How to Choose Between Full-Stack Development vs. Specialized Development?

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Full stack development or specialised development, our offshore software company can help you make the right technological choices
Full stack development or specialised development, our offshore software company can help you make the right technological choices

Web development, a constantly evolving field, covers a wide range of technologies and skills. With globalization and increased accessibility of talent worldwide, more and more companies are turning to offshore web development providers to execute their IT projects.

When embarking on a large-scale application or software development project for their business, the following question often arises: is it better to opt for full-stack developers capable of handling all aspects of a project, or to prioritize specialists focused on specific domains?

Part 1: Understanding Full-Stack Development

A “full-stack” developer is capable of working on both the front-end (the visible part of the web application) and the back-end (server-side logic and database). They create an application from A to Z.

The Advantages of having Software developed by a Full-Stack Developer:

  • Versatility: a full-stack developer manages the entire development cycle of an application.
  • Consistency: with only one person handling development, there is consistency in the design and implementation of the project.
  • Cost: potentially more affordable for simple or medium-sized projects.

The Disadvantages of having Software developed by a Full-Stack Developer:

  • Mastery: it is difficult to achieve a high level of expertise in all areas, especially when trends and technologies evolve rapidly.
  • Control Responsibility: the developer is solely responsible for development, which is limiting when dealing with projects requiring the intelligence of a group rather than a single individual.

Faster and more economical?

Let’s imagine that an SME chooses a full-stack developer profile to create its mobile application. In the span of 6 months, with a budget of €50,000, the developer delivers a functional application integrating e-commerce, user management and push notification features. Choosing a full-stack developer in this case allows our SME to save approximately 30% on development costs compared to the initial estimate based on a team of multiple specialists.

Let’s consider a second hypothetical example. Theo, a full-stack developer, has taken charge of developing an innovative health application for diabetics launched by a startup. In just a few months, Theo has designed the user interface, developed the back-end and configured the database, acting as a true project conductor. Thanks to his holistic vision and ability to juggle between different technological layers without wasting time, the application is successfully launched in half the time it would take with a team of 3 multidisciplinary developers, involving exchanges and back-and-forth that slow down production.

And yes,

“A good full-stack developer is like a versatile artist,

capable of creating a technological symphony from a blank sheet.”


Let’s turn our view to the world of specialists, where in-depth expertise in specific web domains is another approach and can make all the difference.

Part 2: Understanding Specialist Developers

Developers specialized in a technology focus on a specific portion of web development, such as front-end, back-end, or database management.

The Advantages of having your Web Application developed by Specialist Developers:

  • In-depth Expertise: their knowledge and skills are specialized.
  • Performance: potentially able to deliver better results in their area of specialization.

The Disadvantages of having your Web Application developed by Specialist Developers:

  • Coordination: a team of several individuals necessarily requires better coordination between different specialists.
  • Cost: to ensure all required skills are present, it requires hiring multiple people, thus increasing the budget.
  • Time: all developers composing the team must coordinate and exchange to achieve the best result, which will slow down deliveries.

Let’s suppose that a company offering cybersecurity solutions has hired 2 web application security specialists to strengthen the protection of its client portal. By investing €100,000 in this project, the company reduced security incidents by 75% in a year, thanks to the deep expertise of the specialists hired. One year may seem long, but the result is ultimately undeniable.

But then, how do you choose between full-stack development and specialization? What about the budget? How do you optimize costs to the maximum and minimize risks?

Part 3: For more Savings, have your Application developed offshore

Offshore development services in another country, (Madagascar, Vietnam, Mauritius, Uzbekistan, etc.), undoubtedly offer advantages such as cost reduction and access to a vast talent pool. Entrusting the development of software-as-a-service (SaaS) or other digital products can present challenges related to language barriers, cultural differences and time zones. But these challenges are well managed by providers and quickly turn into opportunities for the project.

Let’s imagine a multinational company outsourcing the development of its new ERP system to an offshore team based in Madagascar, with a mix of full-stack developers and specialists. The project, with a budget of €500,000, was successfully completed in 18 months, achieving a 40% saving compared to an estimate based on an internal team in the United States.

Despite the challenges of distance and cultural differences, regular communication and mutual commitment to excellence have led to the creation of a high-quality and innovative product. This US-Madagascar collaboration not only reduced development costs but also enriched the team with global perspectives, proving that diversity can become the greatest strength of a project.

“Outsourcing is not just a matter of cost;

it is a bridge to global innovation.”

– Anonymous

Now let’s address this central question: how to make the right choice between the versatility of full-stack and the precision of specialization for your project?

Part 4: Full-Stack vs. Specialization, how to make the right choice?

The best choice must be based on several of the follwing factors:

  • The Size and Complexity of the Project: large projects with complex requirements would be more inclined towards specialization, while smaller or less complex projects could be effectively managed by full-stack developers.
  • The Available Budget: specialists will cost more due to their deep expertise.
  • The Expected Timeframe: full-stack developers generally start faster on a project.

And why not a hybrid team combining full-stack developers and specialized developers?

For the development of a CRM dedicated to one of the world’s most popular theme parks, the management team opted for a team comprising both full-stack developers and database and UI/UX specialists. The project, costing a total of €200,000, benefited from the versatility of the full-stack developers for the general development aspects, while the specialists added significant value for the critical functionalities, resulting in a high-performance, user-friendly product.There’s no single answer to the question of whether it’s better to choose full-stack developers or specialists for an offshore web development project. The choice will depend on the specifics of the project, the company’s objectives, the resources available and the intuition of the decision-makers.

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