How many front-end vs back-end vs full-stack developers should you hire?

Andrey A.
May 12, 2022 •3 min read

Composing the dev team is one of the most essential steps toward the success of your business. You should think of the project goals, complexity, flexibility, and budget when choosing a team of Full Stack devs or a team of Front End+Back-End devs. We've outlined a few items to consider before deciding whom your project requires. Feel free to check the details in our article below.

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There are 3 main types of web developers: full-stack (further FS), back-end (further BE), and front-end (further FE). These three perform different but vital roles in product development. While the latter two are specialists, the former one is more generalist. So, contrasting FS vs FE or FS vs BE dev is not as easy as one might think.

Here’s what we recommend to consider when choosing a team of FS devs or a team of FE+BE devs:

  • Who is cheaper: a team of FS or a team of BE/FE dev?

Typically the cost is based on years of experience. It can be FS with 6 yrs that includes 3 yrs for BE and 3 yrs for FE. Or it can be FE with 6 years of experience. Keep in mind that FS might 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 could be similar, or FS is even a little higher.

Technically, hiring a FS coder seems less costly compared to hiring two specialists (one BE for the server-side and another FE for the client-side). Having specific developers for specific needs can cost much higher than hiring a single developer who can help with everything. However, having only 1 FS coder would double the required project completion time and the time costs might cancel out 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 working on it all.

So getting 1 FS dev 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 performance like Netflix, you better go with a team of separate engineers. 

  • Who is easier to hire?

It can take longer to hire FS in comparison to hiring FE and BE devs. They have a wide range of knowledge and can easily pick up new things and grow within your company.

Who is easier to hire?

The value of a FS developer is not in that they are just experts, but that they are extremely flexible. Yet FS is more difficult to hire, especially if stacks are rare or not close to each other, like .NET+Angular or Java+Flutter.

Generally, it takes x2-x3 times faster to find FE and BE separately. The choice is wider in such a case and the turnaround time is shorter. Replacements are also easier to find.

  • Whom does your project require?

Think about 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 required to achieve a result within a certain time frame.

We had cases when a FE person 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 the project didn’t have much work. This is a planning issue you would like to avoid. The solution is to hire developers gradually. You can hire 1, 2, or 3 devs, and once you see that there is more work for each stack, you can always add more team members.

Whom does your project require?

Now, it’s an entirely separate question how to find talents that you require for your product development, especially if the skills sets you are looking for are in high demand, or if talents are not available in your area. We, at UUUSoftware, know exactly how to do it without actually spending months nor enduring extra costs associated with slowing-down development because of long hiring.

During the past 14 years, we provided hundreds of engineers for companies in Canada and the United States. Our portfolio includes more than 30 clients, including Canadian banks such as RBC, CIBC, TD, ATB, companies such as IBM, City of Toronto, and covers a significant number of startups.