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Full-Stack vs Specialized Developers: How to Make The Right Choice?

Full-Stack vs Specialized Developers: How to Make The Right Choice?

For any app development company, the question of choosing developers with multiple skills remains a top priority. Developers having skills and expertise in a variety of programming languages are always sought after. Having a developer team with multifaceted talents is always helpful as they are capable of handling multiple tasks and can be relegated to different projects.

But even developers with multiple skill sets vary. There are full stack developers and specialist developers. What projects are suitable for full-stack development skills and where the specialist developers are best suited for. Here we are going to explain the pros and cons of each option to help you decide to hire dedicated developer for your project. But before that let us explain their definitions.

What is a Full-Stack Developer?

What is a Full-Stack Developer

A full-stack developer is a developer having skills for both backend and frontend web and mobile app development. Companies also tend to hire full stack developers as they can work in user-focused web development projects and can use their skills and expertise with both front-end and back-end languages.

A full-stack developer is skilled and experienced in different languages and programming skills like the below mentioned.

  • Front End development frameworks such as Vue.js, Angular, Node.js and React.
  • Backend development languages such as PHP, Java, .NET and several others.
  • UI/UX design
  • Markup languages such as HTML and CSS.
  • Databases such as Firebase, MongoDB, PostgreSQL, and MySQL.
  • Software testing tools such as TestComplete, Katalon studio, Postman, Selenium, etc.
  • Working to ensure scalability, architecture, and project roadmap.

In complete contrast to the popular perception, a full-stack developer doesn’t need to program all the codes of a web app on his own. In most projects, full-stack developers either take the responsibility of frontend or backend development. Besides writing the code, it is the responsibility of a full-stack developer to implement various frameworks, tools, and libraries. With a comprehensive programming skill and knowledge of both frontend and backend development, full-stack developers naturally emerge as ideal prospects for app projects.

What is a Specialist Developer?

Specialist Developer

As suggested by the name, a specialist developer has expertise in a specific discipline and skill and his entire capability and output revolve around that discipline alone. For example, a developer having been specialized in database design will only be required in that capacity. Similarly, a developer with UI/UX design skills will only work for UI/ UX design. In spite of having specific skills and expertise a specialist developer often has a comprehensive idea about the whole app project.

The Pros and Cons of Full-Stack Developer

Full-stack developers in most development companies play a very important role. They provide a lot of flexibility and cost advantages. But hiring full-stack developers has its downsides as well.


  • Can Take on Multiple Tasks:

Just because a full stack developer remains well-versed for all stages of the software development project and various skills including frontend, backend, QA testing, code architecture, UI/UX design and others, they offer the talent pool to be utilized for diverse tasks.

  • Ideal for Small Budget Projects:

Thanks to the command over multiple skills and languages, full-stack developers can help to do without the multiple specialized developers. This helps lowering the cost of development for app projects.

  • Flexibility:

Since full-stack developers come well versed with server-side and client-side programming skills, development companies can easily help a developer to switch between skills.


  • Underproductive Time Management:

If a project relies on just one or two full-stack developers for an entire project, the unresolved tasks can pile up and this actually can harm productivity and cause bad time management.

  • Missing Trends and Technologies:

Just because full-stack developers work in different fields and with various skills, it becomes really challenging for them to keep up with the latest development trends, tools, and technologies.

  • Controlling Responsibility:

With a full-stack development team, developers take too much workload and they often just forget to split their workload into smaller tasks. This often creates confusion about the responsibility of any particular app part or project.

Read More: Why Hire A Full Stack Developer To Cut The App Development Cost

Pros and Cons of Specialist Developers

Specialist developers in complete contrast to the full stack developers are not a jack of all trades but rather the master of a single trade. This has its equal share of advantages and disadvantages. Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of specialist developers.


  • High Quality of Work:

When you hire a specialist for each area of a mobile app development services project, you ensure optimum quality for every part and the entire app together. Just because the specialized developers remain well versed and thoroughly skilled in their area of expertise, a superior output from the developers can be ensured.

  • Keeping Tuned to the Latest Trends and Technologies:

Just because the specialized developers dawn a specialized area of expertise, they can easily remain updated and informed about the latest trends and technologies.

  • Easier Allocation of Tasks:

As you already know the specialized skill set of each group of developers, allocating responsibilities and tasks to each developer based on his or her strength becomes easier. This also helps in splitting the entire project into small tasks allocated to specialist developers.


  • Higher Development Cost

Obviously, hiring specialist frontend and backend developers for client-side and server-side development tasks involve higher development cost than the full-stack development.

  • Increased dependency:

Since specialized developers most of the time do not have any idea about the various skills and technologies apart from their own area of expertise, they need to remain dependent on developers of other skill areas or other team members. This actually slows down a project apart from creating more complexities for the project.


Finally, before we conclude, let us spare a few words in the ideal projects for both types of developers. The choice of full-stack or specialist developers largely depends upon the project budget and project size. For example, for any startup with a small project hiring full-stack developers can be more ideal. This is because for small budget projects full-stack development helps by doing more with less resources.

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Written by Atman Rathod

Atman Rathod is the Founding Director at CMARIX InfoTech, a leading web and mobile app development company with 17+ years of experience. Having travelled to 38+ countries globally and provided more than $40m USD of software services, he is actively working with Startups, SMEs and Corporations utilizing technology to provide business transformation.

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