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How to Become a Backend Developer in 2024 | A Step-by-Step Guide

Last Updated : 12 Feb, 2024
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In our tech-driven world, everything is online, and understanding the basics of the Internet is crucial. The Internet is a vast global communication network where people share information and access services like web pages and social media.

Ever wonder what makes the magic happen behind the scenes of your favorite website? It’s not just the fancy buttons and design you see in the front end. The hidden world beneath, the one that handles data, powers features, and connects you to everything the site offers, is the backend. And the people behind this unseen world? Backend developers!


Backend development is one of the best careers in 2024 with salaries reaching up to INR 12 lakhs (USD 15,000) per year. If you are also interested in joining the world of backend development, we have created a roadmap that guides you through essential skills, diverse paths, and industry insights you need to become a back-end developer.

Prerequisites For Becoming a Back-End Developer

Before we dive deep into the back end, let’s see some basic front-end concepts you should be familiar with. Knowledge about FrontEnd includes HTML, CSS, and JS.

  • HTML HTML stands for HyperText Markup Language and is the standard markup language for creating web pages. It contains elements that are used to make an effective web page. All the headings, paragraphs, images, and titles added to a web page are all because of HTML. 
  • CSS CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. To style an HTML document, you need CSS which is an excellent language used to design a web page. It also can control the layout of multiple web pages all at once. Different styling methods such as providing colors, fonts, alignment, and margins can be created using CSS. 
  • JS For the web, JavaScript is the world’s most popular and easiest programming language. JS is used to create a dynamic and interactive web page, where you can use various methods such as multiple techniques to declare a variable using var, let, and const, playing with buttons, seeing an object moving, etc. Yousing the can also explore GeeksforGeeks ReactJS – Basic to Advanced – Self-Paced Course.

Now, that you have gone through Front-End, let’s explore Back-End.

What is Back-End Development?

Backend development is the creation and maintenance of the server side of a web application. It involves managing the server, databases, and application logic to ensure smooth functionality. 

Backend developers work with languages like JavaScript (Node.js), Python, Ruby, Java, or PHP, handling tasks such as server management, database interactions, and security measures

They enable communication between the front-end and back-end, ensuring the overall performance and functionality of the web application.

Who is a Back-End Developer?

A Back-End developer handles servers, databases, and APIs. In short, one who stores and organizes data communicates with the UI (Front-End) and performs server-side management. 

For building the structure of a web application, a back-end developer is responsible. For example, if you take any e-commerce website such as Amazon, all that product list you see in the UI is stored somewhere, Right? That data is stored in the database which is handled by the back-end, the sign-in button you see renders you to another page when you enter details that API call is made by the back-end, and also the server-side rendering is handled all by the back-end developers. 

Back-End Developer Salary

Salaries for back-end developers can vary widely depending on several factors, including:

  • Experience Level:
    • Entry-Level:
      • India: Average annual salary of ₹3.5 lakhs (USD 4,400), with a range of ₹0.9 lakhs to ₹11.2 lakhs (USD 1,100 to USD 14,000).
      • US: Average annual salary of USD 70,000 to USD 80,000.
    • Mid-Level:
      • India: Average annual salary of ₹7 lakhs (USD 8,800), with a range of ₹4 lakhs to ₹12 lakhs (USD 5,000 to USD 15,000).
      • US: Average annual salary of USD 90,000 to USD 110,000.
    • Senior-Level:
      • India: Average annual salary of ₹12 lakhs (USD 15,000), with a range of ₹8 lakhs to ₹17 lakhs (USD 10,000 to USD 21,000).
      • US: Average annual salary of USD 120,000 to USD 150,000.
  • Location:
    • Higher Pay Cities: Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Chennai in India. San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Austin, and Boston in the US.
    • Lower Pay Cities: Smaller cities or rural areas in both countries.
  • Skills and Expertise:
    • Specialized Skills: Expertise in specific languages like Python, Java, and Go, or frameworks like Django, Spring, and Node.js, can significantly boost salaries.
    • General Skills: Developers with strong problem-solving, communication, and teamwork skills are also valued and receive higher compensation.
  • Company Size and Type:
    • Large Tech Companies: Can offer higher base salaries, equity options, and generous benefits packages.
    • Startups: May offer lower base salaries but compensate with equity or the potential for high growth and career advancement.

For more Details Check out Software Developers Salary in India

How to Become Back-End Developer – Roadmap 2024

Ready to become a backend developer in 2024? This beginner-friendly roadmap unlocks your journey with 10 actionable tips. Dive in!

1. Knowledge of Web Server

The web server runs websites, it stores, processes, and delivers (response) web pages to the user’s request. An HTTP server comprises several components which can understand HTTP and URLs

When the user makes a request by the web server, it is accepted by an HTTP server which finds and sends back the content to the browser through HTTP. Some examples of web servers are Apache and NGINX which are open-source platforms used to deliver content as per requests made. 

2. Programming Languages and Their Frameworks

Programming languages are machine-understood languages. Frameworks, sets of cooperating libraries, make programming easier. They’re the backbone of a webpage. 

To be a back-end developer, understanding programming languages and frameworks is crucial. Explore various languages, but some are highly recommended for backend development.

  • [JS+NodeJS] – JavaScript is a top programming language, ideal for crafting dynamic websites. Explore new concepts for an amazing site. NodeJS, a framework for JS, supports real-time, push-based architectures, using a single-threaded model for backend API services, enabling you to run JavaScript on the server.
  • [Python+Django] – Python, the easiest language, pairs perfectly with Django for website building. Less code, better web apps. Python excels in quick implementations and is commonly used for website development. Django is a secure and scalable framework for optimal results.
  • [PHP+Laravel] – PHP is a versatile scripting language for web development, known for its speed and flexibility. It powers blogs and major websites. Laravel, an open-source framework, is perfect for various web applications. It’s a server-side framework, using MVC (Model View Controller) to simplify backend architecture and enhance building ease.

3. Version Control System (Git)

Version control system tracks code changes for future use. Git, a free and open-source option, stands out for its security, flexibility, and ease of use. Every developer, even for small projects, should follow this best practice. With a version control system like Git, updating features or advancing the project becomes efficient, allowing quick edits for optimized applications.

Why Git? 

  • It is the most commonly used version control system
  • It tracks changes made in files.
  • Git branches are cheap and easy to merge.
  • You can move to specific versions whenever you want to.

4. Knowledge of Web Security 

Websites face threats from cybercriminals, harming performance and stealing valuable data. Web security is crucial. It involves protective measures and protocols to ensure an optimized and effective website. Developers scan for vulnerabilities to defend against thefts or losses caused by digital hackers, preventing a company’s downfall.

Types of risks developers face could be malware, backlisting, buffer overflow, and sensitive data exposure. Various techniques can be followed to avoid such issues:

Using HTTPS: HTTPS is a secured HTTP. When data is sent using HTTPS, it is protected via the Transport Layer Security protocol, which has three layers of protection:

  1. Encryption: It is a way of securing data along with a password or “key” which is used to decrypt the information.
  2. Data Integrity: When data integrity is secure, information stored in a database is complete, accurate, and reliable for a lifetime.
  3. Authentication: This method protects against attacks and builds user trust which responds to business growth.

Implementing secure backup and recovery: Data loss could be the major threat that could lead to security breaches. To avoid this, make sure to implement a backup process. This could be implemented in many ways: 

  • Protecting media and content from theft or destruction.
  • Periodically testing the backups.
  • Apply a two-person rule so that one person cannot access the content or media without the permission of another article.

and various other methods including XSS Attacks, Software updates, and SQL Injection

5. APIs  (Application Programming Interface)

APIs are functions for accessing data and interacting with external components. They act as a software intermediary, enabling communication between applications.

Backend developers use APIs to connect services, enhancing user experience. Express is a great server choice for creating and exposing APIs for client-server communication. Important APIs to know include:

6. Containerization & Testing

Containerization is the process of packaging software code with all the necessary elements like frameworks, libraries, and other dependencies, to make services isolated from each other in a container. This process is done by the backend developers to run a container easily. Docker and Kubernetes are the most used containers.  

Docker is an open-source containerization platform, that enables developers to package applications into containers. It is similar to a virtual machine but much more efficient. Its basic use is that it allows the applications to run in different environments.

Kubernetes often abbreviated as “K8s“, automates deploying and managing cloud-native applications using public cloud platforms. 

The process of testing is a mandated one because it evaluates and verifies whether a software product is performing its operation well or not. This is done to avoid errors thus improving performance. There are various types of testing:

  1. Unit Testing: Verifies performance of each unit where the unit could be the smallest component of an application.
  2. Functional Testing: Checks functions of small components whether there’s a bug or needs optimization.
  3. Usability Testing: Validates a better way customers can use a web application for a particular task.
  4. Performance Testing: Under different real-time workloads, how well software performs.
  5. Regression Testing: This checks whenever there’s new functionality added to the existing code, the operation should not get affected.

7. Deployment

When the testing passes, developers move to the deployment where they can see the working of their application. It can also be referred to as a live environment. This process includes 5 steps: Planning, development, testing, deploying, and monitoring. 

  1. Planning: When multiple developers are working on the same project, a deployment plan is a necessity. Using this step, you avoid conflicts between changes made making sure the deployment process is as smooth and easy. This could lead to the quicker and more efficient development of the application.
  2. Development: Once, the planning is done, actual development takes place. This is the step where you gather ideas and prioritization requirements. Then, the management of the complete application can be moved to testing.
  3. Testing: Testing is a crucial step to ensure there are no bugs before moving it to the production level. Testing is possible only when you deploy it to various environments to check whether it fits in or not. Check for the bugs and if any, make sure to remove them and then move to the deployment process.
  4. Deploying: Seeing your application working live, with no bugs, and in an optimized way gives satisfaction to the effort made. It means pushing changes or updates from one environment to another.
  5. Monitoring: Constant monitoring is required to check whether the website is working well or not. There might be a chance that issues may occur after deploying as well, so keep an eye out for the proper functioning, and the time for release should be planned so that minimum users would have viewed and changes can be made to see the optimized web application.

8. Cloud Providers

Everything is heading to the cloud—software, applications, services. Cloud computing, a web-based approach, lets businesses and individuals use virtual machines, databases, processing, storage, and events with a pay-as-you-go model. It’s categorized into Software as a Service (SaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).

Switching to the cloud is beneficial in so many ways:

  1. It offers 24*7 availability.
  2. It provides maintainability and automatic updates of new software, OS, and databases thus reducing IT labor costs for a business.
  3. Data centers are managed by the cloud service provided making the development faster and more reliable.
  4. There is no need for physical devices to store data thus making it cost-effective.
  5. Access applications from anywhere, anytime making it a flexible schedule and smooth transition to remote work.
  6. Data protection is a major concern in case of power failure or other crises, thus the cloud prepares a backup in a safe and secure location.

Mostly used Cloud Services are:

  1. Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  2. Microsoft Azure
  3. Google Cloud
  4. Alibaba Cloud
  5. IBM Cloud

9. Develop Your First Project

Until and unless you build your back-end project, you won’t be able to know what are the factors responsible for a working application. Build some amazing projects starting from beginner to advanced level. “Practice makes a man perfect”. Don’t forget to explore our Full Stack Development with React & NodeJS – Live Course

So keep practicing by building some projects, you’ll see yourself at a place where you would have come across terms needed while back-end development.

10. Certifications

Here are some of the top certifications that you can get, to learn back-end development and build a strong resume. These backend developer courses will help you gain quality certifications adding more value to your qualifications:

Back-End Development Certifications

CompTIA Server+ Validates knowledge of server administration, networking, and security.
Oracle Certified Professional Java SE 11 Developer Demonstrates proficiency in Java development.
Amazon Web Services Certified Developer Associate Shows expertise in using AWS for back-end development.
Microsoft Certified Azure Solutions Architect Associate Focuses on using the Azure cloud platform for building and deploying applications.
Professional Certificate in Back-End Development from Coursera/University of California, Irvine Covers core back-end development concepts and tools.

How to Become Back-End Developer- FAQs

Can I learn the backend in 3 months?

Learn backend in 3 months: Pick Python or Node.js, databases, and frameworks. Stay consistent, do hands-on projects, use online resources. Join communities, get a mentor. You won’t be an expert, but you’ll gain valuable skills.

What is the future of backend developers?

Bright future for backend devs: microservices, serverless, containers, edge computing, AI integration, cybersecurity focus, cross-platform skills, blockchain awareness. Stay updated for ongoing impact in shaping the digital world.

What is the Difference between the front-end developers and the back-end developers

Front End Developer vs Back End Developer

Front End Developer Back End Developer
Builds visual elements that you see and interact with (buttons, menus, design) Builds the hidden tech that makes it work (data, logic, security).

Will AI replace backend developers?

AI won’t replace backend devs. It automates tasks, but humans bring problem-solving, adaptability, creativity, and ethics. AI likely complements, not replaces, backend roles.

What is the path to becoming a backend developer?

  1. Learn Basics
  2. Web Development
  3. Databases
  4. Server-Side
  5. APIs and Deployment
  6. Security and Testing
  7. Continuous Learning
  8. Soft Skills

Is the backend development still in demand?

Yes! Backend development skills are in demand. Web and mobile apps, cloud computing, e-commerce, IoT need secure, scalable systems. Ongoing tech evolution keeps backend devs crucial for meeting digital demands.

Is SQL a backend language?

No, SQL isn’t a backend language. It’s for managing databases. Backend developers use languages like Python or Java, and SQL helps them interact with and manipulate data in databases.

Which is the easiest backend language?

Python and JavaScript (Node.js) are often considered among the easiest backend languages. Python is known for its simplicity and readability, while Node.js provides a unified language experience if you’re already familiar with JavaScript.

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