A career in web development is in high demand now that new-age technology is taking the world by storm. Even the most traditional organizations are gearing up for or are carrying out massive technological changes. Web developers were once rare unicorns, but the job profile only gets more lucrative and demanding by the day– which means the returns are just as good.
All these job profiles have one thing in common– they’re highly specific about the kind of web developer they want. But this distinction can lead to a lot of head-scratching and question marks, which is why this guide will come in handy.
There are three major branches of web developers– full-stack, web developer and backend developer.
Front End Developer
A front-end developer is tasked with building the most visible parts of a website that the users most interact with. This involves the user interface, experience, and style of the website. The more complex the website design and interface, the better or more experienced the developer needs to be to handle it.
A front-end developer is also responsible for making sure data represented is accurate, user-friendly and in line with the visual or user designer’s ideas. The front end of a website or an app is usually built with languages like:
Back End Developer
Going by the same naming logic as the front-end developer, the back-end developer is the one who pieces together the ‘under the hood’ mechanisms of a website. Back-end developers are responsible for writing the web services that front-end developers craft a stylistic front for. Analogically, the back-end developer builds the engine, while the front-end builds the casing, the hood and makes it usable.
The back-end developer is responsible for the storage, security and integrity of data. They’re also key to ensuring the internal systems are stable and able to run over a long period without major glitches or clashes. A good back-end developer will be proficient in:
Full Stack Developer
Though each type of web development has its own preferred language and required role, the final product is always a culmination of skills, scripts, interfaces and technologies. This is where the full stack developer comes in. ‘Stack’ means layer, and a full stack developer dives into each layer of a website or an app regardless of whether it qualifies as front-end or back-end.
Full stack doesn’t have its own language– it’s an amalgamation of languages, tools and approaches that go into building a complete, user-friendly website. Some developers prefer one language over another, so don’t be confused if you see a job requirement for a ‘full stack Ruby developer’ or similar.
However, there are some prerequisites to this arm of web development that a good full stack developer course should equip you with:
● Experience with programming languages such as Ruby and Python
● Knowledge and access to one or more third-party libraries, the most popular being ReactJS or Angular
Which one is preferred over the others?
Choosing a web development area largely depends on what you want to focus on and where your skills lie. In the earlier stages of web development, each role was quite distinct. However, today, the line is blurring, bringing full stack developers to the limelight.
That said, a lot of employers, especially agencies that accept projects dealing with all aspects of multiple sites, tend to prefer full stack developers. This isn’t because one developer does the work of three. It’s more preferred because, while full stack developers may dedicate themselves largely to the front end or back end in a project, they know enough of both to dive in without having to frantically call up experts and lose money on consultations or freelance contracts.
Some developers prefer to write the code and develop the front-end themselves, but that’s usually when the budget is limited, or its a small project, or there’s just one developer on the team with no access to external resources.
Full stack development isn’t an overnight deed, it’s an entire journey– but a rewarding one. TO up-skill into a full stack developer or jump into the field as a novice, consider engaging in a full stack developer course that will take you through the basics, expose you to case studies, and prepare you for a demanding yet lucrative web development career!