Frontend, Backend, Fullstack Developers: Differences You Need to Know

frontend vs backend vs fullstack (2)

Software development is a broad—and sometimes confusing—field. Especially for those who don’t come from a tech background. There are software developers, frontend developers, backend developers, full stack developers… the list goes on and on…

But when you need to fill a vacancy and hire a developer, you need to understand what exactly you’re looking for.

If you’re a non-tech CEO or hiring manager, you need to understand the different types of software developers. This will help you filter through the tons of resumes you’ll receive, including irrelevant ones, and ensure you find the candidate you need.

This also applies to you if you’re a recruitment agency, an HR recruiter, or recruitment specialist.

So, what do these different types of developers do?

In this article, we’ll be comparing three main types of developer roles. These are frontend developers, backend developers, and full stack developers.


Imagining the web development process

For the web development process, there are three main developer roles. Each one performs a set of duties. These are backend developers, frontend developers, and full stack developers.

Before we dive into the differences between them, I want you to imagine the basic development process.

To develop a website, there is the front end, or front side that the world sees, which is the website itself. Then, there is the admin or dashboard and all the details that make the frontend happen. That’s called the backend.

For example, to publish this blog post you’re reading, I have to upload it to TechieMatter’s backend and publish it to the frontend.

It’s worth mentioning that frontend, backend, and fullstack developers only work in web development. Mobile app developers have different roles. Similarly, other types of development like enterprise development and embedded development have other roles as well. (But we won’t get into those here.)

Now, let’s look at the different web development roles and what each of them does. 


What does a backend developer do?

A backend developer is someone who creates the code for the behind-the-scenes section of a website.

They are responsible for coding and managing the website’s servers, database, and connecting all the parts of a website together.

For example, if you’re building an e-commerce website, adding inventory management software, payment processing, and other software requires a backend developer or backend engineer.

A major difference between backend developers and frontend developers is the programming languages used by each.

Backend developers use PHP, Ruby, Java, Python, and Node.js. And because they’re responsible for designing databases, backend engineers need to be proficient in database management systems like Oracle, SQL Server, and MySQL.

Skills-wise, backend developers need to be critical thinkers because their role involves creating the system that frontend developers and your customers will use.  

In addition to being familiar with various programming languages, backend developers need to

  • be skilled in software and web testing
  • be skilled in coding and adding features to a website
  • be able to debug a website
  • be familiar with data storage and website security

Code typing-pana-tm-orange-1 

What does a frontend developer do?

A frontend developer handles the front-facing or customer-facing side of a website. This means they manage the website’s appearance, including the theme, images, and design.

For best results, it’s important that a frontend developer works with a UX designer.

In terms of programming languages, frontend engineers use HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Skilled or senior frontend developers also have advanced knowledge of framework languages like Angular, React, and Bootstrap.

In terms of skills, frontend developers can be familiar with design tools such as Figma, Photoshop, and Sketch. They should also be familiar with web hosting, how it works, and how to get it.


What does a full stack developer do?

A full stack developer is someone who can perform both frontend development and backend development tasks.

In other words, a full stack developer combines frontend and backend development. It’s because of this that full stack developers are in high demand, albeit more expensive to hire.

They combine two roles and have a wide understanding of various programming languages and web development skills.

Companies will often have a full stack developer act as a team leader or senior because of their dual knowledge of web development.

Backend developer vs frontend developer vs full stack developer: The differences

To summarize the above, let’s look at the following table.


How to find and hire developers

Now that you’re familiar with the differences between frontend developers, backend developers, and full-stack developers, it’s time to see how to hire them.

It’s worth mentioning that the technical recruitment process differs from general recruitment. One of the main reasons for this difference is having to test different developers’ skills, knowledge, and expertise.

To test developers’ knowledge and skills, you need an experienced techie. Usually a tech team leader, senior full stack developer, or a chief technical officer (CTO).

However, one of the biggest problems with hiring tech talents like frontend, backend, and full stack developers is the expertise and skills needed. Not to mention the abundance of not-so-skilled candidates compared to the demanding jobs out there.

This situation is compounded in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region where tech companies seek skilled tech talents but may not find their needs locally. Not all countries have an abundance of these skilled techies.

For example, you may find many candidates with a tech background in Egypt, but few skilled ones. However, if you compare the number of candidates available in other countries, you’ll find fewer candidates and fewer skilled ones.

If you publish a job on LinkedIn, you’ll get hundreds of resumes to sift through, making your already long hiring process longer.

So, how can you fill backend, frontend, or full stack developer roles?

Meet TechieMatter, your tech hiring arm. We help hiring managers, business owners, and HR agencies find the skilled tech talents they need.


How does TechieMatter work?

Whether you’re looking to hire a frontend, backend, or full stack developer, or all three, we’ve got you covered. All you have to do is submit a hiring request.

One of our team members will then verify the request, provide a free consultation (if needed) and explain the TechieMatter Recruitment process to you.

TechieMatter isn’t a recruitment platform or job board. You won’t get a hundred resumes to sift through.

For more advanced hiring, you can choose between our products TechieMatter Recruitment, TechieMatter Assessment, and TechieMatter Tech Expert Interview.

The TechieMatter Assessment product helps you to assess technical talents through tailored tests, including technical and non-technical questions. 

Meanwhile, the TechieMatter Tech Expert Interview assigns a tech expert to provide an in-depth evaluation for tech applicants via a technical interview. Once this interview is complete, they provide you with a detailed report on their capabilities. 

Find your next developer with TechieMatter. Submit your hiring request here.

Nada Sobhi

Nada Sobhi