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How to Become a Backend Developer

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How to Become a Backend Developer

You have decided you want to become a Backend Developer. Congrats! But how do you get there? Software development is such a big and complex industry, with so many different specialties. This blog aims to show you the specific skills, traits and characteristics you will need in order to become a Top Backend Developer.

If you want to learn how to become a backend developer in 2021, you’re not alone. Every day thousands and thousands of people search Google for “how to become a backend developer.” Whether you’re one of those people or just stumbled upon this article, I hope this will help answer your question and hopefully guide you on your journey to becoming a backend developer. 

Let’s get into it!

What is a backend developer, anyway? 

If you’re looking to become a backend developer, learning what the term means is important. 

As the name suggests, a backend developer works with the tech behind websites and applications. A backend developer is someone who builds the infrastructure that powers website applications. They write all the code that allows you to display content and manage forms on your site. It also includes things like integrating with third-party software, operating system components and databases. The term ‘backend’ is often used to refer to process applications running tech infrastructures “behind the scene” and deployed by application servers.

So how do you become one?

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Start with the basics of Data Structures and Algorithm

To become a backend developer, you need to have knowledge of a few important data structures and algorithms which form the basic building blocks of any application and so it’s important to get them right. Data Structures and Algorithms are the heart of Computer Science and understanding them will give you a solid foundation for your future career. You don’t have to be an expert on these subject matters – however, knowing the basics is a must.

Action: Start by refreshing/upgrading your knowledge of basic Data Structures and Algorithm Stack and other programming concepts like Tree, Linked List, Graph, Queue, Hashing, Sorting & Searching Algorithms etc.

Step 2: Learn a Programming Language 

Starting from scratch is hard, you should be well prepared. That said, becoming a backend developer requires learning a programming language and choosing a framework. The choice of the appropriate programming language depends on the requirements of the specific project and your level of knowledge. There are many popular server-side languages such as PHP or JavaScript that can be used in the Node.js runtime environment with the Express Framework, Python, Ruby, C # or Java.

Action: Learn a programming language such as Java, Ruby, C++, PHP and Python (These are quite in-demand). Further, learn a framework e.g., React, Django, Ruby-on-Rails, AngularJS and Node.

Tip: Learning more than one programming language gives you an edge and increases your chance of landing jobs. However, learn at your own pace and master at least one language excellently before opting to learn more.

Step 3: Learn the basics of Database Management

Database management is a highly important and fundamental skill set for anyone working in the computer software industry because data is an important aspect of any web application today. The most well-known programming language for manipulating and managing databases is SQL (Structured Query Language). Others include: MongoDB, MySQL, Oracle or Redis.

Remember: You don’t need to be an expert in database administration. What is required is that you understand how the different pieces of the database work and how to navigate through it if need be. As long as you know what you’re getting into and have a general idea about what you’re hoping to achieve, it shouldn’t be too difficult.

Step 4: Develop your skills by practicing

The only way you are going to learn how to build an application is by putting your skills to use and seeing how you like the experience. Even if this starts out as just another project, your goal should be to improve your work habits and ability to work with new technologies. It is important to not only learn the theoretical aspects, but also to put this knowledge into practice. One way to do this is through a practical assignment, and taking up small projects of your own. There are a lot of freelancing platforms like Upwork, fiver or Hiremotely which can offer you great opportunities. 

Let’s be clear: Formal education is important, but that does not mean you should neglect the skills that you can develop by working on different projects. In fact, you need to do both.

Step 5: Learn how to use cloud services

Cloud services like AWS, Heroku, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud enable developers to provision and manage their applications in the cloud with a few clicks. This reduces friction and increases scalability, while eliminating potential management headaches. Having a lightweight, consistent environment for developing apps makes it easier for teams to work together more effectively.

Action: So, having acquired backend programming skills, practiced, and by now succeeded in building a web application, next, you’ll want people to access it via the internet so the need to host it on any of these cloud services.

Step 6: Marketing

Software development requires lots of collaboration, so brush up on your communication skills even as you make yourself comfortable on social media and with using other collaborative tools – Git being the most vital. 

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