There are now more than 3.58 billion internet users worldwide—nearly half of the total population of the planet. So naturally, there are a ton of opportunities to be found for someone looking to enter into a tech-related field, particularly programming. However, unless you are already in the industry, some of the jargon and exact job titles can sound intimidating, and it can be really tough to figure out which kind of job would be right for you.
One such position is a back-end web developer. What is a back-end web developer? To understand that, you need to understand the difference between back-end and front-end development. Simply put, front-end development deals with everything that the user sees—using coding skills to provide the optimum user design and experience.
On the other hand, back-end development is concerned with providing the infrastructure to back that up, working server side developing and maintaining core features to make sure everything is functioning properly. So while the front end is what everyone see, website and other projects live and die through back-end development.
What is it like to be a back-end web developer?
So why should you become a back-end web developer? Salary, job prospects and lifestyle are all considerations, so let’s take a look at what you can expect.
As with any job, a back-end web developer salary will differ from state to state, and according to your exact position and experience. However, current national average is $69,525, with the very top earners demanding up to six figure salaries. You can view regular back-end we developer salary updates here. It might also be worth noting that an average back-end web developer salary, as well as the peak salary is slightly higher than that of a front-end web developer—though salary should never be your first reason for choosing a career.
As far as job prospects go, it is competitive, but you can rest easy that there will always be a demand for a back-end developer as long as your skills are up to scratch. It is predicted that by 2020 there will be about 1.4 million computing jobs available, but only around 400,000 qualified developers to fill them.
What skills are needed to become a back-end web developer?
Perhaps the improved salary and job prospects for a back-end developer can be attributed to the fact that it is known for being a slightly more technical position than a front-end developer. According to the Beginner’s Guide to Web Development, some of the best coding languages for a back-end developer are:
- “Java is an open-source, server-side coding language that is ideal for high-traffic sites. Additionally, Java is fast, scalable, features a vast development ecosystem, requires minimal software maintenance between versions, and is readable on any platform or device, thanks to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM).”
- “C# is a programming language that is very similar to Java, making it an easy option to pick up for those who are already Java savvy. C# is object oriented, which means that it allows developers to define what kinds of operations can be applied to the data structure, making it a useful addition to a well-rounded developer’s toolbox.”
Of course, you will not be expected to know these languages before starting your education to become a back-end web developer. So what kind of person is typically suited for a career in back-end web development? Back-end developers are often interested in technology, strategy, and are able to conceptualize finished products. Good attention to detail, a knack for problem solving, and good communication skills are also beneficial.
How do you become a back-end web developer?
Though these kinds of programming jobs often seem daunting, in that they require a lot of knowledge and wide skill set, anyone with genuine interest in the field—combined with at least a few of the aforementioned character traits—has a chance of becoming a back-end web developer. And there are a few ways in which you can acquire the necessary skills.
First, you can go the traditional route: college. A computer science degree will give you a solid foundation and ironclad credentials for entering the field. The only drawbacks are the cost and time needed to complete a full college degree. Furthermore, if you do not have the grades from high school you may not get into a college that looks good on a resume.
Another option is to complete an intensive bootcamp. This could be either in person or online, and will be more focused, teaching you the languages that you need in order to apply for back-end developer positions. Depending on the bootcamp, this may be a cheaper option, and will certainly be quicker than a three or four year degree.
However you decide to embark upon a career as a back-end web developer, just know that you have a bright future ahead with plenty of job prospects; now all that’s left is to get to work!