Backend development has always been a hot topic in the software development industry. Many people choose backend development over frontend development because they love solving complex problems and have less visualization.
There is always a high demand for good backend developers in the job market. Becoming a good backend engineer is hard, and it will take a long journey to become one.
Top Backend developer skills
Learning a framework is essential if you want to become a backend developer. A framework is a powerful tool that provides everything you need to develop highly scalable backend projects.
A backend framework simplifies the development process. Here are some key benefits:
- Faster Development: Frameworks help speed up your development process by providing built-in functions and libraries for common tasks. These utilities are tested and approved by a large community of experts.
- Maintainability: Framework provides a structure to the codes, making them organized and easy to navigate.
- Scalability: Framework structure provide a solid foundation to help scale and add a new feature to your application.
- Security: Framework will provide built-in security features to help you protect your application from common malicious attacks.
- Community: You can find a large community with tutorials and resources to help you learn what to do.
- Integration: Frameworks made connecting to databases, API, and server-side technologies easy.
There are many different backend frameworks you can choose from. Here are the most common ones: Java Spring Framework, C# .Net,
PHP Laravel, Node.js Expressjs, Python Django, and Ruby on Rails.
Git, a distributed version control system, provides developers with the tools to track and manage changes to their code, contributing to efficient and error-free project development. It’s like a time machine; it allows you to revisit earlier code versions, compare changes, or undo modifications if something goes wrong. Moreover, Git fosters collaboration, allowing multiple developers to work on a project simultaneously without overwriting each other’s changes.
This feature is invaluable in team-based environments where coordinated efforts are key. Also, Git integrates seamlessly with popular platforms like GitHub, enhancing your visibility in the developer community and opening doors to open-source contributions. Lastly, knowledge of Git is often a prerequisite for many tech jobs, making it an essential skill for career growth. Mastering Git equips you with technical proficiency and collaborative skills, critical in the ever-evolving software development landscape.
System design that one skill that distinguishes the good developer from the average. The ability to design a whole infrastructure and architecture of a system will take your career to the next level.
System design aims to build an efficient and fast software design. A bad design will cause the application to be slow and hard to debug and maintain. Based on my experience, many systems are redeveloped due to a bad design.
A system design provides a roadmap of the system where every team member knows where to look in incase of debugging or adding more features. Thus, the system design will provide high maintainability and scalability.
Another benefit of system design is performance. Performance is the most important part of any application. Users will leave a web page if it loads over 3 seconds. The system design ensures the performance of the application and reduces latency.
Data Engineering is a whole separate field itself. There are high demands on data engineers only. But every backend developer needs to understand a few concepts to help you become a better backend developer.
Here are the concepts I recommend you learn:
- Database Design: The ability to design a whole database and the relationship between the different entities. An effective database design makes your database queries fast and less complex.
- Data Integrity: As a backend developer, you must ensure your data is consistent and accurate. Data integrity is the most important property of database management. Inconsistent data will make a huge impact on development and business growth.
- Performance: Retrieving the data from the database should be fast and efficient. A slow query is effective to the quality of your application to lead to a loss of revenue. Learn about indexing, pagination, and other technique to make your query faster.
- Real-Time Processing: Sometimes, you need to take action once you insert or update your data. Learn how to watch the changes in your data and make changes to it.
- Scalability and Tolerance: Learn how to keep your data safe in case of hardware failure and scale your database to handle larger loads. Learn about replication, sharding, and caching.
JSON is used standard format for exchanging data between clients and servers. Most APIs nowadays use JSON to send their data to the client. There are serval reasons why JSON is popular:
- Readability: Unlike XML, JSON is easy to read by a human.
- Efficiency: JSON is lightweight and fast. It is faster to parse compared to XML.
- Popular: JSON is widely used in web development. Many tools and libraries have built-in support for JSON, making it easier to work with.
- Database Usage: NoSQL databases like MongoDB use documents to store the data, similar to JSON format.
After the introduction of microservices, proxies have become popular among software developers. Proxies take a request from a client and send it to the backend servers. The most common type of proxies and reverse proxy and forward proxy. In the reverse proxy, the client does not know where the final destination is. While forward proxy, the client explicitly requests for a particular destination.
The most common usage of proxies is caching, authentication, gateways, rate limit, load balance, and much more. For example, let’s say you have four servers running your backend. In this case, you will set up a load balancer and reverse proxy and hit request to this load balance proxy, and then the load balancer will decide which server to request from all these four servers available.
Messaging systems play a key role in building scalable, reliable applications that can effectively handle high-volume, high-throughput workflows, which are common in today’s digital world.
Understanding messaging systems provides a foundation for implementing asynchronous processing in your applications. This allows long-running tasks to be executed in the background without causing delays in the user interface, thereby enhancing user experience. It allows applications to function seamlessly, even when dealing with heavy traffic or during peak user times, by offloading tasks to be processed later or by another component.
Furthermore, messaging systems act as a decoupling mechanism, reducing the dependencies among different system components. This allows individual parts of a system to fail or be updated independently without impacting the entire system, thus increasing its overall robustness and flexibility.
Scalability, a critical aspect of modern applications, is another reason to comprehend messaging systems. As your application’s user base or data volumes grow, a messaging system can help scale your backend infrastructure by enabling you to process more tasks in parallel. It allows multiple instances of your applications to consume from the message queue simultaneously, thereby sharing the workload.
Regarding reliability, messaging systems often guarantee that no message is lost during system failures or when a consumer is temporarily unavailable, ensuring that your application’s data integrity is maintained.
Finally, messaging systems aid in maintaining order in complex systems. They can help coordinate tasks and ensure that actions are executed in a specific order when needed. This is vital when dealing with transactional operations or sequence-sensitive processes.
Security plays an indispensable role in the responsibilities of a backend developer. Security is a cornerstone of backend development with the ever-increasing data privacy and integrity threats.
Backend developers are tasked with safeguarding application and user data from potential threats. This involves securing databases from SQL injection attacks, ensuring the safe transmission of data over networks, and effectively managing authentication and authorization mechanisms. Implementing strong encryption protocols and hash functions for sensitive data like passwords is a standard expectation in backend development.
Moreover, backend developers often manage APIs that, if not properly secured, can expose sensitive data or system functionality to malicious users. Thus, secure coding practices, including input validation, least privilege access, and secure error handling, are critical. Regular security audits, vulnerability assessments, and up-to-date software patches also fall under the backend developer’s responsibilities.
Data breaches can result in financial loss and damage a company’s reputation, so the importance of security in backend development cannot be overstated. Backend developers, therefore, play a pivotal role in building trust with users by ensuring their data remains confidential, unaltered, and available when needed.
Cloud computing has transformed the landscape of backend development, ushering in a new era of efficiency, scalability, and innovation. It has shifted the traditional paradigm of server management, eliminating the need for developers to maintain physical servers and allowing them to focus on what they do best – coding.
One of the key benefits of cloud computing is scalability. With platforms like AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, backend developers can easily adjust their computing resources to match the ebb and flow of user demand. This elasticity ensures that applications deliver consistent performance, even under heavy load, and makes it simpler to manage costs.
Cloud services also offer many advanced tools and services that developers can leverage to enhance their applications. The cloud opens new possibilities for creating more intelligent and responsive applications, from AI and machine learning services to powerful databases and analytics tools.
Perhaps one of the most compelling examples of this is Netflix. As one of the largest video streaming services globally, Netflix leverages AWS’s cloud capabilities to handle over a billion hours of weekly video streaming. The ability to scale resources on-demand helps Netflix ensure smooth streaming experiences for its millions of users worldwide, regardless of traffic spikes.
Moreover, cloud platforms often have built-in security measures, helping protect applications and data from threats. They also offer disaster recovery solutions, ensuring systems can quickly bounce back during an outage or failure.
Cloud computing empowers backend developers with the tools and platforms to build more robust, scalable, and innovative applications. It’s no longer just an emerging trend; it’s a fundamental part of modern backend development. Therefore, understanding and leveraging cloud computing technologies is crucial for any backend developer looking to stay ahead in today’s fast-paced tech world.