More is more: The evolution of Applications Development

Candidates with experience of solely front- or back-end development are finding demand for their skills are decreasing and what was once an in-demand skillset has become only half of what is expected.

Now, it's all about being a full stack developer.

Five years ago, technical talent who could handle both the back and the front end were rarities and not something a business could bank on being able to find. As a result, development companies hired people to work on the front end, others to work on the back end and that was that. But, as the available technologies have expanded in capability, development on one side of the stack only has become more efficient - leading to talent being able to complete projects faster.

This seems positive on paper but it has led to clients feeling as if they are not getting value for the money they are paying development workers, especially on permanent where work is completed in less time but workers aren't paid by the hour. As a result, many businesses have decided that increased project turnaround is less important than streamlining staffing to limit human resource expenditure.

Clients have realised that even if they pay a high rate or salary to a full-stack developer, this can still work out as more cost effective than hiring two separate developers, providing two separate workstations and, on permanent, offering two separate benefits packages.

And there are now enough full-stack developers in the market to make this a realistic prospect.

Many candidates saw the direction of the market and cross-trained to become full-stack developers. The aforementioned technological advances have led to more of the newer generation of developers joining the industry being able to work both sides of the table, so to speak - to the point where even those with no more than a couple of years within the industry are being paid comparably to those with far more experience.

The development world will keep evolving and it's tough to pinpoint any one skill that will be the "next big thing" but one thing's for sure - it's time for any single-end developers to invest in a skills upgrade and get to grips with the other half of the stack because, moving forward, people who can only do half of the work aren't even going to be considered for more than half of the jobs. 

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