Full Stack Developers vs. Specialized Developers: Whom Should You Hire?
If you’re a manager looking to hire software developers, you’ll come across two options, Full Stack Developers and Specialized Developers. While one is a jack of all trades, the other is a full-blown specialist. Tech companies usually prefer full stack developers over specialized ones. So, should you follow the herd or go for software developers who are experts in their field?
Let’s simplify this down for you.
Here are the pros and cons of both, full stack developers and specialized developers:
Who is a specialized developer?
A software developer who is an expert in a particular discipline is known as a specialized developer. A specialized developer, just like a full stack developer, knows the whole development process. But unlike the latter, a specialized developer will only focus on their particular area of expertise and offer all the solutions needed there.
Who is a full stack developer?
Software developers who can work on both—the frontend and the backend of a website or an application are known as full stack developers. Such software developers are well versed in areas like frontend development (Vue.js, Angular, Node.js, React), backend development (PHP, Java, NET), UI/UX design, markup languages (HTML and CSS), databases (Firebase, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, MySQL), software testing (TestComplete, Katalon studio, Postman, etc.), scalability, architecture, and the roadmap of a project.
Specialized Developers: Pros and Cons
High quality of workSince these developers are experts in specific disciplines, you can expect the best quality of work from them. And thus, a specialized developer may be able to produce more sophisticated results than a full stack developer.
In sync with the latest developmentsA specialized developer is usually up to date with all the trends and development in their area of expertise. It is easier for them to shadow these updates as they’re focused on a particular part of programming and not the whole process.
Dividing tasks among the team is easierWhen you are aware of the expertise of each team member, you can easily divide and designate tasks accordingly to it. This knowledge makes the allocation process a lot more effective and efficient, thereby saving time.
Expertise comes at a costYou will have to hire two different software developers for the frontend and the backend. This specialization increases the cost of hiring as a full stack developer can do both.
Developers need to depend on each other outside their area of expertiseCross-domain dependency will always be a con of a specialized developer. A specialized developer cannot single-handedly complete the whole development process, and they’re dependent on other specialized developers to complete their tasks.
Full Stack Developers: Pros and Cons
Know-it-all!A full stack developer is a jack of all trades. Ranging from frontend to QA and testing, such a developer can handle it all. Full stack developers can quickly identify issues across the process and resolve them without relying on specialized developers.
Cost-effectiveA full stack developer can handle the frontend and backend of an app or a website on their own. This ability means you can get a full stack developer to replace two or even three specialized developers at a much lower cost.
Offers flexibilityWhile a specialized developer will have to stick to his area of expertise, full stack developers are well-versed with the service and the client-side, making it easier for them to switch between different domains and reduce the development time.
They may not be in sync with the latest advancements in technologyNow, it is not that full stack developers are not aware of what’s going on. But unlike specialized software developers, they have to work in various fields simultaneously. This generalization makes it challenging for full stack developers to be current on every technology they use.
May not take full responsibilityFull stack developers tend to work on various tasks simultaneously without distributing their work into smaller tasks. This tendency can result in confusion as no particular developer may take full responsibility for the job. And thus, it becomes difficult to keep track of the whole development process.
Now, the question is, how will you decide to hire between full stack developers and specialized software developers?
The answer to this question depends on various factors such as the size of the project, flexibility, budget, and quality. Let’s take a look at factors in detail.
- Size of the project you are working on
Let’s say you’re a startup looking to hire software developers. In this case, you would want your team to work on a broader range of projects. Here, a team of full stack developers would be a better choice. But if you are looking to hire for larger projects, you’ll want specialized developers to work on assorted smaller tasks.
- How flexible is your project
Your choice also depends on how frequently the requirements for your project will change. In case you have a project which has rigid requirements, specialized developers would be a better choice.
- The money that you are ready to spend
As we saw earlier, a specialized developer will cost you more than a full stack developer. So, it all comes down to the budget you’re willing to spend on the hires.
- The quality of work you’re looking for
Full stack developers can work on various parts of a project, while specialized software developers are restricted to their area of expertise. However, this also means that the quality of the work is superior in the case of specialized developers. And so, if you are working on a project that demands the best quality of work, specialized developers will be your safe bet.
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