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Why Be A Full Stack Developer? (Reading Time: 3 Mins)

  • Career
  • Personal Development

📅 February 17, 2019

⏱️3 min read


There seem to be lots of hate for full stack developers nowadays. Which usually very catchy and negative titles like "Full Stack Developer is a Scam", "Death of Full Stack Developer".

So I'm writing it here to address this negativity. Hopefully, it might serve to encourage more developers to think of the role as not just a generalist role.

Why the Hate for Full Stack Developers?

If I were to summarise it, it comes to down to two things.

The first one is due to salary reasons as a generalist, you are paid a minuscule amount of pay for multiple different types of work.

Whereas being a specialist namely frontend or backend can be paid a lot more for a single specialisation.

Whereas being a full stack developer, it is much harder to master every single piece of required knowledge as a Frontend or a Backend developer.

Skill Stacking

I really like the term skill stacking which I had heard about it from the Jordan Harbinger show.

As it encompasses what it is actually like to be a full stack developer. Namely developing skills to blend it uniquely to allow yourself to stay out from the crowd.

Like for example, you can be the top 10 or 20% best front-end developer who specialises in React that has a stiff competition due to its popularity.

Whereas it is much easier for you to blend another which is a top 80% skill like for example conducting design sprints or building design systems.

Instantly due to your understanding of it, allows you to stand out from the crowded field of front-end developers.

To provide React prototypes in the use of design sprints or a consultant who creates design systems in various companies to scale their design teams.

Which by my count allows you to paid very differently due to your successful blending of these two skills.

If you are not convinced just look at the job of a *Data Scientist in the Data Science.

Which is considered the sexist's job in the 21st century that is a direct result of the blending these specialisations that people would pay a premium for it.

Jacks of All Trades and Master of One

To me, being a full stack developer usually comes with a single core specialised skill.

Which through the use of skill stacking allows them to provide a unique perspective to develop and ship software.

I can build the front-end myself for a web app or delegate it to my front-end developer.

Who could build it at a much faster pace and better job than me in React or Angular.

Which free myself up that allows me to become better in my craft which is to create REST APIs.

Using tools like Postman and OpenAPI to prototype and create the APIs in Flask or Django REST framework.


I hope that there would be more future articles that talks about full stack developer who focus on skill stacking.

Clearly, I am not the only unicorn as a full stack developer. Since through my work and helping out for developer meetups in Singapore.

I had come across multiple skills stackers as well. From a senior developer who focuses on providing a video recording of various meetups called Engineers.SG to help in upgrading the developer's skillsets.

Another one is my colleagues at work creates excellent documentation due to her previous knowledge from the legal profession and could tackle the openssl library with ease.


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