Backend is an integral part of every Website and Application, which is invisible for the end-users, but is way important for an interactive experience and comfort. Wide accessibility to high-speed Internet and appliance of the technologies like AJAX or APIs transformed the experience of using online sources significantly, which became very suitable for browsing and surfing from any Internet-ready device.
Modern users expect immediate page-opening, fast reloading, and smooth displaying of interactive content, and all those backend aspects should be coded on the highest level. Taking into account that online content becomes more colorful, diversified, interactive, and complicated, the demand for backend developers will only increase.
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The process of creating Web Pages and Applications is quite complicated and has numerous aspects that should be accomplished by professionals. However, web designing can be divided into two major types: backend and frontend. Those who can write code in both directions are usually called Fullstack Developers. However, such unification is valuable only to save some budget while professionals prefer to divide web programming into more narrow directions.
Even though, the backend is not a tiny beam - it’s more a massive area, where numerous languages, multiple frameworks, and various approaches are used for solving particular tasks. To define the most often required knowledge that is related to producing reliable backend service, we have analyzed over 100 CVs on Glassdoor. We selected random CVs from the list of 2500+ total job postings and took only companies with 1- 200 members (larger companies may have more narrow and specific requirements). Actually, the list of technologies mentioned below can become a core for preparing interview questions for a backend developer.
We divided the most often mentioned technologies into 7 groups, where “languages” are separated, and highlighted below fitting size of the research.
In general, the chart below shows the frequency of usage of technologies and languages that are often mentioned in job postings.
Explanation to the chart above:
Under ‘Core backend’ we mean all the server-side processing and maintaining, knowing architecture and infrasctructure principles and related aspects, which were mentioned in all the CVs. The situation with APIs and databases is quite predictable as those technologies are the must for every backend developer, and it looks like some tenants did not list those technologies as kept in mind that its a basis and can be skipped.
Among the other evident tendencies is the ability to be good enough in testing or QA, which is another core skill for good backend developer. Cloud technologies like AWS, GCP, Digital Ocean, and Azure were often met in CVs’ descriptions as well. Knowledge of frontend technologies, including CSS and HTML, or frameworks was mentioned only in about 25% of employment specifics.
The situation with languages will be explained in more details below in this article.
The conversation about programming languages that are used for backend can be a complex one and deserves not a pitstop but a deeper review. While you drop an eye to the chart back to check the frequency of mentioning technologies and languages in the CVs, coding approaches have to be explained in more details.
Thus, some employers started to list languages but used ‘etc.’, so we cannot definitely state Java as the most popular backend language. Also, we have to remind that we chose only 100 random CVs, while there are 2500+ backend job postings only on Glassdoor.
To finalize the understanding of best backend languages, we’ll post two more charts from CodinGame 2020 Developer Survey Report: “Which Programming Languages do Developers Know Best?” and “Developers’ Most-Loved Programming Languages” are presented below:
All Backend Developers should be familiar with the following aspects of server-side work:
Application Programming Interface (API) has become a mandatory part of Web Services since allows simplified data exchange. So, a Backend Developer has to know various kinds of calls, their order, functions, purposes, and possibilities. Amid the most widely used architecture and protocol approaches are REST, GraphQL, GRPC, and SOAP.
The database (DB) is another obligatory element of every online Application and Webpage, which runs on the server side and included in the responsibilities of backend developer. Thus, a professional has to know differences between SQL and NoSQL, compatibility and scalability of the particular DB, and related mechanisms like caching. Among the most popular databases are MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Oracle, and Sybase.
One more inrush technology that is currently needed is cloud services, where three primary leaders are:
If it is needed, a Backend Developer has to understand the advantages and drawbacks among the providers, including tools, computations, storage, and even pricing. A business owner also has to know a bit more about cloud technologies as modern ones suggest using AI, Machine Learning, Blockchain technologies, integrations, and even separate databases for usage.
Even though mobile technologies were not so often mentioned in the CVs review to add them to the chart above, there are a few aspects that should be explained. Nowadays, business owners can use three primary methods of implementing a backend for their mobile applications:
Actually, there is no answer to the question like “which language or technology is better for backend solutions?” since every language has own advantages and drawbacks. All the charts above cannot be called dedicated surveys of the backend languages, but allow highlighting most widely used ones. Some developers make an emphasis on time-to-market, others on the reliability and speed, while the thirds rely only on the costs or online security. Though, our list is not full and has no ranks to exclude general conversations like “which language is better” with short identifying strong and weak points of each approach.
ASP.NET is a framework created based on .NET languages, which are using CLI (Common Language Infrastructure), mostly C# language. ASP.NET was designed by Microsoft for solving dynamic web tasks using quite different languages in the core, but which is still similar to C++ and Java.
This quite simple method of developing well-secured complex web pages with good flexibility for different platforms is rather popular, but license cost and backwards compatibility may change the overall attitude to it.
It can look strange that one of the oldest and most powerful coding languages is placed at the bottom of the list. However, it is not so often used for writing backend of online projects even though it can provide the fastest applications with broad potential. The lack of ready solutions facilitates the appearance of numerous libraries and frameworks written on other languages, which are simplifying the work of Backend Web Developers. C++ is like a complex high-tech surgery in the world where people are mostly dealing with acne.
This framework is written on Ruby language, especially for resolving programming tasks on the server side of the Web Applications. Ruby-on-Rails is the right choice for those with limited time and budget as there are plenty of ready pieces of the final code, but some compatibility issues and decreased processing speed are among the major drawbacks.
Probably, the most popular coding language used for the backend. It gained vast popularity due to its comparative simplicity, stability, and flexibility, which helps to combine various databases with manifold frontend frameworks. Nevertheless, one of the major drawbacks of PHP is an inappropriate security level, which is a crucial issue nowadays.
One of the oldest programming tools found a vast usage in the backend of web solutions. 25 years of its appliance confirm that Java is one of the most stable and flexible methods to combine backend and frontend. However, a too complicated code written on this language can scare a newcomer who felt advantages of some popular and simple frameworks.
Young and dynamically developing language increases the influence in the software creation due to its simple syntax and flexibility, which is used even for the AI. It may seem that Python is a bingo-choice for both young developers and business owners, who rely on perspectives. Nevertheless, two major drawbacks can decrease your optimism. The lack of backwards compatibility forces to adjust source code almost manually, while worse speed compared to C++, PHP and Java can be vital for some backend solutions.
Those languages and approaches can be easily used for creating valuable backend solutions for the web. As it was mentioned above, their appliance depends more on the preferences of the developer or specifics of the tasks they should accomplish. Thus, Goland was developed inside Google with the desire to upgrade C/C++ opportunities. Rust is sponsored by Mozilla and can also be compared to C++ in terms of speed, but tend to be even more reliable and safe. Erlang/Elixir are supported by Ericsson and found some appliance in the narrower projects.
As backend is a huge part in programming with numerous related technologies that should be known by those engineers, it’s quite hard to make some sort of unified statistics. Nevertheless, we found the way to present your numbers for the backend wages.
One of the ways to understand the situation with worldwide wages of Backend Developers is to visit the large portal (we used Glassdoor) and sort discovered data by country. As you can see in the chart below, the US and Israel are the leaders in terms of highest annual wages with numbers of about $100K+ and $75k+ respectively. East Europe shows the opposite results and seems to be a profitable place to hire backend developers.
The statistics for Backend Developers was made on the data our company collected. We decided to divide it both by the experience and languages that are most often used for backend programming. As you can see from the chart the monthly rate of the developers is less than $2000. Middle-level programmers cost about $3000 per month, while the most experienced and professional ones are available from $4k monthly.
We tried to shed light on the Backend Development. It is one of the widest part in the nowadays programming, so you has to understand all major directions and aspects related to it. We hope our article helped you to make the right choice while choosing or seeking Backend Developers. If you still have some question please contact our managers via contact form.
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