what is a back-end developer?

A back-end developer is responsible for creating and maintaining the server side of web applications. This means that you work with the parts of web applications that the user cannot see, such as the database, server-side scripts, and APIs. You write server-side code that processes requests from clients, and you ensure that web applications function efficiently, securely, and accurately.

You work closely with front-end developers, who are responsible for the client side of the same web applications, ensuring that both of these major components of the web application function correctly together.

Back-end developers also work with database administrators, network engineers, and system administrators to ensure that web applications are secure, reliable, and scalable. You understand how databases work and how to integrate them with web applications. You are also proficient in web server technologies and are able to troubleshoot and fix problems that arise.

Does a career as a back-end developer sound like something that appeals to your technical skills and problem-solving ability? If so, keep reading to find out more about this profession, including what skills and competencies can help you thrive.

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average back-end developer salary

According to Payscale, the average annual salary of a back-end developer is ₹486,091. This average is quite representative of the profession, as it falls quite centrally between the lower and upper ranges of pay for back-end developers. At the lower end, entry-level back-end developers typically earn upwards of ₹123,000 per year. Meanwhile, with a little more experience, back-end developer pay can reach as high as ₹10,00,000 per year.

factors that affect back-end developer’s pay

Factors that can affect your potential earnings as a back-end developer include things like the level of experience you have, the industry you work in, and any qualifications you have attained.

Back-end developers with more experience typically command higher salaries than those with less experience. As you gain more experience, you become more proficient in your job and can take on more complex projects.

There are also differences in average salary between different disciplines. For example, back-end developers who work with Python tend to earn more than those who work with Express (Node.js).

manpower consultancy
manpower consultancy

types of back-end developers

Back-end development is quite a specific role. That being said, there are some ways in which you can specialise while working on back-end systems.

  • full-stack developers: are proficient in both front-end and back-end development. In this profession, you have a solid understanding of the entire web development process, from the user interface to the server side. Full-stack developers are in high demand because they can handle multiple aspects of web development and can work on projects from start to finish. However, because you have a broader skillset, you are not as specialised as pure back-end developers.
  • back-end specialists: here, you focus solely on back-end development. You have a deep understanding of server-side technologies and programming languages such as Python, PHP, Ruby, and Java. Back-end specialists are essential because they can handle complex back-end development tasks that require specialised knowledge. You may work alongside front-end developers and designers to ensure that the server side of web applications functions seamlessly.

working as a back-end developer

Working as a back-end developer means you are working on foundational elements of a website or web application. Everything the user sees relies on the work you do. This requires exceptional programming skills and attention to detail.


education and skills

Some of the academic qualifications for back-end developers include:

  • apprenticeship: there are several start-ups, small, and large companies that require skilled back-end developers. One way to gain experience and build expertise is by picking up entry-level jobs or apprenticeships. An apprenticeship provides the opportunity to learn back-end development techniques on the job while working alongside experienced professionals. This hands-on approach enables you to gain practical experience and develop valuable skills that are not typically covered in formal education programs.
  • bachelor’s degree: typically, most back-end developers have pursued a degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering. These courses provide a solid foundation in programming skills, algorithms, data structures, and databases. A computer science degree can help you acquire the fundamental knowledge required to excel in a backend developer role. Many employers require a degree.
  • master’s degree: while not essential, a master’s degree can improve your earning potential and make it easier to find a back-end developer’s job.

back-end developer skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of a back-end developer include:

  • programming: back-end developers need to be proficient in a range of different programming languages, such as Python, PHP, Ruby, and Java. You have a solid understanding of the syntax and structure of these languages and be able to write clean, efficient code.
  • database management: you boast a good understanding of databases and how they work, including being proficient in SQL and able to work with different databases, such as MySQL, MongoDB, and PostgreSQL.
  • web server technologies: a good understanding of web server technologies, such as Apache, Nginx, and IIS, is essential to your role. You know how to configure and troubleshoot web servers to ensure that web applications function seamlessly.
  • security principles: the back end of a website or application is where data is handled, and proper security must be in place to protect the data that is being passed around.
  • problem-solving skills: problem-solving is an essential aspect of any programming or software development.
  • attention to detail: you are detail-oriented and have excellent attention to detail. This enables you to identify and fix errors quickly to ensure that web applications function as expected.
Smiling man sitting behind his desk.
Smiling man sitting behind his desk.

FAQs about working as a back-end developer

Here, you will find the answers to the most frequently asked questions about the profession of a back-end developer.

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