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Back End Developer Roadmap

One of the most basic Software Engineering skills today is the knowledge of Backend Development. Almost every application today has a cloud-based Backend which connects to multiple frontends, which could be connected to several frontends - Web, iOS, Android and today, even to voice-based interfaces like Alexa, Google Assistant, etc.

Backend Development is a key skill and has a huge demand in the market. Think about any startup today - all of them need to have a website, an Android app and an iOS app. So, all of them need a basic backend which can manage user data and provide them functionalities of transactions. All of this comes under backend development (coupled with frontend/mobile development).

In this roadmap, we will talk about how you can learn the basics of Backend Development and land a great job at a tech company.

 

Client-Server Architecture

Look at the image below. As can be seen, there are 2 parts to it:

  1. A Frontend which comprises of Laptop, Android and iOS device

  2. A backend which consists of Web Server, App Server and Database Server

 

 

Let us understand the difference between frontend and backend and what they comprises of.

 

Frontend

A frontend could comprise of a Laptop, Desktop, Mobile Web, Mobile Application (Android/iOS). Frontend is basically where the user gets an interface to interact with the application’s backend. For instance, the Facebook mobile app is the interface through which you use Facebook. Frontend contains 3 parts:

 

  1. HTML: the language that renders the content of the frontend.

  2. CSS: the language that is used to beautify the content.

  3. JS: the language that is used to bring interactivity to the content.

 

Backend

The Backend is where the real magic happens. A backend typically consists of the following 3 components:

  1. Web Server: A Web Server typically serves ‘static’ content - the content that doesn’t change with time. For instance, CSS files, JavaScript files, font files, etc. These files remain fixed and do not change. The requests that are dynamic in nature (like serving your Facebook news feed) are forwarded to the App server for the dynamic computation.

  2. App Server: An App Server, as mentioned above, serves dynamic content. App server looks at the input parameters of the request and accordingly performs computation on the data that is available in the Database Server. It queries the Database to get the data and renders it back to the Web Server, which in turn forwards it back to the client.

  3. Database Server: A Database Server stores the data. This could be user data, application data or some form of metadata which is used by the application. For instance, Facebook uses scalable Database Servers to store user data which could include things like user’s profile details - name, email, phone number, the posts by other users, list of friends, posts liked, etc.

 

Here is a step by step guide to learn Backend Development:

Typically, most developers use modern Backend frameworks that provide a ready-made implementation of various common aspects of a backend like authentication, session maintenance, security, language, timezone, etc.

Here are some of the most popular Backend development tools:

  1. Django: Django is a well-known Python-based Backend framework. Django is fast, secure and highly reliable. Django is free and open-source and so, great for developers. Many well-known websites use Python-based Backend - YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, SurveyMonkey, etc.

  2. Ruby on Rails: Ruby on Rails is another popular Backend framework, quite common among startups. It uses Ruby as the Backend programming language.

  3. NodeJS: NodeJS is a well-known JavaScript-based Web framework. Node is quite popular since it allows JavaScript to be used both in the backend as well as on the frontend.

  4. Laravel: Laravel is an MVC (Model-View-Controller) based Backend framework that uses PHP as the programming language.

  5. Spring: Spring is a Java-based web framework used largely in enterprises.

 

Case Study: 

Let us consider Django as the Backend framework (Python). The following could be a typical setup:

  1. Web Server: Nginx

  2. App Server: Gunicorn

  3. Database Server: MySQL

Django is installed in the App Server since it forms the Application’s backend. The crux of learning Backend Development is to master the Backend framework. For instance, mastering Django will open up a lot of job opportunities for you. Typically, the salary of a Django Developer in India could range anywhere from 5 lakhs per annum (freshers) to up to 10 lakhs per annum (2 - 3 years experience). More experienced Backend Developers make upwards of Rs. 15 - 20 lakhs a year.

 

 

Django is extremely flexible and since it is based on Python, you can couple it with the Machine Learning libraries of Python to develop intelligence backends. If you have a knowledge of Backend Development in Django and at the same time you know the basics of Machine Learning and how to integrate it with Django, you can earn an excellent salary in the market and you will have a lot of opportunities. Almost any company would love to hire you because this is a skill which has a high demand.

By far, the best tutorial that we’ve seen for learning Django is the Djangogirls Tutorial. It is simple, elaborate and most importantly, end-to-end. It teaches you how to create a simple Blog Application in Python using Django as the Backend framework and host it on a server. Simply by completing this simple tutorial, you’d have a great resume point which you can showcase as a project. You can also talk about your blog project during your interview and it is sure to help you stand out of your competitors.

Once you are through with Djangogirls Tutorial, you should start taking up as many Django projects as possible. Basically, your aim should be to build better and better Django-based applications so that you can improve your skills and also add points to your resume. Learn Django by Building Projects is a great course to achieve the same. The course focuses on Project-based approach which helps you not only learn, but also build your resume.

With the above tutorial and course completed, you should have enough resume points to land you interviews at great tech companies for both, internships as well as full-time jobs. You should, therefore, focus a lot on resume building and interview preparation.


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