What is front-end & back-end programming?

by Meike Müller


Reading time 5 min

What awaits you
  1. A brief overview
  2. What is front-end development?
  3. What makes a good frontend
  4. What is backend programming?
  5. What makes a good backend
  6. Where do backend and frontend developers work?
  7. The FAQ: More questions and answers
    1. What is middleware?
    2. What are APIs?
    3. What is a requirements analysis?
    4. What is a requirements analysis?


Programming is, among other things, about the creation of computer programs, the development of a software or the organization of various data structures. Programming can be divided into two areas, but they are closely related: front-end and back-end development. In this article we would like to explain you what are the differences between frontend and backend programming, what makes good programming in these areas and where frontend and backend developers can work or how to get support for web development in your company.

1. a short overview

Actually, programming can be divided into three areas: Frontend, Middleware and Backend. The frontend is the layer that is close to the user. For example, it is the user interface of the IT system. The backend is the layer that is close to the system. It is where the data is stored. The middleware is the neutral application that is responsible for data exchange between two applications. In other words, it mediates between the applications. We would like to explain the two layers, frontend and backend, in more detail so that you know what they are really about.

2 What is frontend development?

Grafik Laptop Gestaltung einer OberflächeFrontend development is the design of the user interface of an application. The frontend is responsible for the user interface, which is also called graphical user interface or GUI. This is what users can see when they navigate the web. It could also be called the presentation layer.

Front-end programming on the web usually consists of programming with a programming language and what is called web design. For the frontend development HTML, CSS and Javascript are mostly used. For the web design, graphics and images are often created with Photoshop, for example. This way, applications can be designed individually. Every detail you can see on a website for example (button, menu, fonts or tables) has been created before with the help of programming languages and graphics. But not only on websites, also in every other software there is a frontend.

3. what makes a good frontend

There are some characteristics that can tell you if the frontend of an application has been successfully implemented. On the one hand, you should immediately recognize the goal of the application. If there is a call-to-action button, i.e. a button that prompts the user to take an action, it should be positioned and designed in a clearly visible way. This is also important with regard to search engine optimization in Google, if it is a web application that should also be found via Google.

On the other hand, a good frontend should pay attention to user-friendly navigation. This means that familiar functions are placed in the usual places so that they can be found right away. By the way, this also ensures a good user experience (you might want to link to the appropriate article here). In addition, as a frontend developer you should adapt the user interface for all devices. This means, for example, that an online store should also look good on smartphones, tablets and PCs and adapt to the size of the screen. Users should be happy to use the online store on any device. For example, if the store doesn't work so well on a smartphone, smartphone users are unlikely to visit the online store. By the way, the adaptation to different devices is called Responsive Design.

In the frontend, it is also important to ensure a uniform, clear and modern design in order to radiate seriousness. For you as a frontend developer, this means that you should have a good eye for design and still be familiar with the programming side and be enthusiastic about it. As a good frontend developer, you are not only familiar with the classic programming languages, but you also have a good command of image editing programs to create graphics, etc.

4. what is backend development?

Grafik Laptop Backend-Entwicklung Unlike the frontend, the backend is not visible to the user of a web application. It is much more the layer behind the functions. It is what makes the frontend usable in the first place, for example, by allowing you to click on a button and then go to another subpage. When you click on the button, you can basically communicate with the backend through the frontend. In a software, the backend is closer to the hardware than the frontend. It is the data access layer that is responsible for all the functions that run in the background.

As a backend developer, you master the programming languages PHP, C++, C# or Java, for example, and program the functions of your application. In addition, you have a broad knowledge of the protocols SOAP, HTTP and REST and databases as well as SQL. In general, as a backend developer you deal with interfaces, APIs, database programming and services.

5. what makes a good backend

A good backend is clearly structured. Careful data management is important so that functions in the backend can be changed or improved at any time. To increase the performance of the backend, you should ensure that data is reconciled at regular intervals. In addition, as many processes as possible should be automated so that all functions can be executed smoothly. For this purpose, individual workflows must also be coordinated with each other.

6. where do backend and frontend developers work?

Backend and frontend programmers now have a wide range of employers looking to hire them. Developers are needed in almost every company, for example to program a web application or to deal with app programming. Developers are also needed for online stores and websites. A very popular workplace for programmers is in a software agency. But frontend and backend developers are also sought after in the public sector, in healthcare, at banks or within the logistics industry. Do you have any further questions about frontend or backend programming? We will be happy to advise you. Our software agency has years of experience in the field of web application programming and will be happy to help you find an individual software solution. Of course, you can also get help with web development in your company from EXWE. Just call us for a first consultation. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Before programming an application, you as a backend developer should conduct a requirements or needs analysis to plan the application in advance. This requires analytical and logical thinking.



FAQ: Questions and answers about programming types

If you still have questions about the programming types, you can find some frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers or explanations here. If you have a specific question, don't hesitate to contact us.

  • What is middleware?

    Middleware is a type of software that acts as an intermediary between different applications or components of a system, allowing them to communicate and exchange data with each other. Middleware is often used in distributed systems where different applications or components run on different computers. It can be implemented in several ways, including as a library or framework used by the applications or as a separate application that mediates between the other applications. The use of middleware can facilitate the development of distributed systems by simplifying and standardizing the communication between the different components.

  • What are APIs?

    APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) are interfaces that allow applications to communicate with each other and access specific functions and services. APIs can be implemented in a variety of formats, including as web APIs that are invoked over the HTTP protocol or as local APIs that run on the same computer. They can be used by other applications to call specific functions or retrieve data without requiring the applications to be directly connected. The use of APIs can facilitate application development by standardizing communication between different applications and allowing developers to access existing functions and services instead of implementing them over and over again.

    Vorschau YouTube Video
  • What is a needs analysis?

    A needs analysis is a method used to identify and document the needs and requirements of a system or application. Needs analysis is often performed at the beginning of a development process to ensure that the system or application meets the requirements of users and satisfies their needs. It can be conducted in a variety of ways, including interviews, questionnaires, and observations. The results of the needs analysis are then used to define the requirements for the system or application and to guide development accordingly.

  • What is a requirements analysis?

    A requirements analysis is a method used to identify and document the requirements for a system or application. Requirements analysis is often performed as part of a needs analysis and is based on the needs and wants of the users of the system or application. The requirements analysis focuses on the functions and capabilities that the system or application is intended to provide and determines how it will be used and what requirements it must meet. The results of the requirements analysis are used to plan and guide the development of the system or application and ensure that it meets the requirements of the users.

Was ist dein Projekt? Wenn du uns darüber erzählen möchtest, rufen wir dich zurück!

from 03.09.2021

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

Du möchtest immer am Zenit der Technik bleiben? Keine News und Blogbeiträge mehr verpassen.
We also have the following interesting posts from our tech blog for you on this topic
Reach your users with web apps and push messages!

Push notifications in the form of web apps help you get closer to your business goals. Find out why you shouldn't do without them here.

The best programming languages for web development

The best programming languages for web development? We'll introduce you to PHP, Ruby and more, and show you which applications they're best suited for.

Web development and website management - A complete overview

We as a web development agency show you an overview of all website elements. Learn all about SEO, content and website performance and more.

+49 231 93149827