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Hackernoon logoHow to Become a Backend Developer in 2020 by@mosh

How to Become a Backend Developer in 2020

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@moshMosh Hamedani

Coding Made Simple

Are you looking for a career in Backend Development? To build complete applications beyond the user-interface companies need rockstar back-end developers.

All the app data is stored and processed on the back-end. Back-end development is everything that happens behind the scenes. It is a variety of things like the databases, the business logic, the API layer and pretty much everything other than the user-interface.

The average salary for a back-end developer is $123,689 per year in the United States as of 2019. In this post, let’s learn about what it means to be a Backend Developer.

Choose A Programming Language

Before you begin architecting your backend, you need to decide which programming language you plan to use for your application. Depending on the programming language, there are a whole bunch of skills that you need to acquire to become a successful back-end developer.

The top tech stacks to pick as a backend developer are:

  • JavaScript Stack
  • Python Stack
  • C# Stack
  • Java Stack

Let’s explore the four most popular back-end programming languages and the tech stack that comes with it in detail.

Back-end Stack 1: JavaScript Stack

JavaScript ranks as the most popular programming language for the seventh year in a row, in survey conducted by StackOverflow. Many progressive fortune 500 companies like Facebook, Netflix and PayPal use JavaScript to build their applications. As a JavaScript back-end developer, you need to have in-depth knowledge of JavaScript as a programming language. Once you master JavaScript, you need the following skills to complete the stack.

Skill 1: Node.js

Node.js is the powerful open-source server environment to execute JavaScript code at the backend. Before you start learning node, you will have to be proficient in JavaScript. Node.js is your number one choice if you are building back-end applications using JavaScript. It is extremely popular and has a huge community support.

Node is built to handle asynchronous code in JavaScript. It can be used to perform asynchronous activities such as reading and writing to the file system, handling connections to database servers, or handling requests as a web server. Node.js can execute server-side logic and interact with databases and files.

Skill 2: Node.js Frameworks

If you are using Node.js, you will need to pick a web framework to build and run your web applications. There are plenty of options in this regard.
There are many popular Node.js frameworks that are available today. Here are some options to consider.

Option 1: Express

Express is a fast, flexible, and minimalistic web-framework for Node.js. Express is known to be a highly performant web-framework. It has a lot of utilities and features, making development easier.

Option 2: Meteor

Meteor is a popular and simple full stack Node.js framework for building modern web and mobile applications. It is compatible across several devices. You can use it to build web, iOS, Android and desktop apps.

Option 3: Koa

Koa is a relatively new web framework designed by the team behind Express. It aims to be a smaller, more expressive, and robust foundation for web applications and APIs. By leveraging async functions, Koa allows you to forget about callbacks and greatly increase error-handling.

Back-end Stack 2: Python Stack

Python has been a beloved language for developers for many years now. Today, many schools are now teaching Python as the first programming language to students, because of its easy syntax. Generally, Python is a perfect choice if you have a calculation heavy API.

If you decide to pick Python to build your backend, here are the skills that you need, to complete learning it.

Pick a Python Framework

There are several Python frameworks and each framework has its own pros and cons.
Python has two types of frameworks: Full-stack frameworks and micro-frameworks.

When considering which framework to use, step back and look at the size and complexity of your project.

If it is a large application with lots of complexities and features, you will benefit from picking a full-stack framework. If your app is going to be small and simple you can consider a micro-framework.

Let’s look at some of the top Python frameworks and you can pick one of them for your backend development.

Option 1: Full-stack Framework — Django

Django is a high-level Python Web framework that encourages rapid development and clean, pragmatic design. It comes with utilities and features that enable you to focus on writing your app without needing to reinvent the wheel. It’s free and open source. This is the most popular choice of python web framework today.

The popular databases that Django works with are PostgreSQLMySQLSQLite, and Oracle, but third-party drivers allow you to use others as well.

Choose A Database

Irrespective of the programming language that you choose to use for your back-end, it will always need a database. Any app that you build will need a database. This is where the data is stored. There are two major types of databases: SQL and NoSQL.

SQL databases are more popular. Facebook, Netflix, Uber, Airbnb use SQL-driven databases — to name just a few. So, to be a successful back-end developer you need to know SQL inside-out.

There are several options to pick from, and I am listing the most popular databases here.

Option 1: MongoDB

MongoDB is the most popular document database and is very commonly used as the default database for Node.js. It is a NoSQL database, that is way more flexible than a SQL database.

Option 2: MySQL

MySQL is another common relational database that is used popularly in the tech industry.

Option 3: PostgreSQL
PostgreSQL is another powerful, relational database system that is used widely.

Further Learning and Resources (referral links)

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