Frontend Development vs Backend Development: The Difference

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     Frontend Developers work on the client side of any web application. This part is the one which is visible to the users and is often referred to as the user interface side. Meanwhile, Backend Developers work on the server side of that web application. All the activities that are carried out at the Backend part are not visible to the user but are only accessible to the programmer. Though both the parts are oppositely concerned they need to work in tandem with each other. This is because without the Backend part functioning, the Frontend interface won’t be visible to the user and in the same way without the Frontend part, the functioning of the Backend won’t be visible to the user. So, to create a system necessary for the functioning of any web-based application, the Frontend and the Backend part need to work in a coordinating manner.

Frontend Development

Frontend developers are responsible for designing and constructing the user interface or user experience elements which may include everything from design, buttons, pages, links, layers, labels, outlines, graphics, etc. The main objective of front-end developers is to make sure that the users get the best experience out of their products or services. They ensure that when a user opens their application or website, they see all the relevant information in a proper format that is convenient and easy to read and understand. Nowadays with the advancement in technology, the size of the user screen and resolution factor has varied a lot. So, front-end developers need to take all these factors into consideration and design a web application that can run on any screen and that all the features that are visible on one screen can be seen on another screen as well. They need to ensure that their web application site comes up correctly in different operating systems (cross-platform), different browsers (Cross-platform) and different devices (cross-device). All these require proper planning on the side of the Frontend Web Developer.

Frontend Developers use several languages, libraries and frameworks for designing the Frontend part of a website. They transform coded data into user-friendly interfaces. The technologies that a Frontend Developer uses are:

  • Languages 

    • HTML:
      HTML is the language that is used to describe and mark the content to allow a browser to display it correctly on a screen. HTML defines the elements on a web page.
    • CSS:
      CSS is a short form of Cascading Style Sheets and is a set of instructions that controls the style and structure of a webpage. CSS dictates how users see content.  
    • JavaScript:
      JavaScript enables web developers to make sites interactive. This programming language is capable of changing website content based on user actions.
  • Frameworks and Libraries

    The list of Frontend Frameworks and Libraries includes AngularJS, React.js, Bootstrap, jQuery, SASS, Semantic-UI, Foundation, Materialize, Backbone.js, Express.js, Ember.js, etc.

Frontend & Backend

Backend Development

Backend Development focuses on the database, scripting and website architecture. Backend Development deals with server-side development. Backend Development languages handle the functionality of web applications behind the scenes that is at the server side of the web application that occurs while performing any activity on a website. Code written at the Backend side helps browsers to communicate with database information. Backend Developers are focused on how a website works. Their primary concern is to make sure that the website functions with complete ease. The Backend Developers are the ones who write codes that focus on the logic and functionality that powers the web application that they are working on. The Developers make sure that the website is scalable and that it should function even when hit by a large load of online traffic or demanding script. The other tasks of Backend developers include testing and maintaining existing backend elements to ensure that they are running as fast and efficiently as possible.

Just like Frontend Developers, Backend Developers make use of different languages, frameworks and libraries. The Backend Developers focus on the website working and hence are responsible for creating and maintaining technology at the Backend side of a website. The technologies that a Backend Developer uses are:

  • Languages 

    • Java:
      Java is a popular general-purpose programming language. Java code can run on all platforms that support Java because Java applications are compiled to bytecode that can run on any Java Virtual Machine, regardless of the computer architecture. It is used to develop desktop and mobile applications, embedded systems, big data processing and so on.  
    • PHP:
      PHP is a dynamically typed programming language that helps developers come up with various solutions for a single problem. There are abundant resources available which are dedicated to the PHP language as a result of tool support and a large community. 
    • Ruby:
      Ruby on Rails is a programming language which involves little amount of Backend work, enabling developers to create and launch web applications quickly. With very little amount of coding, programming can be done in this language. Ruby is also an open-source language meaning it is modified and built upon. 
    • Python:
      Python is an open-source language, dynamically typed and an object-oriented language. Python is one of the most popular languages among beginners because it has the simplest of syntax and is easy to understand as compared to other Backend programming languages. 
    • JavaScript:
      It is a great language for beginners as it is a higher-level language that also involves very little setup. JavaScript is a flexible language and also the JavaScript community is large. JavaScript can be used to build many types of software and sites.
  • Frameworks and Scripting Languages 

    • The list of Backend frameworks includes:
      ExpressJS, Django, Rails, Laravel, Spring, Flask, ASP.Net, Koa, Phoenix, Spring Boot etc.  
    • Other Backend programs/scripting languages are:
      C#, Ruby, REST, GO, Elixir etc.

Backend and Frontend difference

Both Frontend and Backend form the basis of how a website functions. Both the parts are different in their own way of functioning. But still for a single web application to function properly both the Frontend and Backend sides need to coordinate. While the Frontend side is responsible for all the user interface platforms and activities, the Backend side is responsible for the databases and the server functioning. Both are crucial for web application development and any side without the other side is completely useless. Both of them have different roles and responsibilities and their environment is different but still are inseparable parts of web development with the former taking care of what the user sees and interacts with and the latter making sure that everything works fine in the background.

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