What is Full-Stack?

Man coding on two computers

In a previous Kenzie Academy blog, we took a close look at full-stack web developers. We explained the difference between a full-stack developer and an engineer, examined the high demand for this type of role, and gave advice on how to land a full-stack developer job.

Now, we’re going to take a step back from the role itself and dive deeper into what it’s all about: the art of full-stack development. Let’s begin by understanding what it truly is and make our way to the reasons why it makes such a fulfilling career.

An Overview of Full-Stack Development

When you visit your favorite website to watch videos, socialize with friends, or keep up with the latest news, you are interacting with full-stack development. Everything you see on that web page is the frontend, or client side, part of the web application. If you were to take a peek behind the curtains at all the moving parts that make your interaction with the web page possible, you’d see the backend, or server side, part of that web application. Full-stack development is essentially the development of the frontend and backend components of any given web application. To make things even clearer, let’s turn our focus to the most important aspects of frontend and backend.


The frontend side of full-stack is what you interact with when you visit a website. This can be a link you click, a box where you type your email address, or a command button you use. The professionals who work on this client side are known as frontend developers. Their main focus is to ensure the website provides a high-quality user experience through visuals, effective navigation, features, and ease of use.

To create website applications and make changes throughout the development process, frontend developers use a set of specific programming languages. They use Hyper Text Markup Language, commonly known as HTML, to design the client-facing part of the website. Cascading Style Sheets, or CSS, is a design language used to make the website more visually appealing. Lastly, JavaScript, one of the world’s most popular programming languages, is used by frontend developers to amplify an application’s capabilities.

“It cannot be understated how important a fluid frontend is. Think about it: if you go to a website, and the page is difficult to understand, or the actions you need to take don’t flow well, how likely are you to willingly use that web application again?”

– Senior Software Engineer at Kenzie Academy


The backend portion of a web application is similar to what you see when you pop open the hood of your car. It’s like the “gears, pistons, and engine” that keep any website running on all cylinders. Backend developers create the foundation on which the frontend is built. They work with databases, servers, and programs to integrate the application and allow changes to be made efficiently over time. Also, if any bugs appear over time, these skilled professionals are there to troubleshoot and keep the website running.

Much like their frontend counterparts, backend developers make use of a specific set of programming languages, such as Python, Ruby, and PHP, to build the website’s framework. They additionally employ certain frameworks and libraries to help make the building and maintenance processes much more effective.

What Do Full-Stack Developers Do?

Infographic showing a full-stack developer on a computer and a list of the common front-end and back-end programming languages

Full-stack developers are the all-terrain players of the development process who take their abilities to the frontend and backend. These team leaders move projects forward by applying industry standards and technological developments.

When an application needs to be built, full-stack developers begin the journey by conceptualizing all possible aspects of the build along with other key members, such as designers and engineers. Once the brainstorming stage is complete, full-stack web developers start to code, design, and launch their application.

The Necessary Skills and Knowledge

If you want to pursue this role, you will need thorough knowledge of some of the most popular coding languages and stay up-to-date on the industry’s best practices. Great full-stack developers must also have a clear understanding of the best ways to organize and store data and code. Working with teams in fast-paced environments is a daily occurrence for full-stack developers, which means communication and problem solving skills are essential as well.

  • Inventive: When you allow your mind to be curious and creative, you’ll find innovative ways to move your applications forward while keeping yourself engaged.
  • Patient: Processes can sometimes test your patience, but your ability to remain composed and in control can potentially be the difference maker your project needs.
  • Meticulous: By being diligent and accurate with your efforts, you will create impeccable work and save your team valuable time.
  • Analytical: Whether you’re planning, executing, or finalizing a project, your ability to collect data, problem solve, and make important decisions can give your team the confidence it needs to surpass expectations.
  • A solutionist: Someone who takes the mantle of the problem solver can be extremely valuable to a company, especially in times of dire need
  • Good with time management: If you can effectively manage multiple tasks, prioritize vital parts of projects, and meet your deadlines, you’ll be an essential part of any team.

Kenzie Academy: The Path to Your future

Full-stack development is multi-faceted, challenging, rewarding, and constantly evolving! Wouldn’t it be great to make a career out of it? With Kenzie Academy by your side, you can. Take initiative for your future today and become part of an industry that can reward and fuel your motivation to do great things. Our tech programs provide you with a real-world environment where you can hone your skills and build a portfolio that can help you get the job you want. Apply today and give us a call if you have any questions about our admissions process, our programs, or life as a Kenzie Academy learner.

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