In the past, whenever a software application had to be created, there was a whole team of experts involved. One guy to write the code, someone to manage the database, someone to ensure quality assurance for the code, someone to deploy it, a project manager to oversee it all, were few of the team players. In fact, given the scale of the application, there could be dozens or even hundreds of professionals working on it.
But, today the whole software development scene has undergone a sea change. Old-age practices that had siloed departments and disparate teams have become redundant. Cloud computing, mobility, and innovative software delivery models have changed the IT landscape. Not to miss mentioning that even basic software stacks like Java, SQL and DBMS have increased in variety making it difficult to run software teams with specialists.
As a result, full-stack development has risen in popularity. Full-stack developers offer the twin benefits of specialized skills as well as cost-savings. DevOps and Agile practices have become a way of living for IT enterprises since it gives them business agility and faster releases.
Full-stack developer & DevOps Engineer – Take of two specialists
Basically, full-stack development and DevOps are two sides of the same coin. Choosing which side to play with is a tricky choice to make. Both, a full-stack developer and a DevOps Engineer are highly sophisticated professionals who work towards a common objective – release software in shortest turnaround time with zero bugs. The methods and philosophies that they adapt to achieve the objective are what sets them apart from each other. The same factors also make the best fit for certain scenarios. If you are running an IT project and have run into the question of whether you need a full-stack developer or a DevOps engineer, our blog might help you answer the question. In what is to follow, we will describe in quick terms whether a full-stack developer or a DevOps engineer would be the right choice for each scenario.
Your software is complicated
Traditional software stack was less varied. In fact, some of the modern-day applications still follow the traditional software stack if it serves quicker releases and steady performance for their applications. In such a scenario, a DevOps engineer might seem to be a misfit. You need a full-stack developer who can run the entire application development and deployment end-to-end. A full-stack developer will also keep the project costs down since you don’t need a whole team to run the show.
Your project needs Agility
Agile methodologies have been used on ‘pilot mode’ by Silicon Valley giants for decades together. Finally, after much reiterations and proven success stories, ‘Agile’ has become the war cry for software development. After all, who doesn’t want to get things done faster?
But the agility in software development which promises rapid building and frequent delivery of updates and continuous improvement can be a bit overwhelming for a full-stack developer. A full-stack developer runs a marathon which gives him enough time to maintain pace and consistency. Agility is not quite the promise a full-stack developer can provide.
But, a DevOps engineer is built for agility. They have the necessary Enterprise architecture knowledge, understanding of application development environments, testing mechanisms and a better idea of how to move things so that the whole project moves faster.
You have budget constraints
Let’s face it. Sometimes the best ideas are often backed by few-dollars-rich budgets. The smaller your budget book is, the better fit a full-stack developer. To cite a metaphor, a full-stack developer is like a jack-of-all-trades and also master of them all. They can get more things done in the same manner a specialist would do it, even cheaper at that.
Quick scalability is on the horizon
How mature is your product? How stable is your business? Is your finances rock solid or waiting for the next lucky lottery? Ok. These might seem totally unrelated questions, but, if you dive deeper into the answers to these questions help tie the loose ends to a bigger question.
How quickly can you scale? When it comes to scaling, you can either scale the features of your product or add more services or business offerings. In either case, you need more resources, especially man hours. If scaling your product features rank higher on your agenda, then you need the services of a DevOps engineer. They can think with singularity and focus that will help increase the overall product feature list.
On the other hand, if it is expanding your services list that you really want, then more hours of a full-stack developer would be required. A full-stack developer would be flexible to spend more hours developing code on a specific language or a platform. They all-rounder characteristic will also help in quick releases of Minimum Viable Products or wireframes before the final launch can be initiated.
Summing it up!
DevOps and full-stack development are two parallel modern day software development philosophies. Both have their own development environment, objectives, and end-result. While full-stack development might help drive growth in certain scenarios, in other scenarios it would be DevOps that can steer your project forward. The choice of development is entirely dependent on the specifics of your requirement, the software stack required, agility expected and time availability. Also, the quantum of budget available for expanding on the resources.
Still confused whether a DevOps engineer or a full-stack developer would best fit your requirements?
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