SwitchUp's Guide To Full-Stack Web Development

By: The SwitchUp Team
Last Updated: February 28, 2019

As you begin your programming education, one of your biggest challenges will likely be deciding the type of career you want to build. With so many different programming languages and technologies to choose from, it can be difficult to decide how to specialize. While it can be easy for some to choose the best path, you might find it hard to decide on a direction that best fits your skills and interests. If you're one of the many job seekers who can't decide between front-end and back-end web development, full stack development might be the answer for you!

In our guide to full stack development, we're addressing:

  1. What is full-stack development?
  2. How full-stack combines back-end & front-end development
  3. Applications of full stack
  4. Full-stack bootcamps:
    • What you'll learn
    • Benefits
  5. Why become a full-stack developer?
  6. Top-rated full-stack development bootcamps
  7. Considerations before enrolling in a full-stack bootcamp

What Is Full-Stack Development?

The term full-stack refers to the entirety of a computer system or application. Full-stack developers have experience and expertise with both front-end and back-end web development. They are proficient in all stages of software development; from initial concepts to UX design, implementation, operations and data collection, full-stack developers do it all! To produce a finished product, full-stack developers use their knowledge of multiple programming languages like HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Ruby and more.

How Full-Stack Combines Back-end & Front-end Development

Back-end development refers to the logical, internal facing code that drives the functionality of a website. Back-end developers are responsible for the server-side web application, as well as the integration of front-end code. They turn functional prototypes into a scalable system that is able to withstand thousands of requests per minute. On the other hand, front-end development controls the visible, user facing experience. Front-end developers have an expertise in creating visually pleasing, intuitive, and interactive designs, and often work with designers to ensure that a website is functional for the user.

Full-stack developers employ the skills of both back-end and front-end developers. They have the ability to not only create logical, functional code that drives the website, but they also produce code that results in a positive user interaction, and usability.

About Full-stack Bootcamps:

According to Stack Overflow's survey, 48.2% of developers self-identify as full-stack developers, and the average salary in the United States is $100,000. To prepare for careers in full-stack development, job seekers should consider skilling up with a bootcamp before entering the job market. Read on to learn more about a full-stack developer's role, and how a bootcamp education can help you get started in the field.

What Will You Learn?

Full-stack bootcamps teach the principles of both back-end and front-end web development. Back-end education focuses on the foundational code that drives a website, as well as the integration of front-end code, while front-end education focuses on producing interfaces that users can interact with directly. Students can expect to learn various programming languages including but not limited to Ruby, HTML, CSS and JavaScript. full-stack bootcamps also educate students about SQL, advanced algorithms, UI/UX design principles, product management, and more.

Benefits of a Bootcamp Education

Among their many benefits, bootcamps offer various formats and program lengths to match your career goals. Whether you wish to be a full-time full-stack student, or you plan to maintain a job while attending, bootcamps offer many part-time and full-time courses. To help you consider the options, SwitchUp has compiled hundreds of reviews about numerous programs that offer education in full-stack development. Browse SwitchUp's Full-stack Web Development Directory, or check out our Guide to 2019's Best Coding Bootcamps.

An additional benefit of bootcamp education is expense. Bootcamps offer a range of prices, most of which are considerably lower than their traditional counterparts. There are also a number of free bootcamps and prep courses that encourage students to take a zero risk first step.

Why Become A Full-Stack Developer?

When job seekers consider new career moves, two of the primary consideration are pay and opportunity. Those considering a career in full-stack development will be pleased to learn that opportunities are substantial and lucrative. According to Glassdoor, there are currently hundreds of openings for entry level full-stack developers in the United States. With salaries starting around $50,000 annually, it is clear that skills in both front-end and back-end web development can pay off!

Below, we're sharing the top-rated full-stack development bootcamps, as well as things to consider before enrolling.

Top Rated Full-Stack Development Bootcamps

Bootcamp Subjects Locations Format Rating
Le Wagon Ruby, Ruby on Rails, HTML/CSS, and JavaScript 28 locations Full-time, 9 weeks, 450 coding hours 4.97/5 over nearly 900 reviews
Ironhack AngularJS, Bootstrap, CSS, Express.js, Git, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, MongoDB, and Node.js Berlin, Mexico City, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Paris, Miami, Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon, Bogota, and Munich Full-time, 9 weeks or Part-time, 24 weeks 4.88/5 over 600+ reviews
App Academy Ruby, Rails, JavaScript, React.js, Redux, CSS, HTML, SQL, Advanced Algorithms NYC, Online, San Francisco Full-time, 12 weeks 4.7/5 over nearly 600 reviews
General Assembly Javascript, Ruby, Rails, UI/UX Design, Product Management, Digital Marketing, Analytics, HTML, CSS, Javascript, Ruby, Ruby on Rails, Data Science Dallas, Providence, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, NYC, Washington, D.C., Austin, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Denver, Chicago, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Online, Boston, and Santa Monica Full-time, or Part-time 4.24/5 over nearly 600 reviews
Bloc Ruby on Rails, HTML, Javascript, iOS, Android, Objective C, Swift, UX Design, CSS, AngularJS Online Full-time, or Part-Time, 4-8 month duration 4.76/5 over nearly 300 reviews
Thinkful HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Node.js, MongoDB, React.js Washington, D.C., Austin, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Portland, Raleigh-Durham, Salt Lake City, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Tampa, Online Part-time, 24 weeks 4.73/5 over nearly 250 reviews
Flatiron School JavaScript, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, Java, Node.js, AngularJS, SQL Seattle, Chicago, Denver, NYC, Atlanta, Washington, D.C., London, Online, Houston, Dallas Full-time, 15 weeks 4.89/5 over 200+ reviews
V School MongoDB, React.js, Express.js, JavaScript Toronto Part-time, 9 weeks 4.98/5 over nearly 200 reviews
Coding Dojo AngularJS, CoffeeScript, Express, jQuery, JavaScript, PostgreSQL, Ruby on Rails, PHP, SQL, CSS, Node.js, Git, MongoDB, Django, ASP.NET , ASP.NET MVC, Bootstrap, C#, C++, CoffeeScript, CSS, Cyber Security, Database design, Data Structures, Express.js, Heroku, HTML, iOS, Java, JavaScript, jQuery, MongoDB, MySQL, .NET, Node.js, Objective-C, PostgreSQL, Python, React.js, Responsive Design, Sinatra, SQL, SQL Programming, Swift, Web Services, Ruby, Ruby on Rails Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, San Jose, Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., Berkeley, Tulsa, and Online Part-time, 20 weeks 4.41/5 over 200+ reviews
The Tech Academy SQL, Data Structures, C#, .NET, JavaScript, HTML, jQuery, CSS, Git, Product Mgmt, ASP.NET , ASP.NET MVC, Bootstrap, MVC, MySQL, SQL Programming, Python, Scrum Portland, Seattle, Online, Denver Full-time, 26 weeks 4.81/5 over nearly 200 reviews
Hack Reactor JavaScript, AJAX, Algorithms, AngularJS, Software Test Automation, CSS, Database design, Data Structures, Express.js, Git, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, MongoDB, MySQL, React.js, Test-driven development (TDD), functional programming, MVC San Francisco, Austin, Los Angeles, NYC, and Online Full-time, 12 weeks, or Part-time, 38 weeks 4.71/5 over nearly 200 reviews
Actualize Ruby, Ruby on Rails, HTML, CSS, SQL, JavaScript, Vue.js, Git Chicago and Online Full-time, 12 weeks 4.89/5 over nearly 150 reviews
Lambda School JavaScript, React.js, HTML, CSS, SQL, Node.js, Git, MongoDB, Algorithms, Data Structures, Operating Systems, C Online Full-time, 30 weeks 4.92/5 over nearly 150 reviews
Tech Talent South jQuery, JavaScript, HTML, Ruby on Rails, CSS Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte, Asheville, Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, San Antonio, Wilmington, Columbus, and Houston Full-time or Part-time - 8 weeks 4.7/5 over nearly 150 reviews
Epicodus AngularJS, ASP.NET , ASP.NET , Behavior Driven Development (BDD), Bootstrap, C#, Command line, CSS, Heroku, HTML, JavaScript, jQuery, JSON, MySQL, Node.js, npm, React.js, Software Test Automation, SQL, Test-driven development (TDD), Typescript Seattle, Portland Full-time, 27 weeks 4.7/5 over nearly 150 reviews

Considerations before enrolling in a full-stack bootcamp

Before embarking on a journey to become a full-stack developer, professionals should consider the following:

  1. Bootcamp Cost
    • Are you comfortable investing a significant amount of money into your bootcamp education, or do you have a set budget? If cost is a consideration, keep that in mind while researching your options
    • Would it be beneficial for you to start your full-stack journey with a free bootcamp or prep course? If so, consider SwitchUp's guide to free bootcamps as a resource.
  2. Bootcamp Schedule
    • Are you able to take on a full-time program, or are you planning to continue working while pursuing continued education? Be sure to filter your search by full or part-time programs to ensure you will be able to balance your commitments outside of a bootcamp.
  3. Bootcamp Length
    • Do you wish to complete your bootcamp education as soon as possible, or are you willing to devote a longer period of time to this endeavor? Consider your timeline when browsing the options.
  4. Potential Income of full-stack developers in your regions of interest
    • Understanding potential outcomes after bootcamp completion is an important consideration. Upon completing your bootcamp, will you earn your desired income in your region of interest? Be sure you are confident with your income potential before investing time and money into your full-stack bootcamp education.
  5. Number of job openings for full-stack developers in your regions of interest
    • Is there a demand for full-stack developers in your region of interest? Be confident that there will be job openings at the time you will be entering the market.
  6. Alternative fields of interest
    • Before settling on full-stack development, be sure to consider any other areas of interest. Do they offer better job prospects, or income potential in your area? Perhaps another program might better suit your interest! Be sure to select the field that best suits your desired position, income, and overall outcome.

If you're ready to take the next step in your journey to become a full-stack developer, use SwitchUp's matching tool to find the right bootcamp for you!

Person thinking

Need help making a decision?

We'll match you to the perfect bootcamp for your location, budget, and future career.