchain, or computer vision, specialized developers can be helpful.
When you already have a full-stack developer on the team:
Full-stack developers’ skills can be supplemented by specialized developers, who can bring a high level of expertise to a project.
Long-term projects that call for a high degree of specialization in a particular field may benefit from the services of specialized developers.
When you have a clear understanding of the required expertise:
When a business knows exactly what level of expertise is needed and is searching for a developer with a particular set of skills to fill a position, specialized developers can be helpful.
High-performance or highly specialized apps:
Specialized developers bring high-level skills to specialized or high-performance projects such as AI/ML or blockchain.
Improving the existing system:
Moreover, specialized developers can greatly benefit a business that needs to improve its current system and requires specialized skills.
Please note that a specialized developer can be valuable in the above scenarios, though project and team needs may vary. It’s also important to maintain a balance between generalist and specialist developers to ensure a good balance between flexibility and expertise.
Full stack vs specialized developers Cost of Hiring
The cost of hiring full-stack developers versus specialized developers can vary depending on various factors such as location, experience level, and demand for specific skills.
Full-stack developers are proficient in both front-end and back-end development, allowing them to work on various aspects of a project. Due to their versatility, full-stack developers tend to command higher salaries compared to specialized developers. On average, the cost of hiring a full-stack developer can range from $70,000 to $120,000 per year, depending on factors such as experience, location, and company size.
Specialized developers focus on specific areas of expertise, such as front-end development, back-end development, mobile app development, data science, or cybersecurity. The cost of hiring specialized developers can vary depending on the demand and scarcity of their skills. Generally, specialized developers command salaries within a similar range as full-stack developers, but they may sometimes have higher earning potential if their skills are in high demand. The cost of hiring specialized developers can range from $60,000 to $120,000 per year, depending on their specialization, experience, and location.
In conclusion, it’s important to choose wisely, taking into consideration all factors including the Full stack vs specialized developers cost and requirements before choosing which developer would fulfill your demands. Having a balance of generalist and specialist developers on the team can be a good balance between flexibility and expertise.
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A full-stack developer is a software developer who is proficient in all layers of a software application’s stack, including the front-end, back-end, and database. They have a broad understanding of the entire development process and can work on all parts of an application.
A specialized developer is a software developer who focuses on a specific area of development, such as front-end, back-end, or mobile development. They have a deep understanding of the technologies and processes used in their area of specialization.
Full-stack developers handle all aspects of an app: frontend to backend, making developers’ process more efficient. They can also work on different parts of a project, depending on the needs of the team. They can also come up with creative solutions to problems that arise during the development process.
Specialized developers excel in large, complex projects. Their expertise brings a high level of knowledge to your project. They can also be beneficial for projects needing high level of expertise in area, like AI/ML, blockchain, or computer vision.
Decision to hire full-stack or specialized developers depends on project and company needs. Analyze project type and expected outcome. Make decisions for best company results. Consider skills and experience required for the role, as well as the budget and resources available.