BACKEND DEVELOPMENT
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Backend Development : Understanding the basics

WHAT IS BACKEND DEVLOPMENT?

Back-end development :refers to the development of server-side logic that powers websites and apps from behind the scenes. It includes all the code needed to build out the database, server, and application.

It focuses on databases, scripting, website architecture. It can be an account login or making a purchase from an online store. Code written by back-end developers helps browsers to communicate with database information.

It serves as a “middleman” between the frontend and the database. It authenticates the calling user, validates the incoming requests, prevents the database from being accessed, and handles all possible errors in a controlled manner. 

SKILLS TO BECOME A BACKEND DEVELOPER

TECHNICAL SKILLS

  • Basic understanding of front-end technologies HTML, JavaScript, and CSS
  • Working knowledge of back-end development (configuration, administration and management of databases and servers)
  • Server-side languages (e.g., PHP, C#, Java)
  • Database technologies (e.g., MySQL and SQL)
  • Knowledge about APIs

Lets discuss about some of these in detail…

SERVERS

the server acts as the lifeblood of the network. These high-powered computers provide shared resources that networks need to run, including file storage, security and encryption, databases, email.

Every web application that you see today runs on a remote PC called a server. On the internet, the term “server” is commonly used to refer to the computer system that receives requests for web-based files which includes HTML, CSS, Javascript, etc., and sends those files to the client.

Since servers are the most commonly used medium to deliver important services, most servers are never turned off. This part of the servers makes it an essential element for a backend developer to learn about. Some examples of the servers are Apache, Nginx, IIS servers, and Microsoft IIS

PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES USED

The most popular programming languages for the backend are-

Java-Java is another general-purpose object oriented programming language often used in the back end of application development. It was built to be deployable across a wide range of environments and is flexible enough to support complex, high-performing software projects.

 Python-Python is a general-purpose programming language commonly used to build the back-end of software programs and web applications. A flexible, user-friendly, and powerful language, it’s one that all back-end programmers should at least familiarize themselves with.

 PHP-PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor) is a server-side programming language, often used to create dynamic websites — those which change content based on the user or browser requesting the page. PHP dynamically constructs web pages on the server from database content. This process is the opposite of static web pages, which are stored on servers in their entirety and look the same to all visitors.

Ruby– is an interpreted, high-level, general-purpose programming language. Ruby is dynamically typed and uses garbage collection and just-in-time compilation. It supports multiple programming paradigms, including procedural, object-oriented, and functional programming

JavaScript- is one of the most preferred and leading programming languages in the tech world. One of the major reasons behind it is that the particular language can be used for both – Front End Web Development and Back End Web Development. Looking at several past trends and stats, it can be said that the popularity of Node.js has somehow increased the usage of JavaScript as a backend language for web development. Meanwhile, the language provides you with several remarkable features for backend development such as Light-weight Scripting language, Dynamic Typing, Interpreted, Object-Oriented programming support, Client-Side Validation, Huge community support, and many more.  

Each of them has its pros and cons and provides slightly different features in different ways

DATABASES

Databases, in the context of a website, are the brains that make websites dynamic. Any time you request something from a website—whether you’re searching for a product in an online store or searching for hotel locations within a specific state—the database is responsible for accepting that query, fetching the data, and returning it to the website. Databases can also accept new and edited data when users of a website or application interact with them. The client can change information in a database from the browser, whether a user is posting articles to a CMS, uploading photos to a social media profile, or updating their customer information.

Every website needs a database to deal with the client data. A database stores the data and site content in a way that makes it simple to recover, arrange, alter, and store information. A backend developer should have extensive knowledge of various DBMS technologies.

There are two types of databases available in the market – SQL, and NoSQL. A SQL database is one where the data is mapped in a table and each one is linked to another in a significant way. SQL databases work on queries and produce results based on them. The NoSQL database where, unlike SQL, there is no need to structure the data beforehand. NoSQL databases work essentially on JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) and XML (Extensible Markup Language

API’S

APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are the tools that transport the information that the back-end produces to the front-end of the app.

At that point, the front-end is in charge of translating the data that has been brought through the APIs and converting it into the visual elements that the app user can understand (including buttons, pictures, menus, text, etc).

APIs work by sharing data and information between applications, systems, and devices—making it possible for these things to talk with each other.

How does an API work? lets discuss this with an example

A customer, a waiter, and a restaurant kitchen: A customer talks to the waiter and tells the waiter what she wants. The waiter takes down the order and communicates it to the kitchen. The kitchen does their work, creating the food, and then the waiter delivers the order back to the customer.

In this , customer is like a user, who tells the waiter what she wants. The waiter is like an API, receiving the customer’s order and translating the order into easy-to-follow instructions that the kitchen then uses to fulfill that order—often following a specific set of codes, or input, that the kitchen easily recognizes. The kitchen is like a server that does the work of creating the order in the manner the customer wants it, hopefully! When the food is ready, the waiter picks up the order and delivers it to the customer.

ALGORITHMS

Algorithms – Algorithms are the foundation to solve problem-solving. They determine the approach and the appropriate method for any given problem. Lacking knowledge in this aspect limits the employability of a backend developer. Some of the algorithms that a backend developer should know are:

  • Searching algorithms such as Depth First Search and Breadth-First Search.
  • Sorting algorithms like the bubble sort, selection sort, insertion sort, merge sort, quick sort, etc.
  • Recursive and iterative algorithms.

SOFT SKILLS

COMMUNICATION SKILLS-Apart from the technical Back-end developer skills, a developer should have some soft skills to get communicated with the team and with the clients. According to Bondoc, “A back-end developer can be considered as the interpreter between humans and machines.” So the developer should understand the necessity of clients and should convert it into codes that the machine can read.

CRITICAL THINKING-Critical thinking and problem-solving back-end developer skills play an essential role in the success story of any developer. In every phase of development, you may encounter with decision fatigue and an important thought process can address these issues. The developer should think from all aspects, and even the out of box think the process can deliver the best results.

TEAM PLAYER-One of the most important skills you need as a back-end developer is connecting, network, and collaborating with other team members efficiently.

ROLES OF A BACKEND DEVLOPER

  • The Back end developer job is to understand the goals of the website and come up with effective solutions
  • Storing data and also ensuring that it is displayed to that user who are supposed to have access to it
  • Responsible for developing Payment processing system like accepting data, securely storing that info, and making charges to that payment
  • Manage APIs resources which work across devices
  • He or she might be involved in the architecture of a system and Data science analyses.
  • Developers are responsible to organize the logic of the system which runs across various devices
  • Back end developer also needs to involved in building frameworks or the architecture to make it easier to program against.

Back End web developer should have the skills for implementing algorithms and solving system related problems

SCOPE AND OPPURTUNITIES

Back-end development refers to the server-side of any application (not just websites). The fundamentals of understanding how to build the back-end of an application can thus be applied to a number of different professions. Let’s took at the most common back-end development roles:

  • Back-end web developers: .They are responsible for building and maintaining the database, server, and business logic behind a website.
  • Full-stack developers: Full-stack developers have a working knowledge of both the front-end and back-end of a technology stack. On small projects they may be the sole developer building a minimum viable product. On larger projects they are team leaders assisting with integration between the front and back end of an app.
  • Java developers: , Back-end developers who specialize in Java are in high-demand in the enterprise app industry ,from websites to desktop applications .
  • Software developers:  Software development roles usually refer to non-website applications such as desktop apps.

CONCLUSION

Back end Development refers to the server-side development .Back end developer skills include Development Languages, Database and cache, Server, API (REST & SOAP), etc. The backend web developer should understand the goals of the website and come up with effective solutions .The languages that a front-end developer should be familiar with are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript whereas Back End web developer should be familiar with the database, Server, API, etc. Front-end development service can’t be offered independently but Backend web development service can be offered independently.

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