Macademics: Front-End or Back-End Engineer

Hello Everyone! Have you missed us? Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving with your friends and/or family. December is finally here and so is the end of 2019. For the last Macademics post of 2019 I will be talking about different types of software engineers. Keep reading if you're interested!

One of the most common questions I get when people learn that I am Software Engineer is "do you do front end or back end development?" Well before I answer your question. I'm going to explain to you what the different types are.

Front-End Engineer

Front-End Engineers are focused with building and testing the user interface of an application. They make sure the look and feel of the user interface is seamless and expected behavior and that the data that is being rendered or fed in from the back-end appears correctly at every checkpoint. They collaborate with designers to ensure that what a UX designer may have envisioned for an experience is what is actually happening. Languages and Frameworks that Front-Engineers primarily work in are:

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • JavaScript

  • React

  • Angular

  • Vue

  • ReactNative

Back-End Engineer

Back-End engineers focus on server side components of applications. They are the ones that would be working on building different APIs, Services, and Data Storage, and Data Modeling. Back-End Engineers work with Front-End Engineers to understand what information they need to display, what to build in order to get that information to the front-end, as well as how robust and scalable an application needs to be. Back-End Engineers primarily work in the following languages and frameworks:

  • Java

  • PHP

  • C#

  • SQL

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS)

  • MongoDB

  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP)

Which one should I be?

To be honest, the choice is yours. Each of these career choices are both valuable and all necessary in building any type of application. Here are some questions to get you thinking about which one you're learning towards:

  • Do I want to work on building APIs?

  • Do I want to work on Microservices?

  • Do I enjoy HTML/JavaScript/CSS?

  • Do I want to be a liaison between design and development?

  • Do I want to build reusable components for other engineers?

  • Do I want to ensure that our APIs are scalable, robust, quick?

  • Do I enjoy cloud computing?

  • If I look at the API layer being the middle, am I most interested in the API up to the user interface or API down to the database?

For me, I would consider myself a full-stack engineer meaning I focus on both front-end development as well as back end development. I don't work all the way down to data modeling and servers, but I have written code that constructs an API and also code that renders the data to a user. I enjoy being a full-stack engineer because it helps me understand a product or problem from beginning to end also ensure that I stay busy.

What about you? What do you think you're the most interested in? Let me know in the comments or on social media!


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