How to Become a Full Stack Developer in California

Full stack developers represent the cutting edge in website development. These versatile professionals combine two important skill sets: the development of client-side (front-end) web software and the development of server-side (back-end) software. The appearance of full stack specialists is a relatively new phenomenon, but one that’s sure to grow more common over time.

Why are full stack developers so highly regarded? People capable of working on both sides of the web software equation can simplify project management in several ways. Typical benefits include faster development cycles and reduced costs. They also include tighter communication and a broader distribution of essential development knowledge.

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Full stack developers in California can take full advantage of high demand for their skills. That’s due in large part to the state’s prominent place in America’s tech industries. Full stack abilities can earn you a position at a broad range of companies throughout California. They can also make it possible for you to establish a lucrative freelance business.

Licensing and Training for California Full Stack Developers

California has no specific licensing requirements for people who want to work as web developers. The state also has no specific training requirements. However, most people working as developers have credentials that demonstrate their competency and experience.

For example, many California software professionals hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree in their field. Those who don’t have a degree typically hold some form of reputable professional certification. In addition, working developers typically have a documented background in common programming languages. On the client side of development, these programs include:

  • HTML
  • XML
  • JavaScript
  • JSON
  • Bootstrap
  • W3.CSS

Common server-side programs include:

  • PHP
  • Java
  • ASP
  • Python
  • C#
  • C++

Anyone hoping to work as a full stack developer must have detailed knowledge of both client-side and server-side programs. As a rule, it takes rigorous training to create such an in-depth skill set.

California Training Options for Full Stack Developers

Fortunately, there are a range of training options for anyone wishing to work as a full stack developer in California. Examples of institutions that offer specialized full stack certification include:

  • University of California Irvine Division of Continuing Education offers a comprehensive course in full stack web development. This online course is suitable for everyone from career changers to current developers who want to expand their skills and earning potential. Typical completion times for the UCI program range from three months to a full year.
  • UCLA Extension has created a coding bootcamp for prospective full stack developers. Held four times a year, this program features virtual classrooms and collaborative student projects. UCLA offers both part-time and full-time options to program participants. It takes six months to complete the part-time course and three months to complete the full-time course.
  • Redwood Code Academy also hosts a full stack developer coding bootcamp. This Orange County-based program accepts people at all levels of proficiency, including coding beginners. The bootcamp is full-time and lasts for three months.
  • California State University San Bernardino offers a Full Stack Software Developer certificate. Participants in this online training course receive a full 600 hours of instruction over a period of 18 months. They also build up a portfolio of projects that they can show to prospective employers.

Potential Salaries for California Full Stack Developers

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not record salary data for full stack developers. However, it’s still possible to get a good estimate of what these professionals can expect to earn in California. For example, reports that the average full stack developer working in the state can expect to make about $132,000 a year. This is roughly 17 percent higher than the average salary across the county. Even first-year developers can make six-figure salaries.

Job Prospects for California Full Stack Developers

Since full stack development is an emerging specialization, it’s difficult to find job market projections that cover this specific field. It’s also difficult to find statistics that apply specifically to California. However, the Bureau of Labor Statistics has made nationwide projections that cover all software developers.

The BLS estimates that the software development field as a whole will grow by 21 percent between 2018 and 2028. This is a much higher rate of growth than expected for most industries. Full stack developers in California can surely expect to benefit from this long-term trend.