In an article with the most clickbaity article ever, Joe Honton does a nice job of talking about the evolving landscape of web development. “Full-stack” perhaps had its day as a useful term, but since front-end development touches so many parts of the stack now, it’s not a particularly useful term. Joe himself did a lot to popularize it, so it does feel extra meaningful coming from him.
Plus the spectrum of how much there is to know is so wide we can’t all know it all, so to get things done, we take what we do know and slot ourselves into cross-functional teams.
Since no one person can handle it all, the 2020 stack must be covered by a team. Not a group of individuals, but a true team. That means that when one person is falling behind, another will pick up the slack. When one person has superior skills, there’s a mechanism in place for mentoring the others. When there’s a gap in the team’s knowledge-base, they seek out and hire a team member who’s smarter than all of them.
So the “2020 Stack” is essentially “know things and work on teams” more so than any particular combination of technologies. That said, Joe does have opinions on technologies, including writing HTML in some weird GraphQL looking syntax that I’d never seen before.
I really hope a better name sticks than “2020 stack developer” here’s a list of off-the-cuff ideas that are immediately better:
-Flexible Stack (flex stack?)
-Full Stack (yes, this is still better than 2020 stack)
Also 2020 stack a poor choice because half of it doesn’t mean anything on it’s own (other than a number, a year and good eye sight). And as soon as 2021 comes around it will feel odd and out of date.
Why not do what other industries do? Simply adjust our understanding of what the job description entails “today”. Are we going to have to get a new name when “2020 stack dev” requirements change …. yet again and again? *sigh*
He did not justify a name change, only a perspective and attitude change. This simply does not need a new name. But if we are going to get one, make a decent one we want to use for a long time.
Imposter syndrome is already prevalent in the web industry. This whole labeling thing is, in my opinion, kind of off-putting. Like we need more ways to make people feel like they don’t know enough.
Totally agree… especially as I suffer every day from imposter syndrome.
This quote is the only one that really resonated with me, and for all the wrong reasons.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with specialising in 1 or 2 layers of the stack. Deep knowledge takes time, hard work and patience. I don’t have enough hours in the day to acquire that level of knowledge across multiple layers, especially if those layers are not something I have to deal with on a daily basis.