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Last updated on 11/28/19

Become familiar with back-end developers

If front-end developers write the code that you end up seeing in your browsers, someone needs to write code that generates the response containing what you see!

These people are called back-end developers because they don't often work with what you, the client, end up seeing on the front-end of a website.

It can be hard to understand where the line is between front and back-end. To make things more clear, here are some tasks that back-end developers handle:

  • write code that dynamically populates a page with certain information depending on the circumstances

  • control which pages get shown at which time

  • write code that generates SQL queries that get sent to a database

Back-end developers make sure these interactions go smoothly. This way, the front-end developer can just write code that makes for a pleasant, non-buggy user experience in the browser.

Let's quickly check out some of the back-end programming languages that companies or individuals might use to accomplish the aforementioned tasks. Remember: you're not expected to actually learn them!


puts 'Hello, students!'


    echo 'Hello, students!';


print "Hello, students!"

Each of these is a line that outputs the text "Hello, students!" Only the syntax for each is slightly different. However, you could even use  print "Hello, students!"  in either Ruby or Python, and it'd work in both cases! 

If you're thinking about getting into back-end programming, it's hard to choose a particular language to learn. A useful way to answer the question could be to consider tech companies you might want to work for. Search for them online and try to figure out which languages they run on. This is often obvious in software engineer job postings. 

In the next chapter, we'll move beyond strictly client and server concerns and explore the people coding for mobile devices like iPhones, iPads, or Android devices.

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