Do you want to become a backend developer? But how do you get started? What skills do you need to learn? Discover the profession combining programming and functionality.

The backend developer takes care of the technical and functional side of a website. Unlike the front-end developer, this one works in the shadows and takes care of all the back-office parts, that is to say, the essential elements for the operation of the site, but which are invisible to Internet users.

The backend developer’s mission is to design all the technical elements essential to the operation of a website or an application. He must therefore have in-depth computer knowledge such as mastery of programming languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, Java… He is also in charge of database management. Therefore, he must imperatively be familiar with SQL Server and MySQL systems.

Because he is responsible for the evolution of the website infrastructure, the backend developer must also be able to develop the content management platform and develop web applications. If problems persist, the backend developer recommends solutions for the client and provides technical support for the site, as well as reactive maintenance. He also has a duty to help the client if the latter delivers a site to him. Apart from programming and retouching configuration operations, he must focus more on the analytical side of the site.

In addition, all phases such as programming, configuration, quality control and technical documentation are the responsibility of the backend developer. This is why his computer baggage must be complete for the profession.

Who is Backend developer and What are his roles?

The backend developer programs the hidden part of a web solution, the server-side, administrator of an app or a website, unlike the front-end developer who takes care of the visible part.

The roles and responsibilities of the backend developer:

  • Depending on the context, the backend developer can have a more or less broad role. He can just as well be an executor (with a “simple” coder role), as a decision-maker in technical choices.
  • In the latter case, and without the presence of an System Architect within the technical team, he can reflect on the architecture he is going to use or improve. Depending on the budget, the time allocated for his mission, and the needs, or expectations of his employer, he will set up an appropriate environment by choosing the right technologies (DBMS, Frameworks, Versioning, etc.)
  • Back end development can therefore include the setting up, configuring, and maintaining several essential components of a web project:
  • The server, where the website will be hosted, must run 24 hours a day. It is often managed by a system administrator (sysadmin) or DevOps.
  • The database, where all the information will be stored such as for example the login, the password or the basket of a user.
  • The application, i.e. the website as a whole and the logic that allows the different pages, the server, and the database to interact.
  • The back-office in some cases is an internal interface is used by other collaborators so that they can integrate content such as text easily.

What is a Backend developer

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Who are the Backend developer’s main contacts?

The back-end developer collaborates not only with other people in the same position but obviously with one or more front-end (or full-stack) developers. It is with these that much of the development is done.

The back-end developer also works with other professionals:

  • Technical Architect
  • CTO (chief technical officer)
  • Lead developer
  • Engineering Manager
  • Technical project chef
  • System administrator or DevOps
  • DBAs

What are the skills and qualities required to be a Backend developer?

Methodology, rigor, pragmatism and teamwork are the first keys to success for a backend developer.

Also, constantly learning about technological developments in the field in order to stay up to date requires a good level in English, passion and curiosity.

From a technical point of view: in addition to mastering a project management tool like GitHub or GitLab, backend development requires minimum technical skills:

SQL allows you to search, add, modify or delete elements in a database.

C#, Java, Python, PHP, Ruby, JS (Node.js) are the main languages ​​for the backend.

Each of the backend languages ​​has its advantages and specificities. Mastering a maximum of them is obviously a plus, but it is the in-depth knowledge of one of them that is important. In the majority of cases, a backend developer, therefore, has a preferred language on which he works exclusively (or almost).

In addition, it is essential to know one or more frameworks specific to each of these languages ​​in order to make the code clearer, faster to write, more easily modifiable, and maintainable as a team. These include in particular:

  • For PHP: Symfony, Laravel, CakePHP
  • For Java: Spring, Hibernate, Maven, Struts
  • For Ruby: Ruby on Rails
  • For Python: Django, Pyramid, Flask
  • For JavaScript: Node.js

What studies or training to become a Backend developer?

As with most digital jobs, there is a multitude of courses that provide access to backend web developer positions.

A computer BTS or DUT is good basic training. Continuing on with a bachelor’s degree and then a master’s degree in web development will allow you to perfect your theoretical knowledge and access more demanding and ambitious positions.

Schools like EPITECH, HETIC, ESGI offer bachelor’s degrees in web development as well as recognized Bac +5 courses.

Also, many young developers train themselves via websites such as Udemy, Free Code Camp and Open Classrooms or develop their skills through accelerated courses. Other types of structures are also recommended to learn the basics quickly: The Hacking School or Le Wagon for example.

The most qualified profiles are the most popular with recruiters, but it is often experienced and skills that take precedence.

Also Read: The Complete Guide to Become A Professional Frontend Developer in 2024.

What are the professional developments and career prospects of a Backend developer?

A backend developer can naturally move towards the profession of full stack developer via the rise in skills in JavaScript (+HTML and CSS). He will then be autonomous on the complete development of a project, from back to front-end (this is what is generally called a “full stack developer”).

The backend developer can also become a Lead developer if his managerial skills are sufficient; he will then be called upon to supervise teams of developers.

If, on the other hand, he does not wish to have the role of manager of “Men”, he can progress to a position of Lead Tech (technical responsibilities only).

A technical project manager position is also possible for those who wish to take a step back from development.

Finally, with a good level in development, excellent knowledge of technologies and several years of experience, a backend developer can become CTO (Chief Technology Officer).

What are the main sectors of activity and employers of a Backend developer?

There are many types of companies and industries that hire backend developers. These are startups, SMEs, large companies or groups, and in various sectors, including:

  • Advice
  • Software
  • Media
  • Telecommunication
  • Energy
  • Bank
  • Insurance
  • eCommerce
  • Digital Agencies

What is the average salary of a Backend developer?

Several factors define the remuneration of a backend developer: skills (in particular the frameworks mastered) and experience in the first place but also the geographical location, the technologies used, the type of company, the sector of activity, the technical problems to solve, etc.

Average back-end developer salaries in the USA by experience:

  • Junior Backend Developer: $30-40K
  • Experienced Backend Developer: $40-50K
  • Senior Backend Developer: $+50K

What are the other job titles of “Backend developer”?

The profession of Backend developer (which can be spelled in different ways) has other titles depending on the expertise required, the specialty, the type of mission, or the employer. We often find, depending on the context, the following terms:

  • Developer Back
  • Backend IT Developer
  • Backend development engineer
  • Backend Programmer
  • Back office programmer analyst
  • Backend encoder
  • Backend study and design engineer
  • Backend research and development engineer

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A backend developer must follow training in a computer engineering school or an equivalent school with a bac +5 diploma.

Thus, he masters all dynamic programming languages ​​such as PHP and scripting languages. He must also be able to ensure the security and management of access and data backup. 

Furthermore, the backend developer must also master Framework, CMS (Content Management System) as well as all code editing tools. The most important for this profession are the experiences acquired during his years of training by his confrontation with complex tasks.

FAQs- Backend Developer Roadmap 2024

1. Which backend language should I learn by 2024?

A 2020 Stack Overflow survey revealed that Python is the best backend programming language that developers needs to learn. Python has topped that category for four years in a row and also in 2024.

2. What is the future scope of backend developers?

The future scope of the back-end developer is to maintain the system that appears on the front end. Given that an increasing number of mobile apps are released yearly, it is important that the backend of these mobile apps are built with scalability in mind.