In a recent study conducted by LinkedIn, Backend Development was found to be one of the top five fastest-growing jobs in India. Not just that, backend developer jobs witnessed an exponential growth of 23x within a short span of five years.
Needless to say, skilful backend developers were, are and will always be in demand in this world of advancing technology. So, who is a skilful backend developer, and how can you be one.
Who is a Backend Developer?
A backend developer is a software engineer who creates the logic backing the functioning of the system. This logic essentially is the core computational logic of the website, software or information system. While a user would always interact with the front-end components of your system, he is able to make use of those components only because of the work done at backend.
For instance, if you are ordering your favourite dish from a food delivery app, you interact with features like selecting the restaurant of your choice, choosing your favourite dish, and then placing an order after making the payment. In this scenario, the backend that ensures the menu is updated, the dish gets added to the cart, and the order is sent to the restaurant, and the payment is received.
Basically, the backend is everything that does not meet the eye but is essential for the functioning of a system, application, software or website. And so, a backend engineer is the one who ensures that this functioning is smooth and efficient.
Roles And Responsibilities of a Backend Developer
Managing And Securing Databases
A backend developer develops data storage solutions used in the system. He not only ensures that the database is stored accurately but also ensures the security of this data. For instance, while placing the order, your saved address, your payment info, your past orders, all data is stored and managed efficiently to enhance your user experience.
At the same time, this data has to be kept safe from any every malicious ware on the web. And that is one of the most important tasks of a backend developer. So, when a backend developer creates frameworks for the functioning of the system, he makes it a point to prepare protection measure for it too.
Integration With The Frontend
A backend developer cannot work in isolation. Once he has his system ready, it is his duty to ensure seamless integration of his frameworks with the front end system. Basically, he needs to ensure that the order is placed only after you click on “place order” and not when you add something to the cart. So, a backend developer works with the frontend to ensure a glitch-free integration, thereby providing you with a wholesome experience.
Also, if a full stack developer is working on a project he needs to take care of both the front and backend of the system.
Understanding Server Technology
Server technology is at the core of backend development. When a request is made by the client-side, a call is made to the database which resides in the server. The backend server-side scripts then process the request and pull out the data requested by the client-side.
For instance, when you click on a restaurant, the backend scripts pull out the data i.e. the restaurant’s menu for you to choose from, So, a backend developer must have an understanding of server technology.
Follows The CI/CD Culture
“Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery” is one of the best software practices followed by DevOps teams in the present times. This practice allows development teams to ship code changes more frequently and reliably. In this, Continuous Integrations refers to the practice of making code changes frequently and checking their validity when they integrate these changes in their version control repositories.
Continuous Delivery refers to pushing the changes to their respective environments. In an ideal situation, development changes are continuously and comprehensively deployed to production environments after passing through the CI/CD pipeline.
Conducts Unit testing
Quality assurance during backend development requires unit testing. During unit testing, every individual unit of source code is tested to check whether they are fit for use. Usage procedure and operating procedure are also evaluated during unit testing.
Now that you know, what the role of a backend developer is, here are the skills you’d need to become one:
Programming Languages- Golang, JAVA, Python
As a backend developer, you should have a sound understanding of:
Golang usually referred to as Go is perfectly compatible with DevOps philosophy which is used in open source projects. The main characteristics of Go are high-performance networking, multiprocessing, readability, usability, runtime efficiency and static timing.
Go is used for the development of distributed systems, web applications, microservices and highly-scalable network servers.
Java is one of the most popular and powerful programming languages. It is used in Android which is Java-based, desktop applications, web applications, client-server and enterprise applications. Prominent features of Java are security, robust and high-performance.
Python is the go-to language for backend development. With its versatility Python is used for the development of web and desktop applications, games, life support management systems, quickly creating prototypes and microservices.
You’d also need backend frameworks like Django for Python and Laravel for PHP to create backend systems. These are, essentially the tools, languages and libraries to help you create backend systems easily. As a backend developer, you must be familiar with a framework that works on the programming language you are coding in.
According to RedHat, “An API is a set of definitions and protocols for building and integrating application software”. An API, also known as application Programming Interface, is used in a wide variety of applications like web-based system, operating system, database system, computer hardware, or software library.
API can be imagined as contracts with documents, which shows the understanding between parties. This agreement shows how a particular party should respond if the other party sends a remote request structured a particular way.
Git is an open-source distributed version monitoring system which handles changes made to the codebase. When development is being done through collaboration, Git helps you to inspect the development of the project.
So, as a backend developer, you should have a clear understanding of Git. It also provides you to change and update the project code without causing any functionality errors.
Front-end (basic knowledge)
Wish to learn about front-end development? Here’s all you need to know about the profile of a front-end developer.
In The End
As a backend developer, you should always be mindful of two things. First of all, even with all the technological advancement and new fields like data science, AI and big data emerging in the market, backend as a field will never be replaced.
However, at the same time, this advancement will directly result in newer technologies, tools being developed in the field. So, you must keep yourself abreast with the latest that technology has to offer. While you may have strong core skills, if you don’t learn and grow with the times, you’ll fall back.