Knowing Your Backend From Your Frontend
Software is like a machine, made up of many intricate, separate parts that require individualised attention. Teamwork and collaboration are vital to the development of functional, creative software. You wouldn’t want a film director to also handle the editing, cinematography, lighting, and sound mixing, would you? Of course not, because the results would be subpar at best.
The same principle applies to software development. Very small projects may be handled by one developer wearing a lot of programming hats, but as software demands grow, so does the need for specialised areas of programming.
Frontend and Backend Development
As technology has improved, and as software has grown more complex over the years, development has become much more specialised. Development teams now split up tasks, allowing individual team members to focus on specific areas. There are many specialised development positions, but the two basic camps are frontend developers and backend developers.
Frontend developers are generally responsible for the user interface and all aspects of the software that an end-user will directly interact with. A frontend developer will also optimise the efficiency of the software to ensure a smooth user experience. Their goal is to coordinate with other developers to ensure that the product visible to users is as smooth and elegantly put together as possible. Moreover, frontend developers are responsible for incorporating ideas from the design phase into their work.
Backend developers are the opposite, and are responsible for the behind-the-scenes parts of software development. Software maintenance, security, analytics reporting, and general backend frameworks are all part of the work of a backend developer.
The Advantage of Specialisation
Another type of of developer we haven’t yet mentioned is the full-stack developer. As the name implies, these magicians are the developers responsible for the entire project. They handle both front and backend development. This approach can be great for smaller software development projects because a single person can give you a cohesive body of work. However, larger and more intricate assignments necessitate multiple developers, and at that point, separating developers into specialised categories can yield higher-quality results.
Just like other team collaborations, it pays to have people dedicated to specific roles. There’s always a little overlap between frontend and backend development, but allowing developers to focus on their strongest area is how you make the most of their talents.
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