What is a full-stack in web development?

What is a full-stack in web development

Web development, in general, refers to the tasks associated with developing websites for hosting via intranet or internet.

It encompasses all the operations required to plan design, build, host, and manage a website to ensure its performance, user experience, and speed are optimal. Web development includes the coding or programming that enables website functionality, per the owner’s requirements.

What is a full-stack in web development?

The development of both front end and back end portions of an application is termed as Full-stack development. This involves multiple interrelated yet independent technologies.

This process comprises three layers – the Presentation layer (front end bit which deals with the user interface), the Business Logic layer (back end bit dealing with data validation), and the Database layer. This accounts for all the steps from the concept to the finished product.

The generally used technologies in full-stack web apps

The generally used technologies in full-stack web apps

1. Front end:

It is the part of the website or application that the user interacts with directly which is responsible for the user experience.

a. For the Front End, some of the languages used are:

  • HTML – HyperText Markup Language is used to design the front-end portion of web pages using a markup language.
  • CSS – Cascading Style Sheets is a language that is intended to simplify the process of making web pages presentable.
  • CSS preprocessor – a program that lets you generate CSS from the pre processor’s own unique syntax.
  • JavaScript – is a scripting language used to create the aspect of the sites to make them interactive for the user.
  • Graphic designing – It is good to have a full-time graphic designer for web development. UI is the entry for making great impression over the web development deliverables.

b. Front End Frameworks/ Libraries:

  • AngularJs – a JavaScript open-source front-end framework that is used to develop single-page web applications
  • React.js – an indicative and flexible JavaScript library for building user interfaces
  • CSS framework – a library that allows for easier, more standards-compliant web design using the Cascading Style Sheets language.

2. Back End:

It refers to the server-side development of a web application or website with a primary focus on how the website works. It is responsible for managing the database through queries and APIs by client-side commands. Any one of the following backend programming languages is a must-know for full-stack web development.

a. Back End Frameworks and Libraries:

  • PHP – a server-side scripting language designed specifically for web development. (+ a high-performance PHP framework for developing Model-View-Controller (MVC) based web applications like Codeigniter of Laravel)
  • .NET – a developer platform with tools and libraries for building apps, including web, mobile, desktop, games, IoT, cloud, and microservices.
  • Java – Java is widely used for enterprise-grade web applications.
  • Opensource platforms for CMS like WordPress, Magento for ECommerce. Using an open-source platform will make things quick and easy.

3. Database:

It is the collection of inter-related data that helps in efficient retrieval, insertion, and deletion of data from the database and organizes the data in the form of tables, views, reports, etc.

  • SQL – Structured Query Language is a standard Database language which is used to create, maintain and retrieve the relational database
  • MySQL Database – is a fully-managed database service to deploy cloud-native applications

4. API integrations

APIs are a set of functions and procedures allowing the creation of applications that access the features or data of an operating system or application.

An API integration process, simply put, is the ability to connect all applications in a seamless manner

5. Continuous integration (CI)

CI is a software engineering practice in which frequent, isolated changes are immediately tested and reported on when they are added to a larger codebase.

A good example of CI is Jenkins. It is the most popular open-source project. Jenkins can help teams to automate any task. Some of the common uses include building projects, running tests, bug detection, code analysis, and project deployment.

6. Source code version management

Version control is what keeps track of the changes in the code so that if something goes wrong, you can make comparisons in different versions and revert to a previous version. It is a must-have requirement wherever multiple developers are continuously working on or changing the source code.

Git is a highly regarded version control tool presently available among the developers.

It provides strong support for non-linear development and is compatible with existing systems and protocols like HTTP, FTP, etc. GIT provides cryptographic authentication of history and is capable of efficiently handling small to large-sized projects.

7. XML/JSON

Knowledge of XML and JSON is important in full-stack web development.

JSON and XML are human-readable formats, are language independent and both have support for the creation, reading, and decoding in real-world situations

Both JSON and XML are “self-describing” (human-readable), they are hierarchical (values within values) and both can be parsed and used by lots of programming languages.

8. Containers

A container is a standard unit of software that packages up code and all its dependencies so the application runs quickly and reliably from one computing environment to another.

Docker is an open-source container technology that performs operating-system-level virtualization, commonly called ‘containerization’. Each container is essentially a virtual computer, so it is possible to set up different technology stacks as needed.

Choosing a web development full stack setup is mainly about practical experience. You will be able to make good choices once you have had experience of applying technologies and know-how well they work for you.

If you choose a tech stack based on internet research, it will be like trying to fix your car after reading the manual but without having any practical skills. You may do it right, but the chances are that you will have to bear losses for the damage you will cause.