A number of roles now fall under the umbrella of software development. At the broadest level, software development refers to the branch of computer science focused on building software and applications. However, someone working in this field could be doing anything from ensuring an application is user friendly to writing server scripts and APIs. Here is a quick guide to the roles available in the industry.
Front-end vs Back-end development
Most software developers (but not all—I’ll get back to this later!) specialise in either front-end or back-end development. Server-side rendering is utilised by back-end developers, who are responsible for the nuts and bolts of the software or application. Client-side rendering is the area of front-end developers, who focus on design and usability.
So, what do the different roles entail?
Other front-end roles
Variations of a front-end developer include a web designer, who creates the website aesthetic using programs such as Photoshop. However, they won’t be involved in writing any code. There are also UX and UI professionals, who focus on using design and research methodologies to ensure the software or application is intuitive to use.
A back-end developer’s daily workload could include optimising servers, ensuring security is built into the development process, organising reusable code libraries for future use and ensuring data is stored securely. Often a back-end developer will be creating services and systems that are then utilised by front-end developers.
Full stack developer
According to HackerRank’s 2020 Developer Skills Report, organisations of all sizes now “agree that full-stack developers are top priority,” with 38% of them stating it is the number one recruitment priority in 2020. These are tough shoes to fill, as you’ll need to be proficient in both front-end and back-end languages, while also having some design skills and familiarity with frameworks. However, it also means you’ll be highly engaged with the project, and able to keep your users in mind throughout the process.
Hopefully, this has given you a better understanding of the different roles available in software development. It’s a fantastic career and whichever area you choose to specialise in, you’ll be in high demand.