The key differences between a software developer and full stack developer
Software development and full-stack development are commonly used terms in the technology industry but tend to be used interchangeably, leading to confusion about their true meaning. While both involve the creation of software, there are key differences between the two roles that set them apart. In this article, we will discuss the key differences between a software developer and a full-stack developer, to help you understand the specific skills and responsibilities of each.
Software developer and full stack developer - what's the difference?
A software developer is a professional who focuses on creating software applications or native apps. They are responsible for writing code, testing, debugging and maintaining these applications. Software developers work in a variety of industries and can specialise in various areas such as mobile app development, desktop applications, game development, websites and more. They typically have a strong foundation in programming languages and can write code in one or several programming languages.
On the other hand, a full-stack developer is a professional who can work on all aspects of the software development project, from the front-end user interface to the back-end databases and servers. Full-stack developers have a comprehensive understanding of the technology stack and can work with a range of programming languages, databases, and tools. They are responsible for creating a complete, functioning software application and ensuring that it meets all the requirements of the client or end-user.
The key differentiators
One of the key differences between a software developer and a full-stack developer is their level of expertise in specific areas. Software developers usually specialise in one or several areas of software development, such as front-end, back-end, or mobile development. They have a deep understanding of their area of specialisation and can write highly optimised and efficient code.
Whereas, full-stack developers, have a more comprehensive understanding of the overall software development process and can work on all aspects of the software development process. They have a broader skill set and can switch between front-end and back-end development, as required.
Another difference is the scope of their responsibilities. Software developers are typically responsible for writing code and ensuring that the software works as expected. Full-stack developers, however, have a broader scope of responsibilities which include writing code, designing and testing the software and managing databases, servers and other technical infrastructure. From there, they would have an end-to-end view of the entire application or website project from design, development to launch. They also need to be able to communicate effectively with both technical and non-technical stakeholders and understand their requirements to deliver a functional and user-friendly software application.
Experience and Training
The level of experience and education required for the two roles is also different. While software developers usually have a bachelor's or master's degree in computer science or a related field, full-stack developers have a combination of this with a more diverse background. They would have a broader range of skills and knowledge and have gained experience working with different technologies and platforms. Most full-stack developers start as software developers and as they learn, experience and expand their knowledge, grow their capabilities as full-stack developers.
Which do you need for your project?
In conclusion, software developers and full-stack developers play integral roles in the software development process. Software developers specialise in specific areas of software development and have a deep understanding of programming languages and software architecture but will focus on coding within a digital project.
Full-stack developers, however, have a comprehensive understanding of the software development process and can work on all aspects of the software development process. They have a broader skill set and can switch between front-end and back-end development, as required which means that they are more likely to be a team leader or project lead.
If you need help finding the right developers or technology partner for your software project, you can contact the Zoosh Digital team today and we can provide you with the right resources for your digital project.