Hackernoon logoFrontend Vs Backend Developers: All You Need to Know by@ankitdixit

Frontend Vs Backend Developers: All You Need to Know

Front end of a website is the section that the user interacts with directly. Front End developers provide the structure, appearance, behaviour, and content of everything that appears on browser displays when websites, online applications, or mobile apps are opened. The Front End's key goals are responsiveness and performance. The languages used for Front End development are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Front-end developers also include people who work with specific front-end languages, such as JavaScript, ReactJS, AngularJS, etc.
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Ankit Dixit

I am a Software Developer

If you have tried immersing yourself in the vast world of Software Development, you would have noticed the words’ Frontend’ and ‘Backend’ being used a lot. If you are someone who has decided to start learning Software Development, this article will give you a clear understanding of the two most popular terms in this field, and what exactly is the difference between frontend and backend.

Simply put, frontend is anything that the user sees and interacts with. This article, for instance, is something you’re able to view and read. A frontend developer has put in this information, designed the layout of this website and worked on improving the user experience for you to be able to read it.

Backend, on the other hand, ensures that everything that you’re seeing works fine. You can see this article but there’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes for this article to reach your computer screen. After the user can see and interact with the application, the functionality is achieved by the backend. Backend takes care of all of that.

Think of this concept as any movie of your choice. The ones interacting with you are the actors. They say the dialogues and emote in a certain way for you to feel connected to them. However, there are several others such as the director, the producers, the screenwriters, etc who are making sure the movie is enjoyable for you. Hence, in this case, the actors could be thought of as the frontend for your website while the backend is everyone else that is involved in the process of creating the movie.

What is Front End Development?

The front end of a website is the section that the user interacts with directly. It is sometimes referred to as the application's "client side." Everything that users see directly is included: text colours and styles, photos, graphs and tables, buttons, colours, and the navigation menu. The languages used for Front End development are HTML, CSS, JavaScript, etc. Front End developers provide the structure, appearance, behaviour, and content of everything that appears on browser displays when websites, online applications, or mobile apps are opened. The Front End's key goals are responsiveness and performance.

The developer must guarantee that the site is responsive, meaning that it works properly on devices of all sizes. No part of the website should behave inappropriately regardless of screen size.

What are some Front End Jobs?

UI(User Interface) Designer - This is a visual designer who is responsible for the design and look of the website. They aren't normally engaged in the design's implementation, but they may have a basic understanding of HTML and CSS in order to express their ideas more effectively to the front-end developers, who are responsible for the code.

UX(User Experience) Designer - UX designers are responsible for the feel of the website. They focus on the frontend of websites, examining and investigating how users interact with them. Then, after a lot of testing, they make changes.

Front-end Developer
- They can build a website without having to do any back-end development. A static site is what they'd make if they didn't use the backend. A static site is similar to a portfolio website since it does not require the retrieval and storage of any data in a database.

Unless it's time for a redesign, the pages will usually always remain the same. Testing and Debugging skills, as well as knowledge of HTML, CSS, JavaScript, and other frameworks such as Angular.JS, etc may be required of a front-end developer.

This person may or may not have used a design program such as Photoshop to create the design. They usually get the design from the designer. Front-end developers also include people who work with specific front-end languages, such as JavaScript, React.JS, AngularJS, etc.


Front End Languages

The languages used to build the Front End are:

HTML - Hyper Text Markup Language(HTML) is the most widely used markup language on the internet. The building components of web pages are HTML elements. It describes a Web page's structure. It is made up of a number of components. HTML components specify how the content should be displayed in the browser.

CSS - Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) is a language for describing how Web pages are presented, including colours, layout, and fonts. It enables the presentation to be adjusted for different types of devices, such as huge displays, small screens, or printers. CSS may be used with any XML-based markup language and is not dependent on HTML.

JavaScript - JavaScript is a dynamic programming language for computers. It is a lightweight component of web pages whose implementations enable client-side script to interact with users and create dynamic sites. Dynamic sites are those that change their content depending on the user’s actions. For example, Netflix loads the movie that the user selects. It's an object-oriented programming language that can be interpreted.

Front End Frameworks and Libraries

JavaScript also provides certain libraries and frameworks that make it easier to develop the frontend of a website. JavaScript libraries are collections of ready-to-use code snippets that can be used (and reused) to execute common JavaScript tasks. JavaScript frameworks, on the other hand, are a comprehensive set of tools for shaping and organising your website or online application.

AngularJS: AngularJS is an open-source JavaScript front-end framework that is mostly used to create single-page web applications (SPAs). It is a framework that is always evolving and providing better ways to construct online apps. In AngularJS, the static HTML is replaced by dynamic HTML. It adds Directives to HTML attributes and uses HTML to bind data. It's an open-source project that may be downloaded for free.

ReactJS: React is a JavaScript library for creating user interfaces that is declarative, efficient, and customizable. ReactJS is an open-source, component-based front-end library that is only responsible for the application's view layer. Facebook is in charge of keeping it up to date.

VueJS: Vue.js, sometimes known as Vue, is an open-source progressive JavaScript framework for creating user interfaces (UIs) and single-page apps. This framework employs "high decoupling," allowing developers to build user interfaces in stages (UIs).

Flutter: Dart is the programming language that powers this Google-managed open source UI Development SDK. From a single code base, it creates performant and attractive natively compiled applications for mobile (iOS, Android), web, and desktop. Flutter's main selling point is the ease with which flat development can be done, as well as the expressive and flexible UI and native performance.

JQuery: jQuery is a feature-rich JavaScript library. With an easy-to-use API that works across a variety of browsers, it simplifies HTML document traversal and manipulation, event handling, animation, and Ajax. jQuery has revolutionised the way millions of people write JavaScript because of its versatility and extensibility.

Bootstrap: Bootstrap is a free and open-source CSS framework for front-end web development that is responsive and mobile-first. It includes design templates for typography, forms, buttons, navigation, and other interface elements that are based on CSS and (optionally) JavaScript.
What is Back End Development?

Any element of a website or software application that users do not see and is working in the background to add functionality to the application, is referred to as the "backend". It differs from the frontend, which refers to the user interface of a software or website. 

The majority of modern websites are dynamic, which means that content is generated as and when the site is rendered. A dynamic page includes one or more scripts that are executed on the web server each time the page is requested. The content of the page is generated by these scripts and transmitted to the user's web browser. The backend includes everything that happens before a page is seen in a web browser.

What are some Back End jobs?

Back End Web Developer: A back-end developer is someone who creates and maintains the technology that powers the components that allow the website's user-facing side to function. Everything the front-end developer creates gains utility thanks to their back-end code.

These developers are in charge of the complete back end, including its creation, maintenance, testing, debugging, and finally, the deployment of the code.

Specialisation Developer: These developers are highly proficient in a particular back end language and are specialised in developing applications based on that technology, as the name suggests. Example: A python specialised developer would use Flask or Django, while a Java specialised developer would use Sprint Boot to develop their applications.
Back End Languages

To build the Back End of a website, the following languages are used:

PHP: PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. PHP is a scripting language that runs on the server. that is used to create static or dynamic web pages as well as the backend of online apps. 

Java: Java is a general-purpose, object-oriented programming language based on classes that is designed to have fewer implementation requirements. It is a computer platform for the development of applications. Several frameworks based on Java are used for Back End Development such as Spring Boot.

Python: Python is a dynamically semantic, interpreted, object-oriented high-level programming language. Its high-level built-in data structures, together with dynamic typing and dynamic binding, make it ideal for Rapid Application Development and as a scripting language for connecting existing components.

C++: C++ is a versatile programming language that may be used for a variety of tasks. It's used to make operating systems, browsers, and games, among other things. C++ supports a variety of programming styles, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming. As a result, C++ is both powerful and adaptable.

Node.js: Node.js is a server-side runtime environment that is open-source. It provides a cross-platform runtime environment with event-driven, non-blocking (asynchronous) I/O for constructing highly scalable server-side applications using JavaScript.

Apart from these languages, there are certain frameworks that can be used as well.

These include:

Express: Express is a Node.js web application framework that offers a comprehensive range of functionality for both web and mobile apps.
Django: Django is a high-level Python Web framework that promotes rapid development and simple, practical design.

Major Differences between Frontend and Backend

This table summarizes all the differences between Frontend and Backend.

1. Definition

Frontend: Concentrate on the visual aspects of an application that a user will engage with

Backend: Concerned with the part of the website that users do not see and is responsible for the working of the frontend. It's what gives a website its interactivity.

2. Role

Frontend: Responsible for the visual aspects of an application that a user may see and experience.

Backend: Responsible for everything that occurs in the background of the frontend. It ensures everything is working as it should.

3. Languages/Frameworks Used

Frontend: HTML, CSS, JavaScript, ReactJS, AngularJS, VueJS, etc

Backend: PHP, JavaScript, NodeJS, Django, etc

4. Jobs

Frontend: Front End Developer, UI Designer, UX Designer

Backend: Back End Developer, Specialisation Developer

You might have also stumbled across the words ‘Full Stack Web Developer’. Full-stack Developers are those that are proficient in both the frontend and backend of an application, as well as the entire technology stack. They are knowledgeable in frontend and backend programming languages and frameworks, as well as server, network, and hosting infrastructures.

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