Rollback a few years and you would find that web applications were little more than digital catalogs. For the most part, they were static and as they had fewer footfalls, the risk and repercussions for crashing websites also used to be low. Those days it used to common for a single person to design, develop, and even host their website! But as the scale and complexity grew, web development has gradually moved from a generalist to specialist approach- giving rise to separate domains of frontend, backend full stack development
As much of the application is built using ready-to-use components and templates, the task of these developers slants more on designing than development. Not just the aesthetics- which is a part of the interface but also the entire workflow- that constitutes user experience.
The actual working of websites takes place behind the scenes. That is, when you as a user click “Buy” on any eCommerce website, it is the backend developers who make the purchase happen. Technologies like PHP, Python, NodeJS, among others, remain the most popular for backend development. And just like you don’t find “front-end developers”, you won’t find “backend developers” in job profiles. They are known by the technology they work upon like “PHP developer”, “NodeJS developer”, etc. The database expertise to remains a part of backend development.
Overall, all you need is a UI/UX developer and a PHP/Python/NodeJS developer to build any web application.
Full Stack development
Generally, developers who carry expertise on all parts of application development are referred to as full stack developers. In theory, that is quite simple to explain but as mentioned, web development technologies have evolved a lot over the years and things aren’t any more so easy to segregate.
The new web development space
Overall as a general rule of thumb, we should be segregating these domains only for custom web application development and not all web development projects. In that case, our neatly defined categories hold true. Otherwise, it is more plausible to assume that full-stack developers have built the application.