How to Hire the Best Full-Stack Developer
For Employers

February 15, 2024

How to Hire the Best Full-Stack Developer

Recent data from Hired's State of Software Engineers 2023 report and HackerEarth show that full-stack developers are at the top of the 'hard-to-hire' list. These tech pros handle both backend and frontend work by being good at server-side and client-side technologies, making them highly sought after by companies for their broad skills. But finding the right full-stack developer can be tough.

Don't worry, we've got your back. Our complete guide to hiring full-stack developers covers everything you need to know. Whether you're a recruiter or an employer, this guide will give you the knowledge and tools to find the perfect fit for your team.

Let’s dive in. 

Also read: How Index.dev helped Omio hire full-stack Java developers in a hyper-competitive talent market

Most demanded tech skills worldwide in 2023

What Is a Full-Stack Developer?

A full-stack developer is a web expert who can handle both the front-end and back-end of a website with ease. They're proficient in various programming languages, databases, and tech tools.

Defining a full-stack developer isn't straightforward, as it can vary from person to person. Some see it as someone skilled in both front-end and back-end technologies, while others expect extensive web development expertise, from design to deployment.

In general, a full-stack developer is your all-in-one web project champion. They design the user interface, configure the server, and manage the database, from start to finish.

Get matched with the right full-stack developer by tapping into a pool of 10,000 pre-vetted tech talent profiles. Get started now → 

Types of Full-Stack Developers

Full-stack developers come in various flavors, each specializing in distinct technology stacks. Here are some popular ones:

1. MEAN Stack

  • MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS (or React Native), and NodeJS.
  • A sought-after JavaScript-centric stack.

2. LAMP Stack

  • Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP.
  • An age-old stack adaptable for multiple platforms.

3. Full-stack .NET

  • Leverages Microsoft's versatile .NET framework, with a focus on web API development.

4. Full-stack Ruby on Rails

  • Utilizes Ruby, offering flexibility in choosing frontend and database technologies.

5. Full-stack Python

  • The rapidly growing Python, known for portability, low-code implementation, simple syntax, and open-source architecture.

Also read: Python developer hiring guide

6. Full-Stack Web Developers

  • Specialists in web development, skilled in frontend web programming, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, using frameworks like Laravel, Django, jQuery, Angular, and Flutter.

7. Full-Stack Java Developers

  • Java-based developers capable of crafting apps for desktop, web, and mobile, making them highly scalable and versatile.

Also read: Java developer hiring guide

Full-stack development skills

Roles, Skills, and Responsibilities of a Full-Stack Developer

Full-stack developers are the Swiss Army knives of software development, covering an array of responsibilities:

1. Frontend and UI/UX:

  • Proficiency in HTML, JavaScript, and CSS is essential.
  • A grasp of UI/UX design to create user-friendly interfaces.

2. Backend Technologies:

  • Many full-stack developers lean towards backend development, but they should have additional frontend knowledge.
  • Proficiency in backend technologies is fundamental.

3. Database:

  • Organizing data into structured formats using database servers like MongoDB and MySQL.

4. Testing and Security:

  • Troubleshooting issues across multiple development layers.
  • Adherence to security best practices.

6. Server-side Programming:

  • Proficiency in server-side languages like Java, Python, or PHP for managing the back-end of web applications.

7. Communication and Teamwork:

  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Collaboration with cross-functional teams.
Benefits of Full-Stack Developer (Source: TECHTIC)

Benefits of Hiring a Full-Stack Developer

In the tech world, full-stack developers are the superheroes you need. Here's why:

  1. Cost Optimization: They offer efficient, all-in-one solutions, reducing the need for additional hires and saving your budget.
  2. Collaboration: Full-stack developers excel in collaboration, showcasing impressive teamwork and output. 
  3. Multifaceted: With expertise in both frontend and backend, they cover it all – from user interface design to CMS integration.
  4. Faster Product Development: Their ability to translate customer needs into actionable development plans accelerates product growth. They lead, innovate, and represent the final product.
  5. Lower Time to Market: Full-stack developers understand every product requirement, ensuring a quicker path to market.
  6. Up-gradation: Full-stack developers keep projects up-to-date, ensuring user-friendly, innovative, and interactive websites.
  7. No Delays: Their diverse experiences help streamline project planning, distribution of responsibilities, and workflow coordination, eliminating delays.
Get matched with the right full-stack developer by tapping into a pool of 10,000 pre-vetted tech talent profiles. Get started now → 

Where to Find Full-Stack Developers

In your quest to discover top-notch full-stack developers, consider these promising avenues:

  1. Remote Work Platforms: Tap into global remote work platforms like Index.dev for streamlined access to fully remote, pre-vetted full-stack experts. This approach allows you to target cost-effective talents in regions like Serbia, Turkey, Georgia, and Brazil.
  2. Freelancing Platforms: Explore platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork, which offer a wide range of full-stack coders for quick hiring. While these platforms provide fast access, be mindful of potential variations in web application quality. For a more rigorous selection process, platforms like Toptal may be preferable.
  3. Job Boards: To bring full-stack developers directly into your company as employees, consult job boards like AngelList, Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. These platforms cater to a global audience, offering diverse talent options.
  4. GitHub: Peruse online portfolios and GitHub repositories to evaluate a developer's skillset and experience effectively.
  5. Meetups and Conferences: Participate in web development-related meetups and conferences. These events offer an excellent opportunity to meet potential candidates in person, gaining insights into their capabilities.
  6. Referrals: Leverage your industry connections to inquire about experienced full-stack developers who might be interested in the position you're looking to fill. Referrals often yield highly reliable candidates.

Reviewing Full-Stack Developers' Portfolios

Evaluating a candidate's portfolio is a pivotal phase in hiring Full Stack Developers. Here are key tips for effective portfolio review:

  1. Relevance Is Key: Look for projects that directly relate to the Full Stack Developer role. A strong portfolio should demonstrate the candidate's proficiency in developing and maintaining software applications. Examine the complexity, scale, and technologies employed in these projects.
  2. Code Quality Matters: A candidate's portfolio should exemplify their capacity to produce clean, well-organized code. Seek out projects with code that is clear, concise, and adheres to best practices. Evaluate for efficiency, maintainability, and scalability. Confirm their familiarity with version control systems like Git.
  3. Design Skills Are Crucial: Explore projects that highlight their ability to craft visually appealing, user-friendly interfaces. Pay attention to design aspects like color schemes, typography, and layout.
  4. Problem-Solving: Delve into the portfolio to gauge their aptitude for problem-solving. This includes their knack for bug identification and resolution, code optimization, and issue troubleshooting. 
  5. Beware of Superficial Portfolios: Exercise caution when encountering superficial portfolios that primarily showcase basic or straightforward projects. Such portfolios might lack depth and indicate limited experience. Additionally, be on the lookout for code snippets or sample projects that are not original work.

Also read: Evaluating remote developer portfolios: What to look for

Effective Technical Assessments for Full Stack Developers

Conducting technical assessments is vital in the Full Stack Developer hiring process. Here's how to do it right:

  1. Online Assessment Tools: Use platforms like TestGorilla and HackerRank for efficient evaluation. These platforms offer a wide array of assessments, from coding challenges to quizzes and problem-solving exercises.
  2. Relevant Assessments: Create tasks reflecting the role, like coding challenges and debugging. Include tasks that candidates would encounter in their day-to-day responsibilities.
  3. Diverse Methods: Go beyond coding challenges by incorporating various skills assessment techniques. Combine coding challenges, technical interviews, code reviews, and live coding exercises for a comprehensive evaluation.

Full-Stack Developer Salary

The salaries of full-stack developers for hire, like every other professional, vary by location. In the US it can hit an average of $124,218 /year according to ZipRecruiter, while in Serbia or Brazil it can be around $30k-40k/year. 

So, if your tech company is based in the US or UK and is looking to save costs on building your next software, then you might want to ignore local talents for affordable foreign talents while not compromising on quality. 

Several factors can impact the salary of a full-stack developer, including experience, skillset, location, and more. To help you determine the right salary range for a full-stack developer, we’ve put together a few tips:

  1. Consider the Experience of the Candidate: It’s important to keep in mind that experience isn’t always indicative of skill level. For example, a junior developer who has only been working for a few years may have more skill and potential than a senior developer who has been in the industry for 20 years but hasn’t kept up with new technologies.
  2. Evaluate the Skillset of the Candidate: A candidate who is proficient in Multiple Best Programming Languages and has experience with various tools and frameworks will typically command a higher salary than someone who only knows how to code in one language or is unfamiliar with popular tools and frameworks.
  3. Consider the Location of the Role: Depending on where the role is located, salaries can vary significantly. For example, a developer in San Francisco may make much more than a developer in a smaller Eastern Europe city.
  4. Compare Salaries for Similar Roles at other companies: Doing so will provide you with an understanding of what is typical and accepted in the industry and help you set an appropriate salary range for your role.
  5. Determine the Budget of your Organization: Your budget may determine how much you can pay for the role and should be taken into consideration when determining the right salary range.
Full-stack developer salary in the US

Decoding Full-Stack Developer Salaries

Salaries for full-stack developers vary based on location and several other factors. In the US, the average stands at $124,218 /year as per ZipRecruiter, while in Serbia or Brazil, it can be more budget-friendly at around $30k-40k per year.

Global Talent, Local Value:

For US or UK-based tech companies seeking cost-effective software development without compromising quality, exploring foreign talent markets in countries like Serbia or Brazil can be a strategic move.

Key Salary Considerations:

When setting the right salary range for a full-stack developer, these factors come into play:

  • Experience: Experience doesn't always equate to skill; a junior developer with the right skills can outperform a senior with outdated knowledge.
  • Skillset: Proficiency in multiple programming languages and familiarity with various tools and frameworks can command a higher salary.
  • Location: Salary expectations vary widely based on where the role is located. San Francisco developers earn more than those in smaller Eastern European cities.
  • Market Research: Compare salaries for similar roles in other companies to gauge industry standards.
  • Budget Alignment: Your organization's budget is a key factor in determining the right salary range.
Get matched with the right full-stack developer by tapping into a pool of 10,000 pre-vetted tech talent profiles. Get started now → 

In conclusion, hiring full-stack developers can be the key to achieving quicker time-to-market and a streamlined development process. By understanding your project's goals and requirements and choosing the right candidate with a well-rounded skill set, you can ensure success in your web development endeavors. While full-stack developers might not replace specialists entirely, they play a valuable role in bridging the gap between backend and frontend tasks, making them an important asset in many projects, especially those focused on optimizing costs and efficiency.

Why hire full-stack contractors with Index.dev?

Index.dev brings a wealth of experience to the table. When you choose Index.dev, you're not just hiring a developer; you're opting for a full-service tech remote-work solution:

  • Dedicated remote developers: We have a knack for finding dedicated remote developers who perfectly match your project requirements.
  • On-demand remote teams: Need a full team for your project? We can assemble the ideal team tailored to your needs.
  • Project-based development: If your project demands specific skills, our developers are equipped to take on the challenge head-on.

Our commitment extends far beyond the initial hire. We focus on building long-term, high-retention relationships. Our engineers seamlessly integrate into your team, dedicating a full 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week to your project. And if you require short-term or project-based engagements, we've got you covered. You'll also have a dedicated account management team ready to assist you whenever needed.

Ready to build high-performing tech teams? Get matched with the right full-stack developer by tapping into a pool of 10,000 pre-vetted tech talent profiles. Get started now → 

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