Full stack development involves working in both the front end and the backend of an application. Full stack developers are well-rounded professionals that add immense value to a team, and this is reflected in their paycheck. Full stack development is one of the most lucrative tech careers. According to ZipRecruiter, the average salary for a full stack developer is $102,744 per year.
Entry-level full stack developers earn $38,000 per year on average, while more experienced professionals can see annual salaries that exceed $150,000. This variation in pay suggests that there is a great opportunity for advancement. One of the best ways to be among the best-paid professionals in the field is to constantly update your skills through real-life projects.
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In this article, we show you full stack development project ideas you can work on to hone your skills and raise your market value. We also tell you the key skills to focus on to become a full stack developer and give you tips on how to organize your portfolio so that you can land your dream job.
5 Skills That Full Stack Developer Projects Can Help You Practice
Full stack developers build web applications and websites from scratch. Since they’re building these complex applications from the ground up, they must have an in-depth understanding of both frontend and backend development. The difference between front end and backend development is not always obvious, so let us explain.
Front end development involves the user interface and other key elements of the user experience. Backend development, on the other hand, deals more with server integration, data structure, and flow, in addition to background knowledge of technical architecture.
However, full stack development is not only all about these core skills. If you want to be more effective in your role as a full stack developer, you also need to be involved in all phases of full stack structure and design projects. Once a project is delivered, you need to work on maintenance, updates, and improvements to develop your skills further.
If you are learning full stack development, there are a few practical skills that you should be prioritizing in your training. Below, we show you the top five skills you can improve on by working on hands-on projects.
- Backend languages. As a full stack developer, you also need to be adept at backend languages like PHP, Python, Ruby, and Java. Immersing yourself in various projects could help you enhance your skills in this department.
- Databases. Full stack developers need to be well-experienced in database management. This means you need to understand, design, and manipulate different database queries. You also need to have technical know-how in JSON and XML.
- Design. You will also assume the role of a UI designer to work on the front end of applications and create aesthetically pleasing yet fully optimized sites. This means you need to be comfortable at creating wireframes, mockups, and prototypes, as well as translating requirements into attractive user interfaces.
- Web architecture. A full stack developer needs to master the ins and outs of web architecture since they’re responsible for developing complex software apps from the ground up. They need to be well-versed in code and database structuring, file categorization, and the performance of computational tasks. They can master all these skills when they continuously work on different projects.
Best Full Stack Developer Project Ideas for Beginners
Every seasoned full stack developer started as a novice and became a master of their craft by gaining relevant hands-on experience throughout the years. They may have completed a computer science degree or attended a top coding bootcamp. However, no amount of education is enough if they don’t apply what they are learning. To become a top developer, practice is key.
There’s no better way to practice your skills than taking on real-world projects. Below, you’ll find great projects to practice key full stack development skills and improve as a professional.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: CSS, HTML, Drupal, WordPress
Beginners can cut their teeth by creating simple sites using a content management system (CMS) such as Drupal and WordPress. A CMS allows users to design a web page via a simple drag and drop method. As you create your first site, practice adding different media elements and playing around with the platform’s features and tools.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: HTML, CSS, Git, GitHub
In this project, you will be building a website for a client. This page will represent the client’s business and give it a platform to advertise its product offerings. Start by creating the HTML and CSS files and getting comfortable with these programming languages. Since you’re just starting out, take advantage of developer communities to get inspiration, discuss ideas, and ask for troubleshooting tips.
Travel Log App
- Full Stack Developer Skills Developed: Coding, app design
In this project, you will be creating a travel log app. The goal is to create an application that allows users to share photos and details about their vacation. Users should be able to browse other users’ experiences and search stories and posts by location. If possible, incorporate tools that allow the user to access information about travel costs, ease of transportation, safety, travel tips, and other important aspects of traveling.
Clinic Management Application
- Full Stack Developer Skills Developed: App design, data management
This project will challenge you to build a management app that gives the user access to a list of doctors according to department or field of specialization. Users can also use this app to view open slots for therapy or surgery sessions as well as doctor consultations. This app can also be used by doctors to track appointments and patient status.
Postcard Creator App
- Full Stack Developer Skills Developed: Creativity, template design, app design
Put your skill to good use by dabbling in a beginner full stack project that aims to bring out the creativity of users. In this project, you will be building an app to create postcards. This app should allow users to put together their own postcards by uploading images and adding text overlays. Users can download their creations and print them out in different sizes.
Best Intermediate Full Stack Developer Project Ideas
A person with five or more years of experience in full stack development can be considered to be at an intermediate level. To continue working on your abilities when you reach this stage, consider the following projects.
Social Media App Clone
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Web APIs, React
As you already know, a social media platform allows users to mingle and engage with others. Replicating an existing social media application is a great way to practice key full stack skills, such as implementing security features and debugging. In this project, you’ll be emulating the functionalities of a social media app of your choice while adding unique features that bring value to the users.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end development, backend development, content management, CRUD, web APIs, data analysis
The goal here is to build a site that users can use to share their insights, knowledge, and experiences with others. If you engage in this project, you will learn more about CRUD, APIs, and content management. Your stack tech could include Redis, PostgreSQL, Node, Express, Chakra UI, Tailwind CSS, and Next.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end frameworks, CRUD, security, authentication
This could be an exciting project to work on for health enthusiasts. Here, you’ll create an app that users can use to store all the workouts they complete. By working on this project, you’ll learn more about general full stack development, front end frameworks, CRUD, security, and authentication. Your tech stack could include MongoDB, Django, and Vue.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Security, authentication, front end frameworks, real-time data transfer
Use Socket.io to develop a real-time chat app where users can communicate in real-time, start chat rooms, and add users to group conversations. This project requires great coding skills and programming experience. If you manage to build a functioning chat application, you are ready to move on to advanced projects. Your tech stack for this project should include Firebase, Firestone, and React.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end frameworks, CRUD, security, authentication
As you already know, Zoom has become an essential tool in a wide variety of jobs. Almost everyone knows how to hop on a call or do a video presentation using Zoom. Challenge yourself by creating a clone of this famous app. Doing so will test your full stack development skills and help you become a better professional. Your tech stack could include Socket.io and WebRTC.
Advanced Full Stack Developer Project Ideas
If you tried your hand at some of the projects above and succeeded, it is time to attempt the next level. Here are some complex projects that only advanced full stack developers should take on.
Food Delivery App
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Android development, iOS development, front end development, backend development, deployment, Web APIs, databases
This full stack project aims to connect diners and restaurants. The restaurants have to sign up through the app and list their menu items, including prices. Users must be able to see the list of available restaurants in their area, place orders, and pay on the platform. Nice functionalities to add are the option to let the user see the location of the delivery person and the ETA of the order.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end development, backend development, UI/UX design, data analysis
This project consists of developing a website that displays a plethora of products from different vendors. Since you’ll be inviting buyers to make a purchase, they must be able to choose the products they intend to buy and add them to their cart. They should then be able to pay for their purchases through a secured on-site payment gateway.
Project Management Application
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end development, backend development, web architecture, coding, data analysis
This is a challenging project that consists of building a project management app that allows teammates to communicate and collaborate effectively. Users should be able to assign tasks to other team members. These, in turn, should be able to comment on the tasks assigned to them. Other key features include viewing the task calendar and archiving completed projects.
Website Monitoring Application
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Front end development, backend languages, database storage, data analytics, site audits
Downtime is a problem for any website owner as it’s synonymous with profit loss. Since monitoring downtime manually is challenging, a web app that does this automatically and tracks other performance issues could be a worthwhile project. You can add useful features like search engine optimization (SEO) and speed monitoring tools, which are sure to attract a lot of customers.
- Full Stack Developer Skills Practiced: Coding, design, email management, lead generation, user management, dashboard design
Your goal here is to develop an app similar to Mailchimp that can be used to plan and send email newsletters and other marketing campaigns. The app should be able to store user emails and provide the tools needed to manage the campaigns. The more functionalities and features you add, the more you will be able to learn from this exciting endeavor.
Full Stack Developer Starter Project Templates
Whether you’re working on a simple or advanced full stack project, you can benefit from using a template. A template provides prewritten code so that you can skip some of the most mundane and repetitive tasks involved in coding a website from scratch. Here are some of the best templates to use for your full stack projects:
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- Typescript Node Starter. This template allows you to build and configure a Node.js or new library project. You need to run a simple command to install and start the template’s interactive project generator.
- Heroku Django Template. This template gives you a production-ready configuration for Gunicorn, database settings, and static files. To use this template, you need to create a working environment first and then install Django.
- Project Kickoff Template. The primary objective of this template is to get you started with your projects with Ulkit 3 while keeping things clean and simple. Some layouts use custom CSS code.
- Landing Pages Website Templates. To use these templates, you need to download the latest version and then clone the repo before forking it.
Next Steps: Start Organizing Your Full Stack Developer Portfolio
To get hired as a full stack developer, you need to ace your interview and show your prospective employer that you have what it takes to succeed in this role. That’s where having a comprehensive and well-organized portfolio comes in handy. A portfolio should show how capable you are as a developer.
Add Your Best Work
Your portfolio should show what you are capable of accomplishing as a professional full stack developer. This means that including your best work is an absolute must. Before applying for any position, make sure you spend enough time going over past projects and selecting those that stand out to add them to your portfolio. The goal is to use the work you have done to sell yourself.
Make Sure It Complements Your Resume
Your resume could pique your client’s attention, but you need your portfolio to seal the deal. These two documents should work hand-in-hand to speak for your credentials. Ensure that the portfolio you attach to an application is composed of projects that validate the skills and experience outlined in the resume. For example, if your CV lists UI design as one of your strongest skills, make sure to include a project in which you had to build a user interface.
Keep It Updated
Your portfolio should reflect your current skills. This means that it must be constantly updated with recently completed projects that show your command of different tools and technologies. Also, you don’t want to include a project that’s too old. As a rule of thumb, any project older than three years should be taken out.
Full Stack Developer Projects FAQ
In full stack development, certifications are not mandatory but are important nonetheless. Certifications speak volumes of your credentials. New tools and technologies are constantly being introduced in this field, and certification is the best way to show you are keeping abreast of these changes.
Full stack developers work in the front end and backend of a project. Their job spans a wide range of areas and skills. They must have expertise in programming, UI/UX design, databases, and web architecture.
Generally, a full stack developer must be adept in front and backend development, UI/UX design, data analysis, and coding. However, different projects demand different skills. A developer working on a blog content management system needs to be well-versed in the use of CSS, HTML, Drupal, and WordPress. On the other hand, a full stack developer working on a multi-client website needs to be skilled in the integration of payment gateways.
According to ZipRecruiter, the average full stack developer earns an annual salary of $102,744. This means that they earn around $49,90 per hour or $8,562 per month.
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