What Exactly is Full-Stack Development?
We at Venturit use the term "full-stack development" when it comes to software development. We often look for full-stack developers to hire and be a part of our team rather than having a specialized software developer who has only specialized in one aspect of software development. In short, our software development team consists of multi-skilled software developers.
Computer technology is evolving very rapidly. It is vital to keep up with it to have your customers interacting with your applications on many interfaces such as, computers, laptops, tablets, phones, IoT devices, etc. If your customers cannot get a better user experience on the interface they like, you will lose them, and they will replace you with a competitor product to solve their problems or needs. And if you are a start-up, then this will lead to failure.
So, what is a Full-Stack?
A typical software application consists of many layers, such as the grocery delivery application you might use to order some groceries or a movie from your favorite streaming application. These layers are often referred to as stacks, and if a developer knows how to program in all the layers, then that developer is a full-stack developer.
A typical stack in an application is grouped into two high-level groups front-end and back-end. The front-end consists of software that delivers user interface for user interaction. The back-end consists of software that helps front-end to full fill the user interactions by accepting data inputs, processing them, storing them, and delivering them back to front-end to display again to the user and help proceed to the next action. On a side note, these user interactions or requirements are captured as user stories, and developers and product designers use them to develop the software.
Now you know the front-end consists of software that delivers user interface (UI) to interact with your customers. Often your customers interact with your website on mobile phones. As you may have experienced, you need to provide a better user experience when a user is on a mobile phone browser. This capability is called responsive design. At Venturit, we use HTML, CSS, JQuery, Bootstrap, AngularJS, ReactJS, React Native, Android Kotlin, and iOS UIKit to build user interfaces. We also use UI design widgets that we have developed in house to speed up the development.
Again, the back-end consists of software that helps front-end to full fill the user interactions. It consists of multiple layers, generally an Application Programming Interface (API), Service Layer that allows communicating with various services such as sending text messages or push notification, Data access layer, and Persistent Storage such as a database to store the data.
A typical web application back-end is hosted in cloud infrastructures such as AWS or Google Cloud. At Venturit, we use GoLang, Python, Ruby, NodeJS, PHP, C++, and Java for the API and Service layer programming. On a related note, we develop the Artificial Intelligence software of an application as a Service. We have developed services commonly known as Mirco Services to speed up, and scale the software application.
If you take a typical gaming mobile app, depending on the complexity of the application like multi-players, most of the back-end is developed using the mobile app development framework components. The data is stored locally on the mobile device. But most of the app does not live only on the mobile phone. They follow wherever we are, mobile phone, tablet, or laptop. For such apps, the back-end is very similar to a back-end of a web app.
The database typically accesses using a database layer Object Relational Mapping (ORM). ORM helps us to keep the data in object format and decouple direct access to the database. The ORM also helps us quickly scale by using techniques such as caching to improve app performances.
Data can be in file formats too, such as your profile photo, the files are typically saved in a file system or virtual file systems such as Amazon S3. At Venturit, we use MySQL, Postgres, NoSQL, Graph databases, Amazon S3, etc for file storage. On another note, to support the growth of IoT, the latest trend is to bring the cloud closer to where the users are, this concept is known as Edge computing. The application is distributed closer to the users, and the Edge gets sync with the central cloud.
The software languages come with best practices and guidelines for how to use it. Besides that, Venturit trains our software developers on design patterns to architecture the software better. Design patterns are the blueprint that you can customize to solve a particular design problem in your code.
It is essential to remember as the application interactions grow, we have to scale the application to improve performance. We host, scale, and maintain back-end applications using container software such as Docker. See our previous article on cloud deployment.
Lastly, most of the applications are developed by multiple software developers. It is important to know the source control management system and project management system to manage the source code and tasks of an application. Our team uses GitHub for source control management and Jira for project management.
We hope now you have a good idea of full-stack development and why it is essential. Venturit's mission is to build a world-class team that can deliver any software application. We invest in our employees to train and stay on top of technology to serve our customers better.