Full stack developer or software engineer?

Full Stack Developer vs Software Engineer: What's the Difference?

The tech industry includes so many career options that it can be challenging to choose one. Do you want to become a full-stack developer? Or perhaps you aren’t sure if that’s the perfect role for you? Is there even a difference between a full stack developer and software engineer? All these doubts make sense. In this post, we are going to explore both roles to help you clear your mind.

Full stack or software engineer? What’s your role? Let’s find out.

Who is a full stack developer?

In the world of programming and the tech industry, there are two main separate roles: back end and front end.

  • Front-end developers are those who ensure the web design is intuitive and user-friendly.
  • Back-end developers program the back code and ensure everything runs smoothly without lags or errors.


A full-stack developer, however, has enough technical knowledge and experience in both front-end and back-end development. That means they can work on all parts of a mobile or website application, including the database, the interface, and the server. Full-stack developers are in vogue and highly valued by companies, as you have two workers in one person, so much so that the average salary of full-stack developers is an estimated $119,177 per year.

How to become a full-stack developer?

Often, these professionals come from a Computer Science background where they learn every skill they need. However, online bootcamps have become a popular way to learn exactly what you need for the role. Our online full-stack developer bootcamp is designed to turn you into a professional in a few months and allow you to enter the workforce.

What are the requirements to become the leading full-stack development professional in the industry? While you don’t necessarily need a background in Computer Science, you will have to learn and master the basics:

  • On the front end: HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. You must also be capable of creating a user-friendly and responsive interface.
  • On the back end: You absolutely need to learn to program on the server side. These languages include Python, Ruby, PHP, and Java.
  • Database management: This skill is crucial, as you have to collect and recover data to improve your code and application. The most popular database is MySQL, which requires learning SQL.
  • Problem-solving skills: Anyone who works in the tech industry will face problems daily or weekly. It is important to have a strong analytical mind and be willing to overcome challenges that your code or other factors throw at you.

Full-stack developers are versatile and can work on different tasks. At any given moment, you can be designing the layout of a website. Next, you begin programming the back code that allows the site to run. While they can work on a project by themselves from scratch to end, they often count on a team of professionals to polish aspects of the project.

Who is a software engineer?

Software engineers are responsible for the design, development, testing, maintenance, and evaluation of software. They are often involved in every step of the process, as they are too knowledgeable to leave behind. They work closely with product managers and user-experience designers to create a project plan for the software. Then, during the development phase, a software engineer will code using programming languages like Java, Python, or C++. These are the most popular ones, but there are hundreds of programming languages, and each company or project requires one. Once the product is ready, software engineers ensure that the software is updated and complies with industry standards. They do this by testing the software and ensuring it meets the user’s needs. To do so, they need various testing methodologies like integration testing, unit testing, and acceptance testing.

What tools do software engineers use?

  • Integrated Development Environments (IDEs): These software applications provide tools for software development, like debuggers, code editors, and other features. The most popular ones are Visual Studio, Sublime Text, and Eclipse.
  • Version control systems: Git is the most popular one. Version control systems are essential for software engineers. Why? Because they allow development teams to work on the same codebase. If any changes occur along the way, everyone can see them, saving time and resources. They also allow reverting back to previous versions if the situation requires it.
  • Programming languages: Java (widely used for Android mobile apps); JavaScript (popular among data scientists and machine learning experts); C++ (widely used to build high-performance and top-quality systems and software); and Python (popular among data scientists for data visualization and web development).

The primary advantage of counting on your team with a software engineer is their vast background in Computer Science and understanding of programming. Every project needs interdisciplinary professionals to produce the most outstanding results, and a software engineer will always be on the team. Becoming one is a more tedious task, though, as it often requires a CS Bachelor’s or several intensive bootcamps. But the effort is worth it in the end, as the average salary for software engineers in the United States is $108,807 annually.

Full stack developer VS software engineer

The primary difference between a software engineer and full stack developer is the scope of work. Full-stack developers are responsible for building a project from scratch. While they often count on support from other professionals, most of the work is on their shoulders. They must be proficient in multiple programming languages, frameworks, and databases. They need to work faster to achieve their goals, and this pressure may play against them at times. But in the end, their retribution is higher and they have enormous possibilities of advancing in their professional careers.

On the other hand, software engineers specialize in one area of software development and often in one single programming language. Not many software engineers keep up with new ones and learn new ones. They prefer to stick to what they know and have already mastered, which makes them the best in their field and at what they do. They spend more time designing and building the software, which needs to be robust, efficient, and scalable.

Key takeaways:

  • Software engineers have a broader understanding of software development principles (due to a Bachelor’s in CS) but specialize in one language and framework.
  • Full-stack developers must be able to build a project from scratch, meaning they need to grasp and be proficient with different tools. They don’t know as much about the principles as engineers, but they can build something from scratch on their own.
  • Software engineers are likely to be part of a larger project where many professionals intertwine, while full-stack developers often work on creating smaller applications or projects.


What’s the average salary for each position?

Full-stack developers are highly valued, and the average salary of full-stack developers is an estimated $119,177 per year. The average salary for software engineers in the United States is $108,807 annually.

Full stack or software engineer? What’s the difference between full stack and software engineer?
Software engineers have a broader understanding of IT and programming but specialize in something. They are part of larger projects and work with multiple teams. Full-stack developers grasp the back-end and front-end and can build a project from scratch without much help, but as a result, the applications they build are often smaller.
Can I become a full-stack developer on my own?

Definitely! We at TestPro offer an online full-stack developer bootcamp for anyone interested in becoming a full-stack developer. While it takes time and patience, the results and salary pay off in the end. We try to ensure every student lands a position after completing our bootcamp. Contact us for further information

Can I become a software engineer on my own?

No, you can’t. You can take online courses and grasp the basics, but you need a Bachelor’s in Computer Science. You need a deep level of understanding you probably can’t get without going to college.


https:// www.indeed.com/career/full-stack-developer/salaries

Read more

Intelligent Test Automation: a New Trend in the World of QA

It’s no secret that the field of QA is constantly evolving. And in search of new, much more effective and accelerated approaches to testing, a revolutionary trend appeared – intelligent test automation. Thanks to such a revolution, humanity opens a new era where artificial intelligence takes the lead in testing processes. In this article, we’ll […]

What Is QA Testing

Quality assurance testing, sometimes known as QA testing, is an important phase in the software development process. Effective QA testing uncovers mistakes and inconsistencies that may impact the real-world usage of the program under development. Testing assures product lifetime while saving businesses time and money when performed properly. Developers on a short budget may be […]

Why Do You Want To Become A Tester?

One of the most typical interview questions is, “Why do you want to become a tester?” So, prepare a response that will impress the recruiter. List things relating to your talents and experience in this area, and prepare a response. Don’t memorize and respond in the interview – it can ruin the impression. And remember […]