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Frontend or Backend: which is easy?

Frontend and backend are interconnected, and one type of development makes no sense without the other. They differ primarily in the types of tasks they solve. Which is easier and from which direction is it easier to start your path in IT?

When interacting with a web or mobile application, the user only sees its external part, the interface. But all the work on transmitting information is hidden. Frontend and backend developers are specialists who ensure the operation of the application or website both from the user’s and server’s sides.

Frontend and backend – what are they?

Frontend is the development direction responsible for the visible part of a website or application that users interact with. This includes clicking buttons, filling out forms, following links, adding items to a shopping cart, or playing media files. A frontend developer creates dynamic pages where all elements are in place and perform specific actions that happen on the client side.

Backend is the development of the server-side part of a web application, its software and hardware functionality. Does a frontend developer need to know backend? Not necessarily, because the backend is not directly related to the user or even to page layout. Backend developers have basic knowledge of frontend, but their task is to set up necessary operations and avoid errors in the chain of actions from the client to the server and back.

The difference between frontend and backend and the relationship between the two directions can be described as follows: the user, using the interface created by the frontend, sends a request, which the backend code redirects to the server and returns a response. For example, a user adds an item to the shopping cart (frontend), pays for it, and receives an order confirmation (backend).

Languages and Technologies in Frontend

A frontend developer should master at least a limited number of tools that allow them to create fully functional pages.

Languages and technologies:

  • HTML (HyperText Markup Language) – is a markup language that allows transferring a designer’s layout into a development environment. Using tags, a frontend developer structures a page with the same browser layout as in the design.
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) – with their help, all elements of the site, including fonts, their size and color, images, tables, and columns, acquire the same design as in the layout.
  • JavaScript – a scripting language that adds dynamism and interactivity to the page. Elements respond to cursor movements and clicks, forms are filled automatically, unwanted content is hidden. Additionally, JavaScript brings design elements to life: dropdown menus, parallax effects, animated images, multimedia control.
  • Frameworks (web interface platforms): Angular, React, Ember Js, Vue, jQuery, etc.
  • Version Control Systems

Languages and Technologies in Backend

While frontend typically relies on a limited set of languages and technologies, backends depend on the server they work with and the available tools. Here, technologies are numerous, each intended for specific tasks.

Languages (choices include):

  • Java
  • C#
  • PHP
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • Go
  • Scala
  • Swift


  • Databases: PostgreSQL, MySQL, MS SQL, MongoDB, Cassandra, SQLite, Memcached
  • Frameworks (application development platforms): Django, Cake PHP, Laravel, Express JS, Ruby on Rails, etc.
  • Containerization platforms: Docker, Kubernetes
  • Version Control Systems

Which is Harder: Frontend or Backend?

Both frontend and backend development are complex areas of application development today.

Frontend development entails:

  • Constant learning of new interface development possibilities
  • Understanding programming basics, design, usability, interface functionality, adaptability, cross-browser compatibility, and user behavior characteristics
  • Mastery of numerous tools: frameworks and package managers, interface state management systems, etc.
  • Writing tests for the interface, manual testing

Backend development differs from frontend in such aspects as:

  • Needing knowledge of programming languages, sometimes multiple ones with more complex syntax than JavaScript
  • Difficulties in visualizing the backend for beginners
  • Setting up databases and servers
  • Ensuring site security against hacking attacks
  • Connecting and configuring APIs

As evident, these directions perform different tasks. What’s easier: frontend or backend? Overall, developers agree that mastering the skills of both directions is complex in their own aspects.

Choosing Between Frontend and Backend: Tips for Beginners

The choice between these two directions depends on your interests and skills. If you’re a creative person with a humanitarian mindset, drawn to design, and enjoy developing product logic and functionality, frontend development might be the right choice for you.

However, if you’re more interested in computer systems, understand server operations, have a mathematical mindset, and possess strong logic skills, you might want to try your hand at backend development.

Where to start as a frontend developer? Most beginners begin with HTML markup and testing, then move on to cascading style sheets, frameworks, and JavaScript. It’s also helpful to learn principles of UI/UX design and graphic applications. You can learn frontend development on your own through a systematic approach and consistent practice.

What do you need to start working in backend development? First and foremost, you need to learn a programming language, understand the basics of database operations, configure databases, and master the Git version control system. Git will be useful regardless of the language chosen. Additionally, you need to learn how to work with APIs.

Where to start learning:

  • YouTube channels of frontend and backend development experts
  • Technical documentation for developers from open sources like MDN, as well as framework guides
  • Programming websites with tutorials
  • Online and offline courses


If you want to quickly get into IT, enjoy design, are capable of meticulous work, and want to see immediate results, frontend development is a good choice. However, if you dislike markup, enjoy programming languages, and computer systems, and have an analytical mindset, then backend development might be for you.

Who gets paid more: frontend or backend developers? Like in other IT fields, salary directly depends on hard and soft skills. The more technologies you master, the more opportunities you have to land large projects. Salary also varies by region. You can find detailed statistics here.

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