Backend heroes!

Back-end developers: the silent heroes of software teams

An homage to the people of back-end: read on to find out why we appreciate them.

Decorative background

To someone who is an outsider to the world of software development, the work of a back-end developer may seem abstract and therefore a bit incomprehensible - especially compared to their flashier counterpart, the front-end developer. Front-end as a term is a bit more straightforward and easier to explain: the various UI elements of software that users interact with constitute its front-end, so it’s fair to say that the visible parts of a website or an app are there thanks to the front-end developers’ effort. However, even the most beautiful of UIs have no practical use without an existing back-end that functions as their very own ‘brain’. If we were to roughly split these two into separate areas, we could say that front-end developers make sure that the project looks and behaves in a certain way, while the back-end developers allow those actions to function. Of course, these two intersect on many levels and it is key for a lot of software projects that both ends intertwine on multiple fronts.


In this article, we’ll explore what it is that makes back-end engineers indispensable to the team and to the entire development cycle: we’ll dive into their most important areas of expertise and talk about what skills a great back-end professional must possess.

Knowledge - the hard skills

First things first - in order to embark on any project (software development included), a well-thought-out plan for its execution needs to exist; this is why back-end engineers work on developing a system architecture. Starting by analyzing project requirements, the engineers need to plan out the backbone of the solution they are building, a skeleton of sorts - this is a very crucial step in ensuring the successful future of the entire endeavor. No amount of great design or perfectly implemented UI can salvage a badly planned architecture. What would that architecture be like, then? Many things at once - well-organized, for starters, so it’s possible to split it into smaller components, making the development process simpler. Reliable, meaning secure, and well-documented. Scalable, so that the entire system can grow in time if there’s a need for it in the future. Ideally, the system architecture will be maintainable, meaning that additional components and updates can be added without needing to rebuild large parts of it from scratch.

Moving on to individual parts of this big skeleton, let’s see what other skills developers need to apply in order for the entire system to function. Proficiency with databases is certainly a big part of this - since almost any project will rely on a database to store and retrieve data, it is only logical to expect an advanced level of familiarity with databases from back-end developers. Our engineers, for example, are well-versed in SQL and NoSQL databases, each one having particular applications that are adequate for specific types of projects.

Another crucial area of expertise that is not only becoming increasingly important but also makes back-end developers’ lives easier is the knowledge of APIs; integrating other APIs and SDKs into your code means writing less code since they allow for the use of already existing solutions within the system that is being built. Instead of constantly reinventing the wheel, developers use application programming interfaces to make communication between two programs possible. APIs are an important part of developers’ knowledge base today since they accelerate delivery times, maximize efficiency and simplify the codebase. 

The soft skills of back-end

The hard skills required to do well in a back-end role are many, and we could have gone on and on describing what your typical back-end dev is proficient in, but what about the human side of this position? Is there such a thing as the ideal back-end character? Maybe it’s not possible to narrow down all the various qualities that are to be expected, but there are at least a couple that we consider to be of top priority for a back-end developer joining our team, as we have outlined in our job posting

The first one we are focusing on is communication skills - we know that this is one of those traits that keeps being recycled as mandatory in most openings nowadays, but let us explain why being a good communicator is truly key for back-end roles. We expect all our colleagues to be team players and since you will be collaborating on projects with other developers on a daily basis, it only makes sense that your communication skills are polished, especially since you will be discussing complex topics with your teammates, so knowing how to get your point across in an easy and understandable way can be a real timesaver.

Another important thing for pretty much anyone involved with development is dedication to the craft - with technological innovations happening at an incredibly fast pace, anyone who codes for a living is aware that they must keep expanding their existing knowledge base if they want to keep up with the changes. A great developer is uncomfortable with comfort zones: they are driven and seek knowledge on their own (and we don’t just mean Googling on a case to case basis, although that’s surely part of it and we know it!).


Jokes aside, to truly thrive in any field, you must be willing to keep learning, but this is especially true for professionals working in the tech world. Luckily for developers, employers should also be held accountable for helping them upgrade their knowledge and motivating them in doing so. That way both sides can meet halfway, making the entire process smoother by internally encouraging potential and productivity.

It is needless to say that no matter what their specialization is, developers like a good meme, so dear developers - this one is for you: