Simply put, full stack developer is a kind of people who master a variety of skills and use these skills to complete a product independently. A top voted answer on Quora explained that what is a full stack developer:
A full stack developer is an engineer who can handle all the work of databases, servers, systems engineering, and clients. Depending on the project, what customers need may be a mobile stack, a Web stack, or a native application stack.
In fact, full stack refers to the collection of a series of technologies needed to complete a project. Stack refers to a collection of sub-modules. These software sub-modules or components combined together to achieve the established function while without the need for other modules.
As it mentioned above, the discussion about full stack developer is actually the debate on the depth and breadth of skills. Especially at the OSCON conference, a Facebook engineer said they only hired a full stack developer. This topic came as a result of a heated discussion about the strengths and weaknesses of being a full stack developer.
Advantages: The full stack developers involved in a horizontal technical requirement, so that he/she can make a prototype design for a product very rapidly with his wide range of techniques. With the full stackability, they have a broader angle of views and a more active mindset. Moreover, they will be more sensitive to techniques and products. So, this kind of people can always have his/her opinions towards the product or design.
Back-end developers generally handle the server and the data. Their job is to build an application and also to design/ implement its interaction with the server and the database. They manipulate data and also work with public and private APIs. A good back-end developer should have a sound knowledge of Linux/ Windows as a development and deployment system; he/ she should also have insights on different version control systems such as GIT/ SVN.
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You need to be proficient in multiple programming languages, such as JAVA, PHP, C #, Python, Ruby, Perl, etc. As most of your core business processes need to be written in these languages.Maybe not all need. But you also have to master the language grammar, and to be very familiar with how to structure, design, implementation, and testing of the project based on one language or more languages. For example, if you choose JAVA, then you need to master the object-oriented design and development, design patterns, J2EE-based components of the development and so on.