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What Is The Difference Between Front vs Back End Developer?

Not clear on the difference between a back-end developer and front-end developer? We’ve got you covered. We’ll break down the difference between the two and help inform you with the knowledge you need. Whether you’re new to the world of software development or are simply curious, we’ll demystify all things developer and how it relates to both employee and company. 

Simply put, you may know that development can be described as the process of building websites, products, or applications. Web developers use code to make sure a website functions correctly. Think of it like the usability of a website or application. Front end and back end developers both work on website development. Both categories of developer work with unique programming languages. 

What is front end development?

Front end developers are tasked with building sites or components that have the user top of mind. Front. They code and create elements and features of a website that are displayed to the end user (the consumer). Think of content blocks, scrolling features, embedded videos or imagery, for example.

Front end developers also ensure that everything the website visitor sees is dynamic, not static, and works properly. These developers truly bring websites to life visually and engineer it so everything runs smoothly, without issues. They implement the integration of visual designs from a UX and UI perspective. You might be asking, what kind of elements do front end developers build? They could include but are not limited to: buttons, layouts, navigation, images, graphics, animations, and content organization. 

What is back end development?

From the other side of a website comes a back end developer, sometimes called server side developers. Back end developers focus on the “back end” side of the website that is not visible to the viewer. This is tremendously important because without a well functioning back end, a website can’t work.

Business websites rely on data. Both the data and the storage of the data, called the database, is stored on the backend. Some popular databases are SQL and Oracle. Back end developers are tasked with managing this database and the site components stored there. This functionality enables a seamless user experience, especially when it comes to browsing and uploading. Although a user does not inevitably interact with the database directly, the indirect use of elements of a website comes via the front end.

A simple way to think of this is to imagine a website is like a car. The gas and engine powering the car are under the auspices of the back end developer. The buttons inside and all of the other accompanying components are worked on by the front end developer. Back end developers work on tasks like code building, database management, and troubleshooting or debugging web applications.

One difference between front and back end developers is that they work in different programming languages. These languages allow developers to communicate with their computers via a series of symbols, or code. For front end developers, they use languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. They work with frameworks and libraries such as: AngularJS, React.js, jQuery, Sass. On the other hand, back end developers work on languages like PHP, C++, Java, Ruby, Python, JavaScript, and Node.js. Like front end developers, back end developers use frameworks including: Express, Django, Rails and Laravel.

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