When it comes to web software development, two roles with complementary functions come into play: the back-end developer, who is responsible for making a website or application work, and the front-end developer, who creates the graphical interface for the user.
Back-End and Front-End Developers: the differences
Every website consists of two parts, one invisible and one visible:
- The back-end includes everything that makes it function: servers, databases, and what remains hidden behind the scenes as the user navigates the site.
- The front-end, on the other hand, is the interface with which the user interacts: images, menus, buttons, links, forms to fill out, pop-ups, etc.
With this distinction clear, we can imagine front-end and back-end developers in comparison to a car: the back-end developer ensures that the car can travel optimally, with aligned wheels and an engine that runs smoothly. Ideally, the user will never be aware of what happens under the hood unless there is a problem, so a good back-end developer is one whose work goes unnoticed.
The front-end developer’s job, however, is to create simple commands for the driver/user. In the case of a website or application, this developer particularly takes care of organizing content in a clear and intuitive way, acting as a mediator between the user and the back-end developer. As often happens, the User Experience (UX) commands: a front-end developer must always consider the end user.
Another effective comparison is that of theater: in this case, the back-end developer is responsible for the script, direction, casting, rehearsals, and so on, while the front-end developer manages the staging, presenting the audience with convincing actors and sets.
Which technologies and programming languages should they know?
The back-end developer, instead, since their area of expertise involves databases and data storage, must know how to use technologies for software production such as Spring, Eclipse, Visual Studio Code, Microsoft Power Platform, and programming languages like Java, Python, PHP, SQL, to name just a few.
What Software Developers do
In a collaborative environment, front-end and back-end developers synergistically craft web platforms, including websites, web applications, management systems, document repositories, and workflow management tools.
Consider, for instance, the digital infrastructure required for enterprise warehouse management: it necessitates the creation of an intuitive interface that streamlines the most relevant functions for users —a responsibility that falls to the front-end developer. Concurrently, a robust cataloging and archival system must be established, encapsulating a database replete with warehouse information that orchestrates the interaction between the user interface, server, and database —this is where the back-end developer’s expertise is pivotal.
To ensure seamless integration of their respective contributions, front-end and back-end developers establish a unified communication protocol, often embodied in a set of shared documentation. This documentation delineates all the requisite specifications necessary to construct web solutions that are not only technically sound but also aligned with the end user’s experience and expectations.
Agile Methodology for Front-End and Back-End Developers
Embarking on the correct trajectory from the outset involves a comprehensive understanding of the client’s requirements. This necessitates an initial consultation with the Project Manager, who will clarify the client’s expectations, their preferred data visualization methods, and their data management strategies.
At Hermes, our front-end and back-end development teams employ the Agile methodology to deconstruct each project into distinct stages. Utilizing User Stories, we delineate clear objectives for each project step, ensuring that we maintain a firm grip on the project’s trajectory at all times.
Moreover, our code undergoes rigorous scrutiny by our Quality Assurance Testers to validate its functionality according to the specifications. Through a schedule of pre-determined and consistent milestones, we keep the clients apprised of the development progress, ensuring alignment with their vision and upholding the quality of the progress and deliverables.
Can Artificial Intelligence replace human developers?
As artificial intelligence (AI) achieves remarkable feats of complexity, the temptation to question the indispensability of human developers grows. Yet, within the realms of web development and system operations, the unique human touch remains paramount. While AI can undoubtedly streamline and expedite the development process, it requires meticulous human-driven programming to fulfill specific objectives. Hence, the role of a back-end developer is crucial; they lay the foundational work upon which AI can operate effectively.
The unique advantage of listening to the client’s needs
In the sphere of Information Technology, it’s not uncommon for service providers to unilaterally devise custom solutions that approximate a client’s goals. At Hermes, our ethos diverges markedly from this norm. We place a premium on the act of listening, fostering a direct, ongoing dialogue with our clients. This human-centric, empathetic approach enables us to grasp not only the technical aspirations of our clients but also their human and relational expectations. By doing so, we tailor solutions that resonate on all levels, ensuring clients are at ease with their chosen solutions. We make it our mission to elucidate the benefits of our approach clearly and to remain receptive to any concerns or queries they may express.