Blog — 7 Frontend and Backend Development

As the end of my Flatirons Journey approaches, I think back at all the modules that we went through. Starting at Ruby, we progressed with Sinatra and then with Rails. With the backend taken care of, we moved to the frontend with Vanilla JavaScript and React-Redux. Before Flatirons, I never thought about a webpage needing a backend.

So what is front-end and back-end development? Let’s break it up so that we can better understand it. Front-end is simply just what the user interacts with. It is what the user sees when the open an app or a webpage. What they type, what they click, all these event listeners allow the user to interact with the application. The most popular stacks that most front-end developers use are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. A good analogy to front-end development is going to a restaurant and ordering a nice meal. When you sit down at the restaurant, you see the nice atmosphere, the waiter or waitress that is serving you that night and the menu. Once you decide what you want, you order your food and the waiter/waitress sends it to the back kitchen to prepare your food. While you are enjoying the atmosphere and sipping on your drink, the kitchen is preparing your food. Once the food is ready, the waiter/waitress brings your food out. The user never sees what goes on in the backend but the kitchen (the backend) is preparing your food and serving it up for you! That in essence is how the backend and frontend are linked. Ultimately, the front-end developer takes care of how a webpage looks like.

Well, if the front-end developer takes care of how it looks, then the backend developer’s primary focus is on the server side of the website. The backend consists of 3 parts, the database, the application, and the server. The server side powers websites and apps from behind the scenes. From database migration to API integration, the backend takes care of all of that and more! Going back to the analogy of the restaurant and the diner (the website and the user respectively.) If the diner got there and ordered their food and the waiter/waitress put in your order but came out with no food, it wouldn’t be a pleasant experience. That’s because the backend hosts all the information (food) and without it, the diners will go home hungry. Some responsibilities of backend web developers include but not limited to writing APIs, writing code to interact with the database, creating libraries and much more.

With graduation on the horizon, I look back at all the different coding languages there are. All though there are so many, they are grouped into two categories, the front-end and the back-end. I am not sure where my career will lead me, but I am very confident that with the tools I have, I can thrive in any stack thrown at me.