The modern world is digital and thus, almost everything has transcended to its digital avatar, including the business process. A business nowadays can’t work without online presence and customer relations.
Most people think that web development is just about front-end design. Though the user experience brings the site alive, it is not the only thing to consider if you’re keen on becoming a capable web developer. There are many things you need to learn, and one of them is back-end programming.
As a full-stack developer, you must be familiar with both front-end and back-end development, but to make the transition to a full-time backend developer, you will need to master backend skills in addition to having knowledge of frontend skills.
What is Backend Development?
Backend developers work on business logic, database storage, server configuration, caching, web services, and anything and everything that runs on the server-side. To put it simply, backend development is the creation of programs that live behind the scenes of your website.
This includes applications like email service providers, databases, content delivery networks (CDNs), and even applications that you might not directly see, like software that helps manage your website. Any application or program requires backend development.
What does a Backend Developer Need to Know?
Skill#01 – Backend Programming Languages
A developer’s knowledge does not remain constant; it continues to evolve with time. Python is a high-level programming language known for its ease of use and readability. It has efficient high-level data structures and a simple but effective approach to object-oriented programming.
Python’s syntax is much simpler to learn than traditional languages, such as C++ and Java. When you know Python, you will have an advantage over other developers to develop the backend logic for a website. Also, there are several powerful Python IDEs and code editors that facilitate web development.
Java is the language you need to know if you develop backend systems and components. It is one of the most popular languages for developing backend systems and components. Moreover, every company needs backend developers. So, learning Java will assure that you don’t have a problem with getting a job. Also, you can also build your startup from scratch with Java in your arsenal.
PHP is an open-source web scripting language that is responsible for running most online applications and websites. It’s also one of the most popular programming languages in use today with millions of developers worldwide.
With numerous jobs in web development requiring some level of PHP expertise, it’s an important language to know even if you’re starting your programming journey with some other programming language. PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language, which means it can be used for a variety of things other than web development.
As PHP gained popularity it eventually got adopted by web servers as the leading choice for server-side web development. It facilitates developing dynamic websites that change as a user interacts with them without taking the user to other web pages.
SQL is the most commonly used programming language to manipulate data inside a relational database. However, it’s not a programming language, albeit a (database) query language.
Whenever you’re talking about working with any kind of data, it’s likely that SQL is involved. One of the most fundamental skills a backend developer should learn is SQL (Structured Query Language). SQL is the language of relational databases, and learning it will not only help you communicate with databases such as MySQL and MariaDB but also make you a better programmer.
Skill#02 – Knowledge of Popular Frameworks
When developing an app, you need to have a variety of tools at your disposal. This is true for all types of app development, and not just web app development. Web frameworks are exceptionally important for modern web development, letting you focus more on functionality rather than on building the basics.
As a backend developer, you would be responsible for ensuring that the website runs optimally by writing code to handle all of its core business functionality, including user management, accounting save, content control, and SEO.
Skill#03 – Data Structures and Algorithms
Data structures and algorithms are basically a way for a computer to store and process data. A programmer might use a specific data structure or algorithm to solve a problem or to make another program better.
Knowledge of data structures and algorithms is a must for developers. Although data structure challenges aren’t as common as other interview questions, they are among the easiest to answer if you know how to properly pick the right data structure for the problem.
Skill#04 – Databases and Cache
The synergy of databases and cache is essential for the backend. The database stores the entire content of the website, its posts, pages, and images. This data can be queried by the web server and accessed by all web pages. Caching speeds up this process so that the database doesn’t have to be constantly queried and accessed.
The technique stores the previously selected data and also serves it back to the client without having to query the database again. One of the most important backend developer skills you need to know is how databases and cache work together. Solid knowledge of these two topics will not only make you a bankable backend developer but also a great programmer.
Skill#05 – Familiarity with Servers
If you are not familiar with web hosting servers, it will be quite difficult to understand the backend of a website. If you want to be a backend developer then you should have some knowledge of working with servers. In fact, backend developers will have to learn a variety of different languages and technologies to work on a wide array of servers.
Skill#06 – Knowledge of APIs
Good knowledge of (REST) APIs can be very helpful for backend developers to understand the full process of development. Learning the interface will help you to design and develop your website very simply. One of the best things about APIs is that they cover all the areas related to web development, like security, accessibility, network optimization, and publishing.
It is not easy to enter the cut-throat world of backend development. However, it is a lucrative one that is worth trying for. If you are a beginner, you should try to master the basics of backend development before you start working and developing backends for websites and web apps. It will make learning much easier and save your time and nerves as well.
However, if you are an intermediate, or even an experienced, backend developer, you should continuously try out new technologies and tools to step up your game to stay relevant in the rapidly evolving world of web development.