Sukriti Taneja | 11 Aug, 2023

How to Become a Backend Developer? - Backend Development

Ever found yourself curious about the backend development happening behind your favorite websites and apps? That's our expertise, my friend, and it's one heck of an exciting world! If you've ever thought about diving deeper into the digital maze and uncovering the secrets of servers, databases, and all that jazz, you're in the right spot. I wrote this article to guide in on how to become a backend developer. 

Beyond that, it gives you the scoop on what it takes to become a backend superstar. So, grab your favorite drink, get comfy, and let's dive into the backstage of the web together. Ready to geek out? Let’s talk about how to become a backend developer! 🚀

Who is a Backend Developer, and What Do They Do?

As you would probably already be aware, in a typical client-server architecture, application data is stored on the server-side and served as output to the client side. The server-side working of a web application is known as the backend. That’s where all the inner working of web applications takes place, and that’s where the work of backend developers lies.

Backend developers are responsible for using programming languages to create the code, which actually makes web applications function the way they’re supposed to. The code that these developers write runs on the webserver. In addition to writing back-end code, such developers are also responsible for developing APIs used by the mobile version of such web applications.

Steps on How to Become a Backend Developer

Learning back-end development helps you get acquainted with several programming languages, which can help your career a great boost. If you have a basic understanding of how logic works, it can prove to be quite beneficial. If not, you can always enroll for a basic computer language course to obtain exposure to the groundwork. This is only to ensure that you don't fall short at any stage once you set on the path of learning back-end development.

Here are the steps you will need to follow:

Step 1: Be Well-Versed with the Basics of Data Structures & Algorithm

Most web developers skip this step and move forward to learning frameworks. However, it is always better to know the data structure and algorithm basics. Though not in-depth, you must have a basic idea about the process. You should revise basic Data Structures and Algorithm Stack, Queue, Linked List, Tree, Graph, Hashing, Sorting & Searching Algorithms, and other core concepts of programming.

What are Data Structures?

Not sure about data structures? We can help! Think of data structures like closet organizers for the tech world.

Better yet, imagine a music playlist – it’s got a certain order, right? Now, what if you could put that order into digital lockers, shelves, or even treehouses? That's what data structures do – they're like the wardrobe organizers for your data, making sure everything's tidy and easy to find.

From sassy stacks that are last-in-first-out (think of a stack of plates) to quirky queues that are all about first-come-first-serve (like waiting in line for your favorite ice cream), data structures are the unsung heroes making our tech lives smoother. So next time your app loads up your data in a flash, give a little nod to those awesome data structures working behind the scenes. Dive in, explore, and have fun with them - because honestly, they're the backbone of all things techie!

What are Algorithms?

Ready to unravel another techy term? Let's talk about "algos" – short for algorithms. Imagine being at a dance party, and every move you make is a step-by-step groove to your favorite jam. That's essentially what algorithms are in the computer world - a set of step-by-step instructions to get a particular task done.

Think about making your go-to morning smoothie. There's a specific order to toss in those berries, bananas, and that splash of almond milk, right? Algorithms work the same way! They tell computers precisely how to sort, search, or even play that cool video you're binge-watching.

From helping your GPS find the quickest route to your favorite café to making sure that online game runs without a hitch, algorithms are the choreographers of the digital dance. And trust me, once you get the hang of 'em, you'll see they make the digital world spin in harmony! So, dive in, and let's dance with these digital directors called algos! 🕺💻🎶


Step 2: Learn a Programming Language and Choose a Framework

Becoming a web developer takes effort, time, and patience. You cannot expect anyone to learn different coding languages overnight. So, decide on a timeline and the essential basic programming languages that you wish to learn. Learning languages like Python, PHP, Ruby, and JavaScript are sought after in recent times.

You can go for learning multiple programming languages at once. Remember, the more, the merrier. Also, please be aware that understanding the basics of programming is a must. If you're not already familiar with them, start with languages like C, Java, or Python and try to understand how application logic works, the best practices of coding, etc.

Step 3: Learn the Basics of Databases.

Adding a database system to your portfolio would be the next logical step. There are many easy to use relational database management systems available from which you can select one. Almost all websites today boast some sort of storage, so learning about databases is always beneficial.

What are Databases?

In the grand digital universe, databases are like vast magical libraries or cosmic vaults. They're where all the juicy stuff (read: data) gets stored, organized, and managed. Every time you save a pic, post a tweet, or even buy that rad t-shirt online, it's databases working their behind-the-scenes magic to ensure your data is tucked away safely.

So whether it's your favorite app remembering your top song choices or that online store suggesting the perfect pair of sneakers, databases are the unsung heroes keeping the show on the road. Ready to uncover more about these digital storehouses? Grab your explorer hat, and let's journey into the world of databases! 📚💾🚀

Step 4: Learn Framework(s)

So, let's talk frameworks. Imagine you're about to whip up your favorite meal. Now, you could start entirely from scratch, but why not use a handy recipe as your guide? In the coding kitchen, this is what frameworks are all about! Whether you're jamming with Django or rocking with Ruby-on-Rails, most of these bad boys dance to the same beat called MVC (Model-View-Controller).

Sure, you can pen down every single note of your digital symphony using just a programming language, but that's like crafting an epic guitar solo note by note. It's doable but kinda time-consuming. On the flip side, frameworks give you this cool pre-set stage where you can rehash some moves, making your coding concert quicker and more groovy. That's fewer lines to write and more time to shine! So, if you wanna amp up your coding efficiency, strumming along with a framework is totally the way to go. 

Step 5: Start your Practical Training

You will not understand how stuff really works until you actually start doing it practically. You need to regularly use the tools and practice to better understand the ethical knowledge you have learned so far. The best way to do this is by working on small projects or assignments. You can start by doing projects like a simple To-do list, simple blog, photo gallery web app, resume builder, basic project management app, etc.

Step 6: Innovate and Create Something New

Innovation and original ideas are valued in all fields. Probably the most in the tech field since they can change the entire game. If you already have a start-up or project idea, then you're going great. If not, you still have time to think and work on it.

It's good to start by building a startup clone. It means that you would clone some products available in the market. Also, you might be interested in the following sites/apps that will be useful.

  1. Buffer — A Smarter Way to Share on Social Media — Scheduling posts for various Social Media channels.
  2. Hello Bar — Simple JavaScript plugin to help you in getting your marketing stuff done.
  3. Fiverr — Marketplace for freelancer services

Step 7: Hosting — AWS / Heroku

Now you're ready to spread your wings! Deploy your product on a cloud service provider so it can be accessed from the WWW. AWS can be the first preference as it provides almost a year of free hosting (limited usage).

You May Also be Interested In: Difference between Google Cloud vs. AWS vs. Azure

The Complete Backend Developer Roadmap

Well, now that you know how to be a backend developer, it's time to level up the game. Decide if you'd want to do a job as a backend developer or you want to be a freelancer. Becoming a backend developer may also boost your pay in most of large-scale industries. Keeping all these things in mind, work on developing a good resume. As a final takeaway, we’d just like to say that in addition to inculcating the required skills, to be successful as a backend developer, you need to be dedicated, patient, and hard-working.

Here is the complete roadmap through which you can become a backend developer.

Backend Developer Roadmap

That's How to Become a Backend Developer

You wanted to know how to become a backend developer. We provided a full step-by-step guide on the subject. After all the web's where it's at, and backend developers are like the backstage wizards making the magic happen. Starting this journey means getting your head around the behind-the-scenes stuff of web apps, picking up some cool coding languages, and having fun with tools like Django or Ruby on Rails. Databases? You'll get to know them too.

But hey, it's not just about reading and learning; you've got to roll up your sleeves and start building stuff. Play around with project ideas, try cloning your favorite apps for practice, and when you're ready, show the world by hosting it online.

And remember, while tech skills are a must, it's your passion, patience, and hustle that'll really make you stand out. Dive in, have fun, and before you know it, you'll be that backend pro everyone's looking for!

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By Sukriti Taneja

Sukriti Taneja is an ex-software engineer transformed into a seasoned technical and web-content writer. Based in India, she is an MCA by qualification and is a tech-enthusiast who likes to research about the latest trends and share her findings. In her free time she likes to blog about tech-stuff, healthy living, and food over various social platforms. Follow her on Twitter @SukritiT.

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