Backend development involves constructing a foundation for a website so that data storage and retrieval are accessible to the end user. In addition, backend developers work with programming languages and frameworks to offer a better user experience.
To become a backend developer, you can acquire the technical skills prerequisite for backend developer jobs. You can also secure a bachelor’s degree or a crash course. Understanding the importance and skilled use of these skills can get you through the doors of your dream company. But first, you must know what backend development is and how to get started.
ALT text: Running a program
What Is Backend Development?
Backend development is responsible for the integration and management of databases and servers of a website. Backend developers make a website run smoothly through content management and backend logic. A backend developer forms the backbone of a website and creates a foundation on which the front-end developer works.
A user interacts with the work of a front-end developer when they visit a site and see the graphics and presentation. Backend development fetches data for the user. It forms a bridge between the browser of the user and the database of the website. The profile for backend developer jobs expects professionals to know how to code and build websites from the ground up. However, scripting and working with a framework are just as important.
What Are Some Essential Skills For Backend Developers?
Some essential skills for backend developers consist of an amalgamation of technical expertise and soft skills. Whether one works as a freelance developer or wants to apply for backend developer jobs, one will need to know the basic technology of the industry.
It includes the popular frameworks and the programming languages they support. One would have to constantly communicate with other developers or clients during development. Being a team worker is a bonus in such situations. Here are some skills that every backend developer should have:
- Fluency in at least one programming language
- Understanding the use of frameworks in backend development
- Knowing how databases and server work
- Knowing how to work with a framework
- Being familiar with different web hosting services
- Knowing security problems and how to mitigate them
- Developing and managing APIs
- Problem-solving and analytical thinking
- Collaborating with front end developers for a cohesive user experience
- Good time management skills
- Communication skills
- Readiness to learn
The skills one acquires for backend development correspond to the technology in the industry as well as the attitude of the individual. As long as you are willing to update your knowledge bank and hone your skills, there is infinite potential to grow. It is only through the use of these skills you can work towards fulfilling all the responsibilities outlined in your job description.
ALT text: Collaborating on a project
What Are The Job Responsibilities Of A Backend Developer?
The job responsibilities of a backend developer are outlined in the job description. Applicants should ensure they meet the eligibility criteria before applying for a position. Most backend developer jobs would have a similar set of expectations. Some of the significant responsibilities that a backend developer undertakes are as follows:
- Clean coding and how to create sustainable applications
- Testing, debugging, and troubleshooting
- Developing a system that stores and fetches data on user request
- Creating the architecture and algorithm of a website through the use of backend frameworks
- Working on maintenance and solutions to system errors
- Working through the entire application lifecycle
- Communicating with clients and other developers to meet all requirements of the project
- Collaborating with front end developers while finalizing the website
- Staying updated on new technology in the industry
- Depending on the level of seniority, training, and mentoring beginner developers
A backend developer is expected to know the major tools of backend development, like frameworks and their respective programming languages. In addition, they should also know about servers, databases, version control, and APIs. Only after gaining a working knowledge of the essential tools can one apply for a job role specifying the responsibilities mentioned above.
How To Become A Backend Developer?
Becoming a backend developer means learning on the job. You can gain experience by joining a course or trying your hands on the available free resources. You will need to know where to begin to apply for backend developer jobs. There is a systematic approach to becoming a developer that includes the following steps:
Get a Degree
More and more employers are asking for formal education or a degree in a relevant field from applicants. One of the most common degree courses includes computer science. However, it is essential to note that getting a degree is not a prerequisite to becoming a backend developer.
As long as a degree is not necessary for the job description, you can do well by applying and completing a crash course or a training boot camp. However, there is no restriction to getting a degree and attending a boot camp. Website development is a competitive industry, and getting an education that sets you apart from other candidates can get you through the door.
Learn a Backend Programming Language
Getting through the door will not be enough if you do not have the skills to back up your degree. The most crucial step towards backend development is learning a programming language. A website runs on code, and if you are going to work in backend development, you should know how to create a website from the ground up.
You can branch off and learn other languages like PHP and Ruby, but only after attaining fluency in at least one. There is no strict rule about which programming language you need to learn. You can choose any language which appeals to you. It is also essential to know that while knowing one programming language is a must, knowing multiple will help widen your career prospects.
Get Used to Frameworks
Frameworks are like the structure of the website you are building. A framework helps a developer build reusable code without starting from scratch. While knowing how to code is essential, one should also know how to streamline website development. The use of a framework makes the coding aspect of development relatively fast and efficient.
Each framework works in a different programming language. Therefore, you will be restricted by your knowledge of a programming language while choosing a framework for your website. For example, NodeJS uses Python, which is why it is one of the most popular frameworks today. Other frameworks include Ruby on Rails and Django.
Get Acquainted with Hosting
Hosting platforms are closely connected with website development, so it's important that you have at least a working knowledge of them. Irrespective of whether you are working as a freelancer or in a company, you will often have very little say in where the website is hosted. There are two types of hosting:
- Cloud Hosting servers
- Managed Hosting servers
The former is used mainly by developers. Some popular cloud hosting platforms are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Microsoft Azure. The latter is a more user-friendly interface and is used at the discretion of the client.
Know what Databases are for
A backend developer works extensively with databases. Each website backs up to a database which allows a user to fetch and store information. Apart from being used by a website visitor, a database also stores important bulk data, which may be helpful for the basic function of a server. Therefore, you will be expected to know the basics of databases before applying for backend developer jobs in 2023. Two of the most widely used databases currently are MySQL and Oracle.
Gain Some Experience
Gaining experience can give you an edge as you submit your job application. One way in which you can begin is by reading job descriptions and learning what an employer expects from the applicant. Try to acquire skills that the majority of employers demand so that you broaden your chances of getting hired. You can gain experience through practice or by taking up freelancing roles. You can gain experience by volunteering in an organization or working part-time on projects that interest you. If you want to begin by yourself, you can get started on your own project.
Fine Tune your Resume
You can edit and refine your resume based on the job profiles you are applying for. While most of the job responsibilities and required skills overlap, some job descriptions demand specific experience. In such a case, it may be helpful to fine-tune your resume before submitting your application. Adding keywords directly from the job description may also help in highlighting your application for the employer. It will also help if you submit a portfolio along with your resume.
Build a Portfolio
A portfolio is necessary if you want to attract potential employers. Any employer would be interested to see some samples of your work before hiring you. Even if the job description does not require a portfolio, you can submit it to highlight your strengths in backend development. You can even build a portfolio specifically suited to your dream job to boost your chances of getting selected.
A portfolio includes different projects that show both versatility and experience. Your projects can be from school or boot camp, and you can also include solo projects if they are relevant to the job description. A portfolio is simply a link to all your projects hosted together. A portfolio is good as long as it showcases your capabilities as a backend developer. It also provides a visual representation of all the experiences you are claiming to have.
Apply for Jobs
After you have edited your resume, created your portfolio, and have skills to back up your claims, you can start applying for jobs. First, make sure you have read the job description thoroughly. Employers are looking for applicants who are willing to learn, so make sure you showcase a positive attitude through your application.
Backend development is gaining momentum in 2023. The job market is growing more competitive. Hence, it is vital to make your application stand apart. Before applying for backend developer jobs, you will need to get the proper education and acquire the appropriate skills. Learning to code and use a framework are some prerequisites for a backend developer. They should also know how hosting and databases work. Getting experience in website development projects can boost your chances of getting hired. Build your resume and apply for up-and-coming backend developer jobs now.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How many languages do you need to know for backend development?
You should know at least one backend programming language to get started with backend development. In the competitive job market, the more languages you know, the better are your chances of getting hired. However, it is best to master one language before aiming to learn multiple ones.
Which degree is required to apply for backend developer jobs?
A computer science degree is the most relevant to backend development. However, a degree is not a necessity while applying for backend development jobs. Instead, you can complete a training boot camp to acquire the necessary skills and become eligible to apply as a backend developer.
Do you need experience to become a backend developer?
Experience in backend development comes from working on projects either through volunteering or on your own. A job description may or may not ask for experience from beginning developers; however, showcasing some of your projects through a portfolio can boost your chances of securing the position.