What is a Full Stack Story Teller?

I’m a Full Stack developer. In straightforward terms this means I can take any part of the web development process to “write code” and contribute to the project. Web development consists of 3 principal parts: Server, Database, and Front End Framework.

The server is the brains of the operation. They act like a more nuanced file system. Basically, every time someone types a web address in the browser, the server treats that as a request and decides what information to send back to you. The database is the memory, it stores the information for the website to serve up. The front end framework is the styling, it takes the information that the server hands over and wraps it up so humans can understand it.

Being able to build this comes down to a lot of cold hard logic. If a then b. I believe humans aren’t built on cold hard logic. We’re built on stories. Stories don’t just define how we communicate, they define how we understand the world. The logic that humans are built on and the logic that machines are built on can be at odds with one another.

This is where UX comes in. UX helps define that front-end framework, the space where the human and the computer directly communicate with one another. This is the UI, the UX, the content that makes up the web page. So often, we assume that UX is just about what happens in front of the user, that it boils down to what the user sees and how they interact with the content. But the deeper I go, the more I come to believe that for every level of the software stack, there is a corresponding UX "feature" that goes along with human behavior. I believe that just as computers have a "Stack" of information, humans have a storytelling “Stack”.

Humans tell stories, but that term is so broad it makes it difficult to understand how this system of logic can interface with computers. The front-end of our stories are Jobs to Be Done: we communicate these in goals/tasks that we try to accomplish on a moment to moment basis. We have a memory, which roughly correspond with the database. However, this is like a story as well. Things aren’t hard coded, they are stored as wisps that we tie together into narrative. Finally our habits/cultural knowledge act as our server. They peer into our memory, pull out the wisps, and then package and deliver it to our short term memory which turns it into tasks.

I aim to be a full-stack storyteller because I believe that it’s important not to only understand the point of interaction between the human and the computer, but understand the full life cycle of how the human computer interaction occurs. I want to be able to understand both how the computers and humans translate, understand, and communicate so they can match one another and information can flow easily.