Full stack engineering is a mindset not a skill set

There is a myth in software engineering that any technology closer to the customer i.e. front end is easier to engineer than any technology that is on the back end.

This myth applies recursively. For eg: building UIs is easier than building web servers which is easier than building databases which is easier than data science which is easier than building virtual machines.

It stems from confusing ubiquity with simplicity. As technologies drive more customer value they become easier and easier to work with. But just because anyone can make a website doesn’t mean anyone can make a great website.

This myth is pervasive in tech companies and results in silos of back end and front end engineers as well as perverse promotion incentives that push engineers towards the back end because it has “harder problems”.

The truth is that the growth and compensation of engineers is directly proportional to the customer value they create. So, siloing yourself to a part of the stack is the easiest way to restrict yourself from creating more customer value.

The full stack engineering mindset allows engineers to identify and solve large customer problems across any part of the stack even if your title doesn’t necessitate it or your skill sets don’t qualify you for it.

Show Comments