As a web developer, you can focus your work either on the front or the backend of the application but, it requires you to have reliable basic knowledge on both actually.
You cant be a Frontend Developer without understanding the basics of Backend and vice versa is also true. Don’t let the “FullStack” status get to your head and make you get all over the place in your path. Allow me to explain what I mean by understanding what each is.
What is Frontend?
Frontend development focuses on the client-side, the browser, where the user interacts with the application through the web interface.
Complex things are being created for the browser like IDEs, Games, Media editors, etc. These applications require architecting, data Structure, data handling, and strategy skills to make it all work efficiently and reliably on the web, thus, requiring Frontend Developers to be more skilled.
What is Backend?
Backend refers to the server, database, and application layer. The backend role has changed over the years. It is not just about managing SQL databases and setting up servers to serve the files.
The trending idea of “Serverless” requires less server setup and dependencies. The cloud has now many distinct components. Data has introduced a new application layer to be managed, etc. Here is how we can divide the backside of things.
- Application: takes care of the requests from the Frontend/Client-side to serve files and data (Rest API and WebSocket).
- Service: adds utility to the backend parts. It’s the part responsible for the logic, calculations, and processing of things.
- Cloud Runtime: where the services run. The Operating System that runs things like virtualization.
- Storage: where the data is stored. SQL, No-SQL databases, and any variation of the same.
- Infrastructures: the engine. Includes CPU, GPU, Network Cards, Motherboard, etc.
- Management: responsible for the flow of how things work. How resources are allocated, when and how tasks are running, etc.
- Security: takes care of shielding things allowing only things with enough privilege to access resources and data either internally or externally.
Here’s what you need to do…
As you can see Backend is a vast area, and normally when I hear devs talking about Backend they are normally referring to the Application, Storage, and/or Service layer of things.
Other Backend roles include Security Developer, Cloud Developer, DevOps, Data Scientists, etc.
Knowing how to setup a server and communicating with a Database is an essential skill to have as Frontend and it is normally what makes you a FullStack. A FullStack simply means you can put together a website start-to-finish front-to-back.
The next step as Frontend is to become a FullStack. Learn how to set up a server, REST-API, WebSockets, and how to interact with the database and data. You can get different stack flavors of these things so, it’s up to you. The most popular one I see Frontend developers follow is the JSClient-Node-Mongo stack.
If you plan to go deeper into the Backend, learn about Serverless application, Cloud concepts like lambdas, SaaS, virtualization, micro-services, and pick any of the main Cloud providers to start, like AWS(Amazon), Azure(Microsoft), or Google Clouds. They are free to start.
In the end, you must follow what ticks you the most. Whatever that makes you proud and comfortable with what you do. You can do anything these days and the options are available free. It all depends on how bad do you really want the change.