Frontend or Backend?

Aladin Bensassi
Oct 17, 2017 · 3 min read

A major decision most people face, when they decide to learn web development, is whether to start by learning Frontend or Backend.

There is really no wrong or right choice here, whichever one you choose will open up a different road, with many skills to learn, concepts to understand, and books to read.

Somewhere along the line, you’ll get to cross over to the road you left behind, and see what it has to offer. Basically the choice will only matter when you start, and as you progress and grow as a developer, you’ll start learning more and more about the other field, until you feel comfortable enough with both, to call yourself a Fullstack developer.

Frontend:

A frontend developer mainly works with HTML, CSS and JavaScript, either in their base form, or using frameworks, such as Angular.js, bootstrap, Jade… Most times, they use a combination of the base form, and frameworks.

A frontend developer’s work is to translate web designs into code that we can reach from a browser. However, this is a very broad statement, since the frontend developer has a lot of other responsibilities such as cross-browser compatibility, responsiveness, animating a web page, coding JavaScript applications…

It’s a fun field, where you get to code, work on designs and most importantly, your work is what the user will see and interacts with, and it’s a determining factor, of whether a web application will succeed or not

Backend:

The backend developer is the wizard responsible of creating the functionality of the web application. His job entails taking the frontend files, and adding the functionality that goes with them.

It goes without saying that the work is very challenging, and that a backend developer needs to constantly stay up-to-date with new frameworks and languages, because otherwise, he will be left behind with irrelevant skills.

It’s a great field to go in, with a lot of possibilities, not to mention that it enables you, to create the core of the software that runs everything.

Other titles related to web development:

There are other fields related to web development that helps bring the project to life, or keep it that way:

Web designer:

A web designer is exactly what the name sounds like; it’s the person that comes up with the layout of the site.

UI designer:

Same thing as a web designer, but might also entails implementing the design.

Art director / Design Director:

This job is all about quality control, managing the designers, and handling the communication with clients.

Copyrighter:

Copyrighters are responsible for writing the content, and the structural design of websites.

System administrator (Sysadmin):

A system administrator is a person that ensures continual and optimal performance of a platform. The system administrator job, is very broad, and can cover a multitude of tasks, therefore a sysadmin, must be someone with a variety of skills.

Project manager:

This job belongs usually to the person with the most experience, and skills to lead the team, and help manage them in order to create or improve a product. It’s all about helping the team members achieve their full potential.

Conclusion:

At the end of the day, your choice should be solely based on your personnel preference, because both frontend and backend are important, they both are promising fields, and most importantly your work will be valued either ways. The best course of action is to try them both, and see which one you resonate with more, and take it from there.

Aladin Bensassi

Written by

Web developer, frontend consultant, avid reader, and a total tech geek. I work closely with Startups and Big Businesses. Find me on http://AladinBs.com

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