Under the vast scope of web development, there are simply too many moving parts for any one person to handle. Generally, web developers are divided into two specific roles: front-end and back-end.
Then there are the silent killers who code the functionalities and features of a website — the back-end developers. But what exactly are their roles and responsibilities? Let’s take a deeper look at what they do, what skills are vital for back-end development, and why do you need them in your business.
What is a Back-End Developer?
Back-end developers are a type of programmers who build the core computational functions of websites, software, or systems. They work hand-in-hand with front-end developers by providing the logic to communicate with the user interface. Aside from optimizing web applications for speed and efficiency, some of the infrastructures that revolve around back-end developers are:
Server scripts - These are methods that allow a user to communicate with a web server to either send or request information. Server-side scripts also provide the web server a way to respond to actions and commands from the front-end or client-side.
Databases - back-end developers are in-charge of creating data storage solutions and connecting them with the main website or web application. These databases also contain unique codes to perform mathematical and statistical calculations using the data stored in them.
Application programming interface - APIs provide universal access to any kind of assets to and from other websites you choose to share or acquire. They seamlessly connect software, applications, databases, and third-party services together. They are often used to replace complex programming that was previously used to connect to other websites. A great example and implementation of API is a Facebook “like” button found on a blog post; it uses APIs that allow a website to show a functioning element from Facebook.
What are the Required Skills for Back-end Development?
Just like front-end developers, back-end developers require skills that revolve around coding languages, database-related queries, and software frameworks. These skills include:
It is an OpenSource scripting language commonly used for web development. It is frequently used for blogs and is the primary language used for WordPress — the most popular content management system of 2019. It is widely used to communicate with the user’s database and request server content.
Structured Query Language is an industry-standard coding language used to communicate and manage a database. It performs functions like displaying, retrieving, updating, and even deleting data. It’s a must-learn language if you’re using a database to retrieve and acquire data.
Representational State Transfer (REST) and Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) are two web technologies that allow you to create your own API. They are two different styles that address the question of data transmission from different points of view. Back end developers must learn these architectures if they want to dive deeper into development.
Why are Back-end Developers Essential in a Business?
If you don’t have a back-end developer to create and manage your business website, your customers won’t have a pleasant user experience. Having poor user experience means that customers will leave and find a website that works for them — losing you both sales and brand reputation. Also, you can have a jaw-dropping webpage design, but if the application doesn't work, the whole thing will end up being a failure. You need to have the perfect combination of both front-end and back-end developers.
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