Which languages do full-stack developers use?

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Full-stack developers must use a wide range of programming languages to accomplish their goals; these can be grouped into front-end and back-end languages.

Front-end languages are used to present content and - increasingly - to handle interaction with the program. These languages include HTML - which is used to build web pages, CSS - which is used to style the HTML web pages, and Javascript - which is used to add interactivity to HTML pages.

Back-end languages are typically used to store and manipulate data, manage user permissions, and do all of the complicated calculations required by the program. There are a wide variety of languages that can be classified as back-end, including: Ruby, Python, PHP, Java, Go, and Swift.

While it is possible to create complicated and powerful programs using just these languages, most developers rely on libraries that add additional features to the languages of their choice. Examples of such Javascript libraries include jQuery, React, and Angular. On the back-end, the Ruby on Rails, Django, and Laravel libraries allow for the easy creation of websites using the Ruby, Python, or PHP language. Many of these libraries are so feature-rich and powerful that they require significant amounts of time to master in their own right.

In addition to being comfortable with both front-end and back-end languages, a full-stack developer should also have an understanding of the technology that runs alongside their programs. This includes a rough understanding of the SQL database language and the HTTP communication protocol.

The requirements of a full-stack developer can seem daunting at first, but it is important to remember that it is a "jack of all trades, master of none" profession. A full-stack developer will find themselves using multiple languages on a daily basis, but they will also typically find themselves working alongside dedicated front-end or back-end developers who have a much deeper understanding of their chosen technologies.

In the past few years, a new technology has increased the capabilities of the full-stack developer. Javascript - long considered to be a front-end language - is now being used to power applications on the back-end as well. This change allows full-stack and front-end developers to focus their energy on a smaller set of languages, and a solid understanding of Javascript is becoming increasingly important.

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