December 12, 2017
Warning everyone - this is a bit of rant post - but I hope some of you will agree and we can turn the tables of a stubborn community a bit.
Much to my surprise, throughout my various software engineering media consumption adventures - I’ve discovered there is a general consensus that the idea of ‘full stack’ is FAKE NEWS. Lots of people on podcasts say it I say screw that. That is a lot like saying, “oh hey, did you know it’s impossible to write great apps or games if you’re a solo developer?” or, “What?!?! A nice dynamic UI, with a relational database backend and a websocket to send messages between the two!?!? You’re a madman!!!“.
Wait a second - isn’t that what this whole Web 3.0 stuff is supposed to do? Empower developers to make great apps all by themselves? I mean jeez, I know us, we’ve spent hours on hours learning python, backend databases, container deploys, dabbled in numerous backend frameworks, not even getting started with your favorite modern front end framework of choice (yeah, there’s a lot of those too!) like Vue, React, Ember or more.
Of course full stack developers know they are more a less a jack of all trades, master of none. I know there are people who could kick my ass at both Postgresql database maintenance, and there are just as many frontend people who could totally kick my ass with a badass UI in React.
For me, full stack has always been about the adventure of software itself - its the nature of the discipline in fact - there are new tools being rolled out literally every day. I mean, really, if you’ve written backend code for databases but have also built websites (I know there are many of us out there!)- how are you supposed to write that succinctly on a resume or CV? “Hi, I’m Chris, part-time-database-program-writer-and-part-time-front-end-engineer”? I do concede that the moniker ‘full stack’ is not really a good enough description by itself. In my case, I could say ‘full stack web developer’. With more practice, maybe someday a full stack android developer - but I need to run through a lot more projects before that happens :)
Just because we’re not the greatest, most amazing expert in a certain language, just because we don’t know certain frameworks, just because we haven’t focused in one software engineering discipline our entire careers…
Shouldn’t we still be able to call ourselves full stack developers?