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Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

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Last updated on
17th Mar, 2022
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17th Mar, 2022
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Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

You want to learn web development and you start browsing the internet to know more about web development and you end up hearing the buzzwords front end development, back end development, full stack development. Then you start digging further “What is the front end? What’s the difference between full stack vs front end? What are the front end development courses?” but you don’t find the right answers. We get it.

In this blog, we will clear all your confusions and answer your most asked questions:

  • What is front end web development?
  • What is back end development?
  • How are full stack developers and front end developers different?
  • What are front end/backend developer skills?
  • What are front end/backend tools?
  • What are front end/backend jobs?

An Overview of Front End Development

The developers are responsible for developing user interfaces which means what the user can see, interact, feel and experience. It contains buttons, links, dropdowns, radio buttons, checkboxes, and other sections of the webpage. At the core, the front end is built on 3 technologies such as HyperText Markup Language (HTML), Cascading Style Sheet (CSS), and Javascript (JS).

Front end development is often called Client-side development. One of the challenges in front end development is that developers need to keep up to date with current tools and technologies because there is a rapid pace of change in tools, technologies, and frameworks.

The person who develops the user interfaces is called Front End developer. The web development community is huge, you can find lot of front end web development course on the internet.

An Overview of Back End Development

Back end development is often called server-side development. The goal of the back end development is to serve the information that the user requested.

For example, when a user logs in to Facebook, the user sees his friends’ posts, pictures, videos on the web page but under the hood, the server pulls all this information from the database and presents it to the front end. In other words, Processing the user request and sending the relevant information to the front end. This is what we call backend development.

Backend development is a combination of Server-Side Programming Language, Web Server, and A Database. One of the major challenges in backend development is one should be very good at problem-solving skills.

The person who manages the application data writes the business logic and manages the server is called Back end developer.

Comparison Between Front End And Back End Development

The following table provides the major key differences between front end and back end


Front endBack end
DefinitionFront end development is developing the web pages that look beautiful and interactiveBack end development is processing the user request and sending the appropriate information to the front end.
Technologies usedHTML, CSS, JavascriptJava, C#, Python, PHP
Frameworks usedAngular, React, Vue.jsSpring for Java, Django for Python, Laravel for PHP
DependencyFront end is always dependent on Back end except for the static sitesBack end is not dependent on Front end. It works without the front end.
Roles and ResponsibilitiesDeveloping the user interfaces as per the business requirementWriting the business logic and integrating with the front end
End goalEnsure that the web pages are designed and developed as per the business requirement, and it should look the same across all the devices (Laptop, desktop, mobile).Ensure that the application should serve the correct information that the user requested. The application should be scalable and work efficiently.
Additional skillsKnowledge of version control, UI/UX designingProblem-solving, and logical reasoning skills.

Technologies Used For Front End Development

Some of the technologies used for front end development are as follows:

HyperText Markup Language (HTML)

It is a markup language. It is used to create web pages on the internet. It is a skeleton of the webpage; it defines the layout of the webpage. Just like humans, HTML also has a Head and a Body.

Head contains the title of the web page, links to the other libraries, and meta-data info. The body contains the layout of the web page such as menu bar, footer, paragraphs, headings, links etc.

The following example is a basic HTML page template:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)

Where the HTML defines the skeleton of the web page, CSS makes the web page more beautiful by applying colors, different fonts, different sizes, margins. It defines how the different sections of the web page should look.

The following is the CSS code snippet:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

Javascript (JS)

Javascript is a scripting language, it makes the web pages more interactive by adding more complex animations, click events, and shows the dialog boxes. It is even possible to build frameworks using Javascript.

The following is the Javascript code snippet:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

Front End Frameworks/Libraries

Frameworks/Libraries used in front end development as follows:

  • Angular: It is one of the popular front end frameworks, developed and maintained by Google. Using this framework we can create Single Page Applications (SPAs). It uses Typescript language to develop the applications 
  • React: It is one of the most popular and widely used Javascript libraries, developed and maintained by Facebook. Using this library we can create Single Page Applications (SPAs). It used Javascript language to develop the applications
  • Vue.js: It is an open-source, javascript framework for developing Single Page Applications (SPAs) and user interfaces.

You can also look for Knowledgehut front end development course to become a front end developer.

Technologies Used for Back End Development

Some of the technologies used for back end development are as follows:

Java

It is a high-level, Object-oriented programming language. It is popularly used to build enterprise applications, android applications, and desktop applications. Spring Boot is the popular Java framework for building the backend REST APIs

The following is the sample Java program:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

C#

(C-sharp) It is a high level, Object-oriented programming language. It is used to develop web applications, desktop applications, game development. It is developed by Microsoft and runs on the .Net framework.

The following is the sample C# program:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

Python

Python is a high-level, Object-oriented programming language. It provides so many libraries. It is used to develop Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) based applications. Flask and Django are the two most popular python framework for backend development.

The following is the sample Python program:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development

PHP

It is a general-purpose, server-side scripting language. It is widely used to develop dynamic and interactive web applications on the internet. Larvel is the most popular web framework for PHP.

The following is the sample PHP program:

Front-End vs Back-End vs Full Stack Web Development


Back end frameworks

Frameworks used in back end development are as follows:

  • Spring for Java: Spring is one of the most popular and widely used Java web frameworks for building enterprise applications. It provides so many modules to develop the web applications
  • Django for Python: It is the most popular web framework for Python. It provides built-in plugins and it is best for large-scale, data-driven interactive web applications
  • Laravel for PHP: It is the free, open-source web framework for PHP. It provides the Model-View-Controller (MVC) architectural design pattern to develop web applications.

What Are Some Front End Jobs?

Being one of the career paths with booming demand for qualified professionals, Front end development offers plenty of work opportunities and roles. Let’s explore some of them:

  • Website developers

A lot of jobs which are available are for developers to build small static websites for clients. Now, this jobs mainly require only HTML, CSS skills with little to no knowledge of JavaScript. These kinds of websites are also created using tools like WordPress and small agencies type companies generally take them.  Although Wordpress, comes with in-build template and plugins but a lot of customization is required through HTML and CSS.

  • ReactJS developers 

The most highly demanded skill right now and also in the coming future. To create a web-app, we need library like ReactJS, which comes with the support of a huge developer community. IT is open-source project and anyone could use it, but it was created by Facebook and also maintained by it. It divided the project into components and different developers can work on different part of the project. It was released after Angular (from google), but it overtook it because it is easy to learn and used in start-ups as well as enterprises.

  • Angular developers

It was the first JavaScript framework released in 2010, which changed the whole scene and started the Age of web-apps. Because of those Angular developers are also in high demand, as the big enterprise projects goes on for years. Some of the big projects are still going on. But most new projects ae starting in ReactJS, because the learning curve is less in it. Angular is a complete framework and you don’t need to rely of third-party npm modules like ReactJS. But that adds to it complexities also. It takes around 15 days to learn ReactJS for a JavaScript developer but the same developer will take 2 months to learn Angular.

  • VueJS developers 

It was released the last in the list of JavaScript framework/library by Evan You, who used to work in Google. Now, VueJS learning curve is also very less and it took best features from both Angular and ReactJS. That is one of the reasons, it is used in start-ups a lot. It also has a backup from Alibaba, which uses it heavily for internal systems. Next, we will look into backend developer vs front end developer jobs.

What Are Some Back End Jobs?

Back end development is as rich in opportunities for qualified programmers as front end. Let’s look at some popular roles in back end:

  • Java Backend Developers: Java is one of the oldest and most popular object oriented, server-side programming language. Java supports so many web frameworks out of which Spring Boot is one of the most popular and in demand backend framework for building enterprise web applications. Spring Boot is also used build REST APIs, Microservices etc. In fact in the industry the go to approach for building microservices is using Java Spring Boot.
  • Python Django Developers: Python is another popular server side programming language. It is not only used to build enterprise web applications, it also used to build search engines, machine learning, user recommendation engines etc. One of the most popular web framework of python is Django, it provides lot of features out of the box such as Admin tool etc. There is a high demand for Python Django developers.
  • .Net Developers: C# is the another popular service-side, object oriented programming language which is developed by Microsoft. .NET is a framework used to build desktop applications, web applications etc. It uses C# programming language to write the code. With the recent introduction to the ASP.NET Core 5.0, building the web applications, REST APIs is easier and faster in .Net

Front End Development Tools:

Front end developers use a multitude of tools in their day-to-day development tasks. Let’s go over some commonly used tools and what sets them apart:

  • Chrome DevTools: Chrome developer tool is a lifesaver for front end developers. It is the most widely used front end tool across front end development. Developers can easily debug, edit the HTML and CSS and view the application on different devices.
  • Git: Another popular tool is Git which is a version control system. It is free and open-source. Most companies use these tools to manage the source codes, track the changes that developers made in their code or even roll back to the previous state in a much easier way
  • Visual Studio Code: Another popular tool is Visual Studio Code which is a text editor to write the code. By far it is the most popular and widely used text editor, which is developed by Microsoft. It allows developers to install extensions (plugins) to make the development faster and also install various themes to change the look and feel of the editor.

Back End Development Tools:

Let’s now look at some popular back end tools that developers use for their day-to-day development tasks:

  • Postman: It is one of the most popular REST clients to test the APIs. It allows developers to create and manage the APIs by creating collections and workspace. Using postman developers can automate manual tests and integrate them into the CI/CD pipeline
  • Git: Another popular tool is Git, it is not specific to front end development. Even the back end developers use the version control to track their code, manage the code.
  • Jira: It is a project management platform, it helps developers to create stories, tasks, bugs and track them easily. It is the most popular and widely used project management platform.
  • Development IDEs: These IDEs help developers to write code, test, and deploy applications to the servers. Different programming languages support different IDEs. For example, building Java applications developers use Eclipse, for building python applications developers use PyCharm. Similarly, for PHP development use WebStorm.

Front End Skills:

In every career path, there are some skills that are desirable and some that are essential. You have more flexibility of time in acquiring the desirable skills, but the following are some of the front end skills that every developer should have:

  • Understand the business requirements to design and develop the user interfaces using HTML, CSS, and Javascript
  • Design the mobile-friendly web pages by writing the media queries  
  • Extensive knowledge on using the tools such as Chrome DevTools and Git
  • Effectively work with back end developers to integrate the front end designs with the back end code.
  • Should have a good understanding of any one of the front end frameworks (Angular, React, Vue.js)

Back End Skills:

Backend development has its own set of required skills that are different from front end. These are some of the back end skills that every developer should have:

  • Should be good at any one of the server-side programming languages (Python, Java, C#, Ruby)
  • Should be very good at problem-solving and logical reasoning
  • Understand the business requirement
  • Should be good at using any one of the database systems (MySQL, Oracle, PostgreSQL) and write the database queries using SQL
  • Should be good at writing the unit tests and integration tests
  • Learn to increase the application performance, more secure and more stable  
  • Should be good at Data structures and algorithms

Front End Developer Salary And Back End Developer Salary

It completely depends on the experience and the location where you are applying.

The average salary of front end developer in the US is $73,613/yr.
The average salary of back end developer in the US is $89,743/yr

Who Is A Full Stack Developer?

Full stack developers can handle all parts of the application including designing the user interfaces, server-side programming, database, hosting, data modeling, and even working with clients during the project planning.

Developers who write front end code, back end code, and write SQL queries are called full stack developers.

What Are The Full Stack Development Skills?

Full stack developers are responsible for many tasks including designing the user interfaces, managing the user data, and interacting with databases

  • Good knowledge of both front end and back end frameworks
  • Good in problem-solving and logical reasoning
  • Good at using the tools such as Git, Postman, Text editors, IDEs
  • Good at writing the unit test cases for both frontend and backend frameworks

Full Stack Developer Salary

The average salary of Full stack developer in the US is $87,384/yr. This goes up with experience and responsibilities of the role, and the organization one works with. The way that web and mobile applications have become enmeshed into our lives, it is safe to say that Full-Stack Developers will always be in demand.

The glass is always Full in Development

Overall web development is interesting, and it has many faces. Web development is like building a house, the front end is applying paint, switchboards, building doors, anything that the person can see and feel whereas the back end is sand, electric wires, cement, anything that the user can’t see but it's crucial for building the house. Only with these two things application look beautiful and function as expected.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

1. Which Pays More Front End Or Back End?

It completely depends on the location and the experience. However, the back end pays more because it involves writing business logic, writing algorithms, increases the performance of the application and writing the database queries.

2. I Don’t Know The Back End. Can I Apply For Full Stack Development?

Of course, you can apply if you know any of the server-side programming languages. You can easily relate how the front end will communicate with back end because you already familiar with front end so you can easily connect the dots.

3. Is Full Stack Development A Good Career?

Of course, it is a very good career because you will be good at both streams. You will get more job opportunities because often recruiters look for Full stack developers because they are capable of working in both ends. You can also do freelancing because you will be knowing everything about frontend and backend.

Profile

Bushan Sirgur

Author

Bushan is a dedicated, passionate, and accomplished Full Stack Developer with 5+ years of progressive experience working as a Software Engineer for an IT company in Banglore and growing his educational Youtube Channel that helps others to learn programs and other technologies. He has acquired a wide depth of knowledge and expertise in using my technical skills in programming, computer science, and software development to help organizations increase productivity, and accelerate business performance. My primary skill set includes Java/J2EE, Spring Boot, Angular, MySQL, and UI design. People like working with him because he can explain technology to everyone, from staff to executives who need him to tie together the details and the big picture.