Web Design & Dev

Backend Development: 6 Essential Skills and Qualifications

Moyofade Ipadeola 20 February, 2023

Developers are the new damsels of the tech world, and everyone is trying to court them. They’re in high demand and command tremendous respect in the industry. This hype makes sense as the world is getting more digitized daily, and many more websites and apps are being built. The implication is that web developers will be in high demand for a long time. No doubt, the web development field is worth looking into. Frontend development seems to be on the front burner (for obvious reasons). However, backend dev is attracting more interest as the days go by.

If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like to be a backend developer or what it takes to be one, you’re not alone. Many others in your shoes would love to start a career in this area of specialization but don’t know how to go about it. This article solves that problem. Here, you’ll learn what backend dev is all about and what skills and qualifications you need to get your foot in the door.

What Is Backend Development?

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Backend development basically means working behind the scenes of web development. It involves working on the server side of the software being built. So, while frontend development has to do with everything you can see on a website, backend dev is about what you can’t see in the making of a website.

Activities that happen in the backend include the following:

  • writing application programming interfaces (APIs)
  • ensuring application logic and integrations
  • working with system elements
  • creating libraries

Therefore, the job of a backend dev involves working on the website’s architecture, scripting, testing, and debugging backend processes, and writing code that ensures smooth communication between the databases of the website.

6 Vital Skills and Qualifications You Need to Be a Backend Developer

In the world of backend developers and web developers, generally, qualifications are welcome, but skills are a must. Qualifications like a college degree in a related field, certification courses, boot camps, and so on are nice to have. However, what is really needed are the skills you’ll use to perform your tasks. If those are absent, your qualifications and degrees won’t matter.

Therefore, it is safe to conclude that your technical and non-technical skills qualify you to be a backend developer. Your skills are your qualifications. You’ll need the following essential skills if you desire a career in this sought-after profession.

Mastery of Backend Programming Languages

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Programming is a significant task all web developers perform. It’s crucial to have a team of proficient back end developers who can effectively translate these programming requirements into robust and scalable server-side applications. It’s simply the process of telling the computer what to do. To ‘speak’ to the computer, you must learn the suitable languages. These languages are called programming languages. Coding is the process of using a programming language’s syntax to write computer programs. To become a backend developer, you must have a mastery of programming languages. This solid command of the languages will enable you to build strong backend frames and connectivity. Python, PHP, and Java are the three major languages in the backend dev world.

  • Python: this language is an interactive, interpreted, and general-purpose language that can be used to create different programs. It is effective for scripting and can be used as a glue language to link existing components. Python is simple, easy to learn, and lowers program maintenance costs.
  • PHP: PHP stands for Hypertext Preprocessor. It is a popularly used open-source language that is executed on the server. It is used by many high-traffic websites and is available on major operating systems. PHP is simple to learn and use for a beginner and equally has advanced features for a professional backend dev.
  • Java: Java is a class-based, object-oriented, open-source, and multi-platform language. Fast and secure, Java can be used as a platform on its own. It is versatile and free to use and can be used to build localized and distributed software. Java is portable and easy to move across devices.

You can choose any of the languages and be a master at it. If you can master all of them –  it will make you more sought-after. However, a basic knowledge of other languages is good.

Knowledge of Backend Frameworks

After choosing a language you want to master, make sure you know the frameworks of such a language. A framework is the foundation of your work as a backend dev. It is a library that helps you do your work in a standardized and fast way. It gives you ready-made elements that allow you to build a dynamic website. When you use frameworks, you save yourself the stress of configuring everything from scratch.

Here are some frameworks you should be familiar with as a backend developer.

  • NodeJs: this free and open-source platform is used as a form of support for an application’s backend coding. It is a modest and commonly used framework and works well on Javascript. NodeJs has many benefits, which include it being multi-platform and usable on all operating systems.
  • Django: written in Python language, Django is also free and open source. It uses little code yet performs powerfully. This platform emphasizes reusing existing code for new parts, making the developer’s job quicker. It offers great security and is highly customizable and scalable.
  • Express.js: this trending framework is used by global brands like Accenture and IBM. It has advanced features, is very flexible, and supports REST API applications. Express.js is minimalistic and easy to set up and learn. It offers numerous plugins, many HTTP utility methods, and an impressive routing API.

Solid Databases Knowledge

A good grasp of data storage and operations is important for a backend developer. This is because the backend dev is responsible for building the relational mapping for data retrieval as and when due. Therefore, a proper understanding of the database management system (DBMS) is necessary.

Good Grasp of APIs

Application Programming Interface (API) is the backbone that runs the internet. It facilitates communication between computers. Therefore, mastery of how APIs work is a must if you’re learning back-end development. The most widely used APIs are REST, GSON, JSON, and SOAP.

Familiarization with Backend Developer Interview Questions

Having technical skills is vital in your backend career journey, but you must also be prepared for backend developer interview questions. Many skilled backend developers are unable to land juicy jobs due to their unfamiliarity with common interview questions.

What is the purpose of having the required skills if you don’t know how to present them to those who would hire you? Learning and practicing sample interview questions will fortify you for your following backend developer interview.

Communication and Collaboration Skills

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For the most part, the job of a backend developer is solo. This quality can make you a loner. However, even though you might work alone, you don’t work in isolation. Web development is team work. This is where you need to hone your communication and collaboration skills. You have to work with product managers, fellow developers, designers, and other teammates. Therefore, knowing how to communicate with teammates as well as give and take feedback is essential.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What Are the 3 Parts of Backend Development?

The three parts of back-end development are:

  • The server accepts requests.
  • The app runs on the server, looking out for requests, then gets info from the database and responds to the server.
  • The database: it organizes data.

Which Backend Language Is Easiest?

The easiest backend language is Python. It is easy to learn and use. It has sophisticated libraries with prewritten codes that make development from the backend seamless.

How Can I Be a Good Backend?

To be a good backend developer, take the following steps:

  • Learn a programming language
  • Master the basics of algorithms and data structure
  • Have a deep knowledge of frameworks
  • Acquaint yourself with the concept of databases
  • Know your APIs
  • Get hands-on training

Why Is the Backend So Hard?

Back-end development tasks like working with databases and creating APIs can appear complicated to a beginner. Some tasks may involve complex tasks, algorithms, and data structures. However, willpower and a mindset open to learning help in overcoming these hurdles.

Prep Yourself for a Career in Backend Development with Essential Skills and Qualifications

A career in back-end development is enviable. However, it doesn’t just happen; a lot of learning and practice goes into the profession. While qualifications are good to have, skills are compulsory if you want to be part of these well-paid professionals. Skills like mastery of programming languages, backend frameworks, databases, APIs, interview questions, communication, and collaboration will set you up for great opportunities in the field.

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Tags: backend full-stack developer web development
Author: Moyofade Ipadeola
Moyofade Ipadeola is a Content Strategist, UX Writer and Editor. Witty, she loves personal development and helping people grow. Mo, as she’s fondly called, is fascinated by all things tech.