There are 3 main types of web developers: full-stack, back-end, and front-end. These three perform different but vital roles in product development. While front- and back-end developers have a narrow focus, full-stack developers have a broader scope. So, contrasting full-stack with front- or back-end developers is not as easy as one might think.
Here’s what we recommend considering when choosing a team of full-stack devs or a team of front-end+back-end devs:
- Which is less expensive: a full-stack team or a team of front-end and back-end developers?
Typically, the cost is determined by the developer's level of experience. It can be a full-stack developer with 6 years of experience, which includes 3 years of backend and 3 years of frontend. Or it can be a full-stack specialist with 6 years of experience. Keep in mind that a full-stack developer may have less experience in each segment alone. There’s too much to keep track of, so it’s difficult to stay updated on everything.
The salary can be similar, or even a little higher for full-stack devs.
Technically, hiring a full-stack coder seems less costly compared to hiring two specialists (back-end for the server side and front-end for the client side). Having specific developers for specific needs can cost much more than hiring a single developer who can help with everything. However, having only one full-stack coder will double the required project completion time, and the time costs might negate the financial savings. When you have multiple specialists working together to produce the next iteration, it allows the entire team to work simultaneously and get the results sooner compared to one expert carrying out all tasks.
So getting one full-stack developer for a small project with minimal specifications might be more beneficial. But in the long run, if you want to build something that looks like Facebook, functions like Uber, and has the performance of Netflix, you better go with a team of separate engineers.
- Who is easier to hire?
It can take longer to hire a full-stack specialist compared to hiring front-end and back-end devs. They have a wide range of knowledge and can easily pick up new things and grow within your company.
The value of a full-stack developer is not that they are just experts, but that they are extremely flexible. Yet, full-stack developers are more difficult to hire, especially if stacks are rare or not close to each other, like .NET+Angular or Java+Flutter.
Generally, it is two-three times faster to find front-end and back-end devs separately. The choice is wider in such a case, and the turnaround time is shorter. Replacements are also easier to find.
- Who is required for your project?
Think about your requirements: you want to have enough work for each of your team members. When you have a better idea of the scope of your requirements, you can more easily determine the workload needed to achieve a result within a certain time frame.
We had cases when a front-end specialist ran out of items to work on, and the product owner struggled to find any work for them. As a result, the person got fired because there were few tasks on the project. This is a planning issue you would like to avoid. The solution is to hire developers gradually. You can hire 1, 2, or 3 developers, and once you see that there is more work for each stack, you can always add more team members.
It’s a completely different question of how to find the talents you need for your product development, especially if the skill sets you're looking for are in high demand or aren't available in your area. We, at UUUSoftware, know exactly how to do it without spending months or enduring extra costs associated with slowing-down development because of prolonged hiring.
During the past 14 years, we have provided hundreds of engineers for companies in Canada and the United States. Our portfolio includes over 30 clients, including Canadian banks such as RBC, CIBC, TD, ATB, and companies such as IBM, City of Toronto, and covers a significant number of startups.