25th September, 2020
With the advent of Ops, the developers are being forced to choose either full-stack or Ops as their key skill. Full-stack means the developer is well versed in developing front-end as well as back-end applications by using the latest languages and tools being used. Ops mean that the developer is a subject matter expert in any one area of implementation – be it server-side programming, database management, or application programming – and that too by possessing knowledge of any one (or max two) of the languages and tools used for development in that area.
Full-stack developers are lagging in the expertise of late, and most of the software development India companies prefer hiring Ops developers for their development needs. This is because the technology-specific delivery demands have made the process to complex to be handled by full-stack developers.
Ops processes make it essential to build a team of developers who are experienced in various areas of development and collaborate to deliver a solution that is the collective effort of this expert team. This approach to application development has changed how developers think and the technologies that they use because rather than having skill in every possible area, the developers are required to priorities agility, modularity, and scalability in their own area of expertise. This makes specialization and deep expertise more valuable than full-stack knowledge (in an Ops environment).
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However, it is necessary to evaluate the exact needs of the enterprise before leaning towards a full stack or Ops hiring approach. Following are the key questions that need to be addressed to arrive at a conclusion:
Software stacks are much more diverse and variable these days. For example, Java has two runtime environments now. MySQL is not the only preferred DB solution, there is NoSQL too. In this scenario, if your application stack is too complex, it is futile to expect expertise in so many technologies from a full stack developer. It makes sense to opt for Ops and hire technology-specific experts for each stack element.
Agile implementation is for applications that are trying to keep up with highly volatile consumer markets, where there is intense competition between similar companies to come up with latest features that tilt the balance of customers on either side depending upon the utility provided by those features. If the enterprise is an industry facing entity, which has legacy solutions that do not require frequent changes other than white labelling for the customer companies, going for Ops does not make sense. The enterprise would do better with full-stack developers who can handle minor version changes and maintenance needs of the application.
The team size per project depends less on the application needs and more on the enterprise’s ability to spend funds on hiring the team these days. This is a faulty approach. The team size should be decided based on the complexity of the application, and the areas of expertise required to build the application.
If it is a complex application that requires modularity and uses diverse stacks, it requires Ops resources. If the application scope is limited, with no complexity, and few update requirements, full-stack developers can suffice.
In case of complex applications though, the budget plays a big role in hiring as Ops developers charge outrageous amounts of money in lieu of their deep expertise in the field. If the budget is limited, the enterprise should opt for full-stack developers instead.
Startups are mostly required to roll out frequent app releases. Enterprises try to mimic their operation style and end up spending time and money without significant returns. Startups opt for Ops because they cannot survive without it. Enterprises should take the call based on their future growth plans – is their application suite adequate or expected to grow? Are their applications subject to frequent changes or legacy applications that evolve over a larger time frame?
To conclude, there is no right or wrong in choosing full-stack or Ops for Software Development India. It depends on the specific needs of the company hiring the resources.
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