What Is Back-End Development?

What Is Back-End Development?

If you’re beginning to prepare for a career change to development, you might be asking yourself what kind of developer you want to be. With that in mind, it’s important to consider the type of programming you want to work on. Depending on which aspects of programming are interesting to you, you’ll find various roles, programs, and languages that meet your interests.

You’ve likely already encountered terms like front-end and back-end development as you’ve been researching the various aspects of web development, but what do they mean? To help you on your path to discovering what kind of web development you want to pursue, we’ll cover some of what makes back-end development, well, back-end development.

Back-End Versus Front-End

Back-end development (also referred to as backend or back end development) is the main skill that powers the web. Any code that is not used for the direct end-user interface would be considered back-end development. On the flip side, anything that has to do with direct interactions with the end-user would be referred to as front-end web development.

Front-end development is just the tip of the iceberg. There is much more to web applications that the end-user does not directly interact with. Starting with code written for servers and databases, back-end developers are the behind-the-scenes architects of the web. Everything together is called full-stack development.

What Do Back-End Developers Do?

what do back-end developers do

Back-end developers focus on designing and building the services, systems, and data layers that support a website or app. This can vary greatly depending on the size and scope of the application they’re working on.

A back-end developer might be involved in the architecture of a system, where they can create the logic to make the web application run and be maintained properly. They tend to spend more time implementing algorithms and solving problems than front-end developers would do.

Speaking of which, if you like solving problems, consider Hackbright’s Prep course.

Anyway, aside from making web applications functional, back-end developers are also responsible for optimizing the application for speed and efficiency.

What Programming Languages Should a Back-End Developer Know?

While front-end developers need to know a broad set of tools related to creating user interfaces, back-end developers have a different set of tools and skills required to do their job effectively.

Back-end developers can choose from a variety of languages and frameworks depending on the demands of the application they’re building.

One of the most important skills to learn is writing, reading, and processing data from a database with SQL. Back-end web developers need to be well acquainted with server-side languages to help complement front-end user interfaces. 

Languages will vary in file size, performance, compatibility, and the style of programming (front-end, back-end, or full-stack). For example, you may want to use the data processing power of Python for a data-driven site, or leverage the speed of lightweight languages like Ruby for faster processing.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular programming languages used specifically for back-end development. 


With all Android apps being based on Java, it is clear that it has been established as a long-time contender for one of the most useful skills for back-end developers to learn, and it is known for being an industry favorite. 


One of the most popular programming languages on the internet, Python is a general-purpose programming language that is often used for data science, data mining, machine learning, and some back-end web development. Some of the most well-known Python frameworks include Django and Flask.

JavaScript (Via Node.js)

Used by Airbnb, LinkedIn, and Uber, Node.js is an application runtime environment that writes server-side applications in JavaScript due to its lightweight code and compatibility with JavaScript on the front-end.

Interested in Learning More? 

Many bootcamp and coding university programs teach a full-stack, a combination of both front- and back-end development, in their curriculum. As you prepare for a coding bootcamp, continue your studies after, and are working in your field, you’ll probably pick up new languages and skills that can help you stand out as a front-end, back-end, or full-stack developer.

Check out Hackbright’s upcoming Prep course and the immersive 12-week full-time or 24-week part-time Software Engineering programs.

learn back-end development

Recommended Reading

Front-End Vs. Back-End Development: What’s The Difference?

What Kind Of Engineer Do You Want To Be?

Learning To Code: Front-End Web Development By Night At Hackbright Academy

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