The Full Stack Developers Vs Specialized Developers Conundrum

Do I Need a PIM?

By: Sagar Sharma

The Full Stack Developers Vs Specialized Developers Conundrum | Which Developer Should You Hire?

The concept of Full Stack Developers Vs Specialized Developers is a powerful argument in the industry. Today, businesses are expanding at a rapid pace, so they are looking to recruit developers with basic knowledge of every front-end, back-end and database programming. However, what they expect is a superhero who knows and understands all parts of their developments. But in a world where technology is continuously improving with changing time and the needs of the people, it requires skills of specialized developers.

Developers specializing in front-end or back-end development are specialized developers. On the other hand, full-stack web developers are software developers specializing in the development of both front and backend systems. The question of whether one should recruit specialized developers or go for the skills of full stack developers is quite intriguing.

An interesting finding was found in the annual Stack Overflow 2016 survey. Most participants (56,033 people in 173 countries) were full-stack developers, which is about 28 percent. The same survey, however, in 2018, produced another outcome, with over 100,000 developers. The highest majority of the respondents this time were 57.9% back-end developers and 48.2% second, full-stack developers.

The decrease in people who identify themselves as full-stack developers over a period of just 2 years is really highlighted. Today more and better developers rather than taking the path of full-stack skill sets stick to any of their specialties. With time it was difficult to choose between full-stack developers and specialist developers.

Let us discuss some of the main differences between the two, helping you to decide whether to hire full stack developers or specialized developers to give your company a lead.

The colossal benefits of hiring a specialized developer

Premium quality of work:

Specialized developers are subject matter experts of particular technologies. In comparison with full-stack developers, they have a better understanding about their respective technologies. Because of which quality of their output is better.

Knowledge about the latest trends and technologies:

Specialized developers are normally having better understanding of the latest trends in particular fields of technology. This also helps to improve the quality of the delivered project.

Convenient allocation of responsibilities:

Assigning work and responsibilities is easy with specialized developers. The whole project can be divided between different parts and assigned to particular developers as per their strength.

Easy to hire:

Based on the particular requirement of the project, any enterprise can select the desired people from the large manpower available in the market. Because of the large number of availability of specialist developers they are easier to hire for a project.

The adverse effects of hiring a specialized developer

High Investment:

It costs more to hire two specialist developers for both frontend and backend than hiring a single developer from full stack who can do the same job.

Dependency on other members:

A specialized developer relies more on the other in a project. In some cases, where others have not executed part of their job, a developer cannot accomplish his task.


Coordination between different teams participating in the project is very important. Meetings and discussions may need to be planned in order to facilitate coordination which requires a greater amount of effort.

The enormous advantage of hiring a full stack web developer


A full stack programmer offers great flexibility because they have got knowledge about both customer and the service side, which makes switching between tasks easy. Full stack developers offer all round ability which effectively reduces the delivery time. In case of full stack developers, backend developers are not required to have a meeting with the front end developers of the project and vice versa.

Quick identification of issues

Full-stack developers can identify and solve problems easily with a product because they are aware of all stages of software development. They can reduce the required time and resolve the problems quickly.

Quick learners

Full stack developers are having all round knowledge, because of which they are quick learners related to any particular skill set.


Two or more specialized developers can be replaced by full-stack developers. In place of a large team, you can have a small strong team. This will lead to lower costs and profitability for the company.

Quick delivery

Full stack developers are having all round skills, because of which they can easily switch between client and server sides. Compared to a specialist development, a full-stack development is more independent. The full stack development reduces the overall time for development.

Less number of meetings

Participation of full stack developers reduces the number of meetings between team members. This helps to save time and deliver the project right on scheduled time.

Drawbacks of hiring a full stack developers:

Less control on time management

In case of the projects where there are several full stack developers involved, there is a high risk of improper time management. Since the entire assignment is based on one person’s ability, the developers need to concentrate on the particular unresolved part of the assignment rather on focusing on the next assignment.

Difficulty in tracking the project

Instead of dividing it into smaller tasks, full stack web developers work on huge parts of a project. The comprehensiveness of the project is therefore difficult to monitor and identify.

Lack of knowledge about latest trends in particular technologies

A complete stack developer does not have the time to keep up with the latest trends and technologies when working in a variety of technologies. A full stack developer could find it hard to implement if you plan to include the latest feature in your product.

Average service

Full stack web developers are having complete knowledge of different subjects. In case of requirement of expert knowledge on any particular subject, full stack developers may not be able to provide the perfect output.


It can be difficult to recruit a number of full stack developers because of their less availability in the market. You may feel that a team of dedicated developers would be better off. A software company might also be very dependent on one or more complete stack developers. If a high dependency full-stack developer is no longer in the company, it can affect the project flow. Since full stack developers are taking up a vast section of the project, a reliable resource in the center of the project can be very essential for the company. It is very difficult to replace the resource.


Because of the knowledge on different subjects, the full stack developer skills are high on demand in the market. This essentially increases the risk of high rates of attrition.

Specific cases where full stack developers are the ideal one

Small projects

If the project size is small or medium, a full stack developer should be hired. The full stack developers can complete the project easily because of their all-round knowledge.

Less complex projects

Full stack developers can easily handle less complex projects because of their overall knowledge. However, complex projects require a thorough knowledge that may not be available with the full stack web developer.

Low on budget

Compared to a specialized developer a full stack developer is very economical. Hiring a full stack developer is better if you have a small budget.

Small businesses/startups

The full-stack developers can be of great benefit to small companies and startups because of their time and budget constraints. If these aspects are taken into account, full stack developers can be very useful.

Quick delivery

If the project needs to be finished in a short time and delivered quickly, a full stack developer is highly recommended. In the different areas, you can use their expertise and switch between tasks in a short time to complete the project.

When to pick a specialized developer?

Large projects

A team of specialist developers are needed in large and long-term projects. The project can be divided into small tasks and distributed between respective specialists.

High complex projects

Profound knowledge and expertise are required in highly complex projects. Specialized developers can use their expertise to handle such complex projects.

Project quality

Since specialized developers are particular subject matter experts, they provide expert knowledge on their respective subject. So in case you are looking for a high quality project, hire a specialist developer.

The most frequently asked questions about full stack developers vs. specialized developers

Why should you hire a full stack developer?

The main benefit of recruiting a full stack developer is that they can help with the entire design process and contribute to each level. They also provide services to maintain and improve existing systems outside web development.

When to choose a specialized developer?

You can recruit a special developer if you have a very complex and long-term project. Specialist developers can use their know-how to handle complex projects.

Which is the most popular framework for full stack development?

React or React JS and Angular are the most popular frameworks for full stack development at this moment.

How to hire full stack web developers for your project?

The most important part of developing your website or mobile app could be hiring a developer. A full stack developer for your projects can be found through many channels. The best way, however, is to hire a developer from a renowned Software company.

Which technical skills to be looked before hiring a full stack developer

A full stack developer is expected to have knowledge and skills across all technologies. In case you are looking to hire a full stack web developer for a project, you should look for skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Programming languages (back end), Databases, Version control, Deployment and hosting along with knowledge in Third-party APIs/services.

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