Learn Back-End Web Development

A Comprehensive Guide to Start Learning Back-End Web Development

Back end web development is the part of web development that focuses on the back end, or “server-side,” functions of websites. Python and JavaScript are key programming languages for this subject, but most programmers can start on back end web development with JavaScript alone. In this overview, you’ll learn more about back end web development, what you can do with it, and how to approach learning it to help determine how to add this skill to your professional toolbox.

Discover the importance of back end web development, how it enhances website functionality, and the career opportunities it offers. Learn about the various ways to master back end web development, from online and in-person courses to free resources and tutorials.

Key Insights

  • Back end web development is crucial for modern, interactive websites, handling all the activities that occur under the surface, away from the user's view.
  • Back end web development skills are vital across industries, as most rely on functional, engaging websites for effective communication and service delivery.
  • Learning back end web development can be done through live online courses, in-person classes, self-paced resources, and free introductory courses.
  • Prerequisites for learning back end web development include knowledge of JavaScript and, often, front end web development, with Full Stack Developers utilizing both skill sets.
  • Noble Desktop offers a variety of back end web development courses, from live online classes to a Full Stack Web Development Certificate program.
  • The Bureau for Labor Statistics suggests a growing demand for websites, indicating promising career prospects for those skilled in back end web development.

Back end web development is needed to make websites engaging because, without it, they’ll feel lifeless and won’t have many common functions people expect in modern times. Back end web development handles the server side of websites, basically everything that happens underneath the surface. If you’ve always wanted to learn back end web development but can’t figure out how to get started, this guide is for you. You’ll learn more about the various ways to learn back end web development, free resources you can use throughout your career, and the types of careers that benefit from knowing back end web development principles. 

What is Back End Web Development?

Back end web development covers the back end, or “server-side,” of websites. Essentially, it’s the part of websites that handles everything that happens behind the scenes. Without back end web development, websites would only have text, images, and sometimes animations. 

Back end web development is important because it helps websites function. While websites can operate using only front end web development, they will be relatively basic and unable to retain anything. Back end web development allows complex programs to operate on the site, store relevant information, and generate new content based on the user’s actions. Modern websites need back end web development to stay current because simple websites can only go so far in the increasingly digital world. 

Read more about back end web development and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with Back End Web Development?

While front end web development focuses on the parts of websites that users see, back end web development handles most of its functions. Back-end web development skills are essential when it comes to organizing, cataloging, and saving (or deleting) data. Without these skills, websites are static and lifeless. You’ll need to use back end web development to ensure that your site meets modern standards and user expectations. Front-end-only websites might lead to user frustration if the site is intended for complex uses such as data retrieval. 

Back end web development allows websites to store login information and prevent user frustration from forgetting their password when they revisit your site. If you’ve accidentally logged out of essential websites after clearing your cache, you know how much of a headache it can be to re-login to every site you visit. Your users will appreciate the ease of access to their accounts, which will help enhance their overall user experience

Careers that Use Back End Web Development

Back end web development is helpful for any industry that uses websites in any capacity. That means nearly any industry will be able to make use of back end web development skills. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, demand for websites is rapidly increasing, and there’s no limit to the applications these skills will have. 

Web development will come in handy even if your primary career isn’t in the computer sciences. Schools, services, restaurants, law firms, and government departments need websites to communicate effectively with the public and their internal offices. If a website doesn’t function correctly, that can lead to delays, which can have significant repercussions in our fast-paced world. You don’t have to be an expert—any web development knowledge will go a long way in enhancing your career. 

Why Learn Back End Web Development?

Back end web development makes it possible for websites and apps to come to life. Without this part of web development, all pages would be static, unmoving, and—most importantly—unengaging. By using the back end of websites, you’ll be able to customize websites that can adapt to their user’s needs and retain important information that they’ll repeatedly access. 

For example, if your website is a forum like Reddit, the back end of websites can help store their login information so they can jump right into the website without needing to re-enter their password constantly. That tiny difference can drastically affect how much time a user spends on a platform. Even the most primitive back end programs can greatly impact how well a website runs, and it only takes JavaScript knowledge to get started. 

Read more about why you should learn back end web development

How to Learn Back End Web Development

Back end web development focuses on everything that users can’t see on websites, and back end skills are essential for making websites function to modern standards. It’s important to know these concepts if you plan to make your own website or work for a company that relies on servers for its services. Of course, before you can start applying to positions, you’ll want to sign up for a back end web development class that can show you the ropes. 

One of the easiest ways to learn the fundamentals is through live online back end web development courses. When you’re under a tight schedule and every second counts, those extra minutes saved from your commute become incredibly valuable. This training format allows you to learn from the comfort of your home or on the go. You’ll also work with an expert in real time that can answer your questions as they arise.

Naturally, you might want to learn back end web development now, but your obligations and schedules make it difficult to start at this moment. Luckily, you can still learn through a wide variety of self-paced resources. 

Check out the web development and web design video tutorial playlist to get an overview of these topics when you have a break in your routine—the Intro to Node video tutorial is particularly useful for anyone specifically interested in back end web development. If you prefer reading over videos, check out Noble Desktop’s Back End Web Development Learn Hub, an online catalog of resources you can use to guide your studies every step of the way. 

Read the full guide on how to learn back end web development.

Free Introductory Back End Web Development Course Online 

It’s perfectly understandable if you’re not ready to take a full back end web development class. You may have a tight budget or schedule that prevents you from committing as much as you desire. That’s normal, and luckily there’s still a way to learn without spending money. 

While in-person and live online courses are ideal for gaining knowledge because you’re working with an expert, free online classes are helpful to get an overview or obtain foundational knowledge of the subject without needing to pay for a class. The free Intro to Node course goes over how to use it to create servers required for back end programs to run properly. This class will help you get ahead of the curve once you sign up for a full class and make it easier to progress into more complex areas. 

Read about more free back end web development videos and online tutorials.

Level of Difficulty, Prerequisites, & Cost 

While back end web development is fairly accessible to new programmers, there are key concepts you’ll want to learn first. Most people who learn back end web development also take courses in front end web development because Full Stack Developers utilize both skills. This role is common in the web development industry, and you’ll be able to specialize in either front end or back end skills, depending on your preference. 

JavaScript is essential to back end web development programming; at minimum, you’ll want to learn JavaScript to perform most of your tasks. Python is also useful because it’s a gateway into more advanced skills such as machine learning. 

Read more about back end web development prerequisites.

Most of the costs associated with back end web development and its programming languages are related to classes. These topics are free and open-source, which means they are open to the public, and you can modify them without needing to contact their original creators. Costs also can come into play when you’re building your own website—although, if you’re working for a company, this step is completely optional.

Read more about costs associated with back end web development

Regarding overall difficulty, back end web development is relatively simple to learn because most of its concepts pull from the first few programming languages new programmers learn. If you have any experience with web development or JavaScript, you’ll have an easy time transitioning into these skills. You can successfully apply for jobs after taking a back end web development certificate program and then look into more advanced topics once you’re securely in the field.

Read more about how difficult it is to learn back end web development.

How Does Learning Back End Web Development Compare to Other Fields?

When learning back-end web development, it’s worth pursuing topics with similar or related information. The easiest option is web development as a whole and front end web development, which covers everything users can see on the website. You can explore both front end and back end web development in a Full Stack Web Development bootcamp

Learning about the programming languages commonly used for back end web development is also a good idea. JavaScript is one of the go-to languages for both front end and back end programs, especially React, a JavaScript library widely used for websites to increase loading speed. Python is another solid choice since this programming language is often used for data analytics and gathering information about the website’s activity. Finally, if you’re interested in creating your own website, you can learn about web design and WordPress, so you’ll have everything you need to get started.

How to Decide the Best Way to Learn Back End Web Development

The best way to learn back end web development depends on your current skill level and the direction you want to take in your career. If you’re a beginner with no experience, you’ll likely want to see what back end web development offers before you pay for a course. In this case, it’s worth trying out an on-demand or self-paced class because they’re typically free. You can start and stop these classes at any time, and you’ll be able to rewind and rewatch them as many times as you desire. 

Once you have a solid foundation in back end web development, try looking into a bootcamp related to back end web development. A JavaScript Programming Bootcamp is a solid place to start because back end web development heavily involves JavaScript’s programming language. This type of bootcamp will help you run the server side of websites effectively and connect all the skills needed to work on related projects because of how diverse JavaScript can be. 

You can look into certificate programs when you’re ready to get a promotion or pivot into a new career. These programs reward you with credentials you can put on your resume and display on LinkedIn to showcase your achievements. A Full Stack Web Development Certificate program will help you learn back end and front end skills, which is useful for any website-related career path. Another excellent choice is a Python Developer Certificate program since Python is often used for back end purposes. 

No matter how you plan to approach your career, you’ll always be able to use web development skills. Take advantage of the available resources, and you’ll be a step closer to reaching your dream job.

Learn Back End Web Development with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

Learning back end web development is pretty straightforward, and the process can become easier when working with a well-prepared training facility. Noble Desktop has taught live online back end web development classes and other computer science subjects for over 30 years. They’re an excellent choice when you’re looking to expand your career or start a new one. 

Those fully invested in learning back end web development and related subjects will enjoy taking a Full Stack Web Development Certificate program. This program teaches both front end and back end principles, which will allow you to enter a wide variety of roles. You can also look into a JavaScript Programming Bootcamp since JavaScript is an important skill for back end web development and most other website-related fields. The more you know about these subjects, the better off you’ll be in the long run.

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