Full stack development refers to developers who can work on both the front end and back end portions of an application. As a full stack developer, it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies to maximize your skills and marketability. In this post, we’ll dive into the top full stack development trends to follow in 2024.
Here’s a brief overview of these major frameworks:
- React – Created by Facebook, React is known for its component architecture and virtual DOM diffing algorithm which makes it fast and efficient for complex UIs. React is a great choice for building reactive single-page applications.
- Angular – Developed by Google, Angular provides extensive tools and functionality for building enterprise-scale web apps. The strong Typescript support is also beneficial.
- Vue – The new kid on the block, Vue has quickly grown thanks to its approachability and performance. The Vue ecosystem is also more lightweight compared to React and Angular.
While these established frameworks remain prominent, new contenders are emerging like Svelte, Alpine.js, and others. As a full stack developer, it’s a good idea to experiment with different frameworks to find the right fit for your project and preferences. Frameworks like React continue to be a safe bet for building complex UIs and managing state thanks to the strong component model and ecosystem.
The Rise of Jamstack
Some major benefits of using the Jamstack approach include:
- Improved Performance – Serving pre-built pages over CDN provides huge performance gains.
- Better Security – With no web servers powering the site, there is minimal surface area for attacks.
- Scalability – Jamstack sites easily scale to thousands or even millions of pages.
- Cheaper Hosting – No need to pay for expensive servers. CDN and serverless functions handle scaling.
Jamstack opens up many possibilities for full stack developers. Combining these fast static site generators with headless CMS options like Contentful or Strapi gives you the best of both worlds – a fast front end paired with a flexible content backend.
Wider Adoption of TypeScript
- Catching bugs and errors during compile time rather than at runtime.
- Support for newer ES6+ features like modules which allow building robust and scalable code bases.
- Better IDE support like auto-completion, refactoring etc.
Serverless Computing Taking Off
Serverless computing refers to the idea of building and running applications without having to manage infrastructure like servers. With serverless, app logic is run in stateless compute containers operated by a cloud provider. These “functions” contain application code which can be triggered to serve specific requests.
Some popular examples of serverless development platforms include:
- AWS Lambda
- Google Cloud Functions
- Azure Functions
- Cloudflare Workers
There are also various frameworks like Serverless and Claudia.js to simplify building serverless apps across different platforms.
Key benefits of serverless functions include:
- Reduced operational costs since no servers need to be provisioned.
- Auto-scaling based on usage levels.
- Faster development and iteration cycles.
- Usage-based billing – pay only for compute time used.
For full stack developers, incorporating serverless can be advantageous. It allows focusing on writing application logic without server ops overhead. Serverless functions are also easy to iterate on and slot into existing infrastructure.
The Growth of GraphQL APIs
GraphQL has rapidly gained popularity as an alternative to REST APIs. Instead of multiple endpoints in a REST API, GraphQL provides a single endpoint to request exactly the data you need. This allows the client to dictate what data it needs rather than being restricted by fixed endpoints.
Compared to REST, GraphQL offers superior developer experience with:
- A strongly typed schema system
- Built-in documentation
- An interactive query editor
GraphQL is also better suited for evolving applications since new fields and types can be added without impacting existing queries. There are two popular libraries for connecting GraphQL APIs to frontends – Apollo on the client and Relay for Facebook.
On the backend, GraphQL servers can be built with Node.js platforms like Apollo Server and Express GraphQL. Major cloud providers like AWS also offer fully managed GraphQL services like AppSync. Databases like MongoDB and Neo4j have also added GraphQL support.
The flexibility of GraphQL makes it appealing for full stack developers building data-driven applications.
WebAssembly Going Mainstream
WebAssembly is a binary format that allows running compiled languages like C/C++, Rust, and Go on the web at near-native speeds. Browser and runtime support for WebAssembly continues to grow – it’s supported in all major browsers and runtimes like Node.js.
This opens up interesting possibilities:
- Building demanding web apps like games, CAD software, video editors etc. which previously required native code.
- Running intensive non-web workloads like data analysis, ML inference etc. directly in the browser.
- Sharing business logic across web, mobile and desktop apps via compiled Wasm modules.
More Capable Progressive Web Apps
Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) strive to connect web and mobile applications by closing the divide. PWAs work across all devices and provide native-like capabilities including:
- Push notifications
- Background data syncing
- Offline mode
Developers can build PWAs using standard web stacks and tools like Workbox and PWAify. Support for PWAs is growing – they can be installed on iOS/Android home screens and are available on app stores.
PWAs are seeing increased adoption in sectors like ecommerce, media, workplace applications and industrial IoT. Their cross-platform nature makes them appealing for full stack developers looking to build mobile-friendly web experiences.
The Growth of Full Stack Development Observability
As modern applications grow more complex, having strong observability across the full stack is crucial. OpenTelemetry provides a vendor-neutral open standard for handling metrics, logs and traces in a uniform way.
There are 3 pillars of observability that full stack developers should master:
- Logs – Capture log messages across services to debug errors and anomalies.
- Metrics – Record numerical time-series metrics related to performance, health etc.
- Tracing – Follow the path of requests across microservices and infrastructure.
Tools like Datadog, New Relic and Honeycomb allow aggregating, visualizing and alerting based on observability data. Tying monitoring into deployment pipelines is also important to track the impact of new versions and code changes.
As full stack applications grow in scale, investing in robust observability pays off in the long run.
This covers the major full stack development trends you should look out for in 2024 and beyond. Here are some key takeaways:
- Cloud-native technologies like serverless and Jamstack gain prominence.
- GraphQL and WebAssembly open up new possibilities.
- Observability is critical for operating complex systems.
By proactively learning these technologies and techniques, you can boost your skills as a full stack developer and deliver better solutions. With the rapid pace of change in the field, it’s essential to continuously upgrade your knowledge. I hope this article provides a useful overview of the most impactful full stack development trends today!