category: Careers

Front End vs. Back End Web Development: Which Career Path is Right for You?

Careers, Guest Post, NextGen | | 3 min read

Software engineering and web development have always been amongst the most sought after roles by companies at Silicon Milkroundabout. However one common question we get asked from those just starting out is whether to start out as a ‘front end’ or ‘back end’ developer. So alongside our partner Le Wagon, we’ve pulled together this guide to help you explore the differences and decide which is the right career path for you.

So if you’re just starting out your career as a developer or looking to switch careers into web development, this is the guide for you.

Front End Web Development

You click on a link for a website and the page loads. You see a modern, sleek design, an intuitive interface, smooth navigation and a page that adapts to your device and screen size. This means you’re engaging with the front end of the website – everything that you can see and interact with on a page or in an app.

Usually front end development happens after the design stage. A designer will plan and design a webpage or app, deciding on what content, copy and visual elements go where on the page. The front end developer will then take this design and code the page, bringing it to life as a web page / app. This can include interactive elements such as buttons, menus, forms, animations and 3rd party integrations. They also ensure that all content components adjust and are optimised across different screen sizes, devices and browsers. All of which have their own idiosyncrasies that need to be considered and accommodated to provide the same experience to everyone.

The most common coding languages used by front end developers are 

HTML – to create a structure for the webpage

CSS – to and control the visual design

JavaScript – to manage the dynamic elements.

If you have an eye for design and want to craft engaging user centric experiences, front end web development may be the perfect fit.

Back End Web Development

Now lets assume you’re shopping online for a new t-shirt and browsing the sleek interface created by the front end developer. You see a t-shirt you like, add to the basket, checkout and receive a confirmation email that you’re t-shirt is on its way. The back end developer works behind the scenes of the website, handling all the server side and database processes to ensure the business runs smoothly.

In this case, the back end developer is responsible for of how easy it is to search and find the t-shirt, the ease with which an account can be created, payment details added and payment made. The backend developer has to then ensure the system correctly tells the warehouse to dispatch the t-shirt to the given address while keeping the customer updated with the status of their purchase. If the t-shirt is no longer available, the back end developer is responsible for the inventory management system that prevents someone from still being able to purchase that item.

What technologies and systems a back end developer uses will very much depend on the nature of the business.

For instance, a back-end developer who works for a social media platform might work on real-time push notifications and optimising data storage and retrieval. In banking, it could be optimising data encryption and handling transaction processing.

As a result, back end developers tend to cover a wider range of technologies than front end developers. Some of the more common ones include SQL, Python, Java and Ruby.

If you enjoy problem-solving, have a logical mindset, and like working with databases and servers, back-end web development may be your calling.

Which Path Should You Choose?

Front End Web Development might be right for you if:

  • You have a passion for design and appreciate visual aesthetics.
  • You enjoy creating visually engaging user experiences.
  • You’re interested in HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  • You want to showcase your creativity through websites and user interfaces.

Back End Web Development might be right for you if:

  • You enjoy working with data, databases, and servers.
  • You’re interested in creative problem-solving and critical thinking.
  • You enjoy working with languages such as SQL, Python, Java or Ruby.
  • You want to build the underlying logic and functionality of websites.

Where to start

It’s also worth noting that you don’t necessarily have to choose front end or back end. Many developers enjoy a combination of both and are known as “full stack’ develops. This offers the best of both worlds, allowing you to design captivating user interfaces while also building out powerful functionality.

Whether you choose front end, back end, or decide to explore full stack web development, learning these skills can open up a world of opportunities. Start learning the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to get a taste for front-end development, or dive into SQL, Java and Ruby to explore the back end. There are countless online resources, tutorials, and bootcamps available to help you kickstart your web development journey.

If you’re interested in getting started, join our free beginners workshop:

Build a Landing Page – Explore HTML and CSS and learn to design, build and structure website pages. Click here to learn more and save your space. 10th October 2023

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Just starting out in tech? How to choose your pathway

Careers, Guest Post, NextGen | | 5 min read

Are you considering starting a tech career? Or just getting started and trying to make sense of the many options available? It can be hard to decide which path is right for you. So we’ve partnered with Le Wagon to provide a guide to choosing your own pathway and what to consider. It’s full of tips to help you with your journey.

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In conversation with…

Careers, Guest Post, Hiring, Interviews, Tech | | 3 min read

Bhavik Sutha

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do? What’s your job role?

I’m an Electronics Engineer by degree and a Software Engineer by profession. I’m currently a Software Development Manager at Tesco in the payments platform. Having spent 20 years in various industries like hospitality, gaming, payments and now retail, I’ve faced and enjoyed many technical and management challenges. These include everything from hiring and team upskilling to managing the balance between technical excellence and value expectations.

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In conversation with…

About SMR, Careers, Guest Post, Hiring, Uncategorized | | 2 min read

Benjamin Lehne – Data Science Manager at Tesco

Tell us a little about yourself. What do you do? What’s your job role?

I’m a Data Science Manager within the Data Science & Analytics practice. My team develops and maintains the Machine Learning models that power personalisation on the Tesco website and it’s my job to coordinate the work across software engineers, data scientists and business stakeholders

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5 things Judge.Me learned from Silicon Milkroundabout

About SMR, Careers, Guest Post, Hiring, Uncategorized | | 3 min read

On 13 May this year, the team will be heading over to the Truman Brewery in East London for the 2023 edition of Silicon Milkroundabout, London’s hottest jobs fair for tech roles. It’ll be our second time at the event, and we learned a bunch when we went down last year.

We thought we’d share a few thoughts about what we learned.

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An update about our NEXT GEN initiative

About SMR, Careers, Hiring, Next event, SMR | | 2 min read

A lot seems to have happened since we ran our first NEXT GEN event in Nov 2022, there’s no denying that it’s a particularly challenging time right now – we hope you’re all doing well. With this in mind, we wanted to give everyone an update on what’s been happening and our future plans for the NEXT GEN initiative.

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