The Day-to-Day as a Back End Developer
A Back End Developer builds the server-side of a web application and integrates front end development components. Back End Developers often work on a team of other Back End Developers who, together, create APIs and web services that are used by the Front End Developers or Mobile Application Developers within their organization. Back end developers also work closely with other Front End Developers, marketers, Designers, UX and UI professionals, Researchers, and a Product Manager or Project Manager.
Back End Developers work in any industry that uses websites or software. They work at software engineering firms, large corporations, hotel conglomerates, and even in the finance industry. They usually work a 40-hour week but might work overtime during code sprints. On a day-to-day basis, the Back End Developer will be participating in their organization’s ticket system to troubleshoot, fix, or work on a project or application. They’ll attend meetings, perform API aggregation, perform user interface fixes, clean up code, code back end services, write scripts, and learn new technologies to stay up-to-date.
What Skills Should Back End Developers Have?
Using Git and consistently using version control is a must for this position. Security compliance familiarity is also a must but it won’t be a major part of the daily responsibilities of most Back End Developers. Most recruiters or hiring managers will look for familiarity with REST-based services, cloud infrastructure, and automation integration as well.
Back End Developers also need to be able to communicate and collaborate with other people working on their projects. Good communication skills will help Developers on both the front end and the back end create a cohesive, integrated product efficiently. Critical thinking and problem solving will likely be the most used soft skill though. Additionally, good organization skills and time management are essential. Back End Developers will need to follow timelines and deadlines all while keeping their code clean and organized so that their teammates can interact with it easily.
Learn the Skills You Need to Become a Back End Developer
Python is an interpreted, object-oriented, high-level programming language with dynamic semantics. It is used to write scripts, automations, algorithms, manipulate data, and create frameworks. Python prioritizes simplicity, easy to learn syntax, readability, and versatility.
SQL stands for Structured Query Language. It is a computer language used to store, manipulate, and retrieve data which is stored in a relational database.
Web development is the practice of building, creating, and maintaining websites. Web development uses coding languages to build a website for the internet.
Ruby is a dynamic, interpreted, high-level, open-source programming language which emphasizes simplicity and productivity. The syntax is designed to be natural to read and easy to write. It is used to build web applications. The development framework, Ruby on Rails, is the most popular implementation of Ruby.
Git is a distributed version control system that is standard in software and web development. Git allows multiple developers to work on the same project at once or a single developer to keep track of changes. It also creates a simple environment to conduct A/B testing. Git is designed to optimize speed, data integrity, as well as distributed and non-linear workflows.
PHP & MySQL
PHP is a free, open-source, and server-side scripting language for web development. MySQL is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that uses Structure Query Language (SQL).
Developer tools are tools typically created by developers to do tasks like debug code, edit code more efficiently, test code, test interface, and more efficiently build websites and applications.
Back End Developer Salaries
A Back End Developer in the United States makes, on average, $116,571 annually, according to Indeed.com.
Salaries for Back End Developers vary by region within the the United States. Listed below are some Back End Developer salaries for specific areas with the United States compared with the average national salary:
- U.S. Average $116K source n/a
- U.S. Average $116K source n/a
New York City
Los Angeles, CA
Orange County, CA
Typical Qualifications to Become a Back End Developer
Back End Developers are not required to have a college degree but some companies might prefer a four-year computer science degree. An increasing number of companies consider completion of a coding bootcamp or proof of proficiency enough qualification for a junior or entry-level position instead of a four-year degree. There are no industry standard certifications for Back End Developers but they can get certified in specific technologies directly through the vendor. These certifications do not usually boost employment prospects but can be beneficial for freelancers.
Searching for Back End Developer Jobs
Back End Developers are in high demand across many industries. Whether it’s hospitals, retail, e-commerce, government, or finance, you’ll find a Back End Developer. These positions might be open at startups, corporate companies, within government entities, or at nonprofits. You can even provide your Back End Developer services as a freelancer or contract employee. Freelancers and consultants can find diverse, exciting, well-paying work if they’re willing to put in the effort and be their own boss.
You can find Back End Developer jobs on these sites:
Back End Developers can find freelance and contract work on these sites:
Tips to Become a Back End Developer
Back End Developers can also look for jobs based on specific languages they know. You can find job boards specifically for almost every coding language, if you know which language you want to get paid to code in, check those first. Python, Ruby Now Jobs, Ruby on Rails Jobs, Java Code Geeks, and WP Hired are all popular code-specific job boards where you can find full-time, part-time, and freelance job listings.
Back End Developers should have a resume and LinkedIn profile that clearly shows their experience in tech, their transferable experiences, the coding languages they know, and the technology they are familiar with. Other things that will help you get a job include building a portfolio site, contributing to open source projects, putting your code on GitHub, participating in a hackathon, networking with other Developers, staying up-to-date on industry news, practicing your Developer skills, practicing interviewing, and even taking on freelance projects.
A LinkedIn profile that is thoughtfully filled out that showcases your back end development skills through links to code repositories and projects you’ve done will be helpful when you’re looking for work, especially if you choose to freelance. Making connections with individuals at the companies you’re applying to or want to work for might give you a leg up on the competition as well. You may also find that consistently connecting with other Developers and posting regularly will help you gain momentum and views from recruiters.
What Job Titles Would a Back End Developer Hold?
Back End Developers can find jobs in many industries from hospitals to hospitality. There are more open Back End Developer positions in the world than there are Back End Developers. This means you may be able to be more selective with your job choices once you’ve landed your first Junior position. Most Back End Developers start off in Junior positions, but will be able to rise through the ranks to a Senior Back End Developer position with some learning within their first few years. The difference between Junior and Senior level back End Developer positions are primarily experience, teamwork, project management, ability to continue learning quickly, efficient troubleshooting, and knowledge of front end technologies.
Back End Developers can look for these positions:
- Junior Back End Developer
- Back End Developer
- Java Developer
- Ruby Developer
- Python Developer
- SQL Developer
- QA Engineer
- Wordpress Developer/PHP Developer
- Oracle SQL Developer
If you enjoy working with front end technologies or simply want a change of pace, you might also consider mobile development. Most Android applications are coded in Java. You could easily start your pivot there once you learn more about design, interfaces, and user experience. All you need to learn to switch from back end development to mobile development on iOS is a language like Swift or Objective-C.
Salary Comparison to Back End Developer
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