What Does A Backend Developer Do? First Steps To Become Efficient One

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Do you want to know what a backend developer does? 

Great, because in this article, I’m going to be breaking down the role from start to finish, as well as delving into the typical workflow and daily routine of a backend developer. 

So if you’re interested in learning more about becoming a backend developer or are just curious about this role, don’t hesitate to read on!

Motivations of a Backend Developer

There are many motivators for pursuing a career in backend development. For some, it may be the challenge of working with complex systems. Others may enjoy the satisfaction of creating something that will be used by millions of people. 

Whatever the reason, there is no doubt that backend development is a rewarding field.

The most important motivator for a backend developer should be a passion for problem-solving. Because the backend is such a vital part of a web application, developers need to be able to think on their feet and find creative solutions to complex challenges. 

Suppose you have a knack for solving puzzles and are always looking for ways to improve existing code. In that case, a career in backend development may be right for you. 

Of course, there are other vital motivators for pursuing a career in backend development. These include:

Job security

With the ever-growing popularity of web applications, the demand for backend developers is higher than ever. This means that there is a lot of job security in this field.

Good pay

Backend developers are paid well, especially if they have experience and expertise in particular areas (e.g., big data, machine learning).

Intellectually stimulating

Backend development is an intellectually stimulating field. Developers need to constantly learn new technologies and keep up with current trends.

What a Backend Developer is Responsible For?

As a backend developer, you are responsible for the server side of web applications. 

But what does it actually mean? To explain it, we need to understand first what the frontend is. When most people think of web development, they think of frontend development. 

Frontend development is the process of creating the user interface and experience for a website or application. This includes everything from the layout and design to the interactivity and functionality. However, a few common misconceptions about frontend development can lead to misunderstanding its true nature.

One common misconception is that frontend developers only work on the visual aspects of a website or application. While it is true that frontend developers are responsible for the look and feel of a site, they also play a crucial role in ensuring that it is easy to use and navigate. They do this by working closely with designers and UX/UI experts to create an intuitive user experience.

Another misconception is that frontend development is less complex than backend development. This could not be further from the truth! In fact, frontend developers must be proficient in a wide range of programming languages and technologies to build dynamic and responsive user interfaces.

If you’re interested in becoming a frontend developer, don’t let these misconceptions discourage you. Anyone can learn the skills necessary to succeed in this field with hard work and dedication!

So then, what’s the server side of web applications?

This is where all of the behind-the-scenes magic happens. The backend is responsible for managing data, handling logic, and powering the frontend. The backend itself could communicate with data storage like databases or other services. It’s like a machine doing calculations in the background.

Application Simplified Flow
Application Simplified Flow

You probably already understand that to deliver the best application, you need to work with the frontend developers and other team members to ensure that the application runs smoothly and efficiently. 

Another critical thing to note is that frontend and backend development require different skill sets. Frontend developers need to be good at design and user experience. In contrast, backend developers must be good at algorithms and data structures. As such, it’s essential to have a team of both types of developers to build a well-rounded web application.

Experienced backend developers must have a strong understanding of programming languages, databases, and server administration. Backend developers usually also need to be able to integrate third-party APIs.

The backend developer is also responsible for the performance and scalability of the web applications they create. They must be able to optimize the code and database queries for maximum efficiency. In addition, the backend developer must be able to troubleshoot issues.

Typical Day a Backend Developer Might Have

A typical day for a backend developer might include the following:

  • Writing code in languages like Java or Python.
  • Debugging issues.
  • Working with databases.
  • Collaborating with other team members.
  • Designing APIs.

As the demand for more complex web applications continues to grow, the role of the backend developer is becoming increasingly important. Backend developers are responsible for creating the code that powers the application and ensuring it can handle the ever-growing amount of data. 

Backend developers typically start their day by checking their email and monitoring system alerts that might have come in overnight. They then check in with their team to see if any new tasks or features need to be worked on. 

Once they have a list of tasks, they begin coding. While coding, they may consult with other developers or designers to ensure that the application is easy to use and looks good. 

Backend developers also need to monitor performance issues and ensure that the application can handle the load. 

As the day goes on, backend developers continue to work on new features and bug fixes. They may also spend some time investigating and troubleshooting any issues that have been reported. 

Toward the end of the day, they may wrap up loose ends and check in with their team again to see if anything else needs to be done.

Coding vs. Hourly Work Hours

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about what coding is and how it should be done. Many people think that coding is a mystical process that can only be done by someone with a computer science degree who sits in front of a screen for hours.

This couldn’t be further from the truth! In reality, coding is just another form of communication. It’s a way to tell a computer what to do, and it can be learned by anyone willing to put in the time and effort.

One of the biggest myths about coding is that it has to be done in long, uninterrupted hours. This isn’t true! 

Coding vs. Hourly Work Hours
Coding vs. Hourly Work Hours

In fact, most experienced coders will tell you that breaks are essential to maintaining focus and avoiding burnout.

It’s important to remember that coding is a tool, not a task. It can accomplish many different things, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach. 

The best way to learn to code is to find a method that works for you and stick with it.

How to Start as a Backend Developer?

The first step to learning backend development is understanding what a backend does. 

Next, you need to choose a programming language. There are many options for backend languages, but some of the most popular are PHP, Java, Python, and Ruby. Once you’ve chosen a language, you need to learn how to use it to build web applications. This includes learning how to set up a web server and how to interact with databases.

Finally, you need to practice building web applications. The best way to do this is by working on open-source projects or contributing to existing projects. By doing this, you’ll gain experience and build your portfolio while helping others simultaneously.

Last but not least, it would be beneficial to have good problem-solving skills and be able to debug code.

If you want to learn more about backend development you can start by checking Backend Engineering (Beginner), YouTube playlist by Hussein Nasser.


There are a few common misconceptions about back-end development:

  • That it’s all about the server.
  • That it’s only for experienced developers.
  • That it’s not as creative as front-end development.

All of these are untrue! Back-end development encompasses more than just the server. It’s also a highly creative process, as you’re constantly developing new ways to solve problems and improve the user experience.

While the duties of a backend developer may vary depending on the size and scope of a project, their ultimate goal is always to ensure that a web application runs smoothly and efficiently. 

Becoming a backend developer is an excellent option if you’re looking for a web development career. With the right skills and experience, you can enjoy a challenging and rewarding role that offers growth opportunities.  

Suppose you’re interested in learning more about backend development. In that case, I will shed some light on becoming an effective backend developer in the subsequent posts from this series – Backend Simplified.

See you there on our adventure as problem-solvers!