How to find the best full-stack developers in 2022

Getting a well-rounded full-stack developer to work under your banner can be costly, time-consuming, and downright hard. This guide is intended to help you get the best full-stack developers at a reasonable market price. Let’s get started.

Adrijan Arsovski

Adrijan Arsovski

How to find the best full-stack developers in 2022

Building optimized applications has become increasingly more expensive over the last few years. By default, the demand for quality developers is also on the rise. Companies are struggling to attract the best talent without emptying their “vaults” and resorting to other tactics to stay afloat (“poaching” employees or “quiet hiring” comes to mind).

But, the corporate world rewards the best players in the field and punishes those who find themselves lagging behind on the tail-end of the race.

In this universe, there is no place for tortoises.

The hare always wins.

In that same line of thought, developers are now broadening their skillset to include more than a single programming paradigm. They are working hard to meet the demands of the market, and the market responds in kind.

Or, in other words, full-stack developers are some of the most sought-after professionals today. This trend continues to reverberate not only through software development, but in fields such as finance, healthcare, legal, energy production, and a number of other notable industries as well.

Naturally, the main question reveals itself: where and how to find quality full-stack developers and how to go about hiring them in the most efficient way possible?

I’m here to try and give an answer to that exact question.

What is full-stack development?

Full-stack development is a wider discipline that encompasses both frontend (client-side) and backend (server-side) application development. Full-stack software engineers are responsible for designing full web applications, websites, and other proprietary software from scratch. They plan, code, debug, and manage the entirety of the software development process, and often act as team leaders that oversee all aspects of the development project.

There are multiple technologies, languages and frameworks related to full-stack web development. They are divided into front-end and back-end tech.

Frontend technologies

Frontend, or client-side, refers to the application part that is fully visible to the user. The user directly operates with the elements on the frontend, an interaction which results in excellent, good or poor user experience—depending on the frontend’s quality, speed and efficiency.

Excellent full-stack developers will strive to optimize all three.

There are many languages used to create the frontend portion of the application, all viable in their own right. Some of them include:

HTML + CSS: These two are the “grandparents” of all websites. HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language, while CSS is an abbreviation of Cascading Style Sheets. Together, they are the perfect combination for building websites and creating a seamless user experience across multiple popular devices, platforms, and browsers. In short, HTML tells the browser what to show, while CSS tells it how to show it.

JavaScript: A very popular scripting language that has taken over the developer world by storm. JavaScript is used to create, place and monitor multiple interactive elements on a website, but its applications go far beyond simply placing buttons on a site. The central JavaScript paradigm, combined with its many frameworks and libraries (Node.JS, Vue.JS, Next.JS), can be leveraged to create state-of-the-art applications, websites, and other highly optimized software. Given its vast applicability, JavaScript is considered to be a part both of the frontend and backend sides of the app development process.

TypeScript: By many, TypeScript is thought of as the successor of JavaScript. In fact, TypeScript can easily become JavaScript if you simply remove the types! Since TypeScript is built on top of JavaScript (meaning they have the same architecture, syntax, and operational logic), developers proficient in JS can easily “tackle” TypeScript for their future projects.

Notable frontend frameworks

As I mentioned before, frontend development languages use the power of frameworks and libraries to improve application functionality, as well as make developers more productive both in the short and long term.

Some of the more notable frameworks used in frontend development include:

Angular: Angular has recently been rewritten in TypeScript, as you can tell by the omission of the JS extension at the end of the framework (it used to be known as Angular.JS). Lately, Angular has become more of a platform that supports building large-scale applications, offering improved client-side communication, and taking care of updates regularly with minimum effort. Millions of developers use Angular to build robust, dynamic, and performant applications.

React.JS: React is an efficient JS framework used to build intuitive user interfaces. React.JS is managed by Facebook through Meta and is one of the most popular frontend frameworks. React is open-source and is mainly known for handling the so-called view layer of the application without compromising its quality, efficiency, and speed.

jQuery: One of the main functions of jQuery is to simplify the data exchange process between HTML documents, or more specifically, the interactions between JavaScript and the DOM (Document Object Model). Even more precisely, jQuery improves DOM animations, simplifies HTML document manipulation, and supports cross-browser JS development.

Backbone.JS: Backbone is a lightweight, MVC-based JS library that uses the RESTful JSON interface. The combination of REST and JSON is an architectural style that provides simple and efficient communication between the client and the server, utilizing HTTP methods such as GET, DELETE, POST, and more. Backbone is famous for its small size, taking up 72KB for development and only 8KB for production.

SASS: Wittily known as syntactically awesome style sheets, SASS is a powerful CSS extension that uses two syntaxes: the indented syntax and the newer syntax (SCSS). SASS extends the functionality of the CSS code on a website, such as adding new ways to work with variables, element inheritance, nesting, and more.

Backend technologies

Backend, or server-side, is the part of the application, website or web-based software that users usually don’t interact with. The backend handles multiple elements that make the application work, such as proper API integration, database management, query management, and more.

Technically speaking, the database is not part of the backend, but it’s very important for providing a seamless experience to the users of the application.

Some of the more prominent programming languages, frameworks and libraries used in backend development include:

PHP: A scripting language for the ages, PHP is considered one of the most popular web development backend technologies today. PHP is executed on the server-side, which is why it’s also known as a server-side scripting language. With it, developers can build dynamic content in accordance with the latest web development standards. Other notable PHP functions include the ability to read, write, and delete files on the server, encrypt data, control user permissions, and more.

C++: An objective-oriented, flexible programming language with a wide range of applicability, C++ can be used to optimize the performance of the website’s backend without sacrificing the user experience on the frontend.

Python: Lately, Python has seen a surge in popularity as an all-purpose programming language and a technology that new websites are more than happy to include. The reasons for its popularity can be found in Python’s relatively simple syntax, as well as its ability to seamlessly integrate systems across multiple systems, devices and browsers.

Java: It’s an objective-oriented, highly scalable language created with as few class dependencies in mind as possible. This means that, ideally, full-stack developers should be able to write Java code with as few class instances as possible to make the app as robust as it can be. The seasoned full-stack engineer should have ample experience writing Java code.

Node.JS: Some would argue that Node is a framework, and that’s really not that far off from the truth. However, more precise would be to define Node.JS as a runtime environment and not a language or a framework. Eventually, everyone refers to the same thing when they bring up Node—a JavaScript extension meant for creating, testing and running a variety of backend services.

Notable backend frameworks

Backend application development wouldn’t be complete without the inclusion of several notable frameworks. Some of these are:

Django: Django is an open-source Python framework for reliable web development and state-of-the-art web design. It’s a relatively fast framework, so developers could, in theory, take their projects from ideas to final design in a heartbeat. Django uses the MTV architectural pattern (model-template-view) and is currently maintained by the Django Software Foundation (DSF).

Laravel: Laravel is a PHP framework that uses the MVC architectural pattern. It has an approachable learning curve and an easy-to-understand syntax for new and seasoned developers alike. Laravel can be used as a reliable backend API for mobile, Next.js, or other frontend applications.

RoR: Ruby on Rails (commonly known as RoR) is a robust backend (server-side) framework based on the programming language Ruby. For data transfer, RoR relies on XML and JSON, while for providing a stable user interface—it does that with the help of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Additionally, Ruby is heavily reliant on the DRY paradigm (don’t repeat yourself) and is one of the most popular frameworks for the web.

Spring: Nowadays, Java can be found everywhere. It’s suitable for all kinds of application development, be it web, desktop, or mobile (Java ME). It has a relatively simple syntax, and a powerful operational logic to execute even the most complex operations without “exhausting” the memory outright. Spring is one of Java’s more prominent backend frameworks, and for a good reason too. In a nutshell, Spring helps developers build reliable, performant, and fast applications by utilizing the so-called POJOs, which is another name for Java objects.

Express.JS: Express is a lightweight Node.JS web framework for building mobile and web applications. With Express.JS, developers can set up the so-called middleware to facilitate the communication between HTTP requests and the Express application. Other notable Express features include dynamically rendering pages, defining routing tables, and performing different HTTP method-based actions.

Short history of full-stack development

Back in the “old days,” before the advent of the Internet and mobile devices, you could argue that computer programming was quite different compared to today. Sure, there were fewer technologies to pay attention to, but on the flip side, memory was limited, and computational power was almost always lacking in speed.

To that end, a single computer engineer could (in theory) build an application more easily from scratch; apart from learning how to code (which, ironically, was exponentially more complex than today), there weren’t that many layers of complexity between the programmer and the hardware.

Fast forward a couple of decades in the future, and things have changed for the… weirder. Programming syntax has become more intuitive, memory and computing power have both improved exponentially, but system complexity has also expanded and deepened.

Around the mid-2000s, creating something as simple as a single-page website had become very expensive and almost unaffordable for the average user. At the same time, however, the tech behind what was to become Web 2.0 became more intuitive and open both for seasoned and promising developers alike.

By the end of the 2000s, the term full-stack developer expressly rose onto the scene. This was owed to the fact that, then, it became possible for a single computer engineer to build an entire SaaS website from scratch all by themselves.

In the early 2010s, history started repeating itself as application programming complexity shot up to the sky. Long gone were the days of intuitive HTML, CSS and JavaScript coding—and no one was surprised. The way technology had progressed up until then, it was only a matter of time when the “technological clutter” of the up-and-coming frameworks would pose additional challenges for software development in general.

People who were active then could see how software engineering was becoming a smorgasbord of multi-layered stacks, advanced user interfaces, and novel user interactions in real time.

This further divided the notion of full-stack developers into backend and frontend developers, each stack specializing in a separate set of skills, yet still “clinging” to the overall full-stack paradigm with hefty effort.

What followed was a long-past due redefining of the duties and responsibilities of full-stack developers. As predicted, they became professionals who were extremely proficient both in frontend and backend development, but were never identified as solely one or the other.

Today, the definition behind the term “full-stack developer” is constantly being challenged. However, one thing that everyone agrees on is that full-stack engineers are one of the most sought-out professionals out there. As demand rises, people tend to be more inclined to broaden the definition as long as it helps their business remain competitive in the marketplace.

The current, ideal full-stack candidate will have a wide range of interests pertaining to both frontend and backend technologies, with a high emphasis on their problem-solving abilities.

What’s more, they will be able to create a minimally functional product all on their own, with little or no internal or external help. That isn’t to say they will be working alone all the time, but they will be familiar with the application development process from the initial idea to a fully working prototype (or, so the marketplace dictates).

The web development projects of today require a great deal of knowledge and dedication, not to mention being open to learning new technologies on demand. This is exactly what full-stack development is all about: leveraging the tech you are most proficient in and trying to mitigate the probability of error from technologies you’re only beginning to learn.

Needless to say, hiring a single, quality full-stack developer (as opposed to hiring multiple people proficient in selected stacks only) will save you tons of time and resources down the road.

Moreover, having a single person overlooking the entire project will also mitigate the probability of miscommunication in the most crucial moments of the application development cycle.

Putting all of that into perspective, let’s consider some numbers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the position of a “web developer” (one of the crucial full-stack must-have proficiencies) is projected to grow an astounding 13% between 2018 and 2028. This is considered faster than the average growth professional occupation-wise, and we’re already seeing this trend starting to materialize at the time of writing this article.

According to a 2020 LinkedIn report, “full-stack engineer” takes the 4th place for the most popular emerging professions in 2020. Additionally, full-stack developer job openings have grown by 35% every year starting in 2015.

Some industries that benefit the most from hiring full-stack professionals include IT, finance, college education, computer software, and other adjacent niches.

Where to find full-stack developers

Depending on your company’s needs, wants, as well as future projections for growth, consider some of these places to search for a competent, reliable, and trustworthy full-stack developer:

Freelance platforms

Examples of some of the most prominent freelance platforms to find full-stack developers include Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, Gun.io, YouTeam, WeWorkRemotely, and more.

One of the things to look out for when sifting through the candidates on these platforms is the fact that there are a lot of low-quality members. The trick is to either know where and what to look for in a candidate, use advanced filters, have the most detailed job description possible, or have someone recommend a tried-and-tested developer they’ve worked with in the past.

Programming websites

The most reputable Q&A programming website is StackOverflow. It’s where experienced developers go to ask questions, post their solution to a problem, or hang out with like-minded people to get inspired or have a casual chat.

There isn’t much high-level science behind finding prospective full-stack developers on StackOverflow. All you have to do is identify your ideal candidate, search for upvoted comments in a related inquiry, and make your offer.

Even if your top pick isn’t available, they might offer a suitable replacement and solve your hiring needs right there on the spot.

Code repositories

A code repository is a place where developers of all expertise levels are able to post their projects’ code for everyone to see, share, and even use (privately and commercially) with the proper license.

The most prominent example of a code repository is GitHub. Experienced and promising developers upload their code onto the website, and other users vote for the most intriguing projects.

Quick tip: try the trending page to find exciting new projects and reach out to the developers with the most promising results.

Social Media

Depending on your creativity, you can use social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter (not for the faint of heart), or even selected Facebook groups to find your next full-stack superstar.

Your results may vary with the latter two, but why not give it a try? Trying unconventional measures can serve as a much-needed inspiration if you’re stuck.

LinkedIn, however, is on an entire different level. One of the things you can do is use the filters to search for a suitable full-stack developer for your project. For example, using keywords such as “backend”, “frontend”, “database management”, and any combination of these (and other) terms will return a list of potential candidates to consider at your convenience.

On LinkedIn, developers can list the set of skills they’re most proficient in, and other developers have the option to endorse those skills to add to the legitimacy of their expertise. If proven developers think highly of other developers, that’s a clear-cut sign that, in most cases, those candidates are legitimate.

Word-of-mouth and in-person interviews

In-person interviews and personal recommendations is something that solely depends on the recruiter’s network (or the person who is doing the hiring).

Thankfully, there are ways to build your network. For example, attending networking conferences, developer events, or even taking part in college career events can go a long way toward finding the right person for the job.

You can also host your own events, either in-person or online. One idea would be to create a coding competition where developers with different levels of experience and expertise can attend to try and solve your challenge.

Then, having tangible results at your disposal, you can easily screen the best performers from the participants!

The Proxify network of developers

This is us! We have a network of elite, pre-screened developers who are always ready to respond to any challenge regardless of difficulty, complexity, or intricacy.

Additionally, our devs undergo a meticulous multi-step screening process, where only 2% of all applicants are accepted on the site. This ensures that each applicant is a top performer in their discipline and takes their responsibilities very seriously.

Finally, we offer a one-week testing period where you can get to know your developer better. If you’re not 100% satisfied with your developer, we will immediately find a replacement free of charge.

How to interview full-stack developers

Interviewing a full-stack developer can be divided into two main stages:

  • Assessing their technical skills
  • Assessing their soft skills

More on that later.

To find a good web developer in 2022 (especially of the full-stack variety), you have to pay attention to their broader skills (communication, sociability, teamwork), on top of specific requirements such as education (if applicable), experience, and completed projects.

Generally speaking, a quality full-stack engineer will know all the ins and outs of the entire full-stack development process. This includes software engineering topics like data structures, algorithms, programming language theory, as well as network topics like TCP/IP and OSI/RM protocol models.

If they are early in their career, the ideal candidate will know at least one programming language and be actively involved in learning more. If they have more experience, mastering three languages (including frameworks) is an absolute must.

Additionally, they will be willing to demonstrate their proficiency by showing real-world examples and completed projects, or undergoing a test during the interview in real time.

Concerning full-stack developers, one thing that recruiters, CEOs, and hiring agents often overlook is the candidate’s ability to test and debug code. The best way to figure this out is to have them demonstrate it using a “mockup” code.

Finally, most of the success (or failure) of a project is based on the ability to properly communicate. It’s one thing to have vast amounts of theoretical programming knowledge readily available at your fingertips, but a different thing altogether to be able to describe it with clarity.

Make sure that your full-stack candidate is a good communicator and can express their ideas in granular detail whenever it’s required of them to do so.

The most important technical skills full-stack developers should have

In short, a good full-stack candidate will have some combination of the following skills:

  • HTML, CSS
  • JavaScript, Typescript
  • React.JS, Angular, Vue.JS, Next.JS, jQuery
  • Node.JS, Express.JS
  • Java, Spring
  • Python, Django, Flask
  • C++, C#
  • PHP, Laravel
  • Perl
  • Ruby, RoR

A high-performing full-stack developer should have an in-depth understanding of how HTML and CSS work, both separately and in combination to render a page. They should be able to understand HTML code at a cursory level and tell when there is inconsistency, non-optimized code chunks, or other hiccups that could potentially slow down the website or pose other security risks.

Regarding dynamic content, they should be proficient in JavaScript (and preferably TypeScript) because much of the modern era web programming happens thanks to these two scripting languages.

JavaScript is an environment known to be particularly “rich” in frameworks and libraries, some of which include Vue.JS, Next.JS, Node.JS, and more. The candidate simply must know some of these JS-based frameworks, or be willing to learn them in a short period of time.

Additionally, they should be familiar with Java and some of its most notable frameworks (Spring and Spring Boot). Java can be encountered in areas such as finance, healthcare, Android web development, and other industries.

Modern full-stack development cannot go without mentioning Python. Python is one of the most popular backend languages today; some like it because of its intuitive syntax, others swear by Python’s ability to produce clean code. Whatever the reason, a contemporary full-stack engineer must be familiar with Python, some of its many frameworks (Django, Flask), and should be able to know how to test, debug, and deploy Python code.

The OG’s of programming also deserve an honorary mention. To be frank, most full-stack engineers will have gone through a slew of C++ and C# courses at one point or another in their careers. To that end, these languages are not honorary, they are necessary.

C++ is the backbone of programming, period. C# is also up there, and today it’s widely used in game development, web development, as well as in a variety of desktop and mobile applications. C# is considered the preferred programming language in Windows-based environments.

Furthermore, the full-stack developer has to know how to work with databases, as most of the information on a website is stored in databases. Some of the most notable Database Management Systems (DBMS) include SQL, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, and the Oracle database. A thorough understanding of the workings of databases is crucial to build functional web apps.

In terms of keeping pace with updates in the code, the full-stack candidate must be absolutely COMMITted to learning and mastering some of the most prominent version control systems out there (pun is deliberate). These include Git, GitHub, Subversion, and others.

Git is a project file management system. It tracks the entire history of the project from beginning to end if the developer is using it correctly. By extension, GitHub is a web-based version control platform that uses Git. Developers can look at other projects, go through their code, and even propose new changes to improve the original script.

Finally, there is the notion of cloud hosting platforms, something that a good full-stack developer cannot do without. These are online providers that offer a permanent place (depending on your plan) for your product or service on the web. The most popular cloud hosting platforms include Heroku, Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure.

The most important soft skills full-stack developers should have

Software development is a complicated process that involves a lot of moving parts, including working with lots of different people across multiple disciplines to achieve a single goal (usually to develop an application, build new infrastructure, patch an existing product, or all of the above).

This is one of the most important reasons why a serious full-stack developer should know how to communicate well. Their ideas, thoughts, comments, or even criticisms must be conveyed in a concise manner that is easy to understand by everyone on the team.

Apart from stellar communication, a promising full-stack candidate should also have some combination of the following soft skills:

Creativity: Thinking outside the box, being able to tackle development challenges as they arise, and building an engaging product are all perks of a highly creative thinker. True creatives are hard to find, but it can be said that most full-stack developers are, by the nature of their profession, very creative people. If you can identify a highly creative full-stack developer during an interview, consider hiring that person on the spot.

Planning ahead: The candidate must understand the full scope of the project, including all phases that are critical in the application development lifecycle. They must know how to plan, design, and execute all development phases with surgical–like precision. This ensures the process is correctly streamlined and reduces the probability of error down the road.

Proper time management: A quality developer should properly manage their time while ensuring all of their tasks are taken care of accordingly. In the software development world, time and quality are proportional to each other (the more time you spend on a project most likely means the better it would turn out to be, with some exceptions). You should strive to find (and hire) a developer who strikes a delicate balance between producing quality code and taking the right amount of time to do exactly that.

Analytical skills: The developer should have a heightened understanding of data analytics and how it helps with the final outcome of the product. They should be able to accurately analyze information and make data-driven decisions to help maximize the efficiency of the development process from start to finish. These types of skills can be developed while on the job, but some prior understanding of analytics and how they work is a must.

Teamwork: The candidate must have the ability to work in a team environment, either as part of or leading a team. Occasionally, there will be candidates who haven’t really had the opportunity to work in a team environment. However, this skill is teachable and is something that most people can easily pick up after being part of an organization for a while.

Meanwhile, I had the chance to ask some of the Proxify developers about their opinion on full-stack development and how it plays out in the wild.

These were my questions:

  1. Generally speaking, what is a full-stack developer?
  2. What are some of the most important technologies a full-stack developer should know?
  3. Where do full-stack engineers spend most of their time when building an application: on the backend, frontend, or equally between the two?
  4. How should up-and-coming full-stack developers approach learning new tech stacks, and where should they begin?

Martin Lucka, a seasoned full-stack developer, immediately jumped at the opportunity.

“A full-stack developer is a person (similar to a unicorn) that can develop an app from zero until the final user experience. That includes the ability to build backend (server-less or server-full with databases) and frontend (web or app) products.”

Regarding my second question, Martin didn’t hold back.

“If choosing a server-less solution, then using only frontend technology is sufficient— JavaScript/Typescript, CSS, React (don't learn Angular, Vue.js, and other frameworks if they’re not required)”, he said. “If choosing server-full, knowledge of backend languages (Node.JS + TS/JS, Java, C#, PHP) and databases (SQL) are important too.”

My third question was somewhat more complex, as was the answer that Martin provided to me.

“Usually, the full-stack is just the set of skills, but most projects have it separated, and then the developer chooses which career path he wants to go. Small projects might have server-less solutions, where both of the knowledge subsets would be applied (in that case it's good to have some cloud knowledge—GCP/Firebase, AWS, Azure, Back4app).”

He took a deep breath and continued. “In most of the scenarios that I have experienced in my career, the mid-size and big projects have these roles strictly separated. There’s a clear distinction between a frontend and backend developer, as they have the technologies and teams divided in that way as well”, Martin said.

How about newcomers to the field; how should new and promising developers go about learning full-stack development from scratch?

“Learn React and React Native, since I still believe they are the most powerful tools on the market. Don't learn the old way with classes, learn the functional way with hooks. Learn Typescript as it gives a stable foundation for any project. Learn and practice; the best way is to make your own project. If you see that some projects are only using JS and classes, and not functional programming and TS, run away as fast as you can.”

In short, here’s some of the advice that Martin provided:

  • Learn from courses on Udemy, Coursera, Pluralsight, and YouTube
  • Read development-related articles on Medium
  • As Steve Balmer said: Develop, develop, develop!
  • If you have decided to stay at backend and not touch frontend development, then I would recommend learning Node.JS + TypeScript + AWS (or GCP, Firebase, and Azure)

Dmitriy Zolotukhin, another developer from the Proxify network, was also willing to share his thoughts.

According to Dmitriy, “A full-stack professional is a developer that has experience in frontend and backend development.” He continued to list the most important technologies a full-stack developer should know. “These are what most apps currently use: Jango, Python, Ruby on Rails, Node.JS, React, Angular, JS, GraphQL”.

Furthermore, Dmitriy uncovered the naivety of my third question; i.e. where do engineers spend the most time building an application (frontend or backend): “Depends on the project”, he said, “depends on the phase of the project”, Dmitriy doubled down sternly.

Finally, what is the best way for new and promising full-stack pupils to spend their time?

“On real development; try to create your own app, use new technologies, frameworks, and libraries. Read about new technologies and try them out, not just watching from the sides or reading. Install and use them!”

Full-stack development questions and answers

Here is a comprehensive list of questions, both general and specific, to help assess the candidate’s skills, knowledge and experience in the field of full-stack development:

General questions

What programming languages do you have the most experience working with?

Expected answer: I have the most experience building applications in Python, Django, and Vue.JS. Furthermore, I really like the OS independence that comes with this stack, as I can always be sure that my applications will be compatible with the most popular operating systems today.

What is your favorite programming language?

Expected answer: Ever since I started, I really liked working with Python. It has a very intuitive syntax, gentle learning curve (easy to learn, hard to master!), and it offers a variety of libraries and frameworks if you want to extend the possibilities of what you can do without compromising the quality of the final application.

What is the most recent thing that you’ve learned?

Expected answer: I recently discovered the untapped wisdom of Bjarne Stroustrup, the creator of C++ and one of the most interesting figures in the world of software engineering. For example, he said, “If the comment and code disagree, both are probably wrong.”

What are the technologies that would enable you to build an application from scratch?

Expected answer: In terms of client-side development, I prefer the basics, i.e. HTML, CSS, JavaScript and maybe Typescript. To solve database queries, MySQL should get the job done. For the nitty-gritty, I’d prefer to use Python with Django, or even the LAMP stack for more complex projects.

What are some of the recent full-stack development trends that caught you by surprise?

Expected answer: I’m really fascinated about the rise (and potential downfall) of NFTs (non-fungible tokens). In the past, usually programming and art were considered two separate disciplines. Nowadays, it seems like the boundaries become blurred with each passing day. For example, to create an NFT collection, you have to be a relatively decent programmer on top of having a unique artistic touch. The world of NFTs (and cryptocurrency in general) is something that could either take off or crash spectacularly without warning, which is something I think of every now and then.

Were there instances where your coworkers made a coding mistake? What did you do?

Expected answer: Yes. Once, I was working on a JavaScript project together with a dear colleague of mine, and the code wasn’t compiling correctly. I went through it manually and found that they used parentheses where they should’ve used brackets. I fixed the error and later we both had a good laugh about it.

How do you build SEO-friendly web applications?

Expected answer: I use a good foundational language (Python) paired with the most current frameworks (Django) to solve for efficiency and speed. Building web applications means you don’t have the luxury to “hoard” unused resources that take up unnecessary space, dragging down the entire project. SEO is all about fast loading times (users usually click away if the site doesn’t load in 2-3 seconds), so I try to use a lightweight approach and solve for SEO before the project starts.

How do you debug challenging programs?

Expected answer: One method that I repeatedly use (and which I think is more effective than developers usually give it credit for) is the so-called “commenting out” method. Once I suspect that an erroneous chunk of code is interfering with the rest of the project, I comment out that specific code and compile the project again. If the problem persists, I move over to browser-based debuggers for web projects (Firefox and Chrome), or desktop-based debuggers for Windows projects (Visual Studio Debugger).

Specific questions

Are you familiar with design patterns? How have you used them in your projects?

Expected answer: Generally speaking, design patterns are approaches to solving a certain challenge in software engineering. I have used both creational and structural design patterns in my projects, with a high degree of success. More specifically, I have used the Singleton, Flyweight, and Bridge design patterns.

What is the difference between interface and abstract classes?

Expected answer: Interface classes only give you the ability to state the functionality of the class, but not to implement it. With abstract classes, you can easily implement functionality through the use of subclasses.

How would you define a RESTful API?

Expected answer: RESTful API is a type of interface that two computers (usually a client and a server) use to communicate with each other on the web.

What is your proposed solution to prevent a bot from scraping a publicly known API?

Expected answer: There are a couple of ways to do this. For example, you can require a username and password from the users (to create an account) in order to access content on the site. Or, you can limit the number of times a single user can create requests using an identical IP address.

What is the difference between normalizing and resetting CSS?

Expected answer: Normalizing only removes a limited number of stylings the browsers pass down to the elements on a given page. With resetting, all of the default stylings are removed.

What is the difference between blue-green deployment and rolling deployment?

Expected answer: A rolling deployment strategy doesn’t have multiple staging environments. It deploys updates only on a per-needed basis. Blue-green deployment makes use of two deployment strategies: blue and green. In the blue phase of the BG deployment strategy, the project undergoes quality assurance and testing as required. The green phase is responsible for handling traffic until everything in the blue phase is completed accordingly.

How many types of design patterns are there?

Expected answer: Three. They are: structural, behavioral, and creational. Structural patterns increase the functionality of the classes in the code, without introducing major changes to the composition. Behavioral classes depend on the inter-communicability between classes. Creational patterns are meant for class instantiation. They are further divided into object-creational object-creational and class-creational patterns.

What are some of the differences between REST and GraphQL?

Expected answer: GraphQL is a server-side technology that executes queries to get ahold of data. REST is a type of architectural style that places certain constraints on how web apps are created. Also, GraphQL uses schema, while REST relies on a series of endpoints for its execution.

How would you reduce the loading time of a web application?

Expected answer: In a couple of ways. First, you can compress the images and move the stylesheet references to the beginning of the HTML page. Next, you can move the script references to the end of the HTML page. Finally, you can separate the JS and CSS code and place them outside the main HTML document.

Why should you hire a full-stack developer?

Hiring a proven, competent, and reliable full-stack developer can be very beneficial for any business that requires working with applications and code. Some of the benefits include:

  • They are multifaceted professionals proficient in both frontend and backend software development
  • They have the ability to deliver efficient, reliable, and robust code
  • Full-stack developers usually have multiple years of experience in a variety of fields, disciplines, and niches
  • They can switch between roles on the fly (i.e. project lead, debugger, senior developer)
  • They are the most cost-effective professionals regarding software development and a great way to future-proof your business needs down the road
  • Finally, full-stack engineers have extensive knowledge of past, present, and potential future trends in web development

Every organization looks to find the most cost-effective solution without breaking the bank and prolonging the hiring process into indefinite lengths. When you’re striving to hire (and keep) a dedicated full-stack developer in your team, you reduce the probability of late development by a significant margin.

If someone can help you deliver your projects on time, that someone is definitely wearing the full-stack developer hat!

Three steps to your perfect Full-stack developer

  • Step 1

    Tell us about your needs

    Talk to a technical manager about your requirements and goals for your product or project.

  • Step 2

    Get matched to the perfect developer

    Within days, a hand-picked and fully-vetted developer will be presented to you.

  • Step 3

    Begin working together (risk-free)

    Work begins. Completely risk-free for a week. You only pay if happy.

Find a Full-stack developer

What’s full-stack development?

Full-stack development refers to the work done by software engineers proficient in all technologies that comprise a complete technical solution for a project. Those can be engineers well-versed in the web stack or native application stack.

  • What is full-stack web development?

    Full-stack web development is about creating your web app or website with a developer who is an expert in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and a particular backend programming language that you choose for your project. Such a versatile skill set makes them able to complete the whole project as well as manage the software development environment and infrastructure.

  • What is the role of a full-stack developer?

    In a small project, a full-stack developer can build and maintain the entire app or website on their own. In a big project, they can guide the development team by sharing their vision and knowledge on business logic, user experience, development best practices, and strategy. They also can help you ideate and prototype your project at the early development stages.

  • Do you need a full-stack developer?

    In a small project, a full-stack developer can build and maintain the entire app or website on their own. In a big project, they can guide the development team by sharing their vision and knowledge on business logic, user experience, development best practices, and strategy. They also can help you ideate and prototype your project at the early development stages.

  • How do you interview a full-stack developer?

    A full-stack developer is supposed to have working experience in a variety of different roles or a portfolio of projects they completed independently. They should be able to answer technical questions related to every technology on their stack. Apart from tech skills, you should check their understanding of business logic, user interfaces, development workflows, and project management.

  • Is a full-stack developer better than a team of back and front-end developers?

    Technically, yes. A full-stack developer will be well versed in a combination of multiple programming languages, libraries, runtime environments, and other technology stacks to solve challenging problems in any development stage. At the minimum, one full-stack developer will be able to fill two roles that ordinarily might require two different people. Depending on the seniority of the position, as well as the skill of the candidate, they might replace an entire team or even an entire department. Full-stack developers can sometimes be referred to as software engineers, although the latter would be a broader term depending on the contextual requirements of the position.

  • Which frameworks are full-stack developers versed in?

    Becoming a full-stack developer is not an easy task. First, they need to be familiar with the entirety of the software development process from beginning to end. Knowing one specific technology or a single stack won’t make the cut. To create web applications, developers need to show a high degree of familiarity with Angular, Django, Rails including RoR (Ruby on Rails), Node.js, React.js, Spring, Symfony, Android SDK, Objective-C, Meteor.js, and many more libraries and frameworks. As the influx of new technologies has been known to overshadow older coding paradigms, full-stack web developers have to constantly add new skills on top of their existing knowledge—sometimes even following daily updates.

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Have a question about hiring a Full-stack developer?

  • How much does it cost to hire a Full-stack developer at Proxify?

  • How does the risk-free trial period with a Full-stack developer work?

  • Can Proxify really present a suitable Full-stack developer within 1 week?

  • How does the vetting process work?

Find your next Full-stack Developer within days, not months

We can help you deliver your product faster with an experienced remote Full-stack Developer. All from 32.90 €/hour. Only pay if you’re happy with your first week.

In a short 25-minute call, we would like to:

  • Understand your development needs
  • Explain our process to match you with qualified, vetted Full-stack Developers from our network
  • Share next steps to finding the right match, often within less than a week

Not sure where to start?

Let’s have a chat

First developer starts within days. No aggressive sales pitch.