Full-stack developers vs. specialized Developers. Which Developer Should You Hire?

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Nikhil-KhandelwalNikhil Khandelwal VP Engineering
LinkedIn|13 May 2024

If you're hiring developers for your project, you may be confused between a full-stack developer vs. a specialized developer.   

Full-stack developers are suitable for roles with broad skills, while specialized programmers are an ideal choice for specific tasks. As both options are better in their own criteria, it's challenging to find the right one.   

But don't worry! In this blog, we will explore factors, as well as pros & cons, that will help you make the right decisions between Full-stack or specialized software engineers.   

Full-Stack Developers Vs. Specialized Developers: Overview 

Full-stack developers are software engineers who are experts in both front-end (user interface) and back-end (server-side) development. From design to development to database management, they can handle all phases of development. If you need programmers for small projects, hiring full-stack engineers would be a great choice.   

The demand for full-stack developers is booming continuously, and there is no sign of slowing down. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, a massive increase in full-stack developers' jobs, with positions jumping from 135,000 to a predicted 853,000 by 2024.   

On the other hand, specialized developers are software development experts who focus on a specific area of expertise. It could be front-end development using a framework like React, back-end development specializing in a language like Python, or even mobile app development for a specific platform like iOS or Android.   

Full-Stack Developers Vs. Specialized Developers: Key Differences 

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between full stack and specialized engineers:

Aspects 

Full Stack Developers 

Specialized Developers 

Skills 

Front-end & back-end 

Deep expertise in a specific area 

Suitability 

Smallar projects 

Complex, and high-performance projects 

Benefits 

  • Flexibility 
  • Efficiency 
  • Cost-effective (smaller teams) 
  • Top-notch quality 
  • High efficiency within domain, Staying updated 

Drawbacks 

Limited expertise in specific areas 

  • Limited scope 
  • Team dependence (large projects) 

Examples  

  • Scrum Masters 
  • Project Managers
  • Front-end developers 
  • Back-end developers 
  • Mobile app developers  
  • Data scientists  

Full-Stack Engineers Vs. Specialized Developers: Skill Sets 

Specialized Developers Skill Sets: 

Specialized engineers may focus on front-end, back-end, mobile app development, machine learning, or DevOps.  

Here are a few of specialized developers' skill sets: 

Technical Skills: 

  • Frontend Development (e.g., React, NodeJs, Angular) 
  • Backend Development (e.g., Python, Java) 
  • Mobile Development (Android or iOS) 
  • Machine Learning 
  • DevOps 
  • UI/UX Design 

Full Stack Developers Skillsets: 

The skillset of full stack developers includes: 

Technical Skills: 

  • Frontend Development (Vue.js, Angular, HTML, CSS, JavaScript) 
  • Backend Development (PHP, Python, Java, Ruby, Node.js) 
  • Databases (SQL, NoSQL, MySQL, Firebase MongoDB, and PostgreSQL) 
  • APIs (application programming interfaces) 
  • Version Control Systems (Git and GitHub) 
  • Web Architecture (HTTP and REST) 
  • Essential Design Skill (NPM) 
  • Project Management Methodologies & UI/UX Design 
  • Software Testing (Selenium and Katalon Studio) 
  • Good Knowledge of Servers, Networks, and Web Hosting 

Full-Stack Engineers Vs. Specialized Engineers: Pros & Cons 

Full-Stack Engineers: Pros & Cons 

Pros 

Cons 

Broad skills 

Complexity 

Cost effective 

Time management 

Efficiency 

Knowledge overload 

Project versatility 

 

Problem solving 

 

Specialized Engineers: Pros & Cons 

Pros 

Cons 

Deep expertise 

Limited scope 

High efficiency 

Low adaptability 

High quality 

 

Ideal for complex projects 

 

Factors to Consider When Hire Full Stack Developers or Specialized Developers

Factors to Consider When Hire Full Stack Developers or Specialized Developers 

Factor #1 - Project Complexity 

Full-stack developers are the best choice if you have a limited number of tasks and clear functionality. 

Complex projects include a lot of tasks. So, it would be better to hire specialized developers who can provide better solutions. 

Factor #2 - Project Size 

The project's size helps you hire experienced developers for your projects.  

If you're a startup with a small project, hiring full-stack engineers is an ideal choice. Being a small-scale business owner, you may have limited resources and a wide range of technologies and tasks. 

For mid-sized & complex projects, it would be beneficial to hire full-stack developers. They can follow the documentation process and implement the appropriate tools and technologies. 

Factor #3 - High Quality Work 

Focused developers with in-depth knowledge (specialized developers) can deliver superior projects due to their expertise in specific areas. The rise of affordable tools for monitoring trends allows such programmers to stay on top of the latest advancements and use existing technologies in innovative ways. 

Factor #4 - Time Management 

Full-stack developers have an advantage in time management for small projects. 

Specialized developers contribute to innovation and efficiency for larger projects, even if initial coordination might take some time. 

Factor #5 - Hiring Costs 

On average, the cost to hire a full-stack developer can range from $70,000 to $120,000 annually, depending on factors such as experience, location, and company size. Due to their versatility, full-stack developers demand higher salaries than specialized programmers.  

The cost to hire specialized programmers can range from $60,000 to $120,000 per year, depending on their specialization, experience, and location. 

Factor #6 - Project Flexibility 

A full-stack developer is ideal for projects that need to be defined clearly and may change frequently. They can quickly switch between tasks and multitasks, as well as adapt to these periodic changes.  

But, it is easier to change requirements if there are several specialists on your team. If your Project has a particular need, you should hire a dedicated mobile app development company. 

Full stack developers Vs Specialized Developers-CTA1

Full-Stack Developers Vs. Specialized Developers: Which One Should You Hire? 

Choose a Full-Stack Developer to Hire If: 

  • You're working on a simple project 
  • You have limited financial resources 
  • You have a tight deadline to meet 
  • You're a startup owner or running a small business 

Choose a Specialized Developer to Hire If: 

  • You're building a secure e-commerce platform 
  • You want to develop a real-time multiplayer game 
  • You're integrating machine learning into your app 
  • You need blockchain-based application development solutions 
  • You want long-term project maintenance (e.g., Healthcare or Finance) 

Full-Stack Developers Vs. Specialized Developers: Which is Better? 

There is no correct answer when it comes to selecting between full-stack developers vs. specialized developers. Everything depends on your project's specific needs. Full-stack developers have extraordinary adaptability and speed in the face of shifting conditions. 

Specialist developers, on the other hand, have more excellent expertise and can provide better quality work.  

No matter what you choose, Full Stack or Specialized Engineers, always focus on hiring trustworthy and talented developers. If you are still determining who to hire, get in touch with VLink. 

Full stack developers Vs Specialized Developers-CTA2

FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you hire dedicated developers for your development project?

Check skills, take technical interviews, check background, and more things you need to consider when hiring dedicated programmers. If you don’t have to wait for this long hiring process, hire experienced developers from VLink. We promise to deliver highly skilled dedicated developers as per your project requirements within 48 hours.

Can you employ a full-stack or specialized coder remotely?

Yes, you can hire both full-stack (handles all development) and specialist coders (experts in one area) from VLink, a trustworthy IT staffing agency in the United States. Always select the one that fits your project’s needs.  

Are full-stack developers better than software developers?

Both full-stack and specialized programmers are better in their way. Full-stack engineers handle all aspects (front-end & back-end), which is excellent for small projects. On the other hand, software developers have expertise in one area, offering deep expertise for complex projects.

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