In software teams, it often happens that the team’s different roles are interconnected, and therefore it’s easy to mix them up. You might think that a backend engineer has the same roles and responsibilities as a backend developer. After all, they are part of a software team with the same project. They might even end up doing similar tasks, especially in software development Agile teams where members take cross-functional responsibilities to successfully achieve their goals.
However, the truth be told, a backend engineer is not the same as a backend developer. They do have different responsibilities and skills that, despite having similarities, also define what they bring to the table when developing software. This article put together with our Recruitment Director, Ihor Shcherbinin, will explore each role, analyzing its main characteristics and the difference between the backend developer and engineer.
Table of contents
- What is Backend Development?
- What is a Backend Developer?
- What Does a Back-end Developer Do?
- What is a Backend Engineer?
- What Does a Back-end Engineer Do?
- Backend Programming Languages
- Skills and Tools Required for Backend Development
- Back-end Engineer vs Back-end Developer: Main Differences
What is Backend Development?
Websites and applications sometimes seem as if they worked with magic. When you’re visiting a website, you click buttons that take you to different categories, for example, our blog. Or, when you’re on websites like Amazon, you have to fill out forms with your personal information to buy something. But how does that happen? Where does that information go?
It goes to a place called the back-end. The backend simply explained refers to the development of server-side logic that powers websites and applications. It’s the behind-the-scenes part of all the actions we take in a site.
Backend development primarily focuses on databases, scripting, backend logic, APIs, and website architecture.
What differentiates backend development from frontend development is the fact that the frontend, also called the client-side programming, is what happens in the browser and what all users see and interact with. For example, a simple pop-up is a product of the front end. On the other hand, backend development is everything users can’t see, but that powers everything that happens on a website.
What is a Backend Developer?
A backend developer is responsible for writing the web services and APIs used by front-end developers and mobile app developers. They oversee the server-side web application logic as well as the integration of the front-end part.
Besides being in charge of the server-side logic, their primary focus is to define and maintain the central database, making sure that it has high performance and responsiveness to requests from the front-end.
What Does a Back-end Developer Do?
While the back end engineer has the role of the chef, the back end developer would be the sous-chef. He/she understands what must be done to create the perfect dish and knows how to execute it. The back-end developer understands the structure built by the backend engineer and focuses on features or tasks to make the development of the software possible.
Backend Developer Skills
- Integration of data sources and databases into a single system.
- User authentication and authorization between multiple systems and servers.
- Expertise in JS, ReactJS, VueJS, AngularJS, and jQuery.
- Write clean and maintainable code.
- Understanding cross-platform functionality and compatibility of applications.
Backend Developer Responsibilities
- Troubleshoot and debug applications.
- Conduct UI tests and optimize performance.
- Participate in the application lifecycle.
- Develop sustainable web applications with clean codes.
- Provide training and support to other team members.
What is a Backend Engineer?
A backend engineer is responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the server-side of web applications. In other words, a backend engineer’s primary responsibility is to build the structure of a software application.
They set the software team’s foundations of what they need to do to achieve the main goals. This means that one of the primary functions of a backend engineer in a software development team is to write business logic, server scripts, and APIs that will later be used by the other developers and members of the team.
The day-to-day backend engineering consists of optimizing servers for speed and stability, ensuring the structure is secure, and generating reusable code libraries and data storage solutions.
Backend engineers are also in charge of:
- Optimizing servers for speed and stability.
- Building security structures.
- Generating reusable code libraries.
- Creating data storage solutions.
What Does a Back-end Engineer Do?
Backend engineers have a set of skills that are necessary to perform their jobs efficiently. As stated above, they are the ones who set the path for the software team.
They oversee building the structure that a software application has. Backend engineers spend time writing server scripts and APIs that front-end engineers and UX designers will later use.
Backend engineers work on the server components of multi-tier web applications focusing on web services and data stores. Additionally, they may be involved with business rule implementation logic.
Backend Engineer Skills
- Knowledge of Java, HTML5, and CSS3.
- Server-side experience with SASS and Less.
- Understanding of accessibility and server compliance.
- Solid OOP and software design knowledge.
- Knowledge in database systems.
Backend Engineer Responsibilities
Besides the tasks explained above, a backend engineer also has these responsibilities:
- Regularly inspect server code for speed optimization.
- Conceptualize and implement solutions for data storage.
- Improve the quality of the team’s code through writing unit tests and automation.
- Collaborate and work closely with the product and design team to understand better the end-user requirements.
- Configure the backend usability of all front side application.
Backend Programming Languages
Backend development has 2 different types of programming languages:
1. Object-oriented (OOP)
This programming paradigm is based on the concept of classes and objects, which can contain data and code. Data in the form of fields and code in the form of procedures.
Its purpose is to transform a program’s structure into simple, reusable pieces of code snippets (classes) that are used to create individual instances of objects.
In OOP, computer programs use objects that talk to one another, changing the data in those objects and working in a way that the user wants.
Some of the popular object-oriented backend languages are:
Functional programming consists of a paradigm where programs are constructed by applying and composing functions.
In this programming paradigm, function definitions are trees of expressions that map values to other values rather than a sequence of imperative statements. Functions can be bound to names, passed as arguments, and returned as other functions.
Some of the popular functional languages are:
Within these two different programming paradigms, these are the most popular programming languages used in backend development:
PHP – Hypertext Preprocessor – is one of the core programming languages in the web development world. This server-side scripting language is usually used to gather the user’s information and store it safely in a database.
Python’s popularity has increased during the past years mainly because of its compatibility with advanced technologies like Machine Learning and the Internet of Things. Python’s major benefit is its extensive collection of standard libraries that make the work of developers comparatively easier. Additionally, Python has unique features to help developers with better code readability, integration with other languages, and GUI programming support.
Java is one of the core programming languages for backend web development. It is popularly used for developing enterprise-scale web apps as well as android, desktop, and scientific applications. Java is characterized by its cross-stage capabilities and security. Developers can perform database connectivity, image processing, network, etc.
Ruby is a dynamic and open-source programming language that focuses on productivity and simplicity. One of its advantages is that it allows developers to create web apps without writing much code. They can automate repetitive tasks, build both website and mobile applications, and develop prototypes. Additionally, Ruby supports almost every major platform like Windows, Mac, and Linux.
During the last few years, C# has ranked under the top 5 programming languages. It is extensively being used in areas such as the development of Windows applications, game development, etc. The language provides faster compilation, interoperability, component-oriented and structured language, and many others. Additionally, it has a rich set of libraries that helps developers program faster and more efficiently.
At a general level, backend professionals (both engineers and developers) require at least some formal training to acquire the basic skills. Many have degrees in computer science or advanced mathematics; others have courses related to the career itself.
The skills change depending on the job demands as backend development takes care of different aspects and parts. However, apart from the languages mentioned, there are other skills every backend expert needs to have, such as:
- Deep understanding of deploying or hosting.
- Knowledge of version control (Git and GitHub).
- In-depth understanding of accessibility and security compliances.
- Ability to manage a hosting environment along with database administration.
- Understanding of scaling applications to handle the load changes that is a large amount of data traffic.
- In-depth understanding of algorithms and data structures.
Back-end Engineer vs Back-end Developer: Main Differences
The backend engineer vs. backend developer discussion takes place because they have similar tasks and responsibilities, as seen above. However, the main difference relies on the fact that a backend engineer is mainly responsible for communicating with the company’s leaders to understand the end-user necessities. This helps them have a more comprehensive panorama into what the application’s development should be and should look like.
On the other hand, a backend developer is mostly responsible for executing the backend engineer’s plans. They have single tasks, and features that combined made the development of software applications possible.
In other words, developers are not responsible for designing the entire development system, while engineers are. Backend engineers have to demonstrate that the design and methods they’ve made for the project are viable.
Looking to Hire a Backend Engineer or a Backend Developer Fast?Go Remote
Hiring remotely gives you enormous benefits for this type of position. The primary gain of remote recruitment is widening your talent pool. You can hire skilled back-end engineers or developers from anywhere in the world. Global hiring not only gives you the chance of cutting salary costs but also to explore geographical areas based on the expertise you need.Where you can find to hire a backend developer or engineer? There are several sites where you can hire remote developers like:
- WP Hired
- Distant Job
Now, if you are looking for someone who traces a plan that makes your business application possible, you likely need the help of a back-end engineer. But if you need someone to be part of your development team and takes care of important tasks for the development or maintenance of your app, a backend developer is the role you are looking for.
With their similarities and differences, both roles represent a bridge between team members and clients.
Back-end developers and engineers will illustrate the site features to clients, and they must be able to explain their processes to those without a technical background. They also provide reports on project results, preparing technical documentation, and written communication about the development process. In addition, your candidate needs problem-solving, self-motivation, and time management skills. As with any development project, bottlenecks and issues can happen at any time.
When you start your hiring process, remember that these soft skills are crucial in distributed teams. Among technical skills, you need someone who can work under pressure to find original and creative solutions for your app.
And when you have the whole world in your hands just with a click, finding the perfect candidate for your project is a piece of cake!
How to Find Top Talent for Backend Engineer or Developer?
If you need help headhunting and recruiting remote IT talent, you’ve come to the right place! At DistantJob, we’ve been successfully helping companies hire talented remote techies ready to help them achieve their projects and goals.
We have simple and efficient steps to help you hire the bestback-end developer candidates for your company and boost your project:
- We read your mind
- Create an explosive recruitment outsourcing
- Hold your back with an amazing HR team
What does that mean? First, we study your company’s DNA. We talk with you and your team and understand your mission and goals. Once we know what you need, our sourcers start looking for the perfect match for your company and project. After that, it’s time to get down to business. Here it’s when we guide you through the interview process with candidates until you find the perfect fit for your team. Our job doesn’t end with the hiring process. Our amazing HR team schedules regular meetings with you and the candidate to monitor the performance to make sure we got the best match for you in the long run.
If you need hiring a back-end developer, we can help you find the right one. Reach out to us today!
1. How much does it cost to hire a back-end developer and what is their average salary?
As in most careers, a back-end developer’s salary depends on two main factors:
1) Their level of expertise
In the United States, IT professionals tend to charge expensive salaries, even when it comes to junior roles. For instance, PayScale data reports that an entry-level end developer in the U.S. earns around $61,042 per year. A backend developer with 1 to 4 years of experience earns $70,965 per year. And an experienced backend developer with 5 to 9 years of experience can expect an average of $87 500 per year.
Remote backend developers’ salaries tend to be lower. As mentioned, it depends on the area they live in, but for example, according to Glassdoor, a senior backend developer in Argentina can expect to earn between $31,913 to $42,180. In other countries such as Germany, a senior backend developer makes an average of $64,450 per year.
In regards to hourly rates, a backend developer ranges globally from $ 65-100.
2. What is the Backend Engineer’s Salary?
Like backend developers, a backend engineer’s salary depends on their skills and experience and their location.
According to PayScale and Ziprecruiter, a junior backend engineer in the U.S. can expect a salary of $68,388. A mid-level backend engineer earns an average of $95, 864 per year. And a senior backend engineer earns approximately $137, 369. In other countries the salary changes. For example, a senior backend engineer in France earns $77,950 per year.
3. Which Language Is Best For Backend Development?
While it depends on the type of website or application you want to build, overall, the top 8 languages for backend development are:
Python – Used in Instagram
Ruby – Used in Github
C# – Used in Microsoft Visual Studio
PHP – Used in WordPress
Java – Used in Twitter
Perl – Used in BBC
C++ – Used in Adobe Photoshop
4. Is Backend Development Easier Than Frontend Development?
One of the most common perceptions is that learning frontend development is easier than learning backend. The truth is that on a beginner’s level, the front end tends to be easier. But when it comes to an in-depth understanding, both can have the same difficulty and complexity as they require patience and discipline.
5. What is the difference between frontend and backend development?
Front-end development focuses on programming the visual elements of a website or app that a user will interact with (the user-facing). Back-end development refers to the side of a website userscan‘t usually see (the server-side of a website or application).
Though both are important to web development, they differ in their roles and responsibilities.
6. Which Language is best for the backend?
Every language has its own use cases, advantages, and disadvantages. Usually, it depends on the project and you should consider which language to choose depending on the different phases of the development process you’re at. However, some languages are preferred over others due to their functionality and their uses. This guide might be useful, for top-ranking programming languages in 2022.
Backend developer and backend engineer are common job titles in the tech field. While often used interchangeably, since both roles are involved in building code and computer software, these roles are associated with different skill sets and responsibilities.What skills should a backend engineer have? ›
- Participate in the entire application lifecycle, focusing on coding and debugging.
- Write clean code to develop functional web applications.
- Troubleshoot and debug applications.
- Perform UI tests to optimize performance.
- Manage cutting-edge technologies to improve legacy applications.
Implementation of the backend web architecture that comprises servers, databases, operating systems. Handling client requests with APIs. Managing database(s) and caching. Creating the business logic to run the application.Is a backend developer an engineer? ›
A backend engineer is the type of engineer responsible for creating the skeleton of a software application. Backend engineering is also known as server-side engineering because backend engineers deal with everything that happens on the server. Backend engineering is not client-facing.Is SQL a backend developer? ›
What does SQL do? SQL is the most common programming language used to interact with databases on the back-end. It is a standard back-end language used to create and maintain relational databases.What are the 3 parts of backend development? ›
- The server. This is the computer that receives requests.
- The app. This is the application running on the server that listens for requests, retrieves information from the database, and sends a response.
- The database. Databases are used to organize and persist data.
A backend developer should have extensive knowledge about Python, PHP, and Java since they are the most in-demand technologies. A backend developer should also be proficient in version control systems like Git, GitHub, and GitLab.What are 3 languages used by backend programmers? ›
- C# C# is a high-level language that can operate on various types of computers easily. ...
- Golang. ...
- Java. ...
- PHP. ...
- Python. ...
- Ruby. ...
Back-end development is also called “server-side” because its code executes on web servers, powerful computers built to store a website's files and run its code. This is in contrast to “client-side” code, which runs in users' web browsers and is written mostly by front-end developers.
Researching, designing, implementing, and managing software programs. Testing and evaluating new programs. Identifying areas for modification in existing programs and subsequently developing these modifications. Writing and implementing efficient code.What is an example of backend development? ›
Amazon is a good example of Back End development in action. You go on Amazon and search for a new shirt. A Back End dev uses server-side language to pull all the information about shirts from a database. That information is then processed in an application and returned to the user through Front End language.Which tool is best for backend? ›
- Apache HTTP Server. Apache is the most popular web server on the internet, which means it's going to be a great choice for you. ...
- Nginx. ...
- Microsoft IIS. ...
- MySQL. ...
- PHP. ...
- HTML. ...
- Python. In 2022, Python is the choice of 48% of developers. ...
- PHP. PHP is an open-source backend programming language created back in 1994. ...
- Golang. ...
- C# ...
- Rust. ...
An Engineer oversees the system as whole using engineering principles, whilst a developer focuses on creating functional software.Can I just be a backend developer? ›
The exact requirements to become a Back-End Developer will vary between companies, but generally, you'll need a solid understanding of programming concepts and technical skills. Below, we'll explore a Back-End Developer's role and required skills, then show you how to become one without a degree.Are backend engineers paid more? ›
According to some sources, the difference is as little as 1%, while other sources (such as Glassdoor) suggest that back end engineers can earn even 25% more than front end developers! There is definitely a pattern suggesting that back end software development comes with higher salaries.Does backend developer need coding? ›
Back-end developer technical skills
Programming languages: Any back-end developer needs to be well-versed in back-end programming languages such as Python, Java, and PHP. These make the website function when used alongside databases, frameworks, and servers.
Backend engineers understand Machine Learning A Team's development processes and scrum practices. They also learn Python, the programming language that the Machine Learning A Team uses. Machine learning engineers understand the projects of Backend A Team.
A back-end database is a database that is accessed by users indirectly through an external application rather than by application programming stored within the database itself or by low level manipulation of the data (e.g. through SQL commands).What are back-end technologies? ›
Back End Technologies
Typically, backend technologies refer to the libraries of server-side languages that are used to create the server configuration of a website. The backend technologies form the basis of software development.
API stands for Application Programming Interface. In the context of APIs, the word Application refers to any software with a distinct function. Interface can be thought of as a contract of service between two applications. This contract defines how the two communicate with each other using requests and responses.How do you interview a backend engineer? ›
- What is your favorite programming language? ...
- What do you understand by NoSQL databases? ...
- What is the difference between software architecture and software design?
- What is your approach to debugging?
- Express. js. ...
- ASP.NET Core. ASP.NET Core was used by 20% of backend web developers in the last year. ...
- Spring. Spring was used by more than 16% of backend web developers in 2021. ...
- Django. Django was used by 13% of backend web developers in 2021. ...
- Laravel. ...
- Ruby on Rails.
- Python makes it easy to engage in modern programming tactics.
- Python comes with several sophisticated libraries that contain a large quantity of pre-written code. ...
- Python is an excellent choice for backend development because of this.
Some common backend languages are Ruby, PHP, Java, . Net, and Python. These programming languages often run on frameworks that simplify the web development process. Rails, for example, is a framework written in Ruby.What language is full stack? ›
Currently, the most popular languages for full stack developers are Node. js, Python, C#. ASP.NET, and PHP. It's believed that the most common languages for full stack developers in future will be HTML/CSS, and some of the newer ones like AngularJS, Node.What is backend developer tools? ›
These tools are programming languages, frameworks, database management systems, web servers, testing & deployment tools, and various others. You can opt-out for these tools as per your requirements while doing Backend Development.Why it is called backend? ›
The back end refers to parts of a computer application or a program's code that allow it to operate and that cannot be accessed by a user. Most data and operating syntax are stored and accessed in the back end of a computer system.
A backend developer can earn a lucrative income while learning a lot and helping a lot of companies build websites and platforms that service all types of industries. Backend development can be an incredibly exciting field for those with a keen interest in technology and innovation and programming in general.What are the 3 most important skills of a great developer? ›
Having excellent problem-solving skills, confidence to achieve, and a can-do attitude toward any challenge are important software developer competencies, which make that developer a valued resource in any organization.What are the basic skills for a developer? ›
- Coding languages. ...
- Database knowledge. ...
- Data structures and algorithms. ...
- Source control. ...
- Testing procedures. ...
- Debugging knowledge. ...
- Operating systems. ...
- Text editing software.
What are roles and responsibilities? Roles refer to one's position on a team. Responsibilities refer to the tasks and duties of their particular role or job description. Employees are held accountable for completing several tasks in the workplace.Is SQL good for backend? ›
Behind the simple two-field window, there is a complex process of storing, retrieving, and changing user data. All these operations are possible with the knowledge of the Structured Query Language (SQL), an essential tool for every backend developer.Which backend is the fastest? ›
Which is the fastest web framework? In benchmark tests, Spring has shown to be the fastest back-end web framework currently available to developers.Which backend is best for beginners? ›
- Django for Python Developers. ...
- Express. ...
- ASP.NET core for . ...
- Laravel for PHP Programmers. ...
- Ruby on Rails for Ruby Programmers. ...
- Fiber Framework for Golang Developers. ...
- CakePHP Framework for PHP Developers. ...
- Flask Framework for Python Developers.
- The Oracle. Oracle is the most widely used commercial relational database management system, built-in assembly languages such as C, C++, and Java. ...
- MySQL. ...
- MS SQL Server. ...
- PostgreSQL. ...
- MongoDB. ...
- IBM DB2. ...
- Redis. ...
Top 10 Outsourcing Countries Worldwide. The most popular locations among different countries for offshore software development worldwide are Central and Eastern Europe, India, China, and South America.Which language is best for API development? ›
Java is said to be more secure than any other programming language. Its security is obtained from a large set of APIs, tools, and implementations of commonly-used security algorithms, mechanisms, and protocols.
- Step 1: Learn a Programming Language. ...
- Step 2: Get a Clear Idea About the Data Structure and Algorithm Basics. ...
- Step 3: Learn Frameworks. ...
- Step 4: Learn the Database Concept. ...
- Step 5: Hands-on Training. ...
- Step 6: Ideate and Develop. ...
- Step 7: Launch Your Idea.
Back-end developers are the experts who build and maintain the mechanisms that process data and perform actions on websites. Unlike front-end developers, who control everything you can see on a website, back-end developers are involved in data storage, security, and other server-side functions that you cannot see.What are back-end developers called? ›
Code written by back end developers is what communicates the database information to the browser. Anything you can't see easily with the eye such as databases and servers is the work of a back end developer. Back end developer positions are often called programmers or web developers.Do backend engineers get paid more? ›
According to some sources, the difference is as little as 1%, while other sources (such as Glassdoor) suggest that back end engineers can earn even 25% more than front end developers! There is definitely a pattern suggesting that back end software development comes with higher salaries.Is SQL front-end or backend? ›
SQL, or Structured Query Language, is used to manage data found on a database. MySQL is an open source data management system that's widely used in Back End development. There are other Back End languages, such as Java or ASP.NET, that are used in different industries.What is backend in simple words? ›
The back end refers to parts of a computer application or a program's code that allow it to operate and that cannot be accessed by a user. Most data and operating syntax are stored and accessed in the back end of a computer system.Is backend developer a good career? ›
The payscale varies for web and software engineer salaries depending on the type of web developer you want to be. As far as job prospects go, it is competitive for back-end web developers, but you can rest easy that there will always be a demand for a back end web developer as long as your skills are up to scratch.Can we do backend without frontend? ›
Originally Answered: Is it possible to learn Back End Web Development without learning the Front End Development ? Not Really. Firstly as a sole developer - because you do not have a team on personal projects and most likely small companies will require you to do it all.Do backend developers have future? ›
The future scope of a back-end developer is very vast and many companies are looking to hire them. They can specialize in any of these fields: – Data Integration – This involves gathering data from different sources and mapping it with the appropriate databases.Is backend developer difficult? ›