The difference between front-end and back-end developer

Front end developmentProgramming

Tokio School | 02/06/2022

In this article we’re going to explore the difference between front-end and back-end developers. This way, it’ll be much easier for you, who’re fascinated by web programming, to decide what path you want to follow when acquiring specialized training in this discipline.

The front-end developer is in charge of the part of web development that is seen and perceived, as the front end is the part of a website with which users interact. On the other hand, the back-end developer is in charge of everything that is hidden behind in order to make a website work, which includes the servers and databases.

These are two concepts that, broadly speaking, explain how a website works and are fundamental for anyone who wants to work in the digital world, be it in programming, marketing, design or entrepreneurship.


Understanding web design

In our short introduction we’ve already anticipated the two basic pillars on which web design is sustained. The truth is that it’s impossible to understand front ends and back ends without understanding the concept of web design first.

Front end and back end are the two sides of the same coin which, in this case, is web development.

When we speak about web programming, the technology employed to design each complete website is classified in two groups that perform different but closely linked tasks.

This division in tasks requires the presence of two specialized and differentiated professional profiles. So, without further ado, let’s get into each of them in an exhaustive manner.


What is the front end?

Front end is the part of a program or device that users can access in a direct manner. It’s thus about all the design and web development technologies that work in a web browser and are in charge of both the interface and the users’ interactivity.

In general, the difference between front-end and back-end developer is that the first one presents a series of abilities that allow him to perform this part of web development.

What is the required training to become a front-end developer?

A front-end developer must be proficient in HTML, CSS and JavaScript, as well as being able to use certain frameworks and libraries that expand his or her capacities. This way, the front-end developer will be qualified to generate any sort of user interface.

Some of these elements include:

  • React
  • Redux
  • Angular
  • Bootstrap
  • Foundation
  • LESS
  • Sass
  • Stylus
  • PostCSS


What is the back end?

The back end is a layer of accessing data in a software or any type of device or application. In this cse, as we’re speaking of web development, we refer to every  piece of data that  makes a website work and be correctly displayed to users who navigate it.

The back-end developer also accesses the server, which is a specialized application that understands the way a web browser makes requests. The difference between front end and back end is that the latter is able to develop the logical programming layer that makes a website work.

What is the required training to become a back-end developer?

In order to work as a back-end developer it’s necessary to learn a few programming languages that are complex and require of extensive experience to be able to completely master them:

  • Python
  • PHP
  • Ruby
  • C#
  • Java

Just like it happens with the front end, the back-end developer is also presented with a series of accessory tools that he must control in order to improve his work. These are some examples:

  • Django
  • Laravel
  • Ruby on Rails
  • Net


How do front end and back end work?

In order to clearly see the difference between front end and back end, let’s illustrate how both work with an example. Suppose we are using a website. The moment you want to start navigating it, you type its URL at the web browser’s bar, which means the website will be displayed.

In a matter of seconds, your computer will verify which server is enabling the working of this website. Meanwhile, the server will check your request and whether the website presents a database or not, and then send this information to the front end.

The back end communicates with the front end so that the latter adjusts website displays to your computer. This is what, in the end, is shown in your web browser.


The difference between front-end and back-end developer

As you could see, the tasks carried out by back-end and front-end developers are different. This is why the functions and responsibilities that each of them perform are also different.

Next we clarify these roles and responsibilities more, so that your decision when it comes to choosing the right training is much easier and you can pick a specialization that adjusts to what you want.

Roles and responsibilities of a back-end developer

  • Find all the possible solutions to a problem
  • Issue and error analysis in a website’s performance
  • Applying the best solutions for action and function programming
  • Find out about the clients’ needs
  • Identifying issues in productive chains
  • Suggest solutions in early stages of web development
  • Improve navigation and user experience (UX)

Roles and responsibilities of a front-end developer

  • Development through HTML, CSS and JavaScript
  • Website maintenance and optimization
  • Managing a software’s workflow
  • Implementing SEO Onpage
  • Improving usability
  • Implementing new functionalities
  • Improving a website’s loading times
  • Ensuring website accessibility


Study to become a front-end developer!

If you’re learning about website programming, it’s very likely that you encounter many of the concepts we’ve delineated in this article. Now, at least, you’re sure about the difference between front-end and back-end developers.

If you’re thinking about specialization, you’ll have to decide between the two. Or, if you prefer, you can choose an integral training so that you become a full-stack developer, being able to master both sides.

However, the most accessible option if you’re a beginner in the website development area is that you become specialized in the front end, as this is a much more satisfying job in which you can see exactly where your efforts turn into.

In order to do so, you’ll need specialized training. With Tokio School’s course in Front-end programming: HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript you’ll be able to learn everything you need to start a brilliant career in the world of website development. Are you going to miss it?

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