What is Backend Development

2 min. read

Have you ever wondered what it means to be a backend developer? With different languages being thrown around the tech community, it can be hard to determine what languages are really for the backend. Here's a little breakdown to understand more of what backend development is and what you need to build a web service.


Every application has an underlying database associated with it. A database is where all the information is stored that relates to information being presented on the user interface. There are two types of databases: relational databases where the data is being represented in a table format and non-relational databases where data is being represented in a document format. Examples of databases are:

  • MySQL (Good for people who are just getting started and want to learn about relational databases)
  • Firebase (Good for people wanting to quickly get started on building a mobile app)
  • MongoDB (Good if you're storing a variety of different data that may evolve over time)
  • PostgreSQL (Good for if you want more enhanced features than MySQL and are going between using SQL and NoSQL)


An API is a set of functions that allow us to have access as well as edit information within a database. With APIs you can develop many different types of web applications with different types of functionality. The most common type of api is REST API and the main types of HTTP methods for REST APIs are

  • POST: adds a new object to the database
  • GET: retrieves already existing objects within the database
  • PUT: updates an existing object in the database
  • DELETE: deletes an object that exists within the database

Server-Side Programming

The server is the communicator between the the client (User Interface) and the database. The server handles the different requests that will be made to make updates to the database. You need to use server-side programming languages that will allow you to create the server as well as build different algorithms that will handle client requests before they hit the database. Server-Side programming languages are:

  • Node.js
  • Python
  • Java
  • Php

Backend Development refers to the server side of an application. From the database layer right up to the API layer is the where a backend developer is focused.

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