Developer Type Quiz – Front End, Back End or Full stack?

​Take the developer type quiz for fun or to find out what kind of area you have a natural affinity for.

Those that have been programming at least for a few months will have come across the following terms 

  • Front-end developer
  • Back-end developer
  • Full-stack developer

For the sake of completeness, I will go through the key points, roles and responsibilities of each type of developer. Please do take note that this is just simply my take on the roles and responsibilities of the different types of developers. 

I am also fully aware that there are other types of developers/engineers such as the cyber-security, network engineer, database engineer, etc. I just wanted to keep this quiz simple and somewhat specific.

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Developer Type Description

Front-end Developer

​In a Nutshell

A front-end web developer is responsible for implementing visual and interactive elements that users engage with through their web browser when using a web application. They are usually supported by back-end web developers, who are responsible for server-side application logic and integration of the work front-end developers do.

Source: Toptal.com

Toptal.com

​Job Description

The front-end developer is usually an individual with an eye for design. Front-end developers are individuals that highly value the user experience of all individuals who happen to user what they built. 

The very content that you are looking at right now is built by front-end developers. They are the very individuals who work with designers to decide the overall layout, as well as the look and feel of the U​I.

Needless to say, front-end developers play a crucial role in any development team. Why? Because the UI is the layer that users directly interact with. Therefore, the work of a front-end developer will ultimately make or break the product. ​

Roles and Responsibilities

The front-end developer is generally responsible for creating the content that users are able to see and interact with. For example, in a Java Swing application, this would be the JFrames, the JButton, etc. On a web page or web-app, it would be all the html content, the very page you are looking at right now. 

Front-end developers are also responsible for creating the events triggered via user interaction. E.g. clicking a button to flip the carousel. None of the magic will happen without code written by the front-end developer. The code that powers these features are written by the front-end developers. 

Another role that front-end developers play is working/communicating with the designers to improve the user experience.​ This can be both a blessing and a curse. Since the UI is the visible layer, it is often the subject of scrutiny of both the managers and the clients. Front-end developers will often run about changing little things such as the font-size, the animation or how the data is visualized to appease their target.


Back-end Developer

​In a Nutshell

A back-end developer is a type of programmer who creates the logical back-end and core computational logic of a website, software or information system. The developer creates components and features that are indirectly accessed by a user through a front-end application or system.

Source: Techopedia.com​

Techopedia.com

​Job Description

In contrast, the back-end developer is the one who works behind the scenes. For example, in Paypal, who handles the transaction when you press the "pay" button? The back-end developers takes care of this. In Facebook, when you press "add friend", the back-end developer ensures that the "add friend" operation ensures that the click button triggers the required database transactions needed to persist this feature.

The very content that you are looking at right now is built by the frontend developers. They are the very individuals who work with designers to decide the overall layout, as well as the look and feel of the U​I.

Needless to say, frontend developers play a crucial role in any development team, as the UI is the layer that users directly interact with. The way a frontend developer works can potentially make or break the product. ​

Roles and Responsibilities

Despite their work being invisible to the user, the work of the backend developer contributes heavily to the usability. For example, would you prefer if the search feature took 2-3 seconds or 8-12 seconds? What would happen if an extra "0" was accidentally appended to a fund transfer operation? 

In a sense, the work of the backend developer could potentially be one of the most important jobs. Backend developers need to constantly be working to improve the performance of their product.

Some people might shoot me for doing this, but I am going to group database management, query optimization into back-end development for this post. FYI, this is also an entirely separate category of developers, but I do both in my day to day work, so I am going to group them together just for this post.

On a regular day, back-end developers might work on optimizing queries to improve server performance. They may also examine existing back-end logic or architecture and refactor it to improve the readability of the code.​

Back-end developers often work with the front-end developers to create the features of the product. For example, the front-end developers might say "hey, I will throw over the following parameters. If I send a request to this URL, I want it to do this on the server and return the following result set". The back-end programmer would then create the logic and send the appropriate results to the client for the front-end developer to work with.

Full-stack Developer

​In a Nutshell

The term full-stack means developers who are comfortable working with both back-end and front-end technologies.

Source: Sitepoint.com

Sitepoint.com

​Job Description

The term "full-stack-developer" is a somewhat misleading term. Because the definition is not stone-set, it can be interpreted in various ways. 

My definition of a full-stack developer is somebody who works on both the front and back-end of a website, application or product. That individual must not only work on both sides, but must display a degree of proficiency in both areas. The work proficiency is somewhat subjective, but for now, I will leave that to your imagination.

The full-stack developer, needless to say, will work on both the front and back-end of a product. They are the jack of all trades. Full-stack developers might be working on angular on one week and work on hooking it up with the back-end and doing validations on data sent by the client on the server the following week. 

Roles and Responsibilities

Full-stack developers are responsible for not only developing, but also play a crucial part as a liaison between the front and back-end developers. Because they have their foot planted firmly in both pools, they are able to identify communication issues. A good full-stack developer will work on bridging the communication gap and ensuring maximum productivity via facilitating smooth communication.

Competent Full-stack developers are also capable of providing fresh insight to both developer groups.  

Because they are the jack of all trades, full-stack developers generally have a greater understanding of the business. In some cases, they are given the role of communicating the business concept and product image to the other developers. Full-stack developers are closest to.

Out of all the developer titles, the full-stack developers role is the grayest. What their primary role/responsibility is on the team is decided by management.

Take the Developer Type Quiz

 

About the Author Jay

I am a programmer currently living in Seoul, South Korea. I created this blog as an outlet to express what I know / have been learning in text form for retaining knowledge and also to hopefully help the wider community. I am passionate about data structures and algorithms. The back-end and databases is where my heart is at.

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