Full Stack

“What kind of work do you do?” asks a fellow web developer, someone I’ve just met.

The question caught me off guard.

“Front end? Back end? Tight end? Book end?” He could see I was puzzled. “Deep end?”

“Well, actually, I kind of do all the things. Some better than others, of course, but whatever needs to be done. I work a lot with Moodle and Drupal, sometimes with WordPress, usually on a LAMP stack. Plugins, hacks, integrations, styling. Whatever it takes. So both ends, maybe? I’ve been known to burn the candle that way, at any rate. Oh, and I try to avoid lightning.”

I realized later that the descriptor I needed was “full stack.” I’ve always worked in small shops where the division of labor was more about who was responsible for which applications than about who specialized in which technologies. It’s an arrangement that suits me. I enjoy being able to work on all the pieces. The work is varied, and it lets you solve problems in the right place. I was happy to have a tidy, succinct way to describe it. Even if it did leave me hankering after pancakes.