Backend Developer Job Description
As a backend developer, you will be responsible for building websites, writing codes, performing quality assurance testing, and providing ongoing support to clients. While you may be part of a larger support team, you can expect to work on several independent projects throughout your career. This could include developing a new code for a specific website function or application, finding a new way to store or organize data, or improving loading speeds for end-users.
Working as part of a team
Your goal as a backend developer is to improve the server-side functions of websites and applications. While there may be people with similar skillsets working on the same website or application as you, your tasks will focus on building and maintaining the systems end-users don’t see. You’ll likely work alongside frontend developers, who work to create everything the end-user sees on the website or application. Backend engineers will create the design, strategies, and methodology for the entire project. Other important team members, you will collaborate with include website testers, product managers, and software developers.Backend Developer Roles
What is the average salary of a backend developer?
Pay rates for backend developers vary depending on your education level, skillset, and the expectations of the job. The pay for backend developers is comparable to software developers, even though those jobs are very different. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers, quality assurance analysts, and testers have a median pay of $110,140 per year or $52.95 per hour. Because there is a high demand for backend developers and a projected 22% growth rate, you will have opportunities for pay growth. As a backend developer, you have the opportunity to receive higher pay if promoted to a senior-level role.
Working as a backend developer
There are a lot of career opportunities for backend developers. While the languages people use to code websites and applications may change over time, there will always be a demand for people with strong technical skills. If you are passionate about a particular programming language or framework, you will have the opportunity to specialize. Almost every industry uses websites and applications. As a backend developer, you will be able to work on a large corporation’s website or troubleshoot application functions for a small business. The demand for backend developers gives you the opportunity to find an employer that properly utilizes your skills and offers a favorable work environment.
What are the responsibilities of a backend developer?
Backend developers are responsible for improving, maintaining, managing, and creating functionality. As a backend developer, you will be responsible for releasing updates and patches, organizing data, and finding ways to improve application performance. You'll also troubleshoot issues that impact functionality, test functions, and use your coding skills to develop solutions.
Some additional responsibilities include building backend frameworks, leading API or cloud computing integration, and creating and managing databases. Overseeing content management systems, backing up data, and managing website security is also part of the role. A large portion of backend development is troubleshooting and implementing solutions. To ensure you are using the best solutions, you will need to maintain a strong understanding of programming language, frameworks, and tools. Technology is constantly evolving, and you will need to find opportunities to automate processes or modernize the codes you use on a regular basis.
Communicating and collaborating
Communication and collaboration are critical skills for backend developers. In this role, you need to be able to understand the overall goals of engineers and management. You will often need to explain what you are doing to people with little or no technical knowledge. You will also collaborate with team members to resolve problems and implement prompt creative solutions.
What type of equipment do backend developers use?
Backend developers use computers to complete the majority of their work. While any computer with a text editor will work for writing code, you should consider upgrading to a computer with at least 8GB of ram. Most of the tools you’ll be using as a backend developer are not overly demanding on a computer, but the CPU upgrade will make multi-tasking a little smoother. Multiple monitors are also a great update for developers who need multiple windows open to view, test, and edit code.
In addition to investing in a high-quality computer, you will need a reliable way to communicate with your team. This is crucial for remote positions. Even if your team utilizes Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Zoho Meeting as a primary method of communication, it is a good idea to have a dedicated phone for work emergencies.
What is the work environment of a backend developer?
As a backend developer, you will be working in an office setting. While many companies require backend developers to be present in the office, there are several remote work opportunities available. As long as you have access to your computer, a quiet workspace, and a means to communicate with your team. The role of a backend developer is very fast-paced and involves a lot of multitasking. You will often have project deadlines to adhere to or issues that need to fix as soon as possible.
Who are your colleagues as a backend developer?
As a backend developer, you work independently or with a group. Don’t be surprised if many of your colleagues have similar-sounding titles. For example, you may work alongside software engineers, software developers, and frontend developers. While these roles may have similar titles, they are very different. For example, a system administrator works on software and network equipment. A frontend developer works on all of the user-facing elements of a website or application.
What is the work schedule of a backend developer?
As a backend developer, you will likely be working a typical 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. shift. Freelance and part-time job opportunities are available. In a freelance role, you may work on a per-project basis or a few hours per week. In a full-time position, you will work close to 40 hours per week. When deadlines are approaching, you will often need to work overtime or outside of normal work hours. For the most part, your schedule will be consistent throughout the year.
What is the career outlook for a backend developer?
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there is a 22% growth in the need for software developers. As the need for software developers grows, so does the need for backend developers. Because technology is growing at a rapid pace, there are plenty of opportunities for backend developers and professionals with strong coding skills.
Opportunities for advancement
There are career advancement opportunities for backend developers. One common way to advance your career is to specialize. Companies frequently seek programming language specialists to help solve more advanced problems. If you have a strong understanding of multiple languages and frontend development skills, there are opportunities to grow as a full-stack engineer. Large companies also hire for advanced leadership roles. In a leadership role, you will guide a team of developers to complete projects.
What are the advantages of working with Spherion as a backend developer?
Finding the perfect backend developer job can be a challenge. Every employer will be looking for a unique set of skills that match their needs. Working with Spherion allows you to connect with employers seeking your technical skills. Spherion is a leading staffing company with a large network of companies hiring in-person and remote backend developers. There are several benefits to working with Spherion, including:
- Weekly pay
- Flexible scheduling
- Training opportunities for backend developers
- Local job opportunities
- Personal assistance with your job hunt
- Fast and easy job interview process
What education do you need as a backend developer?
Backend development is a skill-based career. Your employer will likely require a degree, certificates, or significant experience to show your ability to complete the job requirements. Many backend developers find earning a bachelor’s degree in computer science helps them acquire the programming and development skills they need to be successful. Some employers will also accept candidates with associate degrees in software development, database management, or network infrastructure depending on their specific needs.
Skills & competencies
Backend developers need to have a strong knowledge of programming languages, frameworks, and algorithms to write meaningful code. You will also need to make sure you have an understanding of the latest tools and technology related to the systems, software, and platforms you are working with. Expect to be continually learning and improving your skills throughout your career. In addition to these technical skills, backend developers should have the following skills:
- Project management
- Strategic planning
Being fluent in programming languages is crucial for backend development. While some of these languages can be self-taught, you can also pursue individual certifications for each one. Some of the most common programming languages include:
As you advance in the role, you will need to grow your understanding of specific programming languages, software, or tools. This is often done through a certification process. Some common certifications employers look for include C++, Python, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). If you are looking to progress into a leadership role, you should consider certifications that educate you on project management methodology. Many businesses have a need for backend developers who are also Certified Scrum Masters or Project Management Professionals (PMP Certification).
As technology continues to grow, there is an increasing need for backend developers to keep things running smoothly. Below are some frequently asked questions about backend developers.
Do you need a degree to become a backend developer?
Most employers will look for candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree, but you will be able to find a job if you have strong technical skills. Being fluent in multiple programming languages and having real-world experience in development can help you land entry-level positions.
What programming languages are used in backend development?
How can you improve your backend development skills?
In addition to studying commonly used programming languages, you can learn more about data management. Many backend developers study database management systems like Oracle to better understand how to manage large amounts of information.
How do I apply for a job as a backend developer?
Applying for a job as a backend developer is easy with Spherion. You can search for backend developer jobs on Spherion.com by job title and location. If you don’t see the perfect role, you can submit an open application. Once you submit your resume through Spherion’s open application, a recruiter from the office closest to you will reach out with details about potential backend developer roles that fit your skill set and professional goals.