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frontend vs. backend jobs
2020-06-11 /

Frontend vs. Backend Software Development

In planning business software, startup owners are confronted with frontend vs. backend development situations. But, who’s in charge of how the web application looks and how it works? Let’s find out.

Startup owners need to focus on the difference between frontend vs. backend development implementation. Actually, it is not a battle between the front and the back, rather it is computer science. It is called separation of concerns, a software design pattern, and best practices for building maintainable systems.

Unfortunately, most newbie startup owners build software as if they’re going into a buffet restaurant. They think they can have everything on their plate.

Of course, it is a must to try the Korean HTML, Japanese JS, and Chinese CSS (frontend technologies). However, they don’t know what other cuisines (backend technologies) they need to have for that satisfying buffet experience. 

There is not yet a menu of ready-made modules to order and combine to build software. Instead, a business owner must provide the recipe for what they need based on the software requirements. Thus, it is apt to establish the difference between frontend vs. backend development and its underlying concepts from the start.

Frontend vs. backend development: What is a frontend developer?

A frontend developer manages everything that users see in their browser or application. Overall, they are responsible for the look and feel of a website or Web application.

Frontend programming languages

Over the years, the role of the frontend developer continues to evolve, and primarily uses three languages:  HTML, CSS, JavaScript.


Hypertext Markup Language(HTML) and Cascading Style Sheets(CSS) are the core technologies of frontend development. They serve as a tandem technology.

HTML is responsible for the structure—location and order of text, images, and other elements. On the other hand, CSS is responsible for a website’s appearance or style. It controls elements like color, font size, width, height, margins, and padding.


JavaScript is used to make web pages interactive. Elements such as forms, animations, and data manipulation are handled by JavaScript. It is embedded in a webpage that works with processes like creating accounts and signing in, saving preferences, and liking or posting messages.

Knowing frontend vs. backend development technologies is necessary for startup owners. Additionally, as software development continues to evolve, it is also important to consider intermediate to advanced frontend tools and frameworks such as React, jQuery, and AngularJS.

Other Skills

A frontend developer must also know the following technologies:

  • Preprocessors for CSS like Sass
  • AJAX
  • Backbone.js or jQuery
  • CSS frameworks such as Foundation or Bootstrap
  • Browser developer tools
  • Testing/debugging in an IDE
  • Version control systems such as Git

Frontend development jobs

Startup owners who want to hire frontend developers must know the specific duties they require. It is not simply posting and looking for frontend developers. In fact, it requires a clear understanding of what roles the project needs.

A Web designer is a common frontend development job. Another is UI/UX designer, UI designers are for the visual aspects of the design, while UX designers conduct multiple user testing to ensure the site is working properly. 

These are the alternative frontend job titles:

  • Frontend Developer
  • Frontend Engineer
  • CSS/HTML Developer
  • Frontend Web Designer
  • Frontend Accessibility Expert
  • Full-stack Developer
  • Frontend Dev Ops
  • Frontend Web Designer
  • Frontend Application Developer

Cost of hiring frontend developers

backend programming jobs

According to Codementor, the United States and New Zealand share the top spot of the most expensive freelance developers. Frontend developers have an average rate of $70 per hour. 

In another survey, the most expensive frontend developer services come from the US, Israel, Australia, and Germany. And the lowest salaries are in Ukraine, South Africa, Brazil, and India. To sum it up, the annual average base pay of a frontend developer is $76,929 worldwide.

Frontend vs. backend development: What is a backend developer?

The backend developer is responsible for the server-side of an application. It builds programs that work around the communication between the database and the browser.

Backend programming languages

A backend developer must be an expert in a backend programming language and is knowledgeable in more than one language. Here are backend programming and related technologies that every startup owners must require:


Enterprise software like HR, banking, and airline ticketing use the Java programming language. In the recent survey from StackOverflow, Java ranked fifth in the most popular programming, scripting, and markup languages. Though JavaScript now owns Java’s Web market share, it’s still a strong contender, and it’s not going anywhere. 


Server-side Web development uses PHP language. Most companies build their applications using this general-purpose scripting language. It works with HTML, wherein any PHP runtime executes every PHP requested file. Backend developers specialize in PHP to make interactive and data-driven websites. 


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Microsoft created the .NET framework as a software development framework. It provides a controlled Integrated Development Environment (IDE). In this IDE, developers can build, install, and execute applications on Windows-based operating systems.

Backend development is not limited to these three languages. Technologies between frontend vs. backend development are constantly updating.  

For example, Ruby is a popular programming language within the startup world. Also, Node.js popularity is fueled by allowing JS to efficiently run on the backend. Python, for its wide array of applications, is now considered as corporations and universities’ favorite because of AI and machine learning.

Backend development jobs

Backend development job titles include:

  • Backend Developer/ Engineer
  • Web Developer
  • WordPress Developer
  • Junior Full-stack Developer
  • Java Developer
  • Python Developer
  • Full-stack Developer
  • Dev Ops
  • Software Engineer
  • Mobile Developer
  • iOS Developer

Cost of hiring backend developers

According to Codementor, the hourly rates range from $61-80 for backend developers. For startup owners, consider the difference in hourly rates for different work types, such as full-time, part-time, or freelance.

Full-time backend developers may charge different rates versus other types of work engagement. 

What is Full-stack development?

Full-stack web development is a general approach. Thus, a fullstack developer is considered a generalist. They have experience and can distinguish the difference between frontend vs. backend development.

In Stack Overflow’s 2019 survey, about 51.9% of developers identified as fullstack developers, 50.0% as backend developers, and 32.8% as frontend developers.

There is a huge difference between the survey from 2018 and the latest survey. The recent dominance of fullstack developers indicates that their skills are dominating in the battle between frontend vs. backend development. Now, can we still say that there is still a competition between the front end and the back end? 

Being a full-stack developer means more opportunities as it covers wide areas in software development and its related technologies. While on the business owners’ side, it provides you less headache because you’re dealing with one developer.

Though the cost of hiring a full-stack developer is higher, startup owners can leverage talent that are not limited to the front end or back end only. 

According to Glassdoor, the average annual base pay for full-stack developers is $105,813. Of course, this is more expensive as you are hiring supposedly two developers.

We are here to help you!

This article explains the difference between frontend vs. backend development. Additionally, it provides ideas for startup owners about fundamentals and who to look for support when things go wrong on either side of a software project.

In that sense, Full Scale is an offshore company that is passionate about delivering top-notch business applications. 

We develop Web and mobile applications as an enjoyable collaboration between startup owners and our pool of experts. Our software developers will help turn your ideas into reality. 

Also, our CEOs are passionate about technology and help startups find their idea of success. We can build your team quickly and affordably to help your business grow. Have a FREE consultation with us today!

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