Full-Stack Development Team vs. Specialists: Weighing the Pros & Cons

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Publish date:

January 9, 2024

Updated on:

March 8, 2024

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Full-Stack Development Team vs. Specialists: Weighing the Pros & Cons


Now that you’ve decided to own an app or website for your business, the next step is deciding what kind of developers you want to hire.

You're hiring from two types of developers: Full-stack and specialized developers. While the former is a generalist, the latter is a specialist. Due to various reasons, tech companies usually prefer full-stack developers over specialists.

We expect a 13% rise in demand for developers within the next decade as the pool is now filled with diverse talents, but you need to assess your company's requirements before hiring anyone. This begs the question: do you hire a full-stack development team or a team of specialists?

Who is a Full-stack Developer?

Full-stack software developers are software engineers with the skills required to build front-end and back-end aspects of a website or application and other software development skills, like database storage, cloud computing, and web security. They are generalists with a solid understanding of software development. They are the primary options for most start-up organizations since they offer so much more in software development than individual specialists.

As generalists, full-stack developers display proficiency across a wide range of programming languages, from typical front-end languages like HTML, CSS, and React to backend libraries like Node and PHP. In addition to programming languages, full-stack developers have practical design skills and can handle database storage tasks. So, whether you need help with your website’s interface (front-end) or server connections (back-end), hiring a full-stack development team is your go-to option.

On the other hand, your website’s needs might be a lot more specific, requiring more specialized attention than the general approach, and that’s where the specialist developers come in. They have specific expertise and sport a rather more solid grounding in individual languages than their full-stack counterparts. That is not to say that full-stack software developers are not as competent. Still, a specialist developer for a particular programming language will better grasp the libraries and trends associated with that language than a full-stack developer.

Developers could be specialists in:

  • Specific app development, like iOS and Android developers,
  • Front-end development, where you can find specialists in React, Angular, and Vue,
  • Back-end development,
  • Cloud computing,
  • Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)t,
  • Security management, and
  • Machine learning and artificial intelligence are amongst other fields.

Pros of Hiring a Full-stack Development Team

The merits of hiring a full-stack development team revolve around their versatility and effectiveness in meeting most of your company’s software demands. Some of them include:

#1 Cost-effectiveness

Hiring a full-stack development team helps you save on cost since they have the complete skills to run a software development program. Instead of hiring teams of specialists, you can get a full-stack development company to handle your company’s website. Also, if you’re unsure which roles to hire, beginning with full-stack developers is a budget-friendly option while you figure out what suits your brand/company best.

#2 Reduced dev team meetings

With full-stack software developers comes a reduced need to get everyone on the same page. Software development meetings could be long and dreary when individuals are handling specific aspects of the project, and you have to bring everyone up to speed about the latest updates on all the areas.

Being generalists, full-stack software developers can see the entire picture and need less time to understand how far the project has gone. This also reduces the time it will take for the project to get completed since full-stack developers can take on multiple assignments and do not need input from other developers to continue working.

#3 Adaptability

A common argument against full-stack development teams is that they only have a general idea of most programming languages. While the statement could be true, full-stack software developers only need some time to catch up with trends specific to the programming languages before they start using them. Their strength lies in their fundamental knowledge of several aspects of programming; catching up with trends becomes more accessible from there.

Full-stack development teams also offer a more flexible option for your company, owing to their ability to function in various capacities in software development. They can switch from front-end to back-end and even security or database storage with relative ease, ensuring a smooth running of the project.

#4 Seamless communication

Even when a company favors a team of specialists, getting a full-stack software developer is still wise. Tension between specialists could cause delays in project execution, but the presence of a full-stack developer brings the entire software development team back together. The full-stack developer has a more holistic approach to software development, and his view of the bigger picture will help streamline communication and ideas within the team.

Cons of Hiring a Full-stack Development Team

#1 Hard to track activity

Unlike specialist devs, full-stack developers have overlapping functions, often handling different aspects of a single project. Thus, tracking a particular full-stack software developer’s progress is more challenging than that of a specialized developer. In cases where several full-stack developers work on the same aspect of a project, there is also the issue of assigning responsibility when an error comes up.

#2 High expectations

Because full-stack developers are quite do-it-all, so it is easy to expect a lot from them. In truth, they have a versatile skill set that qualifies them for various tasks, but specific tasks require specialist attention. A full-stack developer might need help executing them.

#3 Tough to replace

Because getting a full-stack developer is so rare, they are tough to replace in the software department. Their versatile nature is in high demand; Indeed research in 2018 revealed a 206% spike in demand for full-stack software developers, depicting an increased need for full-stacks in modern e-commerce.

Also, failure from a specialist could be corrected by simply bringing a better one on board. Still, a full-stack developer’s errors will have cross-functional effects, often hampering the progress of a project significantly.

Full stack developers vs. Specialists: When should you use which?

As we stated earlier, choosing a software development team would depend on your company/brand’s needs. So, your first step in hiring a full-stack development team is evaluating your company’s demands so you can streamline your job description and interview processes.

Full-stack developers would be a perfect fit for start-ups with several projects to tackle at once. In such cases, you can hire a team of full-stack developers to meet your company’s needs. Specialist developers will be better applied in large companies looking to launch major projects. Such projects can be broken down into smaller chunks suited to each specialist’s abilities.

Project flexibility also plays a significant role in deciding your software development team. Specialists will deliver if the project has fixed requirements, while full-stack developers are the best choice when your project has flexible ramifications. Lastly, finances could also influence your choice of developers, as a full-stack development team will cost you less than a team of specialist developers would.

What to look out for in a reliable Full Stack development team?

Your typical full-stack development team should comprise the following skills to achieve the needed versatility:

  • Front-end skills, including languages like HTML, CSS, and Javascript, libraries like React.js, frameworks like Angular.js, and styling languages.
  • Back-end skills, where different platforms dictate the languages the developers must be proficient in. Popular platforms include Node.js, PHP, and Java.
  • Design skills like UI/UX.
  • Git and GitHub experience.
  • Database and web storage.
  • Personality traits like discipline, analytical thinking, creativity, and attention to detail.

Hire full-stack development teams best suited to your company’s needs–Consult Pangea today!

Getting a full-stack development team could be the next step in your company’s hiring process, and it doesn’t get easier than with Pangea. Our talent pool features the top 7% of the best full-stack development companies and agencies selected after a rigorous vetting process to ensure you get a wholesome experience. So whether you need full-stack developers or specialists, Pangea is here to help.

Do you still have issues assessing your brand’s needs? Take this test with our experts to help you evaluate your company’s positions more clearly and streamline your demands.


#1 Who is a full-stack developer?

A full-stack software developer is a software engineer with diverse software development skills for front-end development, back-end development, database and web storage, and web design. The full-stack developer packs a more versatile skill set than specialists, increasing his appeal to recruiters, especially start-ups.

#2 When should I hire full-stack developers?

Full-stack developers are best suited to fast-paced environments where many projects are to be completed simultaneously. Their versatility enables them to handle several aspects of a single project, and so are the developers of choice for start-ups.

#3 How much does a full-stack developer earn?

Full-stack developers could earn between $80,000 and $150,000, depending on the location, company, and experience level.


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Godwin Oluponmile

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I drive revenue for MarTech and eCommerce companies with seductive storytelling. I build customer-centric pieces through thought-provoking opinions with trends in your industry.

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SEO-focused copywriter and strategist. Web 3.0 enthusiast. Words on Entrepreneur, Benzinga, Hackernoon, Pangea, Codeless, Blocktelegraph and more.

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