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Front-end vs Back-end: What is the difference?

17.08.2016 Pavel Сherniavskiy
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Front-end vs Back-end: What is the difference?

As you probably know, well-planned work schedule provides a good result. The latter statement is not of major importance for policemen, firemen or doctors, but in the IT world, it plays a major role. Without taking much pain to plan a project, it will collapse very fast. Nowadays, specific kinds of approaches for software development progress at high-speed. Developers all over the world create and use patterns, algorithms, different kinds of architectures – all for making comfortable conditions for planning a project, making readable code.

The single responsibility principle is also widely used. According to this principle, layout designers don’t have to know about server characteristics (how it deals with requests or how data exchange process is going there), they are responsible for graphic user interface only. In this case, project creation flows easier, and at the output, there will be a high-quality product.

One of the most popular approaches to sites, mobile or desktop client-server applications development is to divide work into two main parts: front- and back-end development. Let’s get deeper into the theme.

Front-end: interface and comfortable work-ability

Front-end, which in fact is the working interface, is what cooperates with a user. A front-end web developer is a special person entrusted with the project’s performance on the client’s side. They must have confident understanding in designing GUI and writing a clean code because someone else will eventually work with this code to add functionality sometime in the future. The main request for a front-end developer is to create catchy design.

Not so long ago the IT world was bedazzled with a new concept – UX design. Its main goal is to make users feeling good while visiting the website, catch their attention, and evoke the desire inside to stay on the website longer. The same scheme works with application users. The idea is to make them use the app as long as possible. It could be the matching of color or some special effects used in the app, for example, awesome animation. To summarize all mentioned above, a front-end developer is responsible for magnificent design and user’s comfort.

The list of demands for a front-end developer is very simple:

  • HTML
  • CSS
  • JavaScript (JQuery)

All these skills could be acquired, in a few months at least.

One more important thing in front-end development is front-end estimation. This feature can evaluate the added code and estimate the efficiency of the work done. It is used mainly by team leaders or customers.

To become a front-end developer, you should be ready to go through the interview. Below, the most popular questions arising during the interview are given:

  • Write some function or common elements of GUI (tables, blocks, etc);
  • General questions relevant to HTML, CSS, JS;
  • Logical tests;
  • Experience and your expectations of the future work conditions.

This list is quite a rough example, an HR manager or your future team leader can ask you difficult questions if it meets the interests of the company. Get ready for the interview of the same level as imagined Google-interview could be and everything will be all right. In other words, breathe in deeper and do your best.

Back end: the regular work of the server

Another branch in software development is back-end development. Back-end developers are responsible for data exchange and requests elaboration. Also, back-end web development is one of the much-in-demand directions in IT sphere. Many experienced programmers say that studying PHP or Node.js helps to find your first job quickly. The requirements set for back-end developers are higher than those for front-end ones. But it is not the reason to start getting nervous. Maybe it sounds horrible when a person reads about a server or a database but, as it was mentioned above, with every year programmer’s life is getting easier for junior developers. So, my idea is that practically everybody could work in IT sphere.

Back-end testing takes a great part of time. It includes checking workability of the server, correction of added features, fixing bugs, etc. In addition, a good back end developer should have basic knowledge of front-end development and programming languages used there, and as it is a part of a system. Having the wholesome picture in mind is a necessary quality of a good programmer.

The list of demands for a back-end developer is more challenging than for a front-end developer:

  • Knowledge of PHP, MySQL
  • Understanding in HTML, CSS, Javascript (AJAX, JQuery)
  • Apache, Nginx
  • OOP, OOD

Back-end development is rather interesting work. Creating custom architecture, projecting logic of the server and testing it sounds fabulous, doesn’t it?


To put the story in a nutshell, the front-end is responsible for designing and correct app or site GUI while back-end provides the whole website logics. We are accustomed to seeing a valid software with catchy design, but have you ever thought about how much effort developers put into it?  Thanks to the back- and front-end development the projects are becoming more and more sophisticated. Maybe someday, this division between front- and back-end will make its bow and we will see the shiny rising of an absolutely new approach. You never know.

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