Basics of Backend Engineering

Web Development Fundamentals

To have information on the web server for clients to request, you need to create web pages to house this information, and that’s where web development comes in.

Web development is the work involved in or the process of developing a website for the Internet. Web development can range from developing a simple single static page of plain text to complex web applications.

When building a simple static web page to display only information for users, you might not need to indulge in complex programming but only use the web language to create and display this information.

However, this type of web page is considered a simple and static web page if you need to build a more complex web page where your information is restricted to a certain number of people who are either authenticated or authorized or both. You need a Turing complete programming language to add such functionality.

Nevertheless, whether you want to build a simple static website or a complex web application, you must learn basic tools and languages to achieve it.

These languages and tools are divided into two distinct and broad groups depending on your focus or area of specialization when building web applications, viz:

  • Frontend

  • Backend

According to Wikipedia: “In software engineering, the term frontend and backend refer to the separation of concerns between the presentation layers (frontend) and the data access layer (backend) of a piece of software.”

Also, in the client-server software engineering model, the client is referred to as the front end, while the server is referred to as the back end.

These groups are subjective and opinionated because different people will argue that UI/UX Designers, Product Managers, DevOps, etc, should be included. I will agree with them, but notably, the traditional (old ways) Frontend and Backend categories cover all other groups on a broad scale.

Now let’s explore these groups and see what they need to do, the languages and tools they use, and how it all comes together to form a web application the client can request information and get a response from the server.


The front end represents the user-facing part of any web application. The web pages where the users will consume the information, the colors, the design, the images and videos, and how they are all displayed nicely, including the information they are coming from, are all part of the front end.

Whether you’re building a simple web page, static web pages, or a complex web application, at least what happens at the front end is crucial and inevitable to learn.

In addition, every great software engineer or web engineer should understand the basics of frontend and then progress from there to a different area of specialization. Therefore, this makes frontend engineering very important in web engineering.

These are some generic tools and technologies for every Web engineer to learn, whether you’re a Frontend Engineer or a Backend engineer.

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • JavaScript

Exploring each of the tools in depth is out of the scope of this hub. However, you can learn the basic of vanilla JavaScript.

You can learn everything you need to learn as a backend engineer in frontend engineering from Frontend Engineering for Backend Engineers.

The second part of web development is backend engineering, which introduces us to the next question.

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