Considering the fact that a full stack developer needs to have strong skills for devops, backend, front end, business modeling, networking, infrastructure, basically strong skills for the whole stack, why should a skilled developer hunt for these kind of jobs and not hunt for a CTO/IT management type of position (which is usually better paid)?

Why should't a skilled full stack developer not open his own workshop and work directly for clients / startups (since startup companies are usually looking for these kind of devs).

Why shouldn't a full stack developer focus on a backend/frontend only job (less stress, alot of extra time to focus on other things) and get 20-30% less pay?

Is the full stack dev job worth the effort compared to other oportunities?

I am asking this because lately I've seen a boom on the job market for full stack devs and after some research, it seems that the pay is not far greater than the one a focused/backend/frontend dev would get (compared to CTOs that usually even get equity and far greater pay).

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    Why would someone who wants to do development take a management role? Why would someone who wants a reliable paycheck without client interaction get into freelancing? Why do you say a full stack role is more stressful / effort? Why do you care what other people think instead of just doing what you want to do? – Bernhard Barker Aug 19 '18 at 9:17
  • @Dukeling I was asking for advice. When building your career it's not always about what you like to do, it's also about what needs to be done, what path to follow to have a better life. So I asked if following the full stack dev path in a company is worth trying compared to the others. I actually tried both entrpreneur (full stack) and in a company (not for long) and was wondering now agian to try a full time job or go all in with employees maybe for the entrpreneur route. – Geo C. Aug 19 '18 at 10:38

I see it more as a preference. If you like UIs, responsiveness, and stylesheets then you would do frontend. If you prefer APIs, restful services and traditional programming then you would do (web) backend. If you like both, you would do web fullstack. Things get hairy when Backend means different things for different people. It might be cloud config, setting up event workflows and databases and have almost zero programming.

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    Full stack means alot more than frontend / backend coding. It means docker, it means consul, it means services orchestration, it means networking, it means scalability, it means design, security, testing , business modeling etc. I've seen job offerings where they were looking for a jack of all trades (full stack dev) which included as requirements many of the above. So I was wondering if there is any real benefit to hunt these jobs since they are a hot trend now. Because to me, it seems like they are asking too many and maybe not offering that much in return – Geo C. Aug 19 '18 at 10:43
  • P.S. I've been working on startups and was wondering what is the tradeoff to work directly on startups for clients or get hired by a company who requires the skills to pass along projects from clients (at least this is what they seem to do when I see so many requirements and probably little more pay than a specialized dev since they need to get some proffit) – Geo C. Aug 19 '18 at 10:46
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    @GeoC. You wouldn't (or shouldn't) have such a wide range of responsibilities at a typical (development-focused) large company, full-stack or not. Big companies hire testers, designers, security experts, whomever does business modelling and network engineers as separate roles from developers. Small companies don't have the budget or amount of work for all of that, so employees often need to do a wide range of things. – Bernhard Barker Aug 19 '18 at 11:12
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    @GeoC. I don't see jobs as having some objective return / effort ratio, but I rather try to find jobs that excite me personally. When you look at it that way, it's much easier to figure out whether or not you want some job. – Bernhard Barker Aug 19 '18 at 12:59
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    So I was wondering, if anybody worked in such companies and if it's worth the effort/knowledge Absolutely. I learned more in the ~2 years at a startup than I did in 5 years at a huge corporation and self-studying in my freetime :) The advantage in the startup scene is also that you are not expected to know it all. There is ample opportunity to learn new things on the job. Which at least to me is the biggest motivator in any job. – Juha Untinen Aug 19 '18 at 13:56

From my point of view many companies nowadays look for full stack developers (at least here in Germany), because projects switch fast and today they need a UI developer, but in 6 months there's a project with mainly backend dev tasks.

So while a specialist is still needed, generalists give the companies more flexibility.

CTO or entrepreneur is a whole different scope or skillset than developer, so that's not the alternative for most people.

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