Not long after I changed careers to become a full-stack web developer, I received an odd Facebook message from a family friend. “I visited your website,” he wrote, “and I’m still trying to figure out what pancakes have to do with websites.”
Clever…or clueless? I’m still unsure. But one thing is certain: IHOP needs to move over; the term “full stack” isn’t about pancakes anymore.
If you talk to a group of junior developers, you’ll likely receive one of three main answers to the question, “Why are you a web developer?” Many—if not most—are motivated by what they don’t want to be: a waiter; a bartender; a sales rep; a broke artist. Others lucked into computer science in college. Still others will say they just wanted a job that was more flexible than the average 9-to-5.
And then there’s me. I became a developer because of a PDF.
Browse any number of job postings for web developers — front-end, back-end, full-stack; it doesn’t matter — and every single job will require different expertise. From Adobe Creative Suite to Zero Day Exploits, you could spend an entire career attempting to become the ideal developer to meet any one of these job’s multiple requirements.