Skip to main content

Can you remain a fullstack developer?

I started as a full stack developer 14 years ago but these days its becoming more and more difficult to remain a one. Back in those days all you needed to know was html/css/Js/jsp/java/sql/ant/xml and some tools like tomcat, svn, eclipse and some shell scripting and you are a full stack developer. Being full stack developer means you can code from UI layer to server to database and peel any layer of onion to trace an issue.

Now a days you may need to know 20 different technologies in each area before you can easily navigate between layers. Life becomes difficult if its a distributed system. In UI you may need to know
  1. React
  2. Angular
  3. Jquery
  4. SASS
  5. HTML5
  6. Javascript
  7. Node.js
  8. Grunt and many more
In server you need to know
  1. Java
  2. Spring
  3. Hibernate or any OR tool
  4. Guava
  5. Nginx
  6. Haproxy
  7. Memcached and many more. 
In Database you may need to know
  1. Mysql
  2. NOSQL databases like Cassandra or MongoDB
  3. Sharding
  4. AWS Aurora or RDS
  5. ElasticSearch
  6. Redis
  7. OpenTSDB
  8. Hadoop 
  9. Big data services like BigQuery and many more
On top of that now Mobile has made life worse as it another ecosystem. I will soon write a post on my adventures in trying to build and iOS app without mac as I dont own a one. For doing mobile development you may need to know
  1. iOS development langugages like Objective, Cocoa
  2. Android development, by luck its java
  3. Hybrid app dev tool like ionic or Sencha touch with Phonegap
  4. Flurry
  5. Also you need to own mac, iphone, ipad, android and many more devices with you.
  6. Signup for Ios and Android developer accounts which costs $$.
  7. and many more.
In terms of tools you may need to know
  1. Maven or ant or Gradle
  2. Jenkins
  3. AWS/Azure/GCE and their ecosystem
  4. Python
  5. New relic or mix panel
  6. Svn/git/JIRA/Pivotal/Reviewboard
  7. Eclipse
  8. shell scripting
  9. Logstash
  10. Sendgrid or postfix
So given all this can you remain a full stack developer. I was at an architecture conference by ThoughtWorks and someone popped this same question to Martin Fowler, and his answer was "Yes its possible". You need to grow like a 'T' where you are deep in 1-2 layers but you should atleast know enough about the other layers to make a good decision. As for me I read a lot of stuff but try only a few. For me the best way to keep up with technologies is to keep signing up for new and hard projects and join a startup early enough that you are involved in lot of layers, doing a lot of grunt work, you would be forced to learn many of these things. Also if someone outside of work asks for help, if you can then don’t say no, if it sounds interesting just give it a try even if its free work, who knows you would learn a thing or two.

Martin Fowler at Dallas


Popular posts from this blog

Adventures of a nature lover - 5 national parks in 14 days

To unplug from work and recharge myself I do a 2-3 week trip every year where I am unplugged. Few of the reasons I can totally unplug from work is
Unlimited Vacation policy of Egnyte, Excellent support by the Infrastructure team Our ethos of pro-actively fixing issues before they become nuisance.
TLDR; It's a long post so you can scroll down and first see see images if you need motivation to read it entirely.

Me and my family like national parks and camping to recharge us as there is no cell phone  coverage in parks and you are completely unplugged from technology most of the times. We have done many of the national parks nearby and this year we want to see glacier national park as the glaciers may disappear in 10-15 years so see them before they are gone. Behind every successful trip is a "Trip planner" and for our family its my wife, she researched  and made a trip itinerary book.

She booked camp sites 6 months in advanceShe researched trails and as days are few she pres…

IPhone will beat DSLR in long run

I started taking interest in photography recently and have accumulated a decent amount of gear but I am realizing that the ease of taking out your phone and clicking picture will beat the DSLR in long run. A friend recently visited me from NY and we wanted to take a family picture and I was setting up Tripod and Flash and doing settings changes and he was like leave all this, lets take a Selfie and that’s it, in 2 second the picture was done and he shared it on facebook in another 1 second.  Now one can argue that DSLR would have clicked a better picture but DSLR has many things going against it:-
Learning curve : I must have spent 200+hours on reading about photography but still cant take decent pictures as my bar is high. Not everyone is interested in spending this much time.Amount of gear to be carried : On hikes its a pain to carry your DSLR whereas your phone has to be anyway with you.Cognitive effort of tweaking the gear: You have to have a different lens/settings for different s…

Embracing "Deep Work" for productivity

Do you have that feeling where you worked all day but at the end it feels like you got nothing done?  In past 7 years at Egnyte to reduce burnout every 6 months to an year I have to fight this constant productivity battle. I have accumulated several habits in the process to increase productivity, some of them are:-
Give yourself scheduled time: Allocate 3 hours for creative work, I had my calendar open whole day and I would get interviews and meeting scheduled randomly all over the day. When you are on a maker's schedule this is disastrous. I recently allocated 3 hours of calendar time and I reject meeting invite unless its absolutely urgent and I am contributing to it.Walk in middle of the day: by the middle of the day brain feels tired and I cant code or focus so I started 30 min walk. I tried listening to podcast or listening music on the walk but that felt more work so I stopped doing it. I just walk and think on the current problem on hand.5 minute rule: If you can finish the …