Front End, Backend, or Full-Stack Developer: Who Should You Hire?

Front End vs Back End Web Development

If you’re looking to create or enhance your website, then you are probably on the look out for a really great web developer who can assist you with this.

Hence, the scenario of going through job sites to find the right person and then stumble upon titles such as “front end,” “back end” and “full stack” developers appear right before your eyes – making you realise that you have no idea where to go from there.

Similar to figuring out the differences between a web developer and a web designer, it would be good to familiarise yourself with the different roles of Front End vs Back End vs Full Stack Developer.

Front End Vs Back End Web Development

Front End Developer

Front End Developer:

If you can image the look and feel of a website, from the colours to the fonts used; the sliders, drop-down menus, buttons, boxes and the transitions and modals – it’s that visual appeal of your site that draws in visitors.

It is the Front End Web Developer’s responsibility to ensure that the design of your website is working and functioning – allowing you to have an awesome user experience.

The codes that are typically used to create websites include – HTML, CSS and Javascript.

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – think of this as the skeleton of a website and without this foundation, web pages cannot exist.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – CSS adds style to HTML and controls how it looks. A perfect analogy would be fashion designers creating couture for their models; expressing their artistic flair by playing with colours and choosing fabrics, textures, etc. to complement and complete a desired look.

The latest would be CSS3 which has additional features that includes basic interactivity and animations.

JS (Javascript) – this versatile application is a game changer when integrated with HTML and CSS. Apart from making web pages interactive, it adds complex animations while building fully featured Web applications possible.

Back End Developer:

Back End Developer

Back End Web Developers are the ones who work behind the scene. Think of them as the director of a film whom you can’t see on the big screen but has a very important role in making the whole movie work.

In this scenario, you can see how important it is for the front end specialist (actor) and the backend programmer (director) to work together in order to successfully implement codes (film).

Focusing more on the skills of a Back End Developer, note that they typically specialise in one programming language. Some examples of these include C#, Java, PHP, Python, .Net, Node.js, Ruby and Visual Basic.

They are also immersed in database languages such as SQL, MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle and PostgreSQL. This enables them to save, find or change data and serve it back to the user in front-end code.

It is also quite common for most back end developers to be well-versed on PHP frameworks such as CakePHP, Symfony and Zend.

Other considerations when it comes to technical experiences would include knowledge in version control software such as CVS, Git pr SVN and Linux for development and development system.

So when it comes to the responsibilities expected from a back end web developer, this includes Backup, Database Creation, Integration, Restore Technologies and Security.

Now your job, if you want to find the right backend programmer for your web project, is to know what type of website you wish to build and the programming language to be used. In doing so, you can find the most qualified back end developer who can create, enhance or make the necessary tweaks to your site.

Full Stack Web Developer

Full Stack Web Developer

Being a full stack developer is a hybrid between a front end developer and back end developer. This means that they are familiar with one or more backend languages and understands databases such as CSS, HTML JavaScript and PHP.

There are instances that they could even do Photoshop designs to front-end code.

Now most agencies prefer to hire full stack developers to maximise the skill-set of their staff given the numerous web projects they have.

Although this sounds ideal, full stack web developers are deemed as the “Jack-of-all-Trades” but a master of none. In most cases, they specialize on doing front end or back end work but their magic lies on the fact that they know enough to deliver the goods.

This means that they are knowledgeable enough to know how the web works in all level such as:

  • Front End work specifically CSS and JavaScript
  • Setting up and configuring Linux servers
  • Writing Server-Side APIs

Their familiarity on how front end and back end works, in addition to their understanding of business logic, design limitations and user interface, makes them the ideal candidate during the early stages of business and product development.

Hopefully this has helped you realise what you need to know in terms of finding the right developer for your website. By knowing the basic difference between the various kinds of web developers, you can make better decisions when it comes to the hiring of backend programmers, as well as front end development outsourcing. In case you still would like to know more or you are eager to find one at a rate that works well with your budget while meeting your desired requirements, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our recruitment team at Outsourced.


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