Full Stack Software Engineer Description, Duties, Salary

Are you interested in a job that pays an average of $100,000 a year? The job is a full stack software engineer. This job requires you to do specific work that’s related to software, systems, and more.

What is a full stack software engineer? What does a full stack software engineer do?

A full stack software engineer is someone who can do all the work of systems engineering, servers, databases, and clients. They can work with both the front and back end of website applications.

This engineer can handle projects and tasks that involve building user-facing websites and databases, as well as helping clients during the planning stages of their projects. The clients may need web stacks, mobile stacks, or native application stacks, depending on the project.

Read on to understand more about full stack software engineers, what they do, how to become one, and their salary.

Full Stack Software Engineer Defined

The term ‘full stack’ refers to the niche in the software world specializing in websites. That means a full stack engineer works on websites from the front-end (the JavaScript, CSS, and HTML) to back-end services, such as the business logic running on servers and databases.

Full stack developer vs software engineer – what is the difference between full stack developer and software engineer?

  • software engineer is someone who works on anything related to software development.
  • full stack software developer or engineer is basically a software engineer who specializes in websites.

One subset of software engineering is full stack web development. This job requires the software engineer to handle the entire work involving systems engineering, servers, databases, and clients. In other words, the engineer must handle the development work both from the front-end and the back-end.

At the front-end, they must be comfortable with writing code for an application or a website. On the opposite end, they must be adept at working with servers and databases. It takes a person who has knowledge and experience on both ends of the work to be an excellent full stack software programmer or engineer.

What Does a Full Stack Software Engineer Do?

A software engineer must understand the technologies used to implement different components and layers in the solution. In other words, their work involves the understanding and utilization of the following technologies:

1. Front-end Technologies

The actual job of the engineer is to manage the user-facing components of the software application. Therefore, as full stack engineers, they should understand how the app or software should communicate, appear, and operate with the client or user. Part of their duties is to work using the following technologies:


Hypertext markup language or HTML and cascading style sheets or CSS are the primary technologies used to build web pages and design different styles of various websites.


It is a structural framework used to develop dynamic web apps. Angular JS is a structure that can optimize the written code. It features data binding and dependency injection, which eliminates much of the code written by the programmer. Moreover, it is the ideal partner for any server technology. It is what HTML could have been if HTML was designed for applications.


It is a JavaScript library offering an easy way to design interactive user interfaces. React makes high-performance rendering possible on both server and client.


Bootstrap is a framework on the front-end. It can support the development of dynamic websites and applications. You can reduce your efforts in coding because bootstrap offers different CSS functionalities.

2. Back-end Technologies

The purpose of back-end software development is to develop how a website or an app should interact and function with the front-end components. A software engineer utilizes the following technologies to perform his duties:

full stack software engineer definition


Java is an object-oriented computer language or code. It runs on servers and can be connected to databases and mainframes.


PHP is also called a scripting language. It enables the development of prototypes of websites, as well as official websites. PHP can be embedded easily into HTML and is an excellent tool in web development.


It is an open-source computer programming language that allows developers to build simple, dependable, and efficient software.


It is another programming language developed by Microsoft. This software framework allows developers to build applications that can run on Windows.


Node.js is a server-side environment built on the JavaScript engine (V8 engine) of Google Chrome. It takes a ‘non-blocking’ approach to serve requests. Thus, achieving high throughput and low latency. Node.js does not waste resources and time waiting for I/O requests to come back.

3. Databases

Another responsibility of a full stack software developer/engineer is to create and manage databases. These databases provide regular programmers and users a way by which they can create, update, manage, and retrieve data. Here are the usual database systems that software engineers use in the performance of their tasks:


It is an open-source document database written in the C++ programming language and is actually a NoSQL database. Easy scalability, excellent performance, and high availability are some of the things that this technology offers.


MySQL is also an open-source but relational database management system. It utilizes SQL to manage, access, and add content to the database.


PostgreSQL is another open-source but object-relational database system. It has some additional features like a messaging system and a full-text search.

4. Third-party Integrations

Third-party integrations are also part of the duties of a full stack programmer or engineer. Some of the third-party technologies used are as follows:

Amazon SNS

It is a notification service app. If this app is integrated into the software, it will enable messages and notifications to users.


Twilio is a cloud-based communication platform. Its purpose is to build SMS, voice, and messaging applications using the APIs of web services.


This tool allows users to view what causes crashes and bugs in live applications. Thus, it eliminates the job of detecting bugs and crash reporting.


This tool allows users to connect daily used apps so that the tasks will be more efficient and productive.

5. Related Responsibilities of a Full Stack Software Programmer/Engineer

Here are the other duties that can be handled effectively by a full stack software engineer:

File Storage

A software engineer must know and utilize the different types of file storage services, such as Google Cloud, AWS, and Microsoft Azure. It is a filing system that enables applications to save and access files on storage devices. Each file is stored in a particular hierarchical structure.

Request/Response Tracing

The engineer should always know the status of requests. He uses the method of request/response tracing to examine the current status of all requests.


The full stack software developer should also be concerned with security. He should also be very familiar with security protocols, such as encryption, SHA, public and private key cryptography, decryption, and so on.


The software engineer should also look after the log file. It is the record of all events that occurred in the software runs and operating system. One of his duties is that of storing a log.

There are other duties and responsibilities that a company may assign to its full stack software engineer. However, all the tasks mentioned above are the most significant functions that this type of software developer performs.

How to Become a Full Stack Software Engineer

Do you have what it takes to be a full stack software programmer or developer? If you think that you have the interest and the necessary education required in pursuing this career, here is a way by which you can develop the skills and land a job – in as short as three months.

1. Be Familiar with the Job of a Full Stack Software Engineer

In this article, you already have an introductory knowledge about a full stack software engineer’s job description. But this article has only touched on the more important functions of the job. There is more information that you need to unearth yourself if you are interested in pursuing this career.

For instance, you may want to research the average pay scale that companies in your local area offer for this position. Knowing the monetary reward will surely spur you to develop the required skills and get the education to be successful in this field.

The full stack software engineer salary is higher than many other jobs. It will vary depending on your experience and skill level. I’ll discuss the salary in more detail later.

2. Assess Your Skills

You should examine yourself, given your aptitude, interest, acquired skills, and education, if you are really qualified for this job. Or is it just the money? Preferably, it should be one and the other, and not just the money angle.

Additionally, there are many pros and cons to this job. You should be aware of these different job factors before pursuing this career path.

3. Equip Yourself

what is a full stack software engineer

After assessing yourself, you should know your education and skills gap with the work of a full stack software engineer.

a) If you don’t have any knowledge or skills in web development, you should get some education on the essential front-end developer skills. 

You need to learn about responsive/mobile design, version control/Git, and JavaScript libraries and frameworks (ReactJS and iQuery). Moreover, you should also get some education on the programming languages used by front-end developers, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML.

b) If you already know front-end web development, you still need to learn the skills required to be a back-end developer. 

The skills required are a general understanding of front-end technologies (used in cross-team communication), database management, and API architectures such as REST/SOAP. You should also study the programming languages that back-end developers use. They include Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Python.

4. Learn the Essential Web Development Skills and Programming Languages

The internet is replete with online courses that teach these skills and languages. In fact, there are free courses that you can enroll in. Simply Google search for free programming courses, and you will find these websites.

But if you really want to make a go of this career, enroll in online courses that charge reasonable fees. They will teach you the things you need to know and more than what the free courses offer.

5. Build Your Portfolio

Once you have acquired programming skills and learned the languages, you can start building your portfolio. It is important since your portfolio is proof that you can do the job of a full-stack software engineer.

Moreover, your portfolio should focus on your best designs. If you are just starting out, use the best designs that you have developed while you are learning and building the skills needed for the job.

6. Search for Full Stack Software Development Jobs

If you are just starting out, search for junior full stack developer/engineer jobs. But if you already have stacked up enough experience, go for companies that are looking for software development engineers, full stack developers, full stack engineers, and API engineers.

7. Be Prepared for the Interview

Whether you apply for an entry-level full stack software engineering position or a senior position, you should be fully prepared for the interview. Practice your answers to the usual questions thrown in an interview. Bring along your laptop to show your sample works on front-end and back-end software development. Proof could be more important than your resume.

Don’t be timid about your specializations, too. Your interview is the time to impress your future employer. If you do everything right, you can ace your interviews.

Full Stack Software Engineer Salary

The full stack software engineer salary is higher than many other jobs. The average salary is around $85,000 to $100,000 per year. This amount varies depending on how much experience you have and the position you get.

The salary of an entry-level full stack software engineer starts at $60,000 per year. The salary for a more experienced worker can be up to $175,000 per year. The position also tends to include full health and dental benefits.

A full stack software engineer is a very important and valuable position for the company, so they are willing to pay top dollar for it. So if you possess the necessary skills, you could be earning a great salary from the entry-level position. Then as you climb in the company, your salary can increase by quite a lot, upwards of $175,000 or more.

Conclusion – Full-Stack Software Engineer

So, to recap, what is a full-stack software engineer, and what do they do? A full-stack software engineer is someone who can do the work of systems engineering, databases, servers, and clients.

This type of engineer can work with both the front and back ends of website applications. That means they can handle projects and tasks that involve builder user-facing websites and databases.

Full stack software engineers also assist their clients during the planning stages of their projects. Depending on the project, clients may need mobile stacks, web stacks, or native application stacks.

Full stack developer vs software engineer – what is the difference between full stack developer and software engineer?

  • full stack software developer or engineer is basically a software engineer who specializes in websites.
  • software engineer works on anything related to software development.

The full stack software engineer salary is around $100,000 on average. It ranges from $60,000 at the entry-level and up to $175,000 for more experienced workers.