Front-end and Back-end — What Are the Differences?
If you are wondering what the differences between front-end and back-end are, let’s travel back in 1989, when the invention of the website by Tim Berners-Lee become one of the most influential inventions of mankind. It shortens the distance, which connects people around the world and creates a lot of global business cooperation between companies.
At first, websites were simply places where people could share documents, photos, files, or their opinions. However, the desire of having an attractive interface beside the shared files had increased. Therefore, people started to think about building a friendly-user interface covering up the shared data, thus today we have what we call front-end and back-end.
What are the front-end and back-end exactly?
When you are accessing a website, you are not accessing everything of it but you are entering an interface whichever the website designers and front-end developers want it to look like instead.
And front-end developers are the one who is responsible for the look of the website (the colors, the layout, and the design of it, etc.), which should follow the web designers’ design (or they can be web designers themselves). In short, the front-end is the client-side. You might want to take a look at an amazing, stunning view of Designveloper‘s website. Front-end developers play an active role in increasing users’ interests, observing whether they feel comfortable or attracted to what they see or not.
Back-end elements, on the other hand, are at the server-side and responsible for what is actually happening when users interact with a site. In other words, users are not really interacting with things they see but are sending requests to the server and the database which contains data. Back-end components are responsible for users’ experience, whether they want to stay within the site or just close the site because of the lagging, delaying or latency, etc.
In summary, the front-end is the “front” of a site which is client-side, it is what people see the website, front-end developers care about how their site looks and try to make it as amazing as possible. The back-end is the “back” of a site, back-end developers care about the speed of the data flow, everything in the database of the server needs to be neat and well-organized.
Besides the front-end and back-end, there are full-stack developers. In short, these are developers who master both front-end and back-end. These developers can create a complete website from “front” to “back” on their own.
What are the differences between front-end and back-end?
As mentioned above, we can clearly know the differences between their missions and features. However, there are some more differences that sometimes a front-end developer cannot work as a back-end developer and vice versa.
First of all, they have different points of view. Front-end developers care about the colors, the layout, the interface, and the graphic details of the site. Everything needs to be as same as the design as possible.
This is very important if the developers are working with a client. Everything should follow the client’s requirements. Also, if they are creating a site for themselves, it would be vital because the interface is the first thing users see after entering the web URL, they can turn the site off immediately if the interface is poor and monotonous.
Meanwhile, back-end developers have other things to concern. It is true that back-end developers do not have as many rules and policies as front-end developers since everything they need to do is optimize the data and the communication between the data and the client.
In short, everything needs to run as fast as possible, and that is exactly the main challenge for back-end developers. More importantly, a good back-end also knows how to reduce the capacity of the data. The relationships between data in the database need to be optimized, because the bigger the data is, the more time the server needs to handle the data, thus this leads to lagging and latency, etc.
Also, front-end and back-end developers use different languages.
- Back-end developers use languages of the server-side such as Java. Java has been used for a long time because of its flexibility, it can be used to manage data, program games, and it is also supported a lot. However, time by time, there are a lot more languages such as PHP (it is faster than Java and it does not need too many resources) or Golang (this is a new language developed by Google, you might want to check out an article about Golang here), Ruby, Python, and a lot more. Moreover, back-end developers need to learn SQL or MySQL (two most fundamental data query languages), they need to know how a server works, and how it responds to a request and also the relationships between data.
However, because there are too many differences between front-end and back-end, sometimes it is hard for a fresher to choose between them. Here is some advice from Designveloper you might wish to follow.
- As a front-end developer, it may be easy at the beginning. You need to be patient with the clients’ requirements (about the design, the layout, and the web structure) and you have to have the ability to adapt new requirements from them. You also need to have some knowledge about networking, SEO (Search Engine Optimization). However, it is not still easy if you want to become a professional. You have to have a perfect sense of color, typography, etc. Communication with clients is also very vital.
- On the other hand, it is a bit difficult for those who want to become a back-end developer at the beginning. They have a lot of technical lessons to learn (about the server, database, and languages). Even though there are a lot of tools and libraries to support us, it takes time for a fresher to understand them. However, it is much easier to master them compare to front-end skills (since front-end skills are related to understanding the concepts and having a perfect sense of the designs and layout and back-end skills are related to numbers and programming so they are more explicit than front-end skills). You only need to deal with numbers and variables or functions, etc. instead of abstract things such as colors or designs.
We can now easily know that there are huge differences between front-end and back-end.
But do they really matter?
The main purpose of both front-end and back-end developers is to create a site. Therefore, they need to know each other differences but not ignore them. Front-end developers need to understand the data “under the screen” to have a better sense of interface. Back-end developers need to know how the responses from the server “go up” and interact with users, understanding the data-flow helps them build a better database. Understanding each other to have a better site and better teamwork.
As mentioned above, front-end and back-end have different points of view, languages, and missions. However, working as a team requires an understanding of each other. Front-end and back-end developers cannot work alone without the other.
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