The backend of a web application is an enabler for a frontend experience. An application’s frontend may be the most beautifully crafted web page, but if the application itself doesn’t work, the application will be a failure. The backend of an application is responsible for things like calculations, business logic, database interactions, and performance. Most of the code that is required to make an application work will be done on the backend. Backend code is run on the server, as opposed to the client. This means that backend developers not only need to understand programming languages and databases, but they must have an understanding of server architecture as well. If an application is slow, crashes often, or constantly throws errors at users, it’s likely because of backend problems.

Backend development is not all ones and zeros though. Much like frontend development, backend development has a human aspect to it as well. Since most of the code for an application is written on the backend, it should be easy to understand and work with. Most backend languages – like Ruby and Python – have standardized styles and idioms that make reading and writing code more efficient and enjoyable.