How to Become a Backend Developer (5-Step Simple Guide)

With more businesses looking to establish an online presence to reach their customers, the demand for backend developers has grown significantly. Employment of software developers, including backend developers, is projected to grow 13% by 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.  

Backend developers are responsible for building and maintaining the server side of web applications, ensuring they run smoothly and securely. They use programming languages such as Python, Ruby, and Java to create and maintain databases, APIs, and server-side applications. 

Indeed reports a higher number at $118,856 per year based on 2,200 salaries. Indeed also notes that you can expect a $4,000 bonus each year as a backend developer. The lowest salary submitted was around $48K, while the highest was about $132K.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or an experienced programmer looking to transition into backend development, this guide will help you understand how to become a backend developer with five easy steps! 

Who Is a Backend Developer?

Backend development is a crucial component of web and software development. It involves the development and management of server-side programming and databases, which power the functionality of applications.

Backend developers typically work with the most popular backend languages, such as Java, Python, Ruby, or PHP, to create the underlying infrastructure that supports an application’s front end. Backend development also involves working with databases and data modeling to store and manipulate data efficiently.

What is Backend Development?

Backend development refers to the server-side programming that powers the functionality and data processing of a web application or software. It involves designing and building the systems, applications, and databases that handle the data and logic of the application.

Backend developers work with programming languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, and Node.js to create APIs, manage servers, and maintain databases. They are responsible for ensuring that the server-side components of an application are efficient, scalable, and secure.

Roles and Responsibilities of A Back-End Developer

A backend developer is in charge of developing and maintaining web applications, databases, and APIs on the server side. Their primary responsibility is to ensure that the server side of a web application runs smoothly and efficiently to provide end-users with a consistent experience. A backend developer’s typical roles and responsibilities include the following:

  • Developing Server-side Logic: Creating the core logic of web applications, including algorithms and business logic.
  • Managing Databases: Including creating, updating, and maintaining database schemas.
  • Creating APIs: Designing and developing APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) that enable communication between the server-side and client-side of web applications.
  • Securing Web Applications: A developer must ensure that web applications are secure from potential threats, such as hacking or unauthorized access.
  • Performance Optimization: Responsible for optimizing the performance of web applications to ensure they run smoothly and efficiently.
  • Collaboration With Other Developers: It includes front-end and full-stack developers to ensure that web applications are fully functional and meet the requirements of the end-users.
  • Testing and Debugging: Responsible for testing and debugging web applications to ensure they are free of bugs and errors.

Overall, the role of a backend developer is crucial in building and maintaining the server side of web applications, ensuring that they run smoothly, securely, and efficiently.

Skills That are Required to Become a Good Backend Developer

An excellent foundation in programming and computer science principles is necessary to become a backend developer. Among the fundamental abilities and information needed to work as a backend developer are the following:

Here are 7 Essential Skills Required to Become a Backend Developer

  1. Proficiency in at least one backend programming language, such as Java, Python, Ruby, PHP, or Node.js.
  2. Knowledge of web frameworks such as Spring, Django, Ruby on Rails, or Express.js.
  3. Familiarity with databases such as MySQL, MongoDB, or PostgreSQL, and ability to write and optimize SQL queries.
  4. Understanding of RESTful APIs and how to design and implement them.
  5. Knowledge of version control systems like Git.
  6. Understanding of security principles and how to secure backend applications against common attacks.
  7. Strong problem-solving and debugging skills, as well as attention to detail.

7 Soft skills Required to Be a Backend Developer

  1. Understanding of organizational skills.
  2. Time management abilities.
  3. Understanding of how to manage hosting environments.
  4. Knowledge of accessibility and security issues.
  5. Communication abilities.
  6. Understanding of framework usage.
  7. Capability to collaborate with front-end developers to improve user experience.

5 Easy Steps for Becoming a Back-end Developer

Here is our easy-to-follow approach to advancing in the field of backend development:

1. Learn a Programming Language

As a backend developer, you must have a strong foundation in a programming language. Several programming languages, including Python, Ruby, Java, and Node.js, are widely used.

When you are just starting out, it’s important to choose a beginner-friendly language with a large community of users. Python and Ruby are both good choices for beginners, as they are easy to learn and have many online resources. Java is also a popular backend development language used in many large enterprises.

You can start by taking an online course or reading a beginner’s book on the topic. These resources will help you learn the language’s syntax, data structures, and algorithms.  

A coding bootcamp, such as Fullstack Academy or Udemy, provides a more immersive and structured learning experience compared to online courses or books. Bootcamps typically have a more intensive curriculum and focus on specific tech stacks or languages, which can help prepare you for a career in tech. 

2. Understand the Basics of Backend Development

To gain a basic understanding of backed development, consider self-teaching HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. These are the building blocks of back-end development and also best backend development courses will help you to understand how websites are designed and built. Understanding these topics will help you become a well-rounded backend developer and make you more valuable to potential employers. 

We have also written an article to clarify the understanding of what does a web developer do, which will guide you through.

3. Get Familiar with Development Tools

As a backend developer, you will be using a variety of tools and technologies to write and test your code. These tools include code editors, version control systems, testing frameworks, and deployment tools.

Version control systems, such as Git, are used to manage changes to your codebase. With version control, you can keep track of changes to your code, collaborate with other developers, and revert to earlier versions of your code if needed. Testing frameworks are important for catching bugs and ensuring that your code is reliable and robust.

Getting familiar with these development tools is important for becoming a successful backend developer. You can start by downloading and using some of these tools on your personal projects. As you gain more experience, you can explore more advanced features and become more proficient with these tools.

4. Gain Experience Through Projects

One of the best ways to gain experience is to work on coding projects. You can start by building small projects, like a simple web page or a calculator, to help you learn the basics of backend development. 

As you become more comfortable with the language and the frameworks, you can start working on more complex projects like a social media app or a web-based game. Working on personal projects can help you to gain practical experience and demonstrate your skills to potential employers. You can use these projects to build a portfolio of work, which can help you to stand out from other job applicants.

5.  Build Your Portfolio

As a backend developer, one of the best ways to showcase your skills and knowledge is by building a portfolio of projects. This portfolio can include personal projects that you’ve worked on, as well as projects that you’ve contributed to as part of a team.

It demonstrates your ability to work on real-world projects and solve problems in a practical setting. Moreover, a portfolio allows potential employers to see the kind of work that you’ve done in the past and get a sense of your skills and expertise.

You can start by working on personal projects that interest you. This could be anything from building a simple web app to creating a custom CMS. Once you have some projects under your belt, you can showcase them on your website or GitHub profile. You can also include a link to the project itself so that potential employers can see it in action.

6.  Find an Entry-level Job

After gaining the necessary skills and experience, it’s time to find an entry-level job as a backend developer. There are several job websites in the US that you can use to search for opportunities, such as Indeed, Glassdoor, and LinkedIn. 

When preparing for interviews, research the company and practice answering common interview questions. Be prepared to showcase your technical skills through coding challenges or projects. 

Overall, finding an entry-level job as a backend developer takes time and persistence, but with the right skills and preparation, you can increase your chances of landing a great job. Good luck!

How To Become a Backend Developer Without Experience?

It is possible to become a backend developer without prior experience, but it may require a significant amount of time and effort to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge. You can start by learning programming languages such as Java, Python, or Ruby and familiarizing yourself with databases, server architecture, and other backend technologies. 

More specifically, participating in online courses, bootcamps, or open-source projects can also help you gain practical experience and build a portfolio of work to showcase your skills. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Becoming a Backend Developer Hard?

No. With dedication and practice, you can become proficient. The more you practice and work on real-world projects, as with any skill, the more comfortable you will become. 

How Long Will It Take To Be a Backend Developer?

On average, you need around three months of training before you can start applying for positions. With dedicated learning and practice, it’s possible to become proficient in backend development in a matter of three months to four years.

How Much Does It Cost to Become a Backend Developer?

On average coding, bootcamps cost $13,500 on average based on the data collected by BestColleges.

How Do I Start a Career as a Backend Developer?

Learn a server-side programming language and become familiar with databases and APIs. It can also be beneficial to create your own projects and contribute to open-source projects. Connecting with other developers can also help you get started. 


Becoming a backend developer is an exciting and rewarding career that can lead to endless possibilities. Whether you’re interested in building large-scale applications or developing innovative solutions, the world of backend development has something for everyone. 

If you’re ready to take on the challenge and become a backend developer, we’ve got you covered by providing you with a detailed guide on how to become a backend developer and the best web development courses. Follow these 5 easy steps, and you can become a skilled backend developer and embark on an exciting career in the tech industry! 

So, what are you waiting for? Take the first step towards your dream career and become a backend developer today!