What does a backend developer do?

Nowadays, a professional Internet presence is essential for successful companies. To attract customers for products and services, backend developers are needed – programmers who specialize in web technologies. Competent backend developers have very good chances on the job market.

The backend (also spelled back end) is the “underbelly” of a software or web application. It is the part that the normal user does not get to see. This includes databases and server applications, for example.

A backend developer programs the applications and modules that are needed “under the hood”. Among other things, they deal with interfaces (API), services and microservices as well as database programming.

A dynamic website is the sum of structure, design, content, and functionality. The requirements for an individual and attractive website have also increased significantly in recent years. Today’s websites run complex applications that compile content on demand, access databases, and control business and production processes. The technology and programs that run in the background on the server and that a user does not see are called the backend. The backend, consisting of the server, database, and server-side applications, is the brain of a website. Together with the front-end programs, these technologies provide the information that a user can read, view, or listen to in their browser.

A backend developer’s responsibilities include developing and maintaining software and databases that keep the server running smoothly in the background. In other words, he takes care of providing the data and services requested by the client program. For this purpose, a backend developer prepares a needs analysis and a conceptual design beforehand and takes care of the development and implementation of the software. A backend developer is constantly busy with the enhancements, additions, or changes to the digital processes.

A broad range of expertise is required to become a backend professional. The basic requirements include profound knowledge of the programming languages Java, C++, C# and PHP. Other languages are often used as well. In addition, there are server-side programming languages such as JavaScript or Ruby as well as the frameworks Ruby on Rails, Symfony and Zend. The knowledge of a backend developer includes relational databases and their query language SQL. A good backend developer also masters the link between backend and frontend. This requires knowledge of the HTTP protocol and REST architecture.

What is a front-end developer responsible for?

The frontend (aka front end or front-end) is referred to as the superstructure or stem of a software or web application. It is what the user sees and interacts with: a website, an app, or an online store.

Front-end developers usually work closely with designers. Together, they ensure a good user experience (UX) with an appealing user interface (UI). The frontend developer’s task is to implement the designer’s ideas technically so that they result in a functioning user interface.

How does one become a backend developer?

There is no special training to become a backend developer. Good candidates for this job are graduates of computer science and related subjects or with a comparable education with a focus on software development. A sound knowledge of Java, Python, PHP as well as SQL, MySQL, PostgresSQL or other relational databases is an advantage. Experience with PHP frameworks such as Symfony, or Zend & Laravel and knowledge of modern SevOps technologies such as Docker is also desired. Know-how in agile development based on SCRUM or other project management products is welcome. All doors are also open to career changers, for example with a technical education, as a Backend Developer.

What does a backend developer earn?

Many companies are urgently looking for backend developers, but hardly find any. The chances on the job market can therefore be described as very good. Depending on the size of the company, the federal state, regional conditions and the projects, the salary of a backend professional varies greatly. In the industrial sector, the pay is higher than in retail, for example. In addition, the salary level also depends on one’s own negotiating skills. Beginners can expect a starting salary of 2700 to 3500 euros per month. After a few years of professional experience, the monthly salary rises to around 4800 euros. Project managers can look forward to 5800 euros and more.

Further reasons for the high demand for backend and frontend developers

Modern people are “always on.” Thanks to smartphones and increasingly widespread coverage with high-speed Internet, more applications are migrating to the cloud. Video conferencing via Zoom, Skype and Web-Ex, collaboration via Microsoft Teams and Slack, project management with Trello and Jira, presentations via Google Workplace: Office programs and other digital tools are no longer installed on local computers or servers but are used by users as web applications.

The Corona crisis has accelerated this trend: A great many employees now work remotely, and the home office is becoming established. This is turning the working world upside down, and a new form of collaboration is establishing itself. The Internet is the new office. For this to work, you need powerful applications – developed by back-end and front-end developers.

Why there is a separation between front-end and back-end in web development?

In the responses to our blog article “Flexible, mobile and future-proof web interfaces for Domino applications”, the question of benefits came up again and again. So why do we favor a strict separation between front-end and back-end development when it comes to web development?

You will probably know the answer from your professional environment as well: scarce resources.

It starts with finding suitable software developers. By relying on open-source frameworks like Angular for the frontend and Java standards like the Java API for RESTful Web Services (JAX RS) for the backend, we increase the chances that current university graduates already have experience in the field. If a potential candidate is deficient in one of the areas, it is easier to catch up through training, books, websites, etc.

In the backend area, the necessary Domino-specific knowledge can be taught more easily because not all aspects of Notes application development need to be covered. For a start, the areas of data storage, search and security concepts are sufficient. The fact that storing data in Notes documents is effectively a NoSQL database adds to the appeal from a graduate’s perspective. A nice side effect is that with these beginnings, experience in application development for the Notes client can also be gained successively.

For the actual project business, the separation of front-end and back-end development also has massive advantages. Within the project team, work can be done in parallel on the frontend and backend components. To do this, the domain-specific REST APIs are defined first. This determines how the frontend can interact with the backend. Until the associated backend components are ready, the frontend can work with so-called mockup data. In this case, the backend can already be addressed from the frontend, except that the associated data is initially only static test data.

The frontend can be developed against this test data. With the first versions of the frontend, the customer can test the look and feel of the application at an early stage. If the customer’s ideas do not match the developer’s understanding, the discrepancy is noticed much earlier. Time and budget are not wasted unnecessarily.

Another reason why the customer can test the web interface at an early stage is the use of open-source components. These components have the advantage that they have already been fully developed and extensively tested. The widespread use of these components results in a recognition effect on the user side. Experiences with the use of other Web applications help thus with the intuitive use.

If during the development nevertheless surprisingly times a “challenge” (aka problem) arises, open standards and open-source help also here. The more popular the open-source JavaScript framework is, the higher the number of resources that can be found on the Internet. The probability that the same problem has already been solved and the solution documented in a forum post or blog article is correspondingly high.

In summary, this approach allows us to implement our web development projects in less time and with a lower budget.


As you can see: As a frontend and backend developer, you have very good job prospects. There are numerous positions advertised in our IT job board, including Java experts, C++ programmers and PHP jobs.

Since web developers are a scarcity on the market, companies sometimes have high demands on their employees. This has an impact on pay: Employers court frontend and backend specialists with attractive salaries. And they usually offer many additional benefits such as flexible working hours, working in a home office, and paid fitness and leisure activities.

Do you need a backend developer service? Contact Enkronos team and get the best fit solution for your projects.

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