Front-End vs. Back-End vs. Full-Stack Developers: Who Do You Need for Your Project?
Having an idea in your mind that may somehow enhance your business and improve its visibility is just the tip of an iceberg. If your project requires the development of an application, or your company needs to modernize legacy software so that it can better help with the workflow of teams, it is vital to think through every step. If you only have vague plans, it doesn’t mean that you have already succeeded. You should go through the entire life cycle development process, and every stage is important.
When you are only at the start, it is not less important than when your team is at the development phase. During the discovery stage, all key details have to be noted, including the choice of the developers with the right skills. That is why today, we will look at one of the steps of the discovery phase when you are deciding on whose help you need: the technology knowledge of front-end developers, back-end developers, or full-stack developers.
Most of the time, there is a need for only one type of professionals, because your in-house team may have the other type of developers or your project requires specific assistance. Therefore, it is essential to understand the differences between these specialists so that project managers will be able to shape the working process the proper way. XB Software is an experienced company, and our development team has many years of expertise, which is why we can guide you in the right direction. So, let’s take a closer look.
Starting with the Basics
In order to know which developers to hire and which custom software development services to look for exactly, you need to be able to differentiate between front-end, back-end, and full-stack web developer roles. First of all, let’s explore front-end development services and when you need them.
Front end is basically the cover of your application or website. All graphical elements, user interface — everything a user sees when they interact with your product is front end. It includes buttons, color of elements, their shapes, sizes, and location, as well as overall design and layout. Thus, a front-end developer is a specialist who develops these elements and ensures that each of them is working as intended.
Front-end developers work in conjunction with back-end developers to guarantee the perfect work of all elements and features. Their main task is to be sure that the final product is user-friendly, responsive, intuitive, and has overall good performance.
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Back end is simply the backstage of your software. It is the entire code that is written for the features of your product and all the processes that define the interaction with the database and infrastructure. This is the opposite of the front end, because a user doesn’t see how a product operates, and it doesn’t matter for them as long as everything works smoothly and doesn’t have issues, lags, or bugs.
Back-end developers are the ones who are responsible for server-side development. They focus on web page or system architecture, scripting, and databases. These specialists ensure that the coding that determines the processes between these elements is delivered the best way imaginable. With their skills, it is possible to guarantee dynamic page display, correct user input, database building and management, and logic layer construction. The system back-end developers create should be scalable, efficient, and perform without errors. PHP, Python, and CSS are the most commonly used programming languages among back-end developers. As for our team, if you need the professionals who are experienced in working with Node.js or .NET, our specialists will be glad to assist yours.
Full stack means exactly how it sounds. This is the process when a specialist is well-versed in both front-end and back-end development, which means that full-stack developers are able to tackle both client and server sides. Of course, it is possible to involve them in only one area if needed, and they will be able to join in the other team when required. It all depends on the project goals and resources of your team and company in general. Being “jack of all trades” and having two sets of skills is useful, but it is not an easy task.
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Pros, Cons, and Challenges of Each Option
If you are thinking about which developers you need for your project, it is recommended to look at the advantages and disadvantages for each option and know the challenges that you may face. Let’s have a closer look.
If talking about the advantages of front-end development, note down that front-end development is usually quicker than back-end or full-stack development. Also, the code required for the front end is simpler than the one needed for the back end. However, there are some disadvantages of this process. Front end is considered to be more vulnerable, so it can lead to security issues when using unreliable widgets or unfamiliar lines of code. Besides that, it is less scalable.
As for the advantages of the back end, the code is more secure and its scalability grants better flexibility during the implementation of different features. With the back end, you can create ways to store and manage data efficiently. This type of development also has its disadvantages. This is a complex process that requires a proficient set of skills and clear understanding of the required procedures.
When you want all at once, you need to consider the advantages of full-stack development. Indeed, this may be convenient to have a full-stack developer in your team. Such a specialist can offer you a full package, and there may be no need in getting someone else’s help. They will be able to reuse code when it is possible and guarantee high performance by optimizing both front end and back end. But, choosing a full-stack developer can bring you negative aspects as well. One of the disadvantages is that full-stack development is a lot more complex if compared to the individual areas. More files and code to work, more time and resources to spend. And again, this professional will have to know more than other developers, so you need to be sure that they possess the required skillset.
Depending on your needs and final choice, you may have to deal with some challenges that can occur in the process:
- Going for front-end or back-end developers may affect your budget, because hiring specific specialists for certain needs can cost much higher than having a single developer. However, if you have enough resources to hire various seasoned professionals to cover each area, there is nothing to worry about;
- The more people to coordinate, the more chances to turn the whole life cycle development into chaos. However, it is a manageable issue if you have a good management team. Hiring more developers can also be a plus when you lead a startup or need more specialists for your current team.
During the development process, a team may come across many choices, and considering which developers your project needs is one of the important decisions that should be made. If you think through all the goals you want to achieve and requirements to fulfill, you understand that the choice is not so difficult after all. If you want to know more about the skills our developers possess, please contact us and we will help you to make the right choice.