A Roundtable Chat About Backend, Frontend, & Full Stack

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Johan Botha
Jonathan Geogeu
Darian Leonard

A Roundtable Chat About Backend, Frontend, & Full Stack

As a new developer, what is most important to learn first?


If you ask 5 developers, you’ll get 5 different answers. 

  1. Javascript
  2. Popular frontend frameworks
  3. Mentorship on YouTube
  4. Where your passions lie
  5. How to build a time machine


Just like a kid in a candy store trying to pick out what they’re going to buy, new developers are burdened with the almost impossible task of figuring out where they belong: frontend, backend, or full-stack.

A Roundtable Chat About Agile Development

In our latest roundtable episode, each of us tackles this question and many others. We chat about what frontend and backend really mean, the benefits of full-stack for new developers, and the importance of specialization.

Key Insights

Progression to the now

Back in 1999, websites, for the most part, were not created to be anything other than a way to deliver information. As time went on, designers added images, styles, and fonts. This was when everything started to accelerate, but was still clunky.Johan explains that only in the past 10 years we’ve seen the industry pick up on website interaction. All of a sudden, there was a need to be mobile ready and responsive. Paired with the processing power of modern tech, many doors have been opened in regards to frontend possibilities that just weren't possible 20 years ago.

What it means to be a full stack developer

Full stack can be understood as someone that has the ability to work in both frontend and backend. But what about experience level? Can someone be considered full stack if they don’t have an in-depth understanding of both?For Darian, he suggests a full stack developer can be labeled as such the moment they’re working both. While it may seem straightforward to think full stack requires a strong understanding of both, there are many developers in frontend that don’t have total understanding.”I think you can be a frontend developer that doesn't know a particular frontend technology. It doesn't mean you're not a frontend developer.” — Darian Leonard

Advice to new developers

Full stack gives someone a wide range of opportunities to explore what they may or may not enjoy. To any new developers looking for guidance, use full stack as a way to find exactly where you have the most fun. Embrace specialization, but don’t miss out on opportunities that may be better suited for you.

Episode Highlights

  • “If I could guide someone today, I would tell them to tinker. Pick up as many things as you can, play with it, build something, try to put it out there.” — Johan Botha
  • “If something has to be worked out, it's all in the backend. If something has to be styled or interacted with by the user, it's the frontend.” — Darian Leonard
  • “The biggest driving force for me has been what I'm passionate about, and that passion is what's driven me to learn. The key would be to find first what you're passionate about.” — Jonathan Georgeu

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