Becoming a Full Stack Developer in Washington, D.C.

Possessing the dual skillset of both front-end and back-end coders, full stack developers have the capability of creating a website from start to finish, with no need to consult with another type of coder. Working in the field will mean learning various programming languages and having the ability to code for both sets of website functions. So, what exactly do the terms full stack, front end and back end mean? Keep reading to find out.

Front-end web developers work in languages that code the visible parts of a website. These languages (such as HTML, CSS and JavaScript) tell a user’s interface exactly how a website should look. For example, HTML programs the website’s text headings, while CSS communicates what fonts and colors to display.

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Back-end web developers learn the languages that improve and enhance a website’s functioning by communicating with the server. These languages (such as PHP, MySQL and PYTHON) are used to keep a website’s information up to date. For instance, an online shopping website will need to deal with constantly changing product offerings and prices.

Traditionally, those interested in web development would concentrate on learning either front-end or back-end languages, meaning two or more developers would need to work in tandem to create a website. However, in today’s tech industry, the full stack developer is quickly becoming a commodity in both big tech companies and smaller freelance businesses. Their knowledge of both front-end and back-end languages makes them versatile and independent employees.

Requirements for Licensing in the District of Columbia

You will not be required to have a license to work as a web developer in the District of Columbia. Due to the lack of professional oversight, there are also no official educational requirements for those in the industry. However, employers will expect job candidates to have extensive training in a myriad of programming languages.

Educational Programs in Washington, D.C.

Coding programs vary significantly in style. While some schools offer quick introductory courses dealing in just one type of language, others have front-end, back-end and full stack-focused training. It is also possible to pursue degree programs of various lengths. Knowing your eventual career goals will help you to choose the appropriate program for you. A few possibilities in Washington D.C. include:

  • General Assembly offers Full Stack Web Development in both full-time and part-time immersive courses.
  • The George Washington University offers a Coding Boot Camp through a virtual classroom in 12 to 24 weeks.
  • American University offers both master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Computer Programming, with the possibility of a combined program for both degrees.

Salary and Growth Projections

Statistics for full stack developers are not available through the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS); however, data collected from 2019 for computer programmers and web developers show average annual salaries of $117,350 and $85,290, respectively, in the District of Columbia. In fact, Washington, D.C. and the surrounding area is listed by the website as one of the top ten highest-paying areas in the country.

According to Projections Central, web developers can also expect a wide-open future, with jobs predicted to grow by 13 percent between 2018 and 2028.

Potential for Full Stack Developers in the District of Columbia

Big tech companies love full stack developers due to their ability to be utilized on many different projects. In Washington D.C., companies like Booz Allen Hamilton, Perspecta, One Globe, Atlas Research and Amazon are actively recruiting for qualified candidates. If working for a tech company isn’t your thing, full stack developers also make great freelancers and can earn a living practically anywhere. Either way, having more skills in the web development world will undoubtedly pay off.