Introduction of Front End and Back End:
For developing a web application, basically, two major parts are taken care of: frontend and backend. The design of UI/UX, business logic, etc. are different for both of these parts and are worked upon by dedicated teams most of the time. This means the frontend part and backend part are handled by separate teams of professionals, having expertise in their respective domains.
But, the question is, what is frontend and backend development? Let us discuss each of these in the following subsections:
Hence, all these processes are said to be a part of the Frontend of that web application. Developing these portions of the web application is called front end development.
Whenever a user interacts with a web application, mostly by signing up on it or logging on it, or by entering his details for entering the queries and start the communication, all the data is being processed and stored in the database and all the necessary actions are performed on it, according to the functionality of the web application.
These processes can be categorized under the backend process of a web application and the development and management of these are called backend development.
It mainly focuses on client-server communication and the control layer of the MVC architecture to build web applications. The languages included in the backend development are PHP, Java, Ruby, Python, etc.
Roles of a frontend developer:
When a front end developer is appointed in an organization, he is assigned some roles and responsibilities to carry out the development process for the web application efficiently.
One of the most important responsibilities of a frontend developer is to maintain an equilibrium between the core functionalities of the web application and the design part of the same. A full-fledged website providing the best features possible can still be considered dull if there is no attention paid to the design part. Also, the most attractive website becomes uninteresting due to the lack of required features in it. Hence, maintaining a balance between these two factors is the most important part need to be taken care of by the frontend developer.
Some of these roles and responsibilities of the frontend developer are listed as follows:
- The frontend developer determines the layout of the web pages in coordination with the website design team to give it a dynamic UI/UX.
- In addition to the UI/UX part, the developer also ensures that the user can interact with the application smoothly.
- The developer also enables the incorporation of the basic features and functionalities for a user to utilize the application in the best possible ways.
- The frontend developer has to keep an eye on the good to have features and the must-have features of the website and design the template accordingly.
- He also makes sure that the design template deployed for the web application is responsive.
- Also, he makes sure that the code for developing the frontend can be reused.
- The developer needs to keep an eye on the performance of the web application in terms of loading time.
- The frontend developer utilizes the latest technologies to build dynamic web pages.
- The developer maintains the consistency of design throughout all the web pages of the application.
- The developer has to coordinate with the backend developers for implementing the features of the application on the frontend.
So these were some of the important roles and responsibilities of a front end developer. Now let us have a gist of the roles and responsibilities of a backend developer.
Roles of a backend developer
Most of the third-party APIs and web services that are incorporated by the web application to fulfill the requirements of the features and functionalities are handled by the backend developers. It comes under the duties of a backend developer to build the application logic for the server-side, and integrate the same with the client-side- that is the frontend.
In this section, let us discuss some of the roles and responsibilities that are assigned to the backend developer. These are:
- The backend developer must be involved in every stage of the web application development life cycle.
- The main focus of the backend developer should be on building the application logic and hence coding it accordingly, and finally debugging it.
- The developer must remain coordinated with the frontend developer.
- The developer must discuss the requirements of the project with his team and build the logic according to the design finalized.
- The backend developer also acts as a backbone of the developing team that provides guidance and support to his team wherever required.
- The code developed must be efficient and reusable in the future.
- The developer needs to make sure that there are no run-time errors in the application logic and hence the code is clean.
- The developer is responsible for troubleshooting and debugging the code in case there is an issue faced in the development.
- The backend developer needs to remain hand in hand with the latest technologies introduced in the market.
- Test cases need to be implied on the code to check its performance and efficiency.
- The developer needs to stay in touch with the frontend developers’ team, the designers’ team, system administrators, etc.
- To be regularly updated, the backend developers often need to participate in various conferences and seminars.
Having discussed the roles and responsibilities of both the developers, let us now have a look at the skill sets required to be a successful frontend as well as a backend developer.
The skillset of a frontend developer
To boost one’s career as a front end developer, the following skill sets are considered as must-have skills whenever s/he applies for this job profile. These are:
- One should earn a degree in the field of computer science or the one equivalent to it.
- One should have the basic knowledge of the server-side implementation of CSS files.
- As the frontend of the web application includes the designing of the same as an important factor, the frontend developer must keep the knowledge of the designing tools like Adobe Illustrator.
- To make the web application visible at a remarkable point in search results, search engine optimization techniques need to be implemented on the web page, which focuses on the keywords included in the content of the web page. Hence, the frontend developer is expected to have the basic knowledge of applying SEO on the web pages, as the customers can be attracted and engaged with the help of dynamic web pages only.
- The developer must have efficient error solving practice.
- The developer must have remarkable communication skills for effective communication with clients, managers, stakeholders, etc.
- The developer is also expected to build a healthy relationship with his team for a smooth and easy-going frontend development process.
The skillset of a backend developer
Having discussed the skill sets of a front end developer, let us now discuss what it takes to be a successful backend developer. The skills required for the same are:
- The backend developer must be well versed with the programming language used to implement the backend logic, along with the latest frameworks used to develop the backend part of the web application.
- The backend developer must have the skills to act as a database administrator, controller in case of scalability of an application and making the application ready for changing and handling loads efficiently in terms of performance.
- The backend developer is also expected to know the security and authentication factors in terms of vulnerabilities to attacks on the internet and protecting the web application against it.
- The developer must also be well versed with the utilization of repositories like GitHub.
After getting into the details about the frontend and the backend developers, let’s wind up our discussion with the comparison of these two.
Difference between Frontend developer and Backend developer
- Frontend developers build what we see on the screen, and the backend developers build what we utilize from the web application.
- The frontend developer is well versed with the languages like HTML, CSS, etc. whereas the backend developer is well versed with APIs, databases, etc.
- They mainly focus on the design part of the website whereas the latter focuses merely on functionalities.
- Accessibility and responsiveness of a website matter in the frontend whereas the functioning of the website according to user interaction matters in backend development.
- HTML, jQuery, etc. are popular tools for frontend development, whereas MySQL and PHP are well known for backend development.
- The average salary for a frontend developer is approximately 104,405 USD per annum, whereas, for backend developers, 120, 798 USD per annum is the average salary offered by the companies in the US.
- The frontend developer has to work following the tasks assigned by the backend developer to incorporate the functionalities in the design of the website.
- Frontend developers need not take care of the application development life cycle as they work only on the prototype and design level, whereas the backend developer is involved in all phases of the development lifecycle.
In the above article, we came across the discussion of the frontend and backend developers’ concept and also came across the difference between the two. I hope this information helps!
Harikrishna Kundariya, a marketer, developer, IoT, ChatBot & Blockchain savvy, designer, co-founder, Director of eSparkBiz Technologies @Software Development Company. His 8+ experience enables him to provide digital solutions to new start-ups based on IoT and ChatBot.