In recent times, web development roles have grown more nuanced to fit altering technologies and progressing user tastes. When, the role of web developer– a catchall term for multiple functions that enter into developing a website– was all the rage, but now more specific development roles such as full stack developer and front-end developer are trending up, while web developer is losing ground.
Data scientists at SkilledUp, recently studied a dataset of over 28 million online job postings. Their findings backup these trends with cold hard statistics. In May 2013, 55 % of web development job posts looked for a web developer. By September 2014, that number had actually dropped to 44 %. On the other hand, job need for front-end developers stood at 20 % in May 2013, and 25 % in September 2014. Demand for full stack developers went from barely 1 % to 6 %.
So what is the incentive behind this shift in need?
The increase of the front-end developer might be credited to the increasing demand for interactive web aspects, such as animated narratives, interactive maps and images, simulations, and illustrated essays. Front-end developers concentrate on the front-end of a website, or the part of a website which users can see and communicate with. As more focus is shifted to interactivity and user experience, the better a front-end developer ends up being.
When it comes to full stack developers, their rise in popularity may have something to do with cost savings. Instead of concentrating on one area of know-how, a full stack developer is proficient in all stages of web development, and employers are beginning to recognize the advantages of hiring a one male development group. Why hire a front, back, and UI developer when you can hire one complete stack developer, and pay only one income?
Startup companies seem particularly taken with full stack developers, as many start-ups operate with extremely low overheads, and cannot afford to hire people who are just knowledgeable in one location. If you have ever worked for a startup, you understand that “wearing many hats” is a repeating style. Full-stack developers program, and troubleshoot under many, many hats, making them a startup’s dream hire.
While full-stack developers can mean cost savings, companies still recognize the value of such an extensive ability set. According to data obtained from Indeed, the mean salary for a full-stack developer is $106,000. Usually, back-end developers make $101,000, front end developers make $92,000, and web developers make $76,000. Obviously, raise with greater specialization in front or back end, with a full stack ability set earning leading dollar.
So what lies ahead? Will web development roles splinter even further as technologies and user choice remain to sophisticate? If these patterns are any indication, then it promises that more specialized roles will become a response to more technological developments. But the specifics of these functions are still anybody’s guess.