DEV Community

loading...

Discussion on: The full-stack dilemma

scott_yeatts profile image
Scott Yeatts

Yeah, I don't agree at ALL that a fullstack team will produce a bad product. An INEXPERIENCED team will likely produce a bad product, so if the company is only hiring engineers that have only ever experienced one side or one aspect of engineering (Say a Java engineer who only learned Java in school and has never touched JS) and expecting them to write FE code, it's not a problem of specialization, it's a problem of experience.

Everyone has a specialty (In my example, that person's specialty is BE Java). But as engineers learn and grow they develop their skills and 3 years from now maybe that new grad is a Python specialist who has had to make a few changes on the FE and knows a little bit more about JS/FE work.

Put that (experienced) engineer on a team with someone that loves building React apps and has learned a bit about APIs in Python and then add a new grad who learned Python at University into the mix and you can expect all three to be able to contribute across the BE/FE divide, but again the new grad would need more mentorship and help with FE, the FE engineer might need mentorship and help with DBs and our Python engineer might need mentorship and help with some aspects they aren't familiar with when working FE stories.

That could be an effective team that does quality work. Everyone has something that drew them into programming (The thing they really enjoy doing/know really well/specialize in), but nothing is stopping them from contributing anywhere in the solution. The key is everyone has to know themselves AND their teammates. Be willing to ask for help and communicate, and that team will work out just fine.

Addendum: When I said "Full stack" was a way to get one person to work two jobs, there WAS a time (Around 2010 - 2015 iirc) when job boards were flooded with people looking for "Full stack engineers" but a LOT of people (in my bubble at least) were complaining about companies wanting to hire one person to do the job of 2 or 3. This was also around the time that the myth of the 10x engineer was being re-popularized and my personal experience was that companies were letting engineers go and not replacing them, then coming back to the team and saying "We can handle this without them, we're all full-stack, right?"

The term got a little dirty around that time for me personally, but it seems to have evolved past that since then.

Thread Thread
jennrmillerdev profile image
Jen Miller

Very nice comment, enjoyed reading it!