Full Stack Dev. To die or not to die?

Lately it seems like every developer labels themselves as Front-end, Back-end, Mobile or whatever they may choose. I guess a big push towards this has been current job opportunities. Lots of teams are transitioning over to agile teams with a handful of developers which can be made of different specialities. I'm all for this, if you're great at something, do it!

What really annoys me is when developer use their job title as an excuse not to do something. "I'm a Back-end dev, I can't write CSS". No you're a developer who can't be bothered. The worst one is when people refuse to do testing because they believe it's not their role. If you write code, you test it. It's simple. It doesn't matter whether you're Front, Back or Mobile, you need to test you work. Fundamentally all developers are Full-stack, which means they can work on every layer of a technology stack. You don't need to be an expert in every area, but have working knowledge. Proper Full-stack developers are comfortable working in any area from database, back-end services, front-end ui or even DevOps, across a number of different technologies and languages.

I rarely come across Full-stack devs anymore, there is usually only a handful of these talented, versatile developers in any organisation. Stack Overflow recently released it's 2016 Developer Survey and the results have been surprising to say the least. The highest percentage of developer occupations who responded were Full-stack devs at 28%, albeit JavaScript is the most popular Full-stack, Back-end and Front-end technology, it's not surprising most people consider themselves Full-stack with the rise in popularity of Node.js

Although I'm happy to see Full-stack devs aren't on the decline, I still have a couple of concerns. Of the JavaScript developers that I know, I'm not sure too many would get their hands dirty get the Continuous Integration of an application or even jump in and figure out a database issue. There are so many tools, frameworks and generators that set all this up, I'm worried that people don't know how they work without using them.

If you're employing a new dev to join your team, I encourage you to aim for a Full-stack for greater versatility. Just remember for the interview process, coding tests should be across a stack without the use of tools or generators. Frameworks are ok, unless you really want to see what they are made of!