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Full-stack Developers vs Specialized Developers- Which Developer Should You Hire?

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Technology evolves rapidly and keeps on bringing changes in software development. Full-stack developers and specialized developers are compelled to adopt changes for developing enterprise-grade solutions with desired features. Though specialized developers have excellent domain expertise, many entrepreneurs prefer full-stack developers these days for their knowledge of multiple technologies.

Here arises a question- whether you should hire a jack of all or a specialist for your next IT project? Before delving into an answer to this question, let’s have a clear idea of full-stack developers and specialized developers.

Full-stack Developers- Introduction

As we mentioned, full-stack developers are like a jack of all business. A full-stack developer can work with both back-end and front-end development of websites and apps. Simply put, a full-stack developer can handle the entire project by building user-centric websites or databases and working with clients during the planning phase of any project.

A full-stack developer is well-versed and moderately experienced in various development domains like-

– Front-end development (Vue.js, Angular.js, and ReactJS)
– Back-end development (PHP, .NET)
– UI/UX design of the project
– Databases (MongoDB, MySQL, Firebase)
– Testing (TestComplete, Postman, Selenium, etc.)
– Overall architecture, roadmap, and strategic planning of the project

Here, it is interesting to jot down that a full-stack programmer may not write the entire code of a site, but spend most of the time in either backend or the front-end code of a website. In other words, coding is just a small portion of a full-stack developer’s work profile. Thanks to advancing technologies, many customizable tools and frameworks are available these days to get rid of writing code.

Specialist Developers- Introduction

Specialist developers, as the name suggests, are experts in a particular domain and they have enough experience of the same. However, it does not mean that the specialized developer lacks the expertise to build and deliver an application like a full-stack developer. It is fair to mention that the specialized developers have enough expertise in their domain like design, database design, domain modeling, and even cross-platform app development framework.

Specialized developers can come up with unique solutions for complex business needs. They are capable of handling the mobile app development project and develop a feature-rich app or software in the given time.

These are the basic differences between full-stack developers and specialized developers. Let’s go through the pros and cons of them.

Pros of Specialized Developers

Focus on quality– When you hire specialized developers, you can remain assured of high quality in every project. The reason is simple- specialized developers are well-versed in their domain and their expertise reflects in the quality of work. Specialized developers’ quality of work is superior to that of full-stack developers

Stay updated– Specialized developers tend to stay updated in their respective domains and want to increase their knowledge. It is easy for them to remain updated with technological advancements because they have enough knowledge of their areas of specialization. For example, Android app developers have a complete idea of all the features of the latest version.

Easy allocation– It is easy to allocate responsibilities to the specialized developers. They can easily address the needs of the project and the other members. You can hire specialized developers to split the project into small tasks among specialized and experienced resources.

Cons of Specialized Developers

Higher cost– Hiring separate developers for front-end development and back-end development can be very costly especially when your app project is complex and you need to hire more than one developer for each development phase. A full-stack developer can handle both the tasks with ease and you can save a lot of bucks.

More dependency– Specialized members are highly skilled at performing their tasks, but their dependency on other team members is higher because they are master in the particular domain only and they cannot handle the entire project on their own. At times, higher dependency results in the delay of project completion, and the enterprise has to spend more money on developers.

Now, it’s time to discuss the pros and cons of full-stack developers.

Also ReadWhy should You Hire Full-stack Developers for Developing MVP?

Pros of Full-stack Developers

Project handling– A full-stack developer can handle the entire development project without any help. Every full-stack developer has sufficient knowledge of various software development stages like front-end, back-end, coding, QA testing, and even marketing. They are highly versatile and dynamic. They can easily identify and remove multiple issues.

Cost-effective– Hiring a full-stack developer is a cost-effective option because they can easily replace two or more specialized developers for your project. You can also accomplish the project with the small team thereby reducing the cost of hiring.

More flexibility – Full-stack developers offer higher flexibility as compared to specialized developers because they are well-versed with the service side and client-side. They can easily switch between the tasks and contribute to reducing the development time.

A full-stack developer can also eliminate the need to conduct frequent meetings between back-end developers and front-end developers. These developers can handle the entire project single-handedly while providing more flexibility.

Cons of Full-stack Developers

Time management issues – Many companies rely on one or two full-stack developers to complete their software development projects. But then, there is always a risk of occurring issues related to time management because of a higher workload and lack of collaboration. Several tasks remain unresolved when these developers keep on working on new tasks.

Minimal benefits of technological advancements – Full-stack developers have sufficient knowledge of various domains but they are lack of insight in any single domain. As a result, they fail to keep up with the latest trends and technological advancements of a particular domain. The lack of expertise in a single domain is the biggest disadvantage of a full-stack developer.

Responsibility issues – The team, consists of full-stack developers has no proper allocation of work into smaller tasks. They simply work on various parts, and at times, there is a lack of responsibility for issues or bugs occurs. It is difficult to regulate, track, and define the milestones of the project. In other words, there is less control of the client on a team of full-stack developers as compared to that on a team of specialized developers.

Are these pros and cons of full-stack as well as specialized developers sufficient to help you decide your way of hiring? If the answer to this question is ‘No’, then we will discuss this aspect directly and comprehensively.

Full-stack Developers vs. Specialized Developers- When to Select Whom?

Multiple factors contribute to your decision of hiring full-stack developers or specialized developers. Here we mention the key factors that will help you decide whether you should hire specialized developers or full-stack developers.

Size – The size of your project is one of the most important factors for the choice of developers. For example, if you own a startup or your project is small with fixed and basic requirements, then you should hire full-stack developers. In other words, if your project needs limited resources, you should opt for full-stack developers.

For mid to large-size projects, it is advisable to hire specialized developers because these projects need to follow the requirements and processes as mentioned in the document.

Complexity– Another criterion is project complexity and interrelatedness of features. Though your project is of mid-size, if it has complex tasks to accomplish, then you should hire specialized developers. They can give better solutions to real-time problems.

Scope– If you have no specifically defined projet requirements than full-stack developers is the right option. Also, full-stack developers are capable of multitasking and switching across tasks. This capability makes them ready to adopt periodic changes. Here, it is advisable to hire full-stack developers because specialized developers find it difficult to manage rapidly changing requirements.

Budget– Hiring a full-stack developer is a cost-effective option because you need to hire fewer developers as compared to specialized developers. If you face budgetary constraints then it is better to hire full-stack developers. As per the hourly rates, you can hire developers from countries like India to save big on the development cost.

Concluding Lines

In a nutshell, hiring full-stack developers is an ideal option for startups and small enterprises. Specialized developers are essential for complex projects that need top-notch solutions. We have seen the pros and cons of both specialized and full-stack developers. It is better to consult a reputed mobile app development company to decide which type of developers can work wonders for your upcoming project.

At Solution Analysts, we have in-house teams of both dedicated and full-stack developers to hire. Our business consultants can guide you with the basic difference, benefits, scope, and drawbacks of full-stack and specialized developers.

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