Full-stack development is one of the most valuable and versatile skills you can learn right now. From the above-average salaries you can earn in this position to the high demand for developers, it’s no wonder there are over 500 full-stack development bootcamps out there.
Over 252 of those bootcamps are online programs. That’s a lot of choice! So, how are you supposed to know which one is the best for you? Before you dive into finding a full-stack developer certification, we recommend trying out a free short course to get a taste of what online bootcamp will be like.
In this guide we’ll start by defining what a full-stack developer is, then by learning the different ways you can become a full-stack developer online. Next we’ll look at how much courses cost, and how to choose the best online full-stack developer course for you.
Then, you can peruse the nine full-stack developer certification courses that we recommend.
Use the clickable menu to skip to what you’re looking for:
- What is a full-stack developer?
- How to get a full-stack developer certification online
- How much can a full-stack developer certification course cost?
- Choosing a full-stack developer online course for you
- 9 of the best full-stack developer certification online courses
- Final thoughts
1. What is a full-stack developer?
A full-stack developer is a multi-skilled engineer who has the skills to build every part of a web or software application. “Stack” refers to the layers of technology that make up an application. The “full stack” refers to all of those technologies and techniques. A full-stack developer knows how to create every layer of an application themselves.
They work on components of both the front- and backends of an application. The frontend is the part of software or web applications that users can see and interact with The backend is the part that powers the application but that users cannot see.
A full-stack developer might work on databases, graphic design, UI and UX management, or coding. They must know multiple different languages, database management tools, and basic web design skills.
If you’d like a deeper dive into this, check out our full guide into what exactly is a full-stack developer.
2. How to get a full-stack developer certification online
There are three main ways you could become a full-stack developer. You could attend a coding bootcamp, study on your own, or earn a computer science degree.
Becoming a full-stack developer at a coding bootcamp
A coding bootcamp is the most efficient way to become a full-stack developer. Essentially, they teach technical skills and career skills in a short space of time.
While these intense, concentrated courses often achieve their aim of teaching you coding as quickly as possible, they mightn’t be the most effective at helping students land coding jobs and stay in them. A slightly longer full-stack development program can give you the time to apply the coding skills you’ve learn and spend more time preparing for applying for and working as a web developer.
Learning full-stack development on your own
You can become a full-stack developer by learning on your own. Some self-taught developers have even built their own successful startups—social media giants Instagram and Tumblr are stellar examples. But learning online can be challenging.
Learning to code on your own will require discipline, creating your own curriculum, and learning how to find a job yourself. You can use online tutorials, short courses, books, and free or paid materials to learn to code.
If you’re looking for an example of a short course, this video tutorial with Abhishek gets you started coding from scratch:
It can take as little as eight weeks with some prior experience, or multiple years if you have no experience. Your timeline will correlate with your effort. It’s important to note that unless you specifically take a course which will give you one, this route won’t give you a full-stack developer certification.
Computer Science Degree vs Full-Stack Developer Certification
A computer science degree might still be a preference for some employers, but it’s becoming a less common requirement. With a strong web development portfolio, solid references, and a proven track record working on open-source projects, you don’t need a degree to get a full-stack developer job.
Computer science degrees are possibly the longest route to becoming a full-stack developer and certainly the most expensive. Usually, a computer science degree will take four years and cost upwards of $40,000. The return on your investment is not nearly as high as bootcamp, now that you aren’t required to have a degree to get hired.
You’ll learn more theoretical knowledge, mathematics, and low-level programming than you will at a bootcamp. However, many computer science degree holders have noted that it won’t provide you with the practical and relevant real-world experience and career counseling that a bootcamp or full-stack development certification program will.
3. How much can a full-stack developer certification course cost?
Full-stack developer certifications can vary dramatically in price. The pricing depends on the duration of the program, career services offered, industry connections that a bootcamp has, whether it’s self-paced, and if it’s an international program.
On average, a coding bootcamp will cost about $14,000. They’ll vary in length from as little as six weeks and as many as 38 weeks, depending on if the program is full-time or part-time. The average bootcamp is about 14 weeks, though.
Usually, financing is available for bootcamps. Some certification programs offer a discount if you pay in full, while others offer scholarships. Certain bootcamps may provide deferred tuition options or an income sharing agreement (ISA) that allows you to pay for bootcamp after you’ve graduated from the program and gotten a job.
Most providers offer monthly payment plans as well as private financing options.
4. Choosing a full-stack developer online course for you
The “best” full-stack developer certification online course is technically subjective. The best online offering for you will depend on your own learning preferences, career goals, time zone, availability, and budget. So, how do you choose the best option for you? Try these six steps.
Step 1. Know your basic needs
Narrow down your options by ruling out the courses that don’t work for your timezone, schedule, or budget.
Step 2. Explore the curriculum
The most important thing you’ll glean from a full-stack program isn’t a programming language—it’s actually learning how to learn.
Because each company is different and technology is constantly changing, most full-stack developers actually learn multiple programming languages and tech stacks throughout their careers. Some courses even offer a free course or workshop that can help you see if they align with your learning preferences.
If you do want to learn a specific language, in particular, explore the curriculum before you commit!
Step 3. Projects are paramount
In order to get a job after you graduate, you’ll need to have at least two projects in your portfolio when you graduate. A quality full-stack developer certification online course will include project-based learning in their curriculum. These projects should help you properly display your skills in both frontend and backend technologies.
Step 4. Investigate the instructors
It’s important to find instructors that are both competent and compatible with you and your goals. Look at whether the bootcamp instructors have real-world experience. Find out which companies they worked for before teaching. They might have worked at your dream job! If possible, attend a virtual open house to meet the instructors beforehand.
Step 5. Investigate outcomes
You can find outcomes reports from most coding bootcamps and programs. An independent third-party resource for outcomes reports is CIRR.
Take time to read bootcamp reviews for more perspective. You can also look into previous bootcamp attendees on LinkedIn to see if they’ve landed a job as a full-stack developer since they graduated. Even better, reach out to alumni on LinkedIn directly to ask questions and learn more about their experiences!
Step 6. Community
Does their program come with a community? Online programs that don’t offer community can leave you feeling along on a big journey. Ask about their community and find out what platform it’s hosted on to make sure you’ll feel supported.
5. 9 of the best full-stack developer certification online courses
We ranked these offerings based on student reviews, curriculum, and career service options. We also included a few that were more affordable, flexible, or globally accessible. There’s something for everyone! Here are 9 of the best full-stack developer certifications you can earn online.
Le Wagon Web Development Course
Duration: 9 weeks (up to 24-weeks part-time)
Cost: Prices vary based on country. The average cost is about 12,000 AUD or about 6,500 €
Features: Le Wagon offers bootcamps in almost every time zone. They boast more than 13,500 alumni globally. Their web development course takes you from complete beginner to junior developer in just 9 weeks. You’ll leave the course knowing how to follow a workflow while collaborating with other developers and designers to build user-friendly web apps. At the end of bootcamp, students can join Career Week to learn the tools they need to find a job in tech, launch a startup, or build a freelance career.
CareerFoundry Full-Stack Web Development Program
Duration: 16 weeks (up to 28 weeks part-time)
Features: CareerFoundry has been an online career-change provider from day one. A proven integrated learning platform, a dedicated tutor, and an assigned mentor throughout the program provide the one-on-one support you need to succeed.
The curriculum is hands-on and project-based. You’ll leave with a full, professional portfolio. Plus, CareerFoundry’s job guarantee has 96% of eligible graduates landing a job in tech within six months of graduating.
Codesmith Full-time Software Engineering Immersive
Duration: 12 weeks (up to 38 weeks part-time)
Codesmith also has a hiring support program that guides Residents through whiteboarding, advanced technical interview practice, resume and profile development, and interview and networking strategies. Support continues upon graduation with bi-weekly check-ins and, after offers, negotiation support. Many Codesmith graduates receive senior engineer offers and mid-level engineer roles as opposed to junior-level developer positions.
Udemy The Web Developer Bootcamp by Colt Steele
Duration: 60+ hours
Features: This self-paced, affordable course on Udemy covers full-stack development with 13+ hands-on projects and 60+ hours of video instruction. It was built by Colt Steele, who has worked with bootcamps like Rithm School and Springboard.
For students from different backgrounds, it offers subtitles for nine languages. Students learn how to build full-stack web applications to build responsive landing pages, animated applications, and more.
NuCamp Full-Stack Web and Mobile App Developer
Duration: 22 weeks
Features: NuCamp is on a mission to make quality education accessible and affordable to everyone. The online bootcamp combines self-paced and mentorship.
With a 15-to-1 students to instructor ratio, they promise you’ll get the attention you deserve. You’ll be prepared for entry-level, Junior web developer jobs after bootcamp. Nucamp’s career services and 1:1 career coaching and exclusive access to a U.S. job board is designed to help graduates get jobs after bootcamp faster.
Springboard Software Engineering Career Track
Duration: ~9 months
Features: Springboard is an online self-paced mentor-led learning platform. Every Springboard student is matched with a personal student advisor and industry mentor who guides them throughout the program through regular video calls. Their Career Track program offers tuition deferment and a job guarantee.
The curriculum was also created in part by Colt Steele, who you might recognize from the Udemy course earlier. The project-based curriculum leaves students with a high-quality, job-ready portfolio at the end of the program.
BrainStation Remote Web Development Bootcamp
Duration: 35 weeks
Features: BrainStation‘s Web Development Bootcamp focuses on project-based learning. You will learn how to build a complete software solution for the modern web through iterative lessons and labs that build on each other, empowering you to become a full-stack web developer with an in-depth understanding of how software for the web is built.
BrainStation’s career success program promises to help you create a job-ready portfolio and prepare you for the job search and interviews.
Plus, to commemorate your graduation, BrainStation holds “Demo Day.” Graduates from the most recent cohort, present their final projects at Demo Day to prospective employers from BrainStation’s network.
Ironhack Web Development Bootcamp
Duration: 9 weeks (24 weeks part-time)
By the end of the course, you’ll know how to evaluate a problem and create an optimal solution by choosing the best language/framework. You’ll also learn how to deconstruct complex problems and break them into smaller modules. The number one thing Ironhack hopes students glean from their program is learning how to learn.
General Assembly Software Engineering Immersive
Duration: 12 weeks
Features: General Assembly offers a full-time online coding bootcamp with expert instructors, one-on-one career coaching, and elite connections with employers. They created their curriculum in conjunction with actual tech hiring managers to make sure you leave bootcamp with hireable skills. You’ll graduate with a professional portfolio, certificate of completion, and in-demand skills. Plus, you’ll get 20 more hours of free courses covering UX design, data science, DevOps, and more.
6. Key Takeaways
Now that you’ve learned everything there is to know about online full-stack developer certification courses, you should be ready to search for the one that’s right for you. We’ve covered what a full-stack developer is, why bootcamps and programs are the most efficient route to becoming one, how to choose one, and some of the best online certification programs.
Okay, you’ve learned all of that. But what do you do now?
Take it step-by-step! Start by making a list of what you’re really looking for from a bootcamp. You can use the “Choosing a full-stack developer online course for you” section as a checklist as you evaluate online certification programs.
Dig into these offerings. Connect with alumni. Explore their curriculum. Read online reviews. Once you’ve narrowed your list to the best options for you, reach out to your chosen courses to find the answers to any lingering questions you might have.
If you’re looking to learn more about becoming a full-stack developer, check out these articles: