With a constantly changing work market and more demanding web development company in the picture, the backend developer should know what it takes to meet the market needs in a successful way. From required knowledge to technical skills, this professional must be aware of certain characteristics of its profile to enter the game and keep playing it.
What Is a Backend Engineer?
A backend developer works through the administrative and internal content of the web and app sites, that is to say, the unseen parts of the server used by the users. Having said this, its areas of skill must fit with the design, management, maintenance, and testing of the database, service architecture, and software logic of the information system.
As a result, a backend engineer develops the logic and code architecture of the product, creates the site core, designs the user interfaces through different programming languages and frameworks, and monitors the web and app server statuses. Then, they have the role of making the application function in the correct way by delivering the requested information regarding the established project objectives.
Despite having this “hidden” role to frontend developers, the ones responsible for the external aspects of the product both work together to provide a consistent user experience. This process allows the design and optimization of the site to offer real-time solutions for the client and, furthermore, the final user. So, this is the midway point where the database and browser meet.
In general terms, an engineer with these characteristics should focus on backend languages, database and cache, server, and application programming interface (API). This is also what a web development company must find in a hired professional for this profile.
What Are the Basic Backend Engineer Skills?
While some of the skills that a developer should have involved knowledge, others are more related to experience. Thus, it is important to put in the CV that you have a degree in Informatics or studied some similar field to show both sides of your profile as a backend engineer. However, this is not limiting, and you can also work on projects with other backgrounds as well. You can start working for a web development company as an undergraduate. What is really a “must” in web and app development is the ability to develop expertise and boost your scope.
To get the basics of your work, you need to develop soft skills and hard skills, like organization, multitasking, time management, and communication. These are commonly undervalued, but the truth is that they will improve your performance in the final product and your work relationships. There are also essential and technical skills that you should consider to expand your profile as a backend engineer.
Required Technical Skills of the Backend Developer
Knowledge of backend languages
It might sound obvious, but a good backend developer should manage both the logic and the server scripting languages because the frontend is more abstract. Regarding the nature of the development and its functions, the engineer might need to adapt to these requirements by using different logical sequences and algorithms that we will discuss below. These will give it the tools to choose velocity over functionality or vice versa, based on the size of the project and information requests.
Knowledge of databases, data structure, and frameworks technologies
During the programming process, the developer must have access to data processing resources, including the storage and recovery of information. In this sense, it involves installing databases and programming languages and creating and modifying algorithms to develop the data structure and organizational scheme of the web or app. Again, having a deep background in the server will let you perform more specialized skills on certain types of databases and data structures.
This should include managing SQL, a predefined language that will let you create, insert, store, and delete records, file queries, tables, and procedures in your relational database in an easy-to-understand way. You must also know how to use NoSQL, which offers a more general and non-relational database when the information that you will download in the program is not so specified. The decision on what to use relies on what website or app development requirements you have.
To do all of these programming tasks, it is necessary that the backend engineer must manage a wider framework knowledge as this will offer it a series of tools to not redesign but to use them like “shortcuts” for quick development. The knowledge of these programs, compilers, and code libraries has a lot to do with the application programming interface also known as the API.
Additionally, the work of the backend engineer is parallel to the one done by the frontend developer, so both must be aware of the big picture of the web and app functioning to develop a good framework for language communication.
Management of Application Programming Interface (API)
As a necessary skill, the developer must manage the API to simplify the design and running of the server. The API not only allows the management of the information but also the addition of new tools through functions. Then, it is also responsible for remote information requests and subsequent data responses. In addition to these important details, the backend engineer should also be aware of URL requests, protocols, and endpoints.
Furthermore, managing the API offers more collaborative teamwork in which the development team of the company can deliver faster information requests.
Management of the server
Not only does the creation of algorithms matter, but so does the management of the server where you will create and use them. This involves the modification of the web and app side of the hosting administration and database side in order to handle changes. In this role, the backend developer should use version control and source code management tools.
Management of Git
Last but not least, having knowledge and management of Git is vital for any type of web or app development. This software allows the engineer to check, edit and restore code in a collaborative open-source scheme. As a result, Git offers a version control system with several source codes that the developer can use remote repository storage each time it needs it.
Needed Fluency in Backend Languages
Aside from technical knowledge and management, the backend engineer of today must respond in real-time to different programming needs. So, even when it prefers to use a certain language to work, being fluent in programming languages will allow it to improve its performance due to the nature of the development.
Ruby is a programming language that saves time for the backend developer because it allows that the professional to start the development process quickly without having to configure the related files. This is a multicore object-oriented program that can handle multiple threads and is faster to work with than other backend languages.
Through Phyton, an engineer can develop from simple to complex web and app projects as this supports several programming conventions, and allow you to create codes with a good relative development speed. In addition to providing good data visualizations, the language allows procedural, functional, and object-oriented programming to simplify the achievement of the project requirements.
Java is an object-oriented programming language that the backend developer can use for its convenience and interoperability. In this sense, it can handle more robust programming tasks than other languages. Since it allows multiple programming conventions, both backend and frontend engineers can use it throughout development, which saves time for them and runs on wider systems.
PHP is an open-source scripting language, unlike the aforementioned, that is used to create dynamic web apps and sites. This difference means that it interprets programming instructions in a way that allows routine and automatized processes in order to improve the application performance. It also has a simple syntax through utilitarian modules that lets the developers integrate different types of tools, by supporting the connection between the servers and user interfaces in an easy way. While it is not highly significant for the backend functionality, this engineer will have a major view of the language programming and might use it as background to communicate with the frontend developer.
Trends in Backend Development for the Coming Years
Apart from the skills described above, these trends are what you need to know regarding the future development of the backend development market to take advantage of them.
Regarding PHP, it dropped to the sixth position below C/C++ given it has several older versions, and its security support was removed years ago by the Linux kernel. In contrast, the open-source framework Laravel, which is also based on the PHP language, is continuing to gain popularity because of its available file library that saves time for web and app design and development.
Another increasing trend is the use of cross-platform frameworks, mostly due to the new market demand for the COVID-19. As more people and businesses are migrating to the digital world, they need to come up with faster solutions to address the growing problem of online modality. These include the rise of microservices for enterprises for customized user applications, the evolution of cloud computing to edge computing to minimize server communication problems, and the advanced eCommerce structure and data management through native applications.
As a result in the coming years, there will be more API building and consumption to deliver the proper solutions to these demands. Furthermore, APIs are becoming the standard for creating user interfaces. Thus, artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are emerging as important ways for a web development company to improve its API management and security capabilities, revealed Google Cloud in its Top 5 trends for API-powered digital transformation in 2021.
In this digital environment, backend web development is emerging with high-quality tech faster than we think, so the backend engineers must be more qualified to learn how to use them. Increasingly, eLearning has become an option to help boost knowledge and technical skills. From academies to web platforms, there are many courses that teach about specific tools and new programming trends. Advancio encourages you to be up to date with these as they will not only give you more expertise but will also improve your CV profile.
At this point, you may be aware of the key role that the backend developer plays in development teams. Therefore, it is important that these engineers remain constantly updated with the disclosure of new frameworks, backend languages, and tools to satisfy the changing business marketplace. Counting on a highly trained backend developer will give you an advantage, so this is something to keep in mind to hire a web developer.