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The skills needed to get hired as a full stack developer

Published on: 2 Sep 2022

Skilled web developers are always in high demand among employers - and those who have or are able to get high-level security clearances may find themselves especially sought after.

Having clearances such as Security Check or the higher-level Developed Vetting opens up many new opportunities for talented IT professionals, enabling them to work in some of the UK's most sensitive organisations, from central government to defence and critical infrastructure. 

Like many other businesses, these organisations are particularly interested in people who can demonstrate a wide range of skills. As such, job listings for full stack developers who are able to handle every aspect of the software development process are in high demand.

Wherever you want to work, the skills needed for full stack developer jobs can be essentially divided into three key categories - font-end expertise, back-end capabilities, and soft skills. So what is involved in each of these, and what knowledge and experience will recruiters be looking for when hiring for these roles?

Front-end skills

Front-end skills cover all the aspects that will be visible to an end-user on the client-side of the website. Essential requirements within this include programming languages - with JavaScript, HTML and CSS especially important, as they govern how all the various components of a website appear and function.

Other elements of front-end development that will be important include an understanding of responsive design, which is vital as more people switch to mobile devices as their primary means of interacting with services.

The ability to build and deploy frameworks, which allow professionals to use common elements and functionality across multiple websites, is another vital aspect, as is a proven understanding of version control to ensure the development process is fully documented and backed up.

Back-end skills

The other side of the coin for full stack developers is the back-end, or server side. The primary requirement for this part of the job is competency in key programming languages. Which ones you'll need to be proficient in will vary depending on the existing needs of the employer, but there are a few essentials you can't afford not to have on your CV. These include:

  • Python - One of the most commonly-used languages for back end development, it offers flexibility and ease of use, with a straightforward syntax that enables it to be used across a range of scenarios. Frameworks such as Django and Flask also streamline web development tasks.
  • Java - Built from the ground up to be run on the server side, Java is considered suitable for use across web, mobile and desktop application development. This makes it a hugely useful tool for any software developer.
  • Ruby - Another general purpose programming language, Ruby is popular due to being known for its simplified code, dynamic typing, and object-oriented principles. It also uses an open-source framework known as Ruby on Rails, which is one of the most popular frameworks for back-end development amongst developers.
  • PHP - Offering fast, resilient, and adaptable code, PHP has been one of the most popular back-end languages for over 20 years. According to W3Techs, PHP is used by 77.5 per cent of websites with a known server-side programming language.

In addition to programming skills, the back-end side of full stack developers' jobs will also require skills such as familiarity with database storage and management systems, version control software and web hosting platforms. 

Soft skills

The final aspect to be a successful full stack developer is your softer skills. Good technical knowledge alone won't be enough for employers, so strong abilities in areas such as communication (both written and verbal), management and delegation skills and planning are all important.

On top of this, personal qualities that are essential if you want to be a successful full stack developer include creativity, an analytical mindset and a love for problem solving.

Finally, other skills that are especially important for professionals seeking security cleared roles include integrity, trustworthiness and a high level of professionalism. This will be vital in passing the vetting procedures and securing the necessary clearances. 

Find out more about what security cleared full stack developer jobs involve or browse to see the latest vacancies in this field.