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Back-end vs Front-end: which one is the best for you?

The tech landscape has innumerable positions to offer, and two highly demanded ones are front and back-end developer. Have a look at what it takes to be in a developer’s shoes and find out if any of these two profiles would be a good fit for you.

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 min read
Back-end vs Front-end: which one is the best for you?

Front-end and back-end, yin and yang, lock and key: two parts of a whole. In this case, this pair is the base for programming a web application, and one would not be able to complete the task without the other. They are fundamental and complementary, as the front-end takes care of the design and the customer side while the back-end focuses on the inner functioning of the server, everything below the surface.

They need each other but do not carry out the same tasks, meaning different skills are needed for being a front-end developer or a back-end developer. If you are studying to enter the tech world, you are already in it, or you simply would like to know more about it, we bring you an overview of what you need to become one or the other, and also, which one fits you best.

Inseparable but not interchangeable

As we said, front-end and back-end are fundamental for developing a web application, and none of them is superior to the other. Both will be present in any project and should be designed with the other part in mind, but let’s have a closer look at what each of their jurisdictions look like:

Front-end: what do you need it for?

The face of your app and the part that users will interact with. It encompasses everything you see on the screen when accessing a website: font, colour scheme, screen adaptations, buttons, images, graphics, drop-down menus, and the general layout. It allows clients to interact with the website, and it provides each user with an individual experience, as the interface they interact with will be solely focused on them.

The three main functions of front-end developers are:

  • Consider the client’s needs when designing the website for the best experience.
  • Design the overall appearance of the website (if a designer is not involved in the project).
  • Test the website for any potential problems and solve bugs.

Back-end: what do you need it for?

The cogs turning below the surface. Back-end development works on the server and the databases that keep the app working. When the user interacts with the front-end part, the information is sent to the back-end, which processes it and sends the response back to the user. It mainly covers building, testing, and debugging the technology that makes the website function.

Processing the information requires interacting with third-party APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) to collect additional information, microservices that perform some of the demanded tasks by the user, and database servers used to recover or modify any relevant data. The back-end can manage thousands of requests at the same time. It provides the front-end with the information and processes it needs to function.

The three main functions of back-end developers are:

  • Ensure functionality of the code.
  • Streamline the process as simply and efficiently as possible.
  • Collaborate with a team of developers, digital designers, and project managers.


Do you have what it takes?

Each path has a defined skill set, even if they both share a passion for tech and a lifelong learning path. The skill set is divided into two branches: technical skills and human skills.

Front-end skills

To become a front-end developer, you can study for a bachelor's degree in web design, programming, computer science or graphic design. Another option is to complete a boot camp that provides you with the skills and knowledge to perform tasks as a front-end developer.


Design skills

Know about colour theory, visual language and how to use some graphic design programs.

Programming languages

Know how to use at least the three main programming languages for this discipline:

- HTML: lays out the website’s content and structure.

- CSS: adds the design features.

- JavaScript: creates advanced interactive features.


Attention to detail

Notice formatting errors, distribution problems and legibility.

Critical thinking

Consider different options and perspectives and have the ability to react and make decisions.

Organisation skills

Multitask and manage different elements from several projects.

Communication skills

Listen to the client’s needs and shape the product to them according to their user experience knowledge.


Have an artistic eye to design the website while keeping it useful.


Back-end skills

To become a back-end developer, you need a stronger coding background. You can access these positions through a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or web development as well as a boot camp focused on the required skills.



Framework knowledge

Know how websites function and be familiar with the languages and systems they are built on. They help you streamline your development process, providing tools and libraries to work through the website-building process.

Programming languages

Know several programming languages as coding knowledge is essential in the back-end. There are two main categories of languages: object-oriented (organise code into reusable building blocks) and functional programming (based on mathematical functions).

- Python: to write data structures and algorithms.

- Java: to work on compatibility with other platforms.

- Ruby: to quickly create new applications and high-traffic websites.

Database management

Develop solutions to store large amounts of unprocessed data. Maintain and optimise said databases of client data.

Knowledge of APIs

To establish a seamless connection between services and applications with a safe stream of data.

Alternative structures

-Cloud computing: to understand how to deploy, scale and manage applications in the cloud

-Serverless architecture: a popular system due to its scalability and cost-effective deployment.


Communication and collaboration skills

Work in big teams with other developers and project managers, as well as coordinate progress with front-end developers. Explain decisions to stakeholders.


Debugging and testing are detrimental to the proper functioning of an app.

Security awareness

Be cautious about the variety of existing and new cyber threats. Implement authentication and authorisation methods.


Which one should you choose?

Once you are familiar with what each of them does and what is it that you need to be a good professional, you probably already lean towards one option. If you are still unsure, let us show you some more extra info to complete the profile.

A front-end developer needs coding knowledge but, for this discipline in particular, taste, design skills and creativity are just as important as the technical ones. It will also be essential to be a good listener who can extract what the client wants from a few descriptions. They should keep in mind that the design must be equally appealing and functional, taking in mind that they need to translate all back-end features in their design.

User experience is the most significant part of front-end development: an easy to interact with design, responsive on all platforms, appealing and compliant with the client’s requests. If you are able to produce something like this and have the associated abilities, front-end is for you! Some of these characteristics would be enjoying creating and formatting, talking to clients and finding out what they require, and being empathetic with users, knowing what would make their lives easy.

The main challenges of front-end are mainly focused on the lack of an agreed-upon standard about the skill set expected from a front-end developer. Another difficulty to tackle is compatibility with different platforms, which is even more difficult when they have to work with flawed designs. This is not the usual, but they need to work around it when it happens. One that affects all front-end developers, and that is shared with back-end developers, is the ever-changing tool landscape.

Back-end developers need a deep knowledge of programming languages and frameworks to provide the best technical solutions for each project. They need to be team players because they will probably work with other developers while working on a project. Because of working in a team but also due to responding to project managers, stakeholders and clients, a good back-end developer will be a good communicator. One of their challenges is making non-technical profiles understand their work. It would be desirable that they were able to coordinate and organise their work well, as it is likely that they work on several projects at the same time.

The main challenges for back-end reside in reaching the desired level of scalability, consistency, and performance while maintaining balance. In addition, in case juggling those three wasn’t enough of a challenge, it is imperative to ensure the security of the data and the system.

Back-end and front-end developer are two highly demanded positions at the moment. Being in the tech environment, it is not odd to find remote work offers and both of them offer competitive salaries (back-end is usually slightly higher).

Whichever route fits you best, it is always convenient to have at least a basic knowledge of the other parts that bring the project together. The wider the perspective, the better the performance and the more mistakes that will be avoided. This is another reason for curiosity to be important for both front and back-end developers. These jobs will continue to grow in the future, evolving and transforming with technology and market demands, so as long as you stay up to date, you should be able to be in this for the long run. Back-end will grow even more due to the companies’ growing need for their solutions to be scalable and flexible.

It is worth mentioning that there is a third option: the full-stack developer. As its name indicates, full stack refers to front and back together. A full-stack developer can design the entire web application as they master both disciplines.



Contrary to what many may think, a tech job is much more than a set of technical skills. After reading this article, we hope you have a more defined image of what being a front-end developer and a back-end developer takes and entails. Each tech position, as any other, needs a specific skill set and personality that will make the person perform at a high level while feeling fulfilled.

If these positions seem like a good fit for your skills, personality, and aspirations, why not check our jobs page? At Ekkiden we are always looking for new talents in the digital transformation field, so what are you waiting for?