Frontend vs Backend: which field is right for you?

Frontend vs Backend: which field is right for you?

It's no secret that web development is one of the most in-demand professions in the world at the moment. However, the problem for many is that web developers are divided into two specializations:

In this guide, you'll learn everything you need to know to make a decision and get on the path to becoming a professional in this business; mastering the necessary level to start working in this field. We'll talk about technology, discuss the type of work, and look at the different tasks that two types of web developers do: Front end and back end.

Different Spheres of Influence: Frontend and Backend

Although both can be considered web developers, depending on the specialization you choose, you can do completely different things. Unless, of course, you decide to become a full-stack specialist, which is also not uncommon these days.

So, frontend backend developers and their responsibilities, let's get started!

First, let's compare what Frontend and Backend developers do. This is not a very complicated topic, as the differences are quite striking despite the same field of work.

How Do Websites Work?

To explain how a site works, let's use one of the most popular as an example. Amazon.com should be a great example of this.

Imagine you are a user who wants to buy a new book. You see a search box, you type in a title, click on the magnifying glass, and you get a list.

Then, you click on the product you want, open the product page, click buy, enter your information, choose your shipping method, and there's your book on its way.

It sounds pretty simple, doesn't it? Although the process is actually a lot more complicated than you might think.

What part did the Frontend and Backend developer do in this case?

Everything you see on the Amazon site was created by frontend developers. The buttons, the product list, the product page, the payment page, pretty much everything.

All of these elements can only work because of the platform that was created by the backend developers. You use a search field created by frontend developers, but the results are generated by using algorithms created by backend developers. In addition, databases with stored products are also supported by backend developers.

If you want to create a website, it's not front end vs back end. It's front end and back end together.

To summarize, frontend developers do everything you see in your browser or on the client side. On the other side of backend developers, server-side systems are created that allow everything the frontend developer did to work.

A Day in the Life of a Frontend Developer

Is there a better way to determine which specialty is a better fit for you than to live a day as a frontend or backend developer? Probably not.

Let's imagine you're a frontend developer at Company X, which has its own online skateboard store.

This company has teams of UI/UX designers, frontend and backend developers, and system administrators.

If you were a frontend developer, your day would start around 9am (if you're lucky). You'd come to work, grab a cup of coffee, and go discuss with the web designers a new idea to improve the appearance of the company's website.

If the idea is accepted, you'll have to redesign 60% of the site's frontend. Since this idea has a new design, this is where your work will start.

The new design is fully adaptive (there's almost nowhere without it), it looks better than anything you've ever seen. It's full of animations, parallax and more. Implementing all of this will be a challenge.

Of course, you probably won't be thrilled because the previous version of the site worked perfectly, and the new design will take you months of work. Programmers and web developers don't like to do unnecessary work.

A Day in the Life of a Backend Developer

Now, let's solve the "front end vs. back end" argument by looking at it from a different perspective. Your day begins much the same way, and you go to a meeting with your company's CTO.

He tells you that your main competitor's site has a more accurate search query, and the site itself loads faster. You discuss the problems and decide to improve the search algorithm and streamline processes on the server side to increase the site's load speed.

Now, it's time to go back into your cave and get to work. It's obviously not going to be easy, but you're determined. You're going to have a hard time finding a solution to a problem that is so critical to the company. However, you love to solve them.

During lunch, you hear about a website redesign. You suggest paying attention to image optimization, but you don't worry much about it. It's out of your purview; you have your own work to do.

Different Specialization for Different Interests

In addition to the technology used (frontend backend) and different responsibilities, your choice of Frontend and Backend may depend on your personality.

If the aesthetic part is most important to you, then you should choose frontend. Most of the work you will be doing will mostly consist of improving what the user sees and uses.

Frontend development can be a great choice for someone who wanted to be a designer but never learned to draw.

Backend development is an entirely different conversation. The one thing that backend developers care about is writing efficient and understandable code. Although sometimes this aspect can be forgotten or thwarted by a deadline.

Elegant algorithms, ingenious problem solving, is what a great backend developer should be able to do.

Now you might be thinking that the backend is much more important, right?

However, that's not true at all. The two specializations are equal, although they require different skill sets and knowledge.

Some people are more inclined to... the visual component of something, while others want to figure out how these things work. Don't choose frontend and backend just based on what seems best to you, that would be a big mistake!

Choose what appeals to your interest. There's nothing worse than doing something you don't like.

What is the Salary of a Web Developer?

While frontend and backend developers make a pretty good salary compared to the national average, your choices may differ on that aspect.

Let's take a look at the numbers and summarize the front end vs back end argument in some way that will allow you to make an informed decision. This data will be presented as a comparison.

Frontend Salary

According to glassdoor.com the average salary of a frontend developer in New York City is $111,728, which is 20% higher than the national level. This can be attributed to the fact that large cities have high living expenses and a more developed business ecosystem.

In London, UK, the average annual salary for a front-end developer is about $52,000, 22% higher than the national average, according to glassdoor.com. As you'll notice, the salary is seriously different, but the overall level relative to other salaries in the country remains pretty much the same.

In India, the average annual salary for a frontend developer is about $5,000. This may seem very low compared to other data, but you have to consider the overall standard of living and salaries in the country!

Backend Salary

In New York City, the average salary for a backend developer would be $133,182, which is 17% higher than the national average salary. As you may have noticed, the difference with other countries and cities is also high.

In London, the average backend developer salary is already higher and equals $74,000, 32% higher than the national average. In India, frontend and backend developers get the same salary.