Front-end vs Back-end vs Full-stack Development | Which is best for you?


Let’s clear a big confusion in this article. Which one should you pick? The front-end development, back-end development, or full-stack development. It is important to pick the right thing in 2022 and beyond because this literally defines your career in programming but it’s not like one size fits all for everyone, so keep reading this one and will explore what thing you should explore out of front-end, back-end, and full-stack.

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I’m going to start off with the very basic definition of everything which we will discuss. We have these three in front of us right now i.e front-end development, back-end development, and full-stack development and they are very popular, right? Some people say I’m a front-end developer or some say I’m a full-stack developer. So what does that even mean? Let’s start with front-end development first.

Front-end Development

When we say front-end developer that means you are a developer who is coding for the person who is seeing the imports on the screen. The layouts, the widgets, the animations, the transitions, all that stuff is you. It’s all you as a front-end developer. The confetti, the pop-ups all that stuff is you when you’re working as a front-end developer.

Browsers - TechWithAndy

Now with the front-end what you have to do is to work with a lot of browsers also and in most cases, a single piece of code pretty much works consistently across multiple browsers. But sometimes you might run into edge cases and sometimes you might run into issues where you know browsers are misbehaving. So as a front-end dev fight always remains to just keep on keep the browsers together in a way.

Back-end Development

Back-end development, in contrast, is a little bit different because when you are a back-end developer you are actually programming systems, right? And these systems are owned, sometimes virtually, sometimes even physically by you, the developer endpoint. There is no element of surprise, for example, in this case, some users might have a Chrome Extension which blocks certain parts of your website and, the user cannot use your web app properly. Doesn’t happen in the back-end because you are controlling the back-end server fully, you know exactly what permissions your server has, what data goes in, what data goes out, and so on.

So this is more of a way of communicating with the front-end in a way and getting back data as well. But this is a more critical piece because it interacts with your database as well. So you want to make sure that this is critically secured, this is not vulnerable, people are not able to hack into this, and so on. So as a back-end developer, not only, I mean that applies for front-end as well for a security context, but even more so in a back-end development world, that not only your job is to make your code nice, but your job is also to make your code secure, follow best practices around security and so on.

Full-stack Development

So when we talk about a full-stack developer, this is something that includes a combination of both the front-end and back-end but a little bit more. Because this includes additional information that you know how to hop from front-end to back-end and from back-end to front-end.

Imagine you’re working on some sort of project which requires you to code both front-end and back-end simultaneously. So you’re creating an endpoint, you’re going g back to the website, you create another endpoint, you go back to the front-end. You are working parallelly between back-end and front-end, so you know how the data layer is flowing, how the data is communicating, you know how the database is working. That’s how you extract the data, you know how the caching works, let’s say with radius and so on. You know a lot about both places. And you have that power that you can test into multiple browsers. This data layer, this bridge of communication you know this really well.

data communication
data communication

 A lot of times what happens is that when front-end developers are working as front-end devs, they know UI and stuff and everything, but they don’t really understand how the network request is happening, what is an API, what is a Websocket, what is a TLS handshake or what are even streams, things like these. I mean as a front-end developer you don’t even need to know this stuff. It’s not that it’s a requirement. Similarly, as a back-end dev, you don’t know a lot of stuff. For example, how React works, how to work with CSS properly, that’s the biggest complaint of back-end developers. But a full-stack developer should and has to know all of these aspects because you’re the one who is jumping between front-end and back-end.

end to end testing
end-to-end testing

What should you learn?

Now the big question is, should you learn full-stack, should you learn back-end, and should you learn front-end? Well, here’s my suggestion.

If you are learning full-stack, I mean I would learn full-stack if I was a solo player. Maybe you’re still in school, college, or maybe you’re just exploring stuff. That’s the place where you want to become a full-stack developer. Why? Because if you just stick to the front-end or if you just stick to the back-end, you will limit your horizon to the things you can do with web development. You cannot do everything if you’re just a front-end developer. Similarly, you cannot do everything if you’re just a back-end developer. You can do everything only if you are a full-stack developer because you need both layers.

It does not mean if have to be great at both. It just means that you have to be willing to work with both layers simultaneously.  Now when do you choose to be a back-end developer and a front-end developer? This is again this is your choice in a way.

Let’s say if you are working in a team or company and you like UI UX and you know just the interfaces part more than logic building. Not to say that front-end does not have a logic building but front-end definitely has more of UI UX and how things should look and feel like than building complex caching logic or some sort of rate-limiting or something. If you are more into that then you should go for the front-end and if you are more into the logic part and you are more into security and databases and stuff, then you should go for the back-end part. But again, this does not mean that if you are working in a team you cannot be a full-stack developer, you very well can be.


But it depends a lot on you as a person as well. What’s your preference? What’s your choice? You can just do the front-end part, start applying for the front-end jobs and you can just do the back-end part and start applying for the back-end jobs. You don’t have to know CSS and stuff like that for becoming a back-end developer. And that’s completely fine.

Or if you’re a solo fighter, then of course you can learn everything. Become a full-stack developer and you will be on your way.

Hopefully, you like this, hopefully, you learned the differences between front-end, back-end, and full-stack and now you are more clear on what you have to do.

Let me know if you have any questions in the comment section!!

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