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What Does a Back End Developer Do?

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  • Written By: G. Wiesen
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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The duties of a back end developer depend a great deal upon the type of development that he or she is involved in performing. In general, however, this type of developer typically works in the creation of software programs and utilities, and is specifically involved with the creation of source code for a program. He or she is usually responsible for creating the code used to make a program function and run properly. This is in contrast to a front end developer who often works on the user interface and other aspects of a program that users are likely to see and interact with.

A back end developer is often involved with “back end” development of a software program, website, or other application. Creation of computer programs and applications usually involves both back end and front end development that creates different aspects of that program. A back end developer works with the source code and other aspects of a program or webpage that actually allow it to function properly. This means that back end development is often the first stage of creating a new piece of software as developers create new code and functions to make the software work.

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Testing is often a major component of the work performed by a back end developer, as he or she needs to ensure that code functions properly. Development of the back end of a program can require a great deal of time as different iterations are tried and tested thoroughly. Documentation within the code is also vital to ensure that different developers are able to see what each other are doing in the back end. This means that the developer not only creates code but documents the creation and testing process to ensure that future changes can be more easily incorporated.

Unlike a back end developer, a front end developer is usually involved with the creation of different elements in a program or application that users commonly interact with. Most users of a program do not directly see or alter the various files that allow that program to function. Instead, a user tends to work with a graphical user interface (GUI) and other elements created by a front end developer in order to use and change the software. A back end developer is more likely to create the code that allows web browsers to navigate websites, than to create the interface that a user interacts with to view and navigate those pages.

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croydon
Post 3

So, I guess when I was coding little programs for my technology classes in high school I was working on both the front and the back end.

I think the back end stuff was more interesting, from my limited experience. There was much more to it, although considering most of my programs only had a couple of buttons to press or areas for text, I guess I probably don't know the half of what any of them do.

Ana1234
Post 2

@Fa5t3r - It seems like it would be more fun to be on the front end, from my perspective. I can see how people might like dealing purely with operations behind the scenes, but I think it would be more interesting working with the interface.

Of course, I don't know how much input any of the developers would have into the design of the project. Both ends might end up being a matter of routine code.

Fa5t3r
Post 1

I'd say that the back end is difficult because you've got to deal with most of the gnarly problems on how to make the program work and the front end is difficult because you've got to deal with the problems of how to make people use it properly.

Often more thought goes into one or the other and leaves the project unbalanced, because you really have to make sure that both ends are going to work and work well together.

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