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Let's take a closer look at what "frontend" means, how it differs from "backend", and what skills one needs to become a sought-after frontend developer.

What is the difference between front end and back end development?

The word “frontend” is becoming more and more common not only on the web, but also in conversations in ordinary, friendly gatherings. You have probably wondered more than once who a frontend developer is, what their job is, what they do, and what a frontend is in principle. Let’s take a closer look at what “frontend” means, how it differs from “backend”, and what skills one needs to become a sought-after frontend developer.

Backend development

Backend development is said to be more complex than frontend development because the programmer has to work around the visible elements of the interface as he works on the logic of the site. The user does not see this area, because all the actions are performed outside of his browser or even computer. As soon as a request is received (for example, when you press Enter on a search engine query), the signal is immediately sent to the server, where it is processed to further display the information on the screen. This is the logic of the site, which consists of three simple steps:

  • sending the information from the user,
  • its processing on the server,
  • receiving information and formatting the code in a readable form.

Programming languages used in the backend

While in the case of the frontend, there is no variability, as developers always use the described programming languages to achieve the desired result, this is slightly different with the backend. The choice of language and tools depends on the server. Often there are no restrictions, and the developer chooses almost any universal language. These include:

  • Java;
  • PHP;
  • Python;
  • Ruby and others.

In most cases, a backend developer, a back end development company will need knowledge of database management, of which there are also many. MySQL is the most popular, but there are also PostgreSQL, SQLite, MongoDB. The responsibilities of the developer vary from the chosen database management system, because the actions are carried out in different ways.

The above description gives an answer to the question “what is backend”.

Interfaces between frontend and backend

Let’s look at a few examples of how these two areas of development interact. We’ve already covered the working principles above, so it only remains to understand how the two areas interact. Let’s divide the operating principles into four popular types:

The first type involves sending an HTTP request to a server, where it is searched, embedded in a template and returned to the user as a readable HTML page.

There’s also a toolkit called AJAX. In this case, the request is sent using JavaScript, which is plugged into the web browser. The response is returned in XML or JSON, and reading these formats is perfectly handled by JS.

There are one-page sites which download data without first refreshing the page. This is done using AJAX or the Angular and Ember frameworks.

Ember or React libraries are designed to use the application simultaneously on the server and on the client side. The two areas in question communicate via AJAX and HTML code with processing on the server.

The requirements for Halo-lab backend and frontend specialists are different, usually each deals with its own business, but there are also fullstack developers who program both the website/application logic and its look and feel at the same time. You will need to familiarise yourself with the schemes and programming languages listed to see which is closer to you.

Backend is the hardware and software part of the project, while Frontend is the client side of the user interface to the hardware and software part of the project, i.e. to the backend. In other words, the backend is everything that occurs on the server side and that remains invisible to the user (the server itself is also part of the backend, only the hardware). Hence the name front is what’s visible from the front, back is what’s hidden from the backend, invisible.

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