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Backend Development Skills - The Ultimate Roadmap to Becoming a Full-stack Developer – Part 2 1

Backend Development Skills – The Ultimate Roadmap to Becoming a Full-stack Developer – Part 2

Walk into a room of developers and ask them to draw a neat, clean line between front-end and back-end developers. You’ll find voices advocating for front-end skills that back-end developers must have and vice versa. In a textbook, one might be able to distinguish between the two fields cleanly, but in the real world, a full-stack developer offers cross-discipline skills. 

Part I of this series outlined the first part of the full-stack developer’s roadmap, that is, front-end skills and tools. This article focuses on the server-side of programming.

Read on to know the complete roadmap to become a full-stack developer.

Step 1: Identify gaps in back-end development skills

Back-end web development is highly focused on the ‘logic’ layer rather than ‘presentation’ and is usually invisible to the user. Here, aspiring developers need to focus on building expertise with the frameworks and server programming languages specific to back-end development while keeping the current market requirements in mind. While experience in an array of back-end technologies is beneficial, most employers will work with specific frameworks and use those only. So, it helps to employ a targeted effort to get the ball rolling.  

  • Must-have back-end skills
    As mentioned, back-end development is all about the logic of an application and is the job profile responsible for making elements do what they do. So, naturally, having some experience with front-end development is required to understand interactions and deliver a more refined product.

    Further, back-end developers must be able to work with version control systems, monitor a site’s health and status, have the ability to problem-solve efficiently, design databases, understand modern programming paradigms, and have knowledge of service architecture.

Step 2: Master back-end technology

As all back-end development has to do with server-side implementations, it is vastly different from other forms of web development. Here, the priority is based on the ‘how does it work’ aspect of functionality and creating optimized application program interfaces.

  • Server programming languages and frameworks 

For aspiring developers with no experience in front-end coding, learning server programming languages and frameworks can be quite daunting. Here, popular languages like PHP, Python, Java, and Ruby are essential to being a well-rounded developer. Further, frameworks like Node.js and Django are essentials too as they’re very popular in the industry and are mostly used as standards. 

This is a scripting language and is arguably one of the more stable ones to learn. It is fairly intuitive as it has a built-in error reporting feature and coding here is quite straightforward as there’s no need to declare data types like with other languages. One of the main reasons to learn this language is its access to a large number of libraries for data representation and its ability to cross-integrate with other databases such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, and Informix.  

Python is an interpreted language that is easy to learn, even for beginners, thanks to its simple syntax. It is among the most preferred languages by specialists as its implementation allows developers to focus on problem-solving rather than resource management or system architecture. Further, this language also has a GUI (graphics user interface) support, allowing the use of specified frameworks while creating customized GUIs.  

Java is a well-known, object-oriented programming language that most beginners start off with. It is considered basic, easy to master, and is platform-independent thanks to the Java Virtual Machine engine. For new developers who may be learning to code on unorthodox platforms, this helps as it negates the need to migrate.  

Node.js is a JS framework that allows developers to execute code for back-end development. Naturally, JS experience is required to use this framework and it outdoes older, traditional frameworks. What’s more, using this framework, developers can design entire small-size applications with ease without worrying about individual front- and back-end code manipulation. 

Django is the Python framework for back-end development and one that can be used flexibly. Here, Python mastery is key and simplifies efforts greatly. In fact, Django-focused developers are in great demand for tech start-ups due to the ease of development that it allows. It is also stable and quick to patch out vulnerabilities so that problem-solving on the server-side is a lot quicker. 

  • Structured Query Language (SQL)

Since back-end development relies on resource management, SQL is fundamental to doing so effectively. It is the language that coordinates how data is written, read, and updated in the entire system, and is invaluable in function, especially for larger amounts of data. It is significantly faster than the alternative, manual data query, and proficiency in SQL goes a long way in becoming a well-rounded full-stack developer. 

Step 3: Create and build a web development portfolio

Given the fact that back-end web development is mostly based on optimization, SQL queries, and customized APIs, it may be hard to build an exciting portfolio. However, all of these should definitely have a spot on your portfolio as they highlight your mastery for potential employers who can check for coding ability, testing, problem-solving, and updates. Here, version control systems help but, ultimately, building a presence online on GitHub also contributes its fair share. 

This roadmap covers all the essential skills that are currently in demand and also gives importance to technologies and frameworks of the future. Once you know where you’re going and what you have to do to get there, all you need to do is grab the opportunity by the horns.

Wondering how you can do that? Sign up with Talent500 and let our dynamic skill assessment and machine learning algorithm map your talent with job openings at Fortune 500 companies!



Girish is Talent500’s architect for systems software. His experience in backend development has helped him convert visions of many a product into reality. From his days at BITS-Pilani, he has always dreamt about beating AplhaZero at chess.

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