Front End vs Back End: A Helpful Cheat Sheet — Jamie Pittman

Jamie Pittman
Aug 8, 2020 · 3 min read
Photo by Dean Pugh on Unsplash

Are you front end or back end?

That statement always makes me giggle! I know, I know. I’m immature. But you’re going to hear this question a lot if you choose to go into tech, so be prepared to swallow your childish giggles.

If you are looking to embark on a career change into programming, you may be trying to figure out what the differences are between front end development and back end development. Although their main focus is different, each role is critical to the success of the other and you will likely be working day-to-day with someone in your “opposite” role.

Front End vs Back End : It’s nice to have an idea of what your peers are doing and responsible for maintaining. It might also be a good way to figure out what it would take to transition to a full-stack development role.

What is front end development?

Front end development involves maintaining those parts of a website or application/app that are visible.

What technologies do front end developers use?

In my experiences as a front end developer, I have had to utilize all of these technologies. I’ve run across some articles that do not mention using a JavaScript framework as part of what is required of a front end developer, but I have used a framework at every single dev job I’ve had.

But don’t let the sound of a framework scare you! I think they help you to improve your JavaScript skills-especially if you’re using React. The other great thing is that once you learn one framework, it’s easy to transfer those skills to another-even though they may not be exactly alike.

In addition to using a framework, you’ll also most likely be using some sort of testing library. I wouldn’t stress too much on making sure this is on your resume as it varies from shop to shop.

What is back end development?

Back end development involves maintaining those parts of a website or application/app that are “under the hood” so to speak. I am not a back end developer, but I was technically trained as a full-stack developer. I am aware of some technologies but not all.

What technologies do back end developers use?

In most places that I’ve worked, any handling of “the cloud” is also handled by backend teams. This obviously varies quite a bit depending on the size of the organization that you’re working for as well.

I would say most of the back end developers I’ve encountered work with Java. The job I’m getting ready to transition to, their back end is built in Python.

If you’re trying to figure out what language or technology would be best, I suggest looking at job postings and seeing what they’re requesting under requirements. You can see the jobs that you’re interested in and what it will take in order to land a job.

Front End vs Back End: Resources

If you’re looking to get started learning some of the technologies referenced above, check out these resources. Some of them are free! Those that aren’t are very reasonably priced. I would suggest starting with these resources before you consider embarking on a coding bootcamp.

Originally published at https://jamiepittman.com on August 8, 2020.

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Jamie Pittman

Written by

Developer, writer, athlete, & master of some. My blog: jamiepittman.com — Subscribe! Connect w/ me on IG: jamie_lyn_pittman & LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/34DbEtf

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +800K followers.

Jamie Pittman

Written by

Developer, writer, athlete, & master of some. My blog: jamiepittman.com — Subscribe! Connect w/ me on IG: jamie_lyn_pittman & LinkedIn: https://bit.ly/34DbEtf

The Startup

Get smarter at building your thing. Follow to join The Startup’s +8 million monthly readers & +800K followers.

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