Becoming a Frontend vs. Backend Developer

by Lex Grezlak, Founder

When it comes to choosing a career in web development, one of the first decisions you'll need to make is whether to specialize in frontend or backend development. While both roles are essential to building successful web applications, there are some key differences between the two that can impact your career prospects, job security, and earning potential.

Frontend developers are responsible for creating the user interface and user experience of a website or application. They work with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create visually appealing and intuitive interfaces that users can interact with. Backend developers, on the other hand, are responsible for building the server-side infrastructure that powers the application. They work with programming languages like Python, Go, and Rust to create databases, APIs, and server-side logic.

While both roles are important, there are several reasons why you may want to consider a career in backend development:

Higher salary potential

According to data from Glassdoor, the average salary for a backend developer in the United States is around $105,000 per year, compared to around $90,000 per year for a frontend developer. This salary gap can be attributed to the fact that backend development requires a deeper understanding of programming concepts and technologies, as well as a greater degree of problem-solving and analytical skills.

Pro tip

Even though the salary difference may not seem significant now, you'll thank yourself later.

Job security

While both frontend and backend development are in high demand, backend development may offer more job security in the long run. This is because backend development is less dependent on specific technologies or frameworks, and is more focused on fundamental programming concepts and principles. As a result, backend developers are often better equipped to adapt to new technologies and stay relevant in a rapidly changing industry.

Greater opportunities for career advancement

Because backend development is seen as more complex and challenging than frontend development, it can be a valuable asset for career advancement. Backend developers are often seen as more technical and more valuable to a company, which can lead to greater opportunities for promotion and higher-level positions.

Less understood by non-developers

One advantage of backend development is that the work produced is less understandable to non-developers. This can be a double-edged sword, as it can make it more difficult to communicate with non-technical team members. However, it also means that backend developers are often seen as more valuable and more respected within the industry.

Harder to learn, but not impossible

While backend development may seem more difficult to learn than frontend development, this is not necessarily the case. Backend development requires a deeper understanding of programming concepts and technologies, but there are many resources available to help you learn these skills. Additionally, because backend development is less dependent on specific technologies or frameworks, it can be easier to transfer your skills to new projects and technologies.

In conclusion, while both frontend and backend development offer exciting career opportunities, backend development may offer greater salary potential, job security, and opportunities for career advancement. If you're interested in a challenging and rewarding career in web development, consider specializing in backend development. With the right skills and dedication, you can become a valuable asset to any company and build a successful and fulfilling career.

More articles

The Dark Side of Open Source

Free code feeds corporate greed, training you to accept no pay for your labor. Know your code's worth.

Read more

Guide to Optimizing Your LinkedIn Profile

Make your web developer profile shine on LinkedIn with easy tips. Get noticed by recruiters quickly!

Read more