Do you know what full-stack is, and which jobs full-stack developers can take? They have a ton of options, and we’re here to guide you through all the possibilities.
When you’re about to learn a new craft or start a new career, you want to make sure that the path you choose will be a future-proof one, right?
Becoming a full-stack developer is a choice you won’t regret. It’s like turning yourself into the coding world’s Swiss army knife. Not to mention a lot of future opportunities and in-demand specialisations ahead.
So it’s no surprise that full-stack development courses are so popular. Still, if it’s unclear what the future could hold for you as a junior, don’t worry. We’re here to get you up to speed quickly.
Let’s see what a junior full-stack developer’s career options look like in the year 2022.
Table of contents
What does full-stack mean?
If you’re new to the term ‘full-stack’ just know you’re not alone. This term isn’t thrown around too often in everyday discussions.
In short, ‘full-stack development’ refers to the combination of the two main software development stacks: the front end and the back end.
- The front end is for example what a site viewer can see and interact within an application. It’s the visual aspect that captivates end-users.
- The back-end on the contrary refers to the servers, the databases, and the internal architectures. It’s the hidden, unseen side of an application that end-users never interact with.
But being a Full-Stack Developer is more than just working in these two environments though.
So who are full-stack developers?
Full-Stack Developers have a complex overview of the whole development process. They see connections where more specialized tech pros may not. Their ability to work with both the front end and the back end allows them to take ‘Full-Stack Developer’ job positions, which is a category on its own in the world of tech. Plus, their versatile, multi-purpose nature allows them to choose from a number of specializations and different career paths.
So you might be asking:
What are the career options of a junior full-stack developer?
5. Test Automation Engineer
8. Cybersecurity Specialist
Let’s start our list with the obvious. After finishing a full-stack development course, you could be a (you guessed it right) …
1. Full-Stack Developer
What does a Full-Stack Developer do?
Well, when you’re working as a Full-Stack Developer, then you’re someone who:
- works with both the front-end and the back-end of an application,
- is a master of multiple programming languages,
- transitions from one development environment to the next, seamlessly,
- manages databases and servers,
- communicates with specialised developers, the graphic design team and clients, to deliver the best product possible, and to reduce the time used for team communication, and
- keeps up with emerging technology that can help the business’ needs.
Traits that make a great Full-Stack Developer
A great Full-Stack Developer is someone who is:
- An original, out-of-the-box thinker
Are Full-Stack Developers in demand?
Based on the trends we see in the tech industry, Full-Stack Developers in particular will continue to be highly attractive to employers.
They are professionals that can by themselves get more of the job done, which is super valuable to companies today. Full-stack developers speed up and streamline the development process, which works well with smaller budgets and speeding digitalisation.
Plus, an article up on TechCrunch notes that Full-Stack Developers have been integral to businesses during the Covid-19 crisis. Their roles are essential in creating the future, which will definitely be digital. So it’s always a good idea to hop on the full-stack train.
2. Front-End Developer
By now we’ve settled that the front end is the client-side, the visual aspect of a webpage or application. As a full-stack developer, you can choose to specialise in front-end development and create amazing visual solutions that people can marvel at.
What do Front-End Developers really do?
If you embark on this path, you’ll bring design and functionality together in your daily job. You’ll be responsible for the structure, the look, the content and the behaviour of what users see when they open up a page or an app. (It’s important to note though that even if Front-End Developers deal with the visual side, it is not the same as doing web design.)
Your goal will be to take the design and build it into something functional, make the products responsive and to have their performance excel across different devices.
You’ll do this by:
- optimising graphics and page speed,
- maintaining brand consistency,
- developing new features, and
- performing functional testing.
Traits that make a great Front-End Developer
A great Front-End Developer is someone who is:
- Artistic, creative
- An out-of-the-box thinker
Do you go to sites or visit apps and notice problems with responsivity or design often? Then front-end development could be something you’d love.
Front-End Developers should have a vast understanding of user design thinking and keep accessibility in mind, always. They’re the ones asking questions like “Where would a certain feature work best on the site?” or “Where would the users go on the site to get something done?”
You’ll be on top of the front-end food chain if you have a keen eye for detail and design, and possess great interpersonal skills. Front-End Developers need to be able to present and discuss projects and liaise with clients as well as other specialists and teams. Depending on the company and the specific job, they could even be required to know some design, wireframing, A/B testing or even some UX (User Experience).
Which programming languages do Front-End Developers use?
On a daily basis, Front-End Developers work with:
- HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – to define the “where” and the “what”, aka. the structure of web pages
- CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)- to apply styles to web pages and make them shine with beautiful designs
- Trending front-end frameworks
Plus, they also use techniques for:
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), and
- Web Performance Optimisation.
These are the ground zeros of front-end development. Plus, Front-End Developers in 2022 should be prepared to have a more in-depth understanding of the front-end ecosystem.
Are Front-End Developers in demand?
Our lives are getting increasingly digital, and the pandemic has catalyzed this tendency even further. So front-end developers will be in high demand coming into 2022.
Plus, exciting opportunities lie ahead for future front-end pros. Since more companies could demand that they gather technical know-how of 3D and 2D animations with WebGL, virtual reality (VR) and even augmented reality (AR).
3. Back-End Developer
So while the front-end dedicates all the attention to the client-side, the back-end handles the server-side, which is like the brain of a site or an application.
If you join the back-end developer tribe one day, you’ll be designing, fixing and shaping behind-the-scenes aspects of digital products that users never see, only enjoy. A seamlessly built-up back end is the heart of complex digital products.
If the back end ain’t right, then the product isn’t right either. So back-end developers play key roles in the development process.
What do Back-End Developers really do?
It’ll be your job to make the click of a button on a webpage work perfectly on the server-side. You’ll:
- Write high-quality code
- Test and debug to make sure everything runs smoothly
- Maintain databases
- Manage application program interfaces (APIs)
Traits that make a great Back-End Developer
- Organised, likes to work in a structured environment
Do you love to pick apart processes only to improve them? If you can communicate well about the issues you usually uncover and have an innate drive to solve challenges, then back-end development will be a job that you’ll love.
It’s an exciting, dynamic career path, which can get quite analytical and complex. And a Back-End Developer plays a critical role in any development team. It’ll be a challenging, exciting road, where you’ll be able to utilise your logical thinking and creative problem-solving skills.
Which programming languages and frameworks do Back-End Developers use?
To make the server, app, and database communicate with each other, Back-End Developers use multiple coding languages and tools. We’ll list some of the most popular ones here, but note that there are a ton of languages, tools and frameworks you could learn to use. However, there are some that are more in-demand than others.
Back-end developers will build apps using languages like:
- .Net, or
For different server-side programming languages, back-end developers also work with different frameworks (libraries of the languages that help to build the server configuration) like:
- Django and Flask for Python,
- Express.js in Node.js,
- Spring for Java,
- Ruby on Rails for Ruby, or
- .Net for C#.
Are Back-End Developers in demand?
Oh, you’ll definitely have a fun time on the job market as a Back-End Developer, even in a junior position.
Statistics from the US Bureau of Labor and Statistics show that the need for Back-End Developers will grow an expected 13% by 2028, thanks to a rise in the popularity of mobile devices and the e-commerce industry.
4. Web Developer
As a Web Developer, you could be building websites from the ground up and maintaining them. You’ll collaborate with designers, clients and stakeholders to understand the requirements, and bring a vision – a beautiful, well-performing and functioning website – to life.
What a Web Developer actually does
You’ll ask questions like “How busy will the website be?”, “What are visitors going to use it for?” or “What kind of technology does it need to be compatible with?”
You’ll collaborate with designers, clients and stakeholders to understand the requirements. Then, on top of the front-end aspects of a site, you’ll also care about factors like data storage, server connections, and other back-end aspects.
Traits that make a great Web Developer
Similarly to Front-End Developers, a Web Developer should be:
- An out-of-the-box thinker
Which programming languages and technologies do Web Developers use?
Though web developers work specifically with internet-based technologies, they use similar languages and tools as other developers do.
Web Developers work with programming languages like:
They will use other languages too, to set up the technical aspects of websites, like user authentication, databases or email services. To tackle all this, they’ll use several essential tools like:
- code and text editors (Atom, Sublime Text, Notepad++ or Vim),
- prototyping tools (Figma, Sketch or Adobe XD), and
- version control systems like Git to build the code that presents the data.
Are Web Developers in demand?
It’s a lucrative decision to learn web development and start out in this field. On top of being rated one of the top 25 tech jobs in 2021, the number of web development roles in the US are expected to rise by 8% between 2019 and 2029. All this is due to the fact that mobile devices and e-commerce platforms are booming in popularity. So there’s a huge demand for developers who can create products for these platforms.
5. Test Automation Engineer
As a full-stack developer, you can go the quality assurance (QA) way too. You could build your career as a Test Automation Engineer and focus on creating technologies that make testing and debugging a more seamless, quick, and easy task.
What a Test Automation Engineer actually does
Your work could prevent bugs and embarrassing mistakes that end-users often face. These hiccups can be detrimental to any brand’s image but could be even more fatal for the banking or healthcare industry’s digital solutions.
This role is essential in software development, as products cannot go out live without testing first. Test Automation Engineers are also in high demand because they:
- can replace manual testing processes,
- benefit large projects by speeding up the testing process and automating repetitive tasks, and
- create tests scripts that can be reused during multiple iterations and later projects, too.
Traits that make a great Test Automation Engineer
- Assertive, empathetic
- Ability to see different perspectives
Do you consider yourself a critical thinker? Any job in the quality assurance department will demand great critical thinking and analytical skills. But a job as a Test Automation Engineer will require you to have some flexibility too, to decide between and use different testing methods and technologies depending on the project.
Furthermore, good communication and interpersonal skills are especially important in this role, as you’ll be responsible for pointing out mistakes in processes to multiple people from developers to stakeholders.
Which programming languages and technologies do Test Automation Engineers use?
There is a lot of variance between how companies do testing. In general, a Test Automation Engineer should have solid coding skills to design and implement different automated solutions. Here are a couple of languages you could be using in this role:
On top of programming languages, Test Automation Engineers should have expertise with automation tools like Selenium, to ensure flawless execution of browser-based web application automation testing.
Are Test Automation Engineers in demand?
It’s a field that’s definitely on the rise and very sought-after. The world is becoming more digital with each passing day, and large companies are accelerating their digitalisation too.
This means more software, more applications and more digital products. The testing solutions need to keep up with this acceleration, hence, test automation is expected to stay an in-demand, future-proof career option for many years to come.
6. DevOps Specialist
Mixing the words ‘development’ and ‘operations’, DevOps is much more than the description of a single specialist or tool. In short, DevOps is more like a philosophy or a methodology without a strict framework.
It’s a way of working that brings various teams (developers, Quality Assurance, Performance and others) together to deliver better products faster. A DevOps specialist helps their teams and organisation get there by facilitating a continuous feedback loop. (If you want to dive deeper into DevOps, be sure to check out our previous blog post on the topic.
What a DevOps Specialist actually does
In this new approach, a DevOps Specialist will be the mix of a facilitator and mediator. They play a key role in paving the way for organisations to adopt this new way of working, and won’t ever say the words “It’s not my responsibility.”
Furthermore, they are the ones operating and monitoring the digital products delivered by the development team. So in their roles they perform constant maintenance and monitoring activities, too.
Traits that make a great DevOps Specialist
- Assertivity, empathy
- Great communication and collaboration skills
What hard skills and tools do DevOps Specialists use?
To be successful in implementing DevOps, specialists need to be clear on the various stages and the tools that can facilitate those stages. To be on top of their game, DevOps specialists should have practice with a scripting language and possess a thorough understanding of:
- automation tools,
- CI (continuous integration) and CD (continuous delivery) tools,
- configuration management
- source code management,
- version control systems, and
- project management tools.
Bringing together all these aspects, DevOps Specialists sit with different teams daily to find pain points, and to bring about solutions that can help the entire organisation work better. So it’s no surprise that great soft skills are essential to do this job right.
Are DevOps Specialists in demand?
Most companies have started adopting DevOps practices making DevOps Specialists one of the most sought after roles in the IT sector today.
7. Java Developer
Java is one of the most widely used programming languages in the business world right now if you approach it the right way. It’s an amazing career opportunity and a super sought-after knowledge.
What a Java Developer actually does
Java developers hold in their hands the opportunity to develop an increasingly wide variety of software and digital products, like:
- Android apps,
- enterprise apps,
- desktop apps,
- web apps,
- robotics solutions,
- smart cards, and
- computer games.
Which programming languages and tools do Java Developers need to know?
Java developers have to have experience with:
- Java (surprise, surprise!)
- Databases and web storage
- Web Architecture
- Git & GitHub versioning systems
Are Java Developers in-demand?
Many industries and tech giants like IBM and Google use Java as their primary programming language. Thus, Java Developers – thanks to their popularity, versatility and adaptability – are in super high demand. Thanks to the large commercial outputs of these companies, Java has been catapulted into the heart of commercial development. So Java Developers are expected to stay in high demand for many years to come.
8. Cybersecurity Specialist
Cybersecurity Specialists are like sophisticated watchdogs in the digital age. They shield development processes and complex IT systems against attacks and vulnerabilities. It’s a complex, challenging position as it requires the ability to think ahead of time. When the worst-case scenario hits, the Cybersecurity Specialist should be ahead of the curve with solutions and options to counter the attacks.
What a Cybersecurity Specialist actually does
In this role, you could create and implement audits to notice the pain points of security systems. The role is essential for noticing vulnerabilities across computer hardware and software systems and to make sure they’re up-to-date and strengthened.
What’s more, security specialists can be responsible for keeping their co-workers up-to-date on security best practices, and for continuous monitoring to look for anomalies in the systems.
Traits that make a great Cybersecurity Specialist
A Cybersecurity Specialist is usually someone who is:
– an organised, detail-oriented thinker
– well-structured in their work
In this position, your ability to see systems through and notice risks will be essential. You’ll be able to do this job right with structured, analytical thinking skills and a keen eye for details. Plus, you’ll need to have an overview and a comprehensive understanding of the IT technology systems of large organisations. This is a complex task, where programming basics will aid you to do your job right.
Which technologies and soft skills do Cybersecurity Specialists use?
According to the Cybersecurity Guide, Cybersecurity Specialists are hired as much for their great soft skills as for their technical skills, because they need to be comfortable in a world that’s constantly moving. They need to be adaptable and should be able to wear many hats depending on the size and shape of the organisation they work in.
On top of these necessary soft skills, Cybersecurity Specialists should possess some basic programming skills, and are usually pros at:
- network and data security,
- setting up and maintaining firewalls,
- encryption technologies,
- security operations centers (SOCs),
- authentication, and
- various operating systems.
Are Cybersecurity Specialists in demand?
With digital technologies rapidly evolving, cyber-attacks are becoming more sophisticated too. And cyber security is becoming an increasingly important part of IT. Just think about how vital data security is for banks or medical institutions. This tendency is not about to change soon.
Ready for your new career?
If you’re excited about any of the above-mentioned career options, consider applying to Codecool’s flagship Full-Stack Development course. It could open up all the above-mentioned opportunities for you and more.
Our Full-Stack Development Course comes with a job guarantee and a post-payment option. So you can choose to pay for the course only after you finish, and are already earning a nice salary in tech.
With this all-encompassing learning experience, you’ll learn several modern programming languages, the most important technologies, and even valuable soft skills from our pro mentors.
You’ll work on your kick-ass project portfolio throughout the course, and gather real experience with lifelike assignments in an agile work environment.
Ready for the ride and the application? Hit apply.
Got questions? Read our other article focused more on full-stack development courses, which will help you pick the one that’s right for you.
Or simply reach out! We can’t wait to talk to you soon.