The bulk of the work undertaken by a Back-End Developer often remains unseen by computer users, yet it’s a hugely important cog in the wheel of any commercial enterprise. In simple terms, a Back-End Developer will design, modify, repair, and maintain software applications, information systems and more, ensuring smooth, stress-free usage for colleagues, clients, customers, and other end users.

Duties and responsibilities - What does a Back-End Developer do?

The duties that come under the remit of a Back-End Developer can include:

  • Working alongside Front-End Developers to develop high quality user-facing elements
  • Ensuring applications are optimised for speed and convenience, and making sure existing platforms can be scaled up in the future
  • Incorporating adequate and future-proof security elements and monitoring their continuing practicality
  • Implementing data storage applications and maintaining their effectiveness
  • Working with senior management to make sure the user experience continues to be of a high standard
  • Collaborating with relevant team members at all stages of the relevant processes

Qualities needed for a successful Back-End Developer

Successful Back-End Developers can come from a variety of backgrounds, but there are several personal traits which they will often have in common. These include a strong eye for detail, the ability to multi-task and a penchant for being organised. They are also likely to be good at time management and to have a heightened talent for solving problems under pressure.

Generally, a Back-End Developer will have experience in the role already, or will have worked in other aspects of mobile, web and cloud app development. Usually, this role is part of a team with other specialist individuals and can sometimes be aligned directly with one or more Front-End Developers.

It is important for Back-End Developers to possess a significant understanding programming language, systems frameworks, and hosting environments. Security compliance is also of importance, especially regarding cyber security. A good knowledge of the industry sector in which the employer is based will also prove to be advantageous.

Qualifications and technical skills - How to become a Back-End Developer?

Realistic candidates in this sector will be expected to have an understanding of at least one of the common back-end programming languages; PHP, Python, Ruby, Java, Net, JavaScript, Golang or Rust, knowledge of databases such as MySQL, Postgress, MongoDB, Redis and Neo4j. Understanding of code versioning (GIT) and build pipelines CI/CD. Working knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS is also important although less so than in a Front-End Developer role. Applicants with a good working background across these are in great demand on the job market.

Most Back-End Developers are likely to have a strong academic background, with potentially a degree in fields like computer science, advanced mathematics, website development or computer programming. In some cases, an applicant will also be expected to show a fluency in a computer-based language.

Career development - What is the next step after Back-End Developer?

Some individuals make their to back-end development via working as Front-End Developers or Computer Programmers. After establishing themselves, they can often go on to become Senior Developers or Lead Developers, as well as IT Directors. The more advanced levels in such a role will often involve a greater reliance on team management.

Salary and remuneration - How much does a Back-End Developer make?

Junior Back-End Developers are well-paid, but salaries become commensurately higher at each level of advancement.

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