Currently, more than 4 billion people use the internet, which makes up almost half of the world's population. This means there are endless opportunities for anyone looking to start their career in any tech-related field, specifically programming and web development. Unfortunately, most people relinquish their interest in these fields due to the perception that this field has a steep learning curve.
Besides the steep learning curve, most people find it daunting to figure out the right field to venture into. Among the many yet lesser-known positions available for programmers and web developers is back-end development. This guide outlines the important basics of being a back-end developer.
You should differentiate back-end and front-end development to understand back-end development in detail. As the name suggests, front-end development involves everything that users see or interact with. On the other hand, back-end development essentially deals with what happens behind the scenes of a website.
The back-end of websites features a combination of programming and technological aspects that power a website. This consists of three parts that users don't see; the server, application, and database. That said, a back-end developer is tasked with building and maintaining the tech required to power various website components. This provides utility to everything front-end developers build.
As mentioned, the back-end powers the front-end part of the website, where users see and interact with. Back-end components run in the background, delivering both functionality and desktop-like experience to web users. Therefore, back-end developers play an important role in web development by ensuring that data and services requested by front-end software systems are delivered.
However, unlike the front-end, the back-end is a combination of software and database written in server language that runs on web servers, cloud servers, or hybrid servers. Back-end developers use various programming languages, including Java, PHP, Python, and Ruby, to make web servers, databases, and applications communicate and work together.
After understanding a website's needs and technical requirements, back-end developers use these programming languages to build applications and tools such as SQL, MySQL, and Oracle that find, change, and serve data to web users in the front-end. Back-end developers find effective solutions that convert and return data into front-end codes that users interact with.
That said, general duties of back-end developers include;
Evidently, back-end development is more technical compared to front-end development. Therefore, apart from extensive knowledge of UI/UX, they should be skilled in various coding languages. Some of the best coding languages for back-end developers include;
You should become a back-end developer for many reasons. Job prospects, salaries, and the lifestyle of this career are quite intriguing. Like any other job, salaries for back-end developers vary from one state to another and according to developer experience and position. Nonetheless, the national average back-end developer salary stands at $77,200, with top earners racking six-figure salaries.
As for job prospects, back-end development is a competitive field, especially as more people get into this field. However, you can rest easy as there will always be demand for back-end developers. On the other hand, life as a back-end developer involves long working hours. These developers are also funding everywhere, working as permanent employees in small, medium, and large-sized companies. They can also freelance or work as independent contractors and consultants for employment agencies.
Like any other tech-related career, there are many avenues of becoming a back-end developer. For starters, you should have a genuine interest in this field before finding ways of acquiring the necessary skills of back-end development.
That said, online courses can provide introductory lessons for aspiring developers. Others can opt for college degrees or coding Bootcamps to enhance their developer knowledge and skills.
Back-end development or server-side development is quite different from front-end development. For instance, while back-end developers can work independently, front-end developers cannot work without back-end developers. Generally, this is a more technical specialty as it requires one to understand the primary goals of a website to develop effective solutions.