What Does a Back-end Developer Do?

  What exactly is a back-end developer, and what does the position look like?

A back-end developer is responsible for, as the name suggests, the "back end" of a web  application. Such a backend consists of various processes and data flows that must come together. A back-end developer takes care of this by writing code.

What exactly does this mean? In this article, you can read everything about the position of a back-end developer.


What is back-end development?

A back-end developer ensures that the web  application functions properly. Back-end development is all about logic and the functionalities that an application must meet.

As an example, if you want to order something in an online shop, you place the products in a shopping cart. You then want to pay for the products in your shopping cart and wait until the webshop ships your order. All these steps must communicate properly with the systems so that orders are processed properly.

Back-end development revolves around three components that must work and communicate well with each other:

  • The database is where the data is stored.
  • The server: on which the database runs.
  • The application, which receives data from the frontend,.

The back-end is not visible to the user and sometimes not to the admin of a website, for example. This often works as a layer between the frontend and backend, also called a CMS. All invisible processes fall under back-end development.


Frontend vs. back-end development

What is the difference between front-end and back-end development? Both are fundamental parts of web  application programming. They both cannot function without each other, but a front-end developer and a back-end developer work on different sides of the application.

Back-end development focuses on the side of the application that users cannot see (the server side), while front-end development focuses on the visual elements with which a user will interact (the client side). To create a dynamic and well-functioning application, these two 'sides' must work well together.

In addition, front-end developers and back-end developers also both work with different programming languages. For example, frontend developers often work with languages such as HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Back-end developers work with languages such as PHP, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, and Node.js.

It is also possible to work as a developer on both 'sides' of a web  application as a full-stack developer. A full-stack developer works on both sides to make applications functional and visually attractive.


What does a back-end developer do?

A back-end developer is responsible for programming various web  applications. This includes websites and web shops, but also API links between various systems or the integration of databases on which websites run. And he or she does this by writing code in different programming languages.

He or she works at the back end of an application and is mainly active behind the scenes. By writing code, he or she ensures that all processes that a user goes through run smoothly. This means that the database, server, and application must work together optimally and communicate with each other.

The tasks and responsibilities of a back-end developer differ per organization and position. The most common tasks are:

  • Developing web  applications, API links, content management systems (CMS), or integrations of databases on which websites run.
  • Writing code for optimal interaction with the database, server, and application.
  • Testing and implementing new back-end applications.
  • Optimize and expand the functions of the application(s).
  • Translating the functional wishes of clients into concrete technical solutions.
  • Collaborate and consult with frontend developers, functional designers, and other specialists.


What do you need to be able to do in this position?

As a back-end developer, it is important that you can work in one or more programming languages. The most popular programming languages are PHP and Python. Other languages include C, C++, C#, Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, ASP .NET, and Node.js. It is also important that you can work well with database management systems such as Oracle, MySQL, and SQL Server.

Nowadays, it is also important that you can link servers to the cloud. Companies are increasingly working in the cloud, an online database in which data is stored and shared. In this role, you must ensure that this data is available at any time and location. In addition, it is important that you:

  • Can clearly understand customer objectives and translate them into effective solutions.
  • Can work well with other teams to achieve a common goal and deliver a good end product.
  • Can analyze data well to discover patterns in data in order to ensure that the software functions optimally.
  • Work in a results-oriented manner so that the final product functions optimally and the frontend developers can work with it.