What Does Full Stack Web Development Mean?

If you are a Full Stack developer it means you have the ability to combine Front-End technologies with Back-End technologies to make a website all the way through from scratch. It is an all round understanding of the technologies used to develop web pages.

There are two main components of a website, there’s the Front-End and the Back-End. The Front End is what you actually see on a website. The Back End is the technology used to decide what to show you on the Front-End. For instance lets say you’re looking at Facebook.com. What you see, the fonts, the colours, the layout and the content, is all the Front-End stuff. The Back-End decides what pictures or comments and content to retrieve from the database then display it on the Front-End.

The Front — End

 

The Front-end revolves around three key technologies:

HTML

CSS

JavaScript

There are other technologies such as jQuery and Bootstrap but they just frameworks of JavaScript and CSS. Frameworks are large bodies of pre-written code that can be used with the programming language in question to put together code quickly and/or more efficiently.

HTML is Hyper Text Markup Language. Every web page will have HTML, it is the structure of a web page. You can view it by right clicking on a web page and selecting “View Page Source”

CSS is cascading style sheets. CSS is the actual styling of a web site. CSS is not mandatory but almost all websites these days have it. The colours, fonts borders and layout of a website is all defined by CSS.

JavaScript allows you to add interactivity to the website, including programming logic. Any site with interactivity uses JavaScript in some way, otherwise the site is ‘static’.

The Back -End

 

The Back-End of a website has three components:

The language

The Framework

The Database

Technologies such as PHP, Node.js Ruby/Rails, Java, Python, etc. are all viable options for the Back-end of a website.

An example might be, Python as the language, Django as the framework, SQlite as the database.

For example If you were signing up into a website, HTML and CSS would display the log in form, python would validate the information then use it to create your profile and then write it to a SQlite database.

This could also just as easily be done with PHP, Laravel and MYSQL.

So there you have a very brief explanation of what Full Stack means. This is a question I see asked quite a lot by those starting out on their joinery of web development.

The other closely related question I see is Which should I learn first, Front-End or Back-End? For me this is an easy one to answer. I would say Front-End, especially if you have little or no experience of coding. Learning Front-End is easy to get started with and fun. It would be hard to get your head around the Back-End without some knowledge of the Front-End. You can always specialise after you have a good knowledge of both stacks.

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