Ishaan Gupta

What does a backend developer do?

Discover the job responsibilities and skillset required for a backend developer. Learn how they work with servers, databases, and APIs to build and maintain robust web applications.
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Every website you visit has a different way of working. One-click leads you to a different page, and you can contact the service provider in just a few simple steps. It all depends on the foundational code on which a website is built. 

Back end development is all the coding that runs in the background to ensure the smooth functioning of a website. 

From the user interface to accepting inputs, back end development ensures that each visitor has an optimal experience when they interact with their website. But back end development controls more than just the user interface and experience. Let us explore what back end developer jobs demand and how you can get them.

What Does A Backend Developer Do?

A back end developer focuses on the maintenance of systems so that the data processing and server functions work seamlessly. In addition, a back end developer is involved with the server functions and the software that ensure the website performs smoothly while establishing communication with databases. Working with storing and deleting data, a back end developer also works on the architecture and programming interface of the website. 

In essence, back end developer jobs require someone who can create code that effectively communicates between the database of the website and the platform from which the end user is accessing the data. A lot of information needs processing before it becomes accessible to the front end. 

The job of a back end developer is to employ back end logic to make the client experience easier by helping them with information relevant to their queries. For instance, if a user visits a shopping website or is directed to the product catalog page, they would require options to add items to the cart. Therefore, a back end developer ensures that relevant information like the number of items in the cart, the individual item, and the total price, along with shipping cost, is readily available to the user. 

The role of the back end developer starts with creating, followed by maintenance. It also features debugging a website and application programming interface (API). The backend application logic and the databases of the service provider are always running in the background whenever there is interaction on the front end. 

A back end developer is responsible for overseeing the following aspects of running a website:

  1. Storing and restoring user data so that it is available upon request.
  2. Integration of application programming interface 
  3. Integration of cloud computing
  4. Working with mainstream back end programming frameworks and programming languages
  5. Data security and preventing any leaks
  6. Database management and maintenance

The user experience with the website should be error-free which is what a back end developer aims at.

What Are The Must-Have Skills For A Back End Developer?

The must-have skills for a back end developer start with being familiar with at least one programming language and also having a rudimentary knowledge of working with databases. The skills in back end developer jobs primarily focus on problem-solving and analytical thinking along with knowing the technical details of the job. Here are some must-have skills every aspiring back end developer should prepare themselves for:\

Creating the foundation

Building a website is the first prerequisite of any back end developer. Creating a website requires efficient use of frameworks and programming languages, which would create a prototype for a prospective website. A developer needs to have working knowledge of cross-platform functionality while designing a prototype to minimize the error margin when a user accesses it. Along with building a website, the back end developer should also possess the foresight to maintain their website through debugging and regular testing.

Quality testing

Checking for quality is mandatory whenever a new product or service is launched. Since user interface and experience are a priority while designing a website, quality assurance testing should focus on cross-platform compatibility and seamless display on all devices and browsers. In addition to compatibility, the programming code should also be clean and sustainable for easy future maintenance. 

Response Time

Quality testing can also include assessing the response time of the website. Any user or potential client has no shortage of options when it comes to browsing the internet for information or services. The attention span of the average user is declining, which means that they expect results within seconds. A longer response time can cost a service provider valuable clientele in a scenario of extensive competition. Just because a website run does not mean it is ready for users. The scalability and efficiency need proper testing so that the users can get quick response time and optimal performance irrespective of their devices or browsers. Response time testing is also necessary after each patchwork or upgrade. The codes should be adaptable enough to accept adjustments regarding the speed of the website.


A back end developer is expected to work in a team or collaboration with clients or project heads. They require constant communication to provide the best results and troubleshoot errors as and when they arise. Troubleshooting is a must-have skill because it exists in tandem with communication so that the client or supervisor can ensure optimum performance. Even after the initial troubleshooting, a back end developer is expected to provide customer support and maintenance assistance. One might also be expected to train or mentor junior developers in a developer role. 

Security functions

A back end developer also supervises the security of the website they create. Protecting the databases and servers from leaks and hacking attacks is also a part of their job. A website requires strong authentication controls so that only the right user can log in and have access to their personal information. 

Technical skills work along with soft skills, especially while designing a website for a client. Good communication, practical action, and problem-solving can be constructive for aspiring back end developers.

Collaboration on a backend development project

Source: Unsplash

What Are The Tools That Back End Developers Use?

The tools a back end developer makes use of include frameworks, version control, databases, servers, API design, and programming languages. Different back end developer jobs have different prerequisites from their applicants. 

Therefore, depending on where you aim to apply, gaining more experience in the skills that an employer asks explicitly for is helpful. Some of the most frequently used tools for back end development are as follows:


Since the use of databases is crucial to back end development, a developer is expected to know how to work with them. MySQL and Oracle are very common databases used for the majority of websites. A database management system works to organize the data of the client. A back end developer should know how to request data and use it in the most efficient way possible. MySQL is a part of the SQL database systems. The SQL database system also includes PostgreSQL. While applying for back end developer jobs, you might also be expected to know the basics of using relational and non-relational databases.

Programming languages

Programming language

Source: Unsplash

Coding is the backbone of any website which is why any developer should have a decent command of them. The most commonly used programming languages in back end development are Python and JavaScript. While most employers would expect you to use these two programming languages, others might expect specialization in C#, Ruby, PHP, and Java. 

It is important to note that JavaScript is used mainly for front end development, yet back end developers should have a basic knowledge of it. A back end developer can improve on their work when they know the workings of front end development as well. It is why working knowledge of CSS and HTML is also appreciated. 

Web Hosting Platforms

Whenever a new website is in the development stage, one has to look for a host for it. While it may depend on the request of the client or the employer, one should know the most prevalent cloud service providers. Many hosting platforms offer both free and paid services. Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform (GCP), and Amazon Web Services (AWP) are in high demand currently. 


Frameworks are the most important of all back end technologies. A framework is an entire library on which you can base your program. Different frameworks work for different uses and can make the building process easier than starting everything from scratch. For better understanding, consider the framework a basic structure that requires a specific programming language for execution. 

One can use the Django framework for the most commonly used programming language, Python. Similarly, when you decide to use Node.js, you will need to have a grip on JavaScript. However, it is crucial to note that different frameworks can use the same language. For instance, the Flask framework also uses Python. Some other frameworks you can explore are Ruby on Rails and Laravel.

The goal of any job is to be as efficient as possible. When you are working with algorithms and structure, it is helpful to know the compatibility and functionality of different tools. This is only feasible if you know how to use the tools required for the job.

How Much Does A Back End Developer Earn?

The annual earning of a back end developer depends on their job profile, company, the area in which they work, and their seniority in the company. The geographical location of the company can also impact the salary profile of a professional applying for back end developer jobs

On average, a back end developer can expect an annual salary of $79,811, as per Glassdoor. For the job title of a back end engineer, the expected average annual salary is $127671. Seniority in the title can enhance salary expectations to a great degree. 


A backend developer is a crucial member of any web development team, responsible for creating and maintaining the server-side of web applications. With a deep understanding of databases, APIs, and programming languages, they work behind the scenes to ensure that web applications function smoothly and securely. 

As the demand for web applications continues to grow, the role of backend developers will become even more critical. By honing their skills and staying up-to-date with the latest technologies, backend developers can build rewarding and lucrative careers in the tech industry.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is API design?

Back end development deals with application programming interfaces or APIs. There may be times when the request for data increases. The website needs to handle such requests efficiently. Good API design helps with better functionality of the website. It helps the users by making the data more readily available.

Which framework is compatible with C# and Java?

Different frameworks are compatible with different programming languages. For example, two Java frameworks support Java as the back end programming language. The language was intended to be used on the server itself. The Windows framework supports the C# language. 

What is Version Control?

When you are coding, it is essential to know how well the collaboration is faring. Therefore, you need to employ version control tools to establish your deployment flow. At any given point, there may be several back end developers working on the same project. A version control tool helps in tracking the flow of the code. The most common version control tools are Git and GitHub. 

How much does a senior back end developer earn?

The annual salary expectation of senior back end developers is $134,051, as per Glassdoor. Experienced back end developers can apply for senior positions depending on their skill set. A senior back end engineer can expect an average annual salary of approximately $171,600

Ishaan Gupta

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