Short answer: Anyone who builds everything.

A web application developer is a special kind of tool builder; often one who builds tools for others. These are tools which run right inside your web browser, but are more commonly called web applications.

The actual amount of work that goes into building a successful web application is often enough to make your head swim, and yet it accurately illustrates what full-stack development entails.

Let’s look at a few examples of the challenges we face on a daily basis:

  • Business logic - What problem am I looking to solve? What purpose will this application serve?

  • Research - What existing tools, if any, can be leveraged to facilitate application development and can they be trusted?

  • Prudence - Whom can I learn from and what mistakes can I avoid altogether?

  • Data - How will I collect the information the application requires? Where will this information be stored for later use? How will I ensure the application is compliant with information privacy laws?

  • Infrastructure - How will I deliver the application to end users?

  • Reliability - How will I ensure the application is always responsive? How will I ensure the application is always available in the event of a system failure? What if I need to make an update?

  • Presentation - How should the application represent the company? Have I obtained approval for these design elements?

  • Security - How will I mitigate the possibility of the application being exploited and used in a malicious manner?

  • Quality Assurance - How will I ensure that only code which has been reviewed and approved will be released?

As a full-stack developer, I find the best way to execute this growing list of requirements is to take a minimalistic, iterative approach (adhering to certain guiding principles developed over time) that enables me to incrementally satisfy these requirements in a timely fashion.

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