Frontend vs Backend Developers – What is the Difference between Them?

Frontend vs Backend Developers

Everything from designing to writing code, and testing to maintaining an app or software comes under the job description of a developer. However, developing software or an app is a three-fold process for which usually three different types of developers are required. These are known as frontend, middleware and backend developers. So lets start with Frontend vs Backend Developers – What is the Difference between the Two?

Frontend Developer

Front end developer

The design, development and everything you see visually about the software is the work of a frontend developer. The user interface that is visible to the end user is also designed by the frontend developer such as the menu, folders and screen layouts. A common job for this developer can be web designer who will design the look of the company’s website.

Middleware developer

Middleware developer

This part acts as a bridge between front end and back end and serves as glue connecting the user interface with the data. The middleware layer is software within software and they need to be very knowledgeable about middleware technologies.

Backend developer

Backend developer

This part of the layer is completely unseen by the end user. This is the layer that comprises of the database that will control the app or software. Any change to this layer will affect the overall functioning and look of the app.

More often than not, the 3 layers often blur together and the differences amongst the layers become subjective especially backend and frontend. However, there are some major differences between frontend and backend developers that are hard to ignore. Some of them are as follows:

Various Point on Frontend vs Backend Developers

1. Skills

Adaptive Skills

Frontend developers need a better eye for design and aesthetics. Even if they are not the actual designer for the website, they are likely to work closely with the designer to make it user friendly, accessible and eye catching for the viewers.

Hence, beyond programming skills, a frontend developer needs to know how to create web designs through PSD or turn PSD designs into websites. A frontend developer usually do not need backend skills as the sites created by frontend developers do not depend on the data stored in the database. Their data is fixed; but the layout, typography, grids are all at their discretion.

Backend developers on the other hand are not involved with the visuals of the website. They handle everything behind the scenes. They program the entire app or site to work smoothly on the frontend.

2. Languages


Every developer has to be proficient in some programming language to be able to do their job. A frontend developer has to be an expert in any of the three languages – HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

A backend developer needs to be a pro at the programming languages required on the server and database side. Languages such as PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java are some that developers must know to work on the server side. Backend developers should also be adept in working on databases such as MySQL and Oracle.

3. Education


Fortunately in programming and IT, degree is not the deciding factor to land a developer job. If you can deliver, then you are usually considered for the job. For both frontend and backend developers; you can learn the programming language through various online courses, build your profile through freelance and then apply for better and permanent jobs.

4. Salary


Similar to any other job, the salary of a programmer usually depends on the job level; entry, junior, manager, etc. According to PayScale, the average starting salary of a frontend developer is $67,000. On the other hand, the average starting salary of a backend developer is around $87,000.

There is also another profession, Full Stack developer that is popular. A Full Stack developer is familiar with both front and back end development albeit may not have in-depth knowledge for both specialties. Whichever profession you plan to choose for yourself, there are ample courses available that can make you an expert in any programming language.

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