Web development, as a career, is experiencing strong growth. And as the demand for web developers begins to outpace the supply of qualified professionals, those with an interest in the field and a desire to learn new technologies have an advantage when it comes to landing a well-paying career with exceptional potential.
Web developers play different roles. Some focus strictly on backend or frontend development, while others choose to expand their skill set to include both (as a full stack developer). Specialization is critical when pursuing a career in web development, with backend engineers benefiting from a more excellent command for their skills and experience.
Backend development can be a fulfilling career choice for those with web development experience or who have a keen interest in development technologies. What is it exactly that a backend developer does, and how can you begin working towards earning the qualifications for this exciting career? Let’s take a look.
What is a Backend Developer?
There are essentially two components to web development—backend and frontend. When a visitor lands on a website, what they initially see and experience are the efforts of frontend development. The average internet user gives little thought to what goes on behind the scenes of web development, but that doesn’t mean that a backend web developer’s role is any less critical. The quality of user experience a website provides is dependent upon backend programming.
Read more: How to Become a Front End Developer
A backend developer’s role is to focus on details like building an effective website architecture, scripting, and writing code that serves as a means of communication between the website's database and the browser the site visitor is using.
For those who choose backend development as their career, daily core responsibilities include:
- Forming an understanding of the performance needs and goals of the website to develop effective, successful solutions
- Development and management of APIs
- Developing systems for websites to accept and securely store data, such as those required for payment processing systems
- Writing code, testing, and development solutions for code-related issues (maintenance)
- Development of site architecture using proper methodologies of the product life cycle, such as Agile Scrum and framework
- Organization of system logic
- Providing solutions to system problems
What Skills are Required in Backend Development?
A backend developer is a person who makes the user’s experience with the efforts of frontend developers possible. One might think of a backend developer as the person who builds and supports the components that work as the glue, holding the website together and enabling it to function.
One of the most critical skills of a backend developer is a depth of knowledge in backend programming languages. This includes proficiency in PHP, Java, Python, Perl, Ruby, and Node JS. Proficiency is essential, not only for performing daily tasks but also for working alongside frontend developers for developing solutions.
Because backend and frontend developers work so closely together, it’s also helpful to have a foundational understanding of front-end web technologies (HTML and CSS, for example). Additionally, knowledge and practical use experience with Mongo DB’s and Express help maximize your frontend capabilities.
Of course, there are non-technical skills that are required of backend developers. Those who choose this as a profession should be comfortable with analytical processes, have well-developed problem-solving capabilities, be interested in emerging technologies, have decent communication skills, and be able to work independently as well as being comfortable working with others, sometimes as part of a collaborative team.
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Areas of Work for Backend Engineers and Developers
Backend developers can find career opportunities in a variety of industries and locations. Some backend developers work exclusively with one company, while others work for agencies that specialize in web development for their clients. Beginning a career in this field requires learning the various aspects of server-side language and gaining an understanding of the other tools used daily. It’s also recommended that you seek an entry-level position to gain practical, hands-on experience.
Employers who hire backend developers tend to value a mixture of relevant education, updated skills training, and practical experience in the industry. A passion for learning new technologies is a significant plus in the web development industry. Those who move up the ranks toward senior backend developer positions often possess a strong knowledge of frontend development. If you’re interested in a fruitful career in this field, starting with backend development training is the first step. Moving on to frontend, or full-stack development certification is an important future step for optimizing your career opportunities.
Salaries and Career Prospects for Backend Developers
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career outlook for web development is favorable, as the industry expected to grow much faster than average. As with most web development careers, location can make a big difference in terms of average salary.
According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a web developer in the United States is $75,487 per year, with specializations leading to a higher average salary. Top cities where web developers earn more than the national average include San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, Los Angeles, and Chicago. Those who pursue additional training and education to become full-stack developers are typically able to command higher salaries.
To give you a sense of how fast the field of web development—including backend developers—is growing, consider the fact that there were approximately 148,500 positions for developers five years ago. Looking ahead five years into the future, that number is expected to grow to an estimated 188,000. This is substantial growth, which indicates a promising future for those who are just now getting their foot in the door of web development.
Becoming Skilled in Backend Web Development
Those who are interested in becoming backend developers should have some degree of experience or education in web development technologies. With a beginning background and a basic understanding of web development technologies, leaping backend programming and development is as simple as taking a comprehensive certification course.
Simplilearn offers such a course with their Full Stack Web Developer–MEAN Stack Master’s Program. This course is designed to help you advance your career as a web developer. When taking this course, you’ll master the elements of becoming a backend developer, as well as those involved in frontend technologies. Taking a course like the one offered by Simplilearn is a surefire way to set yourself on the fast track to career success.
This course is perfect for anyone interested in becoming a backend engineer or expanding their knowledge of full-stack development to enhance their income earning potential. The MEAN Stack Developer Master’s Course is ideal for any professional or student with an interest in learning MEAN Stack, web developers, IT project managers, and entrepreneurs who want to develop a skill set to effectively handle their web development.
Begin Your Learning Path with Simplilearn Today
Are you ready to take your web development career to the next level? Get your foot in the backend development door by learning the skills you need to fuel fast growth along your career path! We encourage you to contact Simplilearn to learn more about our Full Stack Java Developer Master’s Course today.