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Blog entry by Dilara Tecel

Learn More About Back-end Development

Learn More About Back-end Development

Have you ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes of a website? How, exactly, does clicking on a button take you to a different page?  

So, back end development (often called the “server-side” development), is the creation of everything that goes on behind the scenes of a website or application that the user can’t see.

Without back end development, the internet would offer very little. As you engage with a website, what you’re seeing and interacting with is the front-end. But there’s more than meets the eye when it comes to a website – and that’s where back-end development comes in.

Back-end developers are the experts who build and maintain the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites. Unlike front-end developers, who control everything you can see on a website, back-end developers are involved in data storage, security, and other server-side functions that you cannot see.

Data is collected from external servers and applications and filters this information back into the website to process user requests. If you’re buying something online, you enter your information into the website. That information will then be stored in a database that was created on a server and will be processed to purchase your item. All of these stages are part of backend development.

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What does a back-end developer do?

Back-end developers build, maintain, and debug the back-end that runs an application. As you might imagine, this is a large responsibility that can be broken down into many tasks. Depending on the company, a back-end developer will be responsible for some, most, or all of the following:

  • Developing the systems and processes to meet the application’s specified requirements
  • Maintaining databases, including data storage and retrieval, organization, backups, and security
  • Finding and fixing bugs in the back-end code
  • Managing any APIs the company uses to integrate applications, both externally and internally
  • Conducting performance optimization to increase efficiency and improve the user experience
  • Creating and maintaining libraries of code that can be reused by developers across the organization
  • Helping develop the overall architecture of the application’s back-end
  • Securing the application from cyberattacks

Back-end developers also collaborate with front-end developers to translate their functions to user-facing content in the app’s interface. Back-end developers often work with managers, architects, designers, researchers, IT security and many more to bring web applications to life.

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Back-end developer tasks and responsibilities:

Back-end developers are required to have technical expertise, analytical thinking, and excellent collaboration skills. As a back-end web developer, you should be able to work independently to design the web infrastructure. Here’s what many back-end developers do on a day-to-day basis:

  • Build and maintain websites: A back-end developer’s main responsibility is to use various tools, frameworks, and languages to determine how best to develop intuitive, user-friendly prototypes and turn them into websites. This requires an understanding of cross-platform functionality and compatibility.

  • Write high-quality code: To produce sustainable web applications, developers must write clean and easily maintainable code.

  • Perform quality assurance (QA) testing: Create and oversee testing schedules to optimize user interface and experience, ensuring optimal display on various browsers and devices.

  • Assess efficiency and speed: Once a website is up and running, and during updates and edits, developers need to assess its performance and scalability, adjusting code as necessary.

  • Troubleshoot and debug: Be able to troubleshoot issues and resolve them, while communicating them to project managers, stakeholders, and QA teams.

  • Train and support: Maintain workflows with client teams to ensure ongoing support, along with leading training and mentorship for junior developers.

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What skills does a backend developer need?

Nevertheless, to truly become an outstanding professional, some skills go beyond language proficiency and other technical requirements. Here are some of the most valued soft skills:

  • Communication: As said before, backend developers usually work in teams, once it is important to communicate clearly with each member of the project. Further, by establishing good communication with the client and stakeholders, developers can also create a system architecture that meets specific needs and can provide efficient solutions to improve the web application's functionality.

  • Continuous Learning: It can be an excellent advantage for a developer to keep up to date with the latest technologies. Continually learning about the programming realm can lead to new and efficient ways of coding. Additionally, learning about design concepts and developing frontend development skills can enhance how the backend architecture is created.

  • Organization: Truth be told, the computer itself is not very concerned about whether the code is (or not) very clean and clear as long as the elements are there and in the correct order. However, the developer is human and needs some organization to work efficiently. It becomes tough to navigate the code when it starts growing and containing too many elements, and what could be a simple task turns into an impossible mission. Therefore, when developing the backend, keeping the code clear and organized can save time and allow developers to make the needed changes and adaptations with confidence. Plus, it becomes easier for other people to interpret it as well.

  • Systems and DevOps: Once the web application is ready for production by back-enders, everything is sent over to operations, which typically includes system engineers, network engineers, security professionals, and so on. DevOps engineers optimize and organize the production of what was created in the backend. Therefore, DevOps is what runs everything once the code is done. In other words, it glues everything together, ensuring stability, reliability, and predictability of everything that supports a web application. A good backend developer would also benefit from DevOps principles knowledge since it can facilitate and speed production processes.

Working in backend development can be a demanding but also an exciting job. In fact, it is often considered the brain of a web application. To become an exceptional professional, be ambitious and humble to learn from every project and challenge you may encounter. You can start to learn more about back-end in our site Learn IT Back-end Courses and start to build your career in IT! Don’t forget, everyone starts from zero, all you have to do is start now for better tomorrows!

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