What Does a Back-End Developer Do? – An Interview with a Software Developer
Last week I wrote about front-end developers. This week we are revealing what goes on behind what the users see. I interviewed Milos and Milomir, two of our PHP or back-end developers at Software Nation’s European office to understand what back-end development is all about.
Back-end code can be called the brain of the application, as it is what makes the app or software actually work. It is nonvisible to the user and is run on the server. So as the front-end interacts with the user, the back-end interacts with the server to acquire information. There is a client side and a server side to an application, and the back-end is stored on the server side. When a user interacts with an application, the information is stored in a database that exists on the server. Thanks to the back-end the user is then able to return, save and change data when they interact with the application again. For example, when you sign into your email, the back-end checks that the username is valid and verifies that the password belongs to that username. Back-end is used for all kinds of calculations, logics, and storing data. Some of the programming languages used in back-end development are for example PHP, Ruby, Python, and Java.
What’s the first thing you do when you come to work?
Milos: Check email and Skype
Milomir: Have a coffee
What programming languages do you know?
Describe a typical day at Software Nation.
Milos: Going through my emails, checking in with clients on Skype, going through what was done the day before and what to do next with the team, making coffee, coding, coding, coding… writing reports.
Milomir: Work work work – and listening to Erik’s stories
What platforms do you develop for?
Milos: Web, mobile, tablet
Explain the most advanced/complex application development project you have worked on and provide its details.
Milos: I’m part of a team that develops complex API that can run thousands of applications from a single engine.
Milomir: A video streaming website located on over 100 servers.
What sparked your interest to become a software developer?
Milos: I was looking for the best way to get cash from the infinite time I was spending on my computer 🙂
Is software development hard or easy and why?
Milos: The further you’re involved in learning new stuff in programming, eventually you’ll come to a moment where you find it interesting and not so hard to do.
Milomir: Easy – because you have a lot of documentation and video tutorials available on the internet. Nowadays it is also taught in many schools.
What’s the best thing about being a software developer?
Milos: Besides the fact that it is very well paid, it is fun working in team with other developers, planning the project’s workflow, putting it all together, and seeing the final product being used by customers.
Milomir: It’s a dynamic job.
Thanks Milos and Milomir for the interview! Now we have a better picture of what software developers, both those who work back-end and front-end, do.