May 11, 2023
The world of software development is spread far and wide. Amidst the multiple roles that are defined here, two popular roles that are often compared are Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer.
It is difficult to understand the difference between them. Both these roles can be found simultaneously in any organization or can be chosen based on requirements.
There is so much increased scope for full stack development and custom software development. As we evaluate the characteristics of software engineer vs full stack developer, there are certain areas where their roles overlap and certain places where there is a distinction.
Overall, we see a set of similarities and differences that exist. Each one specializes in their own aspect of software development and need different skills for fulfilling their responsibilities.
As we observe the soaring demand for both roles, it is highly significant to understand the individual characteristics of full stack developers and software engineers since both are an asset to technical teams.
This article focuses on understanding both roles separately and then observing the difference between software engineer and full stack developer.
Through this read, we will cover the following areas:
So, let us get started.
A full stack developer is a technical expert who manages the front end as well as the back end with ease. They are apt at designing and creating websites and apps, dealing with clients, and working on databases, servers, frameworks, APIs, libraries, etc.
They are well-versed in multiple programming languages, frontend frameworks, and backend databases.
They have extensive knowledge and offer comprehensive system engineering services that consist of mobile, web, and native application technology stacks.
Since they are proficient in frontend and backend both, they can even monitor projects with responsibility and track their progress, for timely completion.
Full stack developers understand in depth, all parts of web applications, websites, mobile applications, and the way systems work in sync with each other.
They work on server configuration, database development and implementation, client coding, and QA testing. They also build effective user interfaces that can assist in data input and output.
Also Read: What Is Full Stack Developer: Roles, Responsibilities, Skills And Scope
As you think about what a software engineer is, they are technology experts who have detailed knowledge of programming languages, OS, and software development practices.
They are keen to harness their engineering fundamentals to offer tailor-made software solutions for organizations.
A software engineer can build native applications for different platforms – mobile devices, desktops, consoles, TV sets, etc. with the help of languages like Java, C++, Swift, etc.
They apply mathematical analysis and the fundamentals of computer science for creating a variety of software elements.
They select apt algorithms for solving issues based on parameters like memory space, processing power, and OS compatibility. They work in sync with other members like programmers, designers, and analysts.
They undergo detailed planning of their projects with intensive knowledge about their project.
Even if they lie in the same industry segment, there are distinct skill set requirements that the two roles must exhibit. Some of them are common while others totally stand apart. Here are they:
Full Stack Developer Salary:
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a full stack developer is $98,026 in the United States
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a full stack developer is £56,784 per year in the United Kingdom
According to talent.com, the average full stack developer salary in Australia is $120,000 per year
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a full stack developer is $115,115 per year in New Zealand
Salary of Software Engineer:
According to Glassdoor, the national average salary for a software engineer is $90,824 in the United States
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a software engineer is £50,392 per year in the United Kingdom
According to talent.com, the average software engineer salary in Australia is $119,974 per year
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a software engineer is $98,000 per year in New Zealand
Before we plunge into the difference between Full Stack Developer and Software Engineer let us go through the similarities they possess:
|Parameters||Full Stack Developer||Software Engineer|
|Functions||Experts in all steps of app development. Can work on any part of the application. They look at server-side and client-side development, creating faster prototypes with a holistic approach.
They can develop databases, construct APIs, and design websites. The web applications developed by them can have multiple functionalities
|Create applications that execute on a desktop. Can work on specific parts of the application. They undertake coding, testing, and execution of applications belonging to a specific section.
They oversee a feature of an OS while operating on it. The software developed by them has user-centric and limited functionalities.
|Opportunities||Web designer, web developer, full stack developer||Search engineer, gaming developer|
|Development||Works on both – frontend and backend development||Develops applications that are executed on the computer|
|Focus Areas||Web applications||Native applications|
|Accessibility||Can access all components of web application without any hindrance||Can access partial components since their responsibility is limited|
|Product Utilization||Anyone can utilize their products with access to the Internet and a browser, for e.g. Grammarly, Amazon, etc.||Products are installed on devices that are accessed only after installation, for e.g. MS Word, Adobe Photoshop, etc.|
|Learning Curve||Learning about web programming, and front end and back-end development is good enough to start off||Having a formal degree in computer science is essential for getting into this field|
|Activities||Full stack developers undertake design and implementation activities during the software development lifecycle. They take care of UI design, logic design, coding, and testing.||Software engineers also take up designing system architecture and implementation activities but one after the other, not in parallel.|
|Domain Experience||Exposure to multiple technical domains like BI, data warehousing, etc.||Exposure to limited technical domains, specializing one at a time|
|Role in a Project||Serves as a team leader, assisting all team members in thorough task execution||Serves as a senior team member collaborating with other team members in phases|
|Limitations||Since newer technologies continuously get added, it is difficult for the full stack developer to stay abreast with the latest skills and technologies, all the while.||Since they work independently, it becomes difficult for them to resolve issues and stay integrated in the team, as an involved team member|
|Sample Use Cases||Websites for business/blog, chat applications, social media applications, video conferencing apps, etc.||Task management system, sentiment analysis, employee management system, image encryption system, etc.|
Selecting between Software Engineer vs Full Stack Developer can be a tough task. The above differences and comparisons can surely help you take a final call. Both are well-known for their salient features and possess their own popularity quotient. The demand for both is increasing by the day and they are offering great career prospects.
As organizations decide on whom to choose, it is important to understand what exactly the project need. Both roles are specific to certain tasks and hence involved stakeholders must perceive what needs to be done. A full stack developer would be a better choice if your project demands variety and flexibility. If the need is a focused or narrow area, a software engineer would be a preferred option.
We @ SPEC INDIA offer Full Stack development services including frontend, backend, database management, and all that it takes for a complete development setup. As a Full Stack development company, we ensure that our Full Stack developers are all set to assist you with needed expertise in all areas, identifying roles and responsibilities with corresponding challenges.
As you hire our team of Full Stack developers, you can rest assured with your core abilities leaving the Full Stack Development to us, as we deliver a full-proof and robust application, maximizing your RoI.
Our custom software development services cover the gamut from developing to testing to deployment and management. We help you realize your vision at scale with our custom, seamless, and scalable software that is designed to meet a specific set of needs of users and organizations.
Take the first step towards success by partnering with us for hiring full stack developers or software engineers, to create customized software solutions that are easy to scale, easy to maintain, and tailored specifically to your needs.
SPEC INDIA, as your single stop IT partner has been successfully implementing a bouquet of diverse solutions and services all over the globe, proving its mettle as an ISO 9001:2015 certified IT solutions organization. With efficient project management practices, international standards to comply, flexible engagement models and superior infrastructure, SPEC INDIA is a customer’s delight. Our skilled technical resources are apt at putting thoughts in a perspective by offering value-added reads for all.