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Discussion on: Why you should become a Full-Stack Developer

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Bernd Wechner

Sure, I remember those days. But things got complicated. Fast. And are complicated. And there's a LOT to know and keep track of in the delivery of web services now. The very thing that drives specialisation.

Of course there was never a day when everyone was just a web developer, you're letting your own narrow focus show through there. Around that time there many many IT pros, developers who had precisly zip to do with the web. Not many left of course (as in a huge portion of development is now on web services that was handled differently in past, even if it's on intranets).

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Jon Randy • Edited on

Yeah - I was never just a web developer either, my focus was never narrow - that was just the job title - the work was essentially anything IT related. I was doing development professionally for almost 10 years before most of the stuff I was working on was 'online' and could exclusively be called web development (that was probably around 2004 ish) - before that it was desktop apps and internal business systems with some small forays into online stuff

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Bernd Wechner

Suspected as much ;-). But yeah, when it was young, the web was one thing indeed. HTML mainly, and then CGI and then Javascript and then an explosion of backends not to mention graphic design as well and more ...It's a new world .. and IT is as mature now as Science, Law, Medicine ... and more ... all fields so broad and rich that they are full of specialists with a deep narrow skill set and a minority of generalists who maintain a broad shallow skill base across the whole field and of course those in between who are specialists in one or two areas and mainytain a general overview as well. But essentially there is more to master and maintain mastery of now than the day is long and so no-one in the best at everything ... which was in fact possible in IT in up until maybe the 90s.

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Pete Torres • Edited on

Hey @jonrandy , I completely agree with you here. This "front end"/"backend"/"full stack" is what is generally considered Web development. To label backend as databases and APIs is an oversimplification. I haven't met many programmers that can explain the basics of DNS and routing, storage management or security/auth, let alone build out the pipeline to stand up all this software and infrastructure. I can sympathize that more of that responsibility has found its way back to the developer since these tasks can now be created and committed to source control. And for sure, the amount of tooling and frameworks available today to stand up a simple web presence "by hand" is a complicated affair, but the benefit of experience will tell us that all this is a repackaging of the old. I used to rag on distributed computing - it was called the mainframe then. "Who's going to pay for that when I have all this computing power on this desktop". Interesting enough, mainframe is as strong as ever. IT has always been complicated. What I mean here (and what I think @jonrandy and @andrewbaisden were sharing) is don't paint yourself into a corner with job titles. Those change faster than the technology they attempt to contain. Imagine yourself beyond a job title.