Full-stack developers are one of the most sought after developers in today’s market, and one of the fastest-growing jobs in the world. It’s no wonder when you consider their knowledge spans across all layers of a tech stack. More often than not, a full-stack developer can create a product without the need to hire other developers. We are going to take a deep look at what a full-stack developer does, as well as where to find them and how to evaluate them.

Who are full-stack developers?

It’s a common misconception that developers all have degrees. While 59.6% have a bachelor’s degree,10% have some university experience and 4.6% only have secondary education. 23% of all software developers are full-stack. At the moment, 27.4% are looking for work. A massive 89% have looked for a new job within the last 3 years. The largest group of full-stack developers are at a senior level (43.7%), followed by junior developers (35.4%).

Where are full-stack developers located?

In terms of country, here are some of the countries with the most full-stack developers:

  • The United States
  • The United Kingdom
  • India
  • Russia
  • Australia
  • Mexico
  • Indonesia
  • Brazil
  • Italy
  • Argentina

More specifically, 68% of full-stack developers work in companies with less than 1000 employees. Public project sites such as GitHub and Gitlab are the best places to find full-stack developers. 75% of all developers have active accounts on sites like these. Meanwhile, 82% of full-stack developers use these platforms to display their work, and 68% of those people have uploaded work samples within the last 12 months. These sites are great to find potential talent, but they are not recruitment sites, so be careful not to abuse them.

A full-stack developer’s knowledge

JavaScript is the best-known language among full-stack developers, closely followed by SQL, Java, and C. Angular JS is by far the most popular framework React, Express JS, and Spring are also well-known.

Our general impression of developers is that they spend the majority of their time coding and fixing bugs. This is true, but full-stack developers have to split their time between more daily tasks:

  • Coding
  • Fixing bugs
  • Brainstorming
  • Testing
  • Documentation
  • Admin
  • Interviews

What is important to a full-stack developer?

A high salary is no longer what necessarily attracts a full-stack developer. The first priority is the ability to learn and grow within their career. They are incredibly keen to learn. Nearly 40% want to learn the programming language Go. Kotlin, Python, and Typescript are also high up on the learning list. React, Vue.js, and Danjo are some of the frameworks full-stackers wish to learn.

Secondly, they value work-life balance and thirdly it’s the compensation. This is actually the same for all developers. Unlike others, full-stack developers value flexibility over interesting problems to solve.

Currently, 35% of full-stack developers are able to work one day a week from home. 60% of full-stack developers would like the possibility to work from home 2 days a week or more.

How to evaluate a full-stack developer

It is safe to say that the interview process is more complicated for developers than for most other jobs. For example, 56% of full-stack developers is interviewed by three or more people. It’s slightly scary to think that 10% is interviewed by 10 or more people.

There are also multiple techniques to carry out the interview. 24.7% prefer an online coding challenge, while 19.9% prefer a project that they can take home. Pair programming and whiteboard interviews are less common but still significant at 14.5% and 14.4% respectively.

There are certain things that put full-stack developers off during the hiring process. They aren’t overly pleased by a lack of clarity about the role they are expected to fill, nr do they like slow follow-ups or not fitting in with the culture in the office.

Things to keep in mind when hiring full-stack developers

It is incredibly difficult to incorporate diversity

Just over 90% of full-stack developers are male, 84% have a degree or higher. With Educated men are the norm in this career and it is difficult for others to make their mark on the industry, it will also be more difficult for you to find hires that are not within this group.

We are quickly learning that having a diverse team is more and more valuable, so it is well worth making an effort to look for diverse hires. This might mean you need to think outside the box when it comes to recruitment, in particular, you will have to actively seek candidates rather than rely on those that approach you. As we mentioned, Sites like GitHub have incredible amounts of activity and definitely a good place to have a look. You will be able to samples of their work. Be respectful! They are sites for developers, not recruiters.

Be open to more flexibility

With so many full-stack developers wanting to be able to work from home for at least 2 days a week, you might find that you need to adjust to the idea of not having them in the office 5 days a week. Also, bear in mind that this is not some kind of bonus for them, it is the norm!

Communicate with your developers

Hiring people is called a process, but nobody wants to be considered just part of a process. If you receive a large volume of applicants it is difficult to spend as much time with each one as you would like to. But, keeping in touch with your candidates and developers is crucial.

All communication must be clear and open. One of the biggest frustrations among full-stack developers (and in fact all developers) is miscommunication. If you have difficulty explaining the techy stuff, ask one of your team members to get involved, don’t bluff your way through it.

Finally, never underestimate the power of word of mouth. When candidates have a positive experience with your company, they will speak highly of you. As a result, your good reputation will be heard by more developers. The same can be said for negative experiences, so no matter the outcome of the interview, your candidate must leave with a smile on their face.