Software

Frontend Developer vs Backend Developer: What’s The Difference?

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If you’ve ever been confused about what differentiate a Frontend Developer and a Backend Developer – or are they one and the same? In this post, we will highlight all you need to know including what makes them different and things to keep in mind should you decide to hire a web developer for your project.

Both Frontend Developers and Backend Developers are two important areas of knowledge in web development.

Like two sides of a coin, there are certain things that differentiate them.

Let’s find out!

Who is a front end developer?

A Frontend Developer is a Web Developer that is responsible for designing the user-facing side of a website. The user-side, is the part a user sees and interacts with thus the name “Front end.” In lay terms therefore, a frontend developer is someone that designs and implements the frontend of a website.

Who is a backend developer

The backend developer is a web developer who implements server-side logic and integrates the work of the frontend developer. The “backend” can be likened to the engine room of the web application – this part is not seen by the user of the application hence the name.

Frontend developer vs Backend developer

The two types of  web developers  work closely together with regard to the visual, user experience, and performance of the web application. However, their objectives differ and impact their missions. Understanding each other’s issues allows them to do an optimal job.

Frontend developer Vs Backend developer: Role and Responsibilities

Frontend Developer Roles and Responsibilities

Everything a user sees and interacts with in a browser is the frontend developer’s job to develop and ensure that it works flawlessly.

In other words, the user experience is in focus in their job so that the website is intuitive, fast and provides a good experience.

In order for a visitor not to leave the site too quickly, it is essential that the displayed page has an  attractive design – nice and pretty graphic and visual elements remain an important element in the eyes of the Internet user.

In addition, the frontend developer understands the behavior of browsers. This allows him to build a responsive site i.e one that adapts to all types of devices including computers, smartphones and tablets.

Backend Developer Role and Responsibilities

On the other hand, the backend developer is concerned with the performance and integrity of the web application. The individual ensures that the security of the application is as strong as possible.

Backend developers handle databases and make sure that data can be accessed and that their processing does not encounter any problems. In short, the practitioner is tasked with building the architecture that will make data handling seamless.

Always up to date, a good backend data prevents frameworks and libraries from becoming outdated by carrying out routine upgrades and updates.

And to prevent the poor performance of a site and subsequent negative impact that will have with users and business operations, the backend developer uses his /her skills to optimize the application for speed and function. If you are looking to hire a top backend developer check this list by hiremotely

Summary – Differences in Roles and Responsibilities of a Frontend developer and that of a Backend developer

 

Frontend developer Backend developer
Determines the structure and design of web pages Integrates the user-facing elements developed by the frontend developer with the server side
Ensures the application is mobile optimized Optimize the application for speed and scalability
Development of user-facing features Security and data protection

 

Decides the balance the perfect balance between functional and aesthetic elements of the application Design and implementation of data storage and retrieval solutions

 

Frontend developer Vs Backend developer: Skills and Technologies

 When it comes to skills, frontend and backend developers are also different.

For the purpose of this post we would isolate the differences based on the core programming proficiency peculiar to each type of developer and necessary to perform their distinguishing roles.

The programming languages ​​used by a frontend developer run in the browser, unlike the languages ​​used by a backend developer running on the web server.

On this basis, the differences are:

Basic skills of a frontend developer

  •     HTML (Hypertext Markup Language) – Frontend developers typically have a strong understanding of HTML. This programming language allows the developer to “create and structure sections, paragraphs, headings, links, and blockquotes for web pages and applications.”
  •     CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – this is the programming language frontend developers use to determine how HTML elements would be displayed on “screen, paper, or in other media.”
  •     Javascript (JS) – one of the most used and popular programming languages, and is used by both frontend and backend. Proficiency in this language is a must for the role of a frontend developer. This includes a thorough understanding of all its frameworks and libraries.

For frontend developers, they use JS to make web pages dynamic rather than static. Multimedia, animations, updating content etc. is made possible with JS.

Basic skills of a backend developer

  •     PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) – This is a scripting language that has held its own as an incredibly good backend programming language. It allows the backend developer to automate routine processes or improve performance of the web application.
  •     Python – Arguably the fastest growing programming language it allows users to make excellent data visualizations.
  •     Java – Backend developers use this skill to complete object-oriented programming.
  •     SQL (Structured Query Language) – useful for accessing and manipulating relational databases.
  •     Node.js – this is the type of Javascript backend developers use for their backend work.

Summary – Differences in the Skills a frontend developer and a Backend developer should have

 

Frontend developer Backend developer
User Interface/User experience (UI/UX) skills Server-side skills
Proficient in HTML, CSS, and Javascript as the major programming languages Solid understanding of Python, Java, ASP.NET, SQL, Node.js, PHP and other programming and scripting languages

 

Cost of frontend developer vs backend developer

Questions like: “who earns more between frontend and backend developers?” keeps coming up. While the average salaries of these 2 sets of experts is not set in stone.

At the time of writing this post…

Per PayScale:

The average salary for a frontend developer/ Engineer in the US is $73,902/ year while the average salary for a backend developer/Engineer in the US is $77,567/ year.

Per salary.com:

The average hourly wage for a frontend developer in the US is between $51 and $63 while that of a backend developer ranges between $44 and $58.

And for freelance developers, the hourly rates is approximately:

$40.57 – 80/hr for a frontend developer and $40.27 – 80/hr for a backend developer. 

As you can see, the cost of backend developers and frontend developers varies. Just keep this in mind.

Conclusion: Frontend developer vs. Backend at a glance

Frontend developer Backend developer
Responsible for the development of the user-side of the web application. Responsible for the development of the sever-side of the web application
Roles and responsibilities deal with elements of the web application users can see and interact with. Roles and responsibilities are primarily related to what happens in the background of the web application
Basic technical skills utilized include HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Basic technical skills utilized include Python, PHP, ASP.NET, SQL, Java etc.
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