Back-end developer description

A back-end developer (from the English back-end (literally “back part”) developer) deals with the software and administrative part of a web application, the internal content of the system, server technologies – database, architecture, program logic. Usually, backends administer their systems themselves, but if this responsibility is assigned to a separate specialist – DevOps, then the backend programmer can concentrate on writing the code itself. Options for the name of the profession: backend programmer, developer, or simply backend – backend.

Back-end developer – “fighter of the invisible front”

Many modern sites, web applications (those that do not run on template builders) have become very complex, so a whole team of specialists is working on them. To create a full-fledged, beautiful, functional and user-friendly website, it is necessary to coordinate the work of designers, front-end and back-end developers and those who will control all this work in order to get the application the business needs: analysts, project managers or customers themselves, representatives some business. The division of labor speeds up the creation of a site or web application and facilitates its maintenance.

Figuratively speaking, backend development is the entire filling of the car, hidden from the user: fuel and cooling systems, engine, gearbox, ventilation and air conditioning. And everything that the user sees and uses: settings for on-board systems, 2-3 pedals, steering wheel, beautiful body and interior – this is the frontend part.

The main tools of a backend developer are server-side programming languages. In general, the specialist uses different tools in his work:

languages PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, C#, Node.js (software platform);

in addition to Node.js, it is useful to study Express (a library for the interaction of the Node.js platform with the server) and Mongo DB (a database for receiving and storing information);

Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Django, Flask, Ruby on Rails, Spring, Express frameworks are used as additional tools.

MySQL, PostgreSQL, SQLite are used for data storage.

Features of the profession

It is impossible for modern developers to write code from scratch. This is how programmers worked 10-15 years ago. Now there are many auxiliary tools to simplify the solution of typical problems. One of them is frameworks, and the ability to work with them is an integral part of the work of a back-end developer.

Nevertheless, the framework is a rather low-level solution that offers an architecture, some auxiliary libraries – and that’s it, no one will ever write business logic for a programmer. Yes, there are constructors like Tilda that allow you to make a website without programming, but this has nothing to do with backend developers. Developers have always written, write and will write code. In addition, for typical sites, it may be possible to assemble a ready-made solution, but a step to the left and to the right – and the programmer has to work, and sometimes writing from scratch is easier than finishing an existing solution.

A modern developer is, to a certain extent, an engineer, because many low-level things have to be glued together into a ready-made solution. Connecting everything together, writing good code in the right places, and making it work properly and not break over time is not an easy task.

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Thus, the scope of tasks for a backend developer looks like this:

  • development of a model of the subject area (domain);
  • development of the platform and the main functionality, i.e. business logic;
  • development development of secure applications that support the user interface;
  • setting up servers (combat, test and working) and programs for monitoring their status;
  • use of a version control system (this is a common requirement for all programmers);
  • setting up databases, creating domain models and interactions between them;
  • setting up continuous integration and delivery processes.

The difference between back-end development and front-end development is that the code written by the back-end developer works in a certain known, pre-configured environment. The code of a front-developer can work anywhere: from watches or e-books, to huge monitors.

But setting up a backend developer environment may not be the most pleasant experience. Various layers of isolation are now popular, such as docker containers that need to be run in kubernetes. You also need to be able to work with linux, often the configuration is carried out not through the web interface, but through the console.

Pros and cons of the profession

A highly paid and in-demand profession.

In back-end development, the programmer only works with code, additional systems, and does nothing for visual display to the user. This has its pros and cons: on the one hand, the results of labor are not so obvious, on the other hand, it is easier to check that the code is written and works correctly.

Important qualities

To work as a backend developer, you need:

  • analytic mind;
  • logical thinking;
  • initiative;
  • ability to plan and follow plans;
  • teamwork skills;
  • flexibility of thinking;
  • responsibility, perseverance, purposefulness;
  • focus on results and quality;
  • the desire to constantly learn new things and apply them in their work.

Professional knowledge and skills

First of all, a back-end developer will need knowledge of at least one programming language: Go, PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, C#. This base must be accompanied by:

the ability to write fast, beautiful and correct code;

knowledge of popular web frameworks;

ability to design databases and optimize queries;

knowledge of modern programming paradigms;

knowledge of design patterns;

understanding of web services devices, interfaces;

English for reading technical documentation.

Cloud solutions are popular in the Western market, the most popular is amazon web services, backend developers need knowledge and skills to work with these services.

It is important to understand that even the best fundamental university education lays only a solid systemic foundation of professional knowledge and is not enough to always be aware of changes in technologies and tools. Therefore, in the field of back-end development, as in any programming profile, self-education is important.

Now employers do not always impose formal requirements for higher education of candidates for the position of a back-end developer. For them, the most important thing is the experience, intelligence, motivation of a specialist.

A specialized education for a back-end developer is not necessary, as elsewhere in programming. The main thing is the skills and their level, and no one cares where you got them. Usually companies require a higher education, but this is more of a bureaucratic procedure than a necessity in order to hire a person.

Career steps and prospects

From the position of a backend developer, after mastering the skills of a frontend developer, a direct path to a full stack developer. For further growth, it is necessary to constantly learn new things: to study in detail the technologies for developing software products, the configuration and settings of service systems.

Back-end developers work closer to systems architects, and sometimes fill their role, so they often become the same architects, and later CTOs.

Maria Fassi

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