Web development can be divided into three parts: code that executes in a web browser and determines what customers or clients will see when they land on a website (client-side scripting); code that executes on a web server and powers the behind-the-scenes mechanics of how a website works (server-side scripting); and database technology, which helps to keep a website running smoothly and efficiently. Large-scale web projects often divide these tasks among multiple web developers.
One type of developer may focus on setting up the back end of a site (back-end developer) while another may focus on the client side to add style and functionality to the website itself (front-end developer). The work is typically very project-focused and involves collaborating with a team of people who help coordinate the client’s needs with the end product.
Work may include meeting with clients to discuss their needs and requirements for a website or discuss how to keep their website functioning and up-to-date. Web developers construct the layout of a website, creating a visually interesting home page and user-friendly design, and may sometimes write content for the website. After a website is up and running, developers ensure the site is functional on all web browsers, testing and updating as needed.
A front-end developer codes the front end of a website. While web design is the way a website looks, front end development is how that design gets implemented on the web. By integrating markup languages, design, scripts and frameworks, front-end developers create the environment for everything that users see, click, and touch.
A back-end developer builds and maintains the technology needed to power the components which enable the user-facing side of a website to exist. Their back end code adds utility to everything the front-end designer creates.
Full Stack Developers
Full stack developers understand how every part of the web development process takes place and can guide on strategy and best practices. These developers will have an increasingly important role in the web development of the future, and are able to look at the ‘big picture’. They are knowledgeable with the server side as well as the client side’s user experience.