Full-Stack Developer vs Team of Specialists: Pros and Cons

June 12, 2020

On most software projects, development teams include front-end developers, back-end developers, UI designers, testers, and so on. In other words, the project team includes a number of narrow-focused specialists, each performing his or her specific task.

But as time passes, technologies and methods of work are changing. More and more companies are deciding to move from narrow-profile programmers, testers, and other specialists to highly-qualified full-stack developers who are well-versed in both frontend and backend development, as well as testing the product they made. Another important benefit of a full-stack developer is that he should, apart from writing code, think about availability and scalability, and consider the maintainability of the project in the long term.

Of course, each project requires a custom solution and it’s not fair to assert that hiring a full-stack developer today is a panacea for any business. Due to this, our outsourcing development company always monitors promising business trends and we decided to figure out all the aspects of hiring a full-stack developer instead of a team of specialists. In this article, we defined who you can call a full stack developer, and analyzed their differences from narrow-focused developers, and their pros and cons. We also defined different cases when hiring a full-stack developer is appropriate. If you’re interested in current trends in the IT market too, and you also want to implement relevant methods timely, spare 5 minutes of your time for this article. The Mbicycle team wishes you a pleasant and useful reading!

Who Is a Full-Stack Developer?

First of all, a full-stack developer is a programmer with extensive long-time experience and well-versed knowledge in several areas such as:

  • UI / UX design
  • Markup languages (CSS, HTML)
  • Frontend development (React, Angular, Vue.js, Node.js)
  • Backend development (Java, .NET, PHP, etc.)
  • Work with databases (MySQL, MongoDB, Firebase, PostgreSQL, etc.)
  • Software testing (Katalon studio, Selenium, TestComplete, Postman, etc.)
  • The project architecture, its scalability, and roadmaps

Paradoxically, writing the code is just a small part of the work of a full-stack developer. Today, there are many customizable tools, libraries, and frameworks that developers can implement in their projects without the need for code writing itself.

Such competent knowledge about the reasonability of implementing specific frontend and backend frameworks and tools makes full-stack developers an attractive choice for project managers.

The Differences between a Full-Stack Developer and a Team of Specialists

Entering a new project, proficient experts should follow and properly understand customer requirements. Herewith, in practice, these requirements can vary and adjust to the changes in the market during the implementation process. And that’s where Customers can see the true value of hiring full-stack developers.

Unlike frontend or backend programmers who primarily focus on creating just a particular part of a project, a full-stack developer is a person directly involved in the development process at all stages from prototyping to implementation. Full-stack developers often resolve tasks related to the project architecture, writing code, creating UI/UX design layouts, plugging specific server-side and client-side frameworks, and, of course, running tests for eliminating bugs and technical issues. Another big difference in hiring full-stack developers instead of a whole team of specialists is that there is no miscommunication problem in the team because all the issues are handled by one expert. Meanwhile, working with a whole team of specialists, it’s necessary to hold regular scrums to discuss and resolve all the incoming issues. As a result, all this requires much more time and, obviously, increases the development time of the whole project.

However, working with a team of narrow-profile specialists, you can be more confident that each of them will be competent in his specific field of knowledge. Such experts most likely monitor up-to-date methods and technologies in the narrow specialty they work. Full-stack developers should figure out a much larger number of methods and technologies on the market, so they just can’t catch up with all the timely IT trends.

Alexandr Mashkov
Sales Manager
Do you need professional software development services?
We at Mbicycle provide qualified teams of specialists and full-stack developers for every software project pointedly.

Pros and Cons of Hiring a Full-Stack Developer for Your Next Project

Despite the obvious advantages of full-stack developers, this model of hiring developers for a project has a number of specific pros and cons. In this part of our article, we’ll review the main of them.



A person who has long-time experience in working with an architecture of the code, developing frontend and backend, and also running QA testing, is, obviously, well-versed in all stages and parts of the software developments. Due to this, a full-stack developer is able to identify omni-purpose issues and eliminate them much faster than in the case when different developers are responsible for different parts of the product development (design, frontend, backend, etc.). In this case, the whole team of specialists needs to hold meetings and search on which side the problem is.

Career and professional growth opportunities

A programmer with extensive knowledge in UI/UX prototyping, frontend and backend development, and other relevant fields is surely attractive and promising for the project. Proficient project managers, of course, will create all facilities for such a valuable high-level
specialist. Such an approach may conduce among other things further professional growth and career promotion in order to keep this professional on the project.


For a Customer, hiring one full-stack developer, who is competent enough to replace 2-3 (sometimes even more) narrow-profiled specialists, will be much cheaper than hiring and paying the rates for each specialist separately.


A programmer who is well-versed in both the server and client sides of an application or service is able to freely switch between current tasks. This puts out the need for backend developers to organize meetings and explain to frontend developers what exactly needs to be fixed on their side, and vice versa. This, in turn, reduces development time and eliminates misunderstandings between specific development sides.

Accurate development workflow

Working on a project with a large team of highly specialized programmers implies using a version control system (for example, git). Usually, the working process looks like this: each developer creates his own branch, commits to it, and then a project team lead or other expert merges different branches into one master branch. This approach is associated with a large number of risks. At the same time, if a full-stack developer is working on the project using a version control system, the number of branches will be much smaller, as well as errors and issues during the merging process.


The depth of knowledge on each specific topic

A person who has devoted several years to the study of one particular area of development will obviously have more in-depth knowledge of this topic than a full-stack developer who is familiar with the topic in general terms. This is the inevitable price for the universality and flexibility of full-stack developers.

Difficult and risk-prone time management

In situations where one or several full-stack developers are working on all the main parts of the project, there is a big risk of irrational time management. So, at one moment there may be a situation of a high workload with several unresolved tasks. As a result, the whole work on the project may stop since the developer will be busy closing the accumulated tasks instead of working on new tasks. Herewith, when tasks are evenly shared between profiled specialists in a team, the chance of such a situation decreases.

The need for tracking new trends and technologies

Since a full-stack developer works in a large number of fields he can simply miss some up-to-date trends, technologies, and tools in each specific area of expertise. On the other hand, a narrow-focused expert usually learns and keeps up with new trends and technologies in his specific area, such as, for instance, Java development services. Also, for a full-cycle developer may be harder to change the regular methods and tools he used.

Difficulties with responsibility control

As a rule, full-stack developers don’t split their work into many small tasks but permanently work on cohesive parts of the project. It makes it harder for the customer or other team members to check and regulate his work on the project, as well as define the completeness of the project at a particular point in time. It’s fair to say that this problem can be solved individually by setting a number of smaller tasks for a developer with the need for periodic reporting. But if the project is small and only one full-stack developer works on it, then control over its work still mostly lies with the developer himself. So it’s often more a matter of trust in him as a high-level specialist.

Full-Stack Developer vs Team of Specialists: Points to Consider

The experts of Mbicycle Company have many years of experience working with both models of hiring specialists to work on projects. At the moment, most projects in our Portfolio have been developed by teams of profiled specialists, but we definitely see prospects of hiring experienced full-stack developers and striving to increase their number in our company.

However, it’s important to realize that we’ve carefully studied all the “pros and cons” of such an approach for our Company because hiring a full-stack developer is not an evident choice for every project. Because of its features, advantages, and disadvantages, which we marked above, this hiring method is suitable only for certain types of projects and companies. Further, we’ll look through the aspects that need to consider choosing between a full-stack developer or a team of profiled experts.

Project size

Hiring a full-stack developer is justified for small projects and startups when resources are limited, and the range of tasks and technologies is quite extensive. For mid-sized projects, it can also be quite reasonable to hire a few full-stack developers, and evenly share current tasks among them. For large projects, where it’s important to accurately follow the documentation and timely implement the right tools and technologies, a large team of narrow-focus specialists is required.

Project complexity

This parameter is closely related to the previous one. If your project – regardless of its size – consists of a small number of plain tasks, and if its functionality is clear and simple in implementation, then the choice in favor of a full-stack developer is logical enough. In the case when the project has a complex capability and consists of a large number of compound tasks, it’s better to hire a team of proficient specialists, who can deeply investigate your project and propose more competent solutions.


Hiring a full-stack developer instead of a dedicated team of experts is a financially more profitable decision for a Customer. So if you have a limited budget, choosing a full-stack developer will save you a significant amount of money, compared to hiring a whole team of specialists.

Flexible project requirements

In case, when requirements in your project are not strictly fixed and may be periodically adjusted to the market requirements, then hiring a full-stack developer can be a reasonable choice for you. Due to his experience and multitasking type of work, a full-stack developer easily switches to changing tasks and can rapidly present the performance of such changes. For a development team with several profiled experts, changing requirements often connected with frequent scrum meetings and periodic deadline adjustments.

As you can see, hiring a full-stack developer has a number of benefits that make this choice worthwhile and reasonable, especially for certain types of projects and businesses. Therefore, it’s no wonder that in today’s market this approach is gaining more and more popularity for different companies worldwide.

Pavel Zubov
Digital Marketing Expert
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