Saturday 24 August 2019

frontend vs backend development

I am sure you might have got into discussion of frontend vs backend development or some engineers want to do only one type of development.

Image result for frontend vs backend

I am passionate engineer for more than decade and have got opportunity to see full spectrum.  I have done development on extreme end of both the side.

In this post i will share something on front-end engineering that is hidden and things that is not discussed openly.

Lets start ..

In this part of the work every one understands that it is a world of data structure , algorithm and writing bare metal code, handling scale etc.

In this part of world most of us think is only about building engaging and secure User Interface, but i will say it is just one part of it.
As a frontend developer you are exposed to so many engineering challenges. Lets discuss about it.

Getting started
For any backend related task you can write the quick code or that code can come from Stackoverflow and go and run from IDE.

Frontend getting code is just small part but after that you need some webserver/container to host the code and then know the browser/client that you want to use and then finally code runs.

This is just small example and you can get idea of extra number of steps required to see your code running.

Synchronous vs Asynchronous 
On backend system you have option to choose if code is Sync vs Async but on frontend most of the operations has to be asynchronous otherwise end user experience is very bad.

On frontend you are exposed to this on day one but on backend it will take months or year before you get to state where start thinking about sync vs async .

I am sure if you have done any concurrent programming then you know how hard it is to coordinate async tasks.

Distributed Computing
 Now distributed computing has become so common that now it is hard to think of system that is not making distributed calls.

As a backend developer you are guarded or gets late exposure to distributed computing but on frontend every call to get data is remote call, so you have to aware about failures that can happen when remote call is made and slowness it adds.

Proper error handling becomes optional in backend system but on frotnend it is not the option because user will noticed it and complain about it.

Frontend is the last gate so it has to handle all the errors that are thrown or  suppressed by backend systems, so end user experience is smooth.

You experienced distributed computing very early once you are on frontend side.

We read many text book that "network is not reliable" and as a backend engineer you don't get directly exposed to this because library and framework handles it for you but on frontend you get first hand experience to deal with and come up with strategy

All the backend application gets benefit of fast network ("100 GBs network") because it runs in data center but for frontend application is data center is end user device which will be browser/handheld device.
Many time network is dial up( i.e KBs) and application has to work on slow network.

Compute and In-memory 
This one is interesting because when backend program is slow first option is increase compute or memory because elastic infra allows to do that that but on end user side no elasticity, so first option is no option for front-end friends.

Approach taken to optimize frontend is very creative and innovative as compared to backend. This also put design pressure on front application.

Backend systems has more options on algorithm that can be used to solve program for example Disk based algorithm are very common for many data intensive backend application but on frontend side this option is not available or in very limited way and you have to very creative in how do you use it.

I think many chapters of algo book is Not Applicable for frontend.

On frontend side industry is inventing new patterns every day but backend side does not move at that pace for eg functional composition , incremental rendering , state management using immutable DS , event driven systems, chunking of requests , late arrival of information due to slow network etc

Backend system are never seen from lens on how big jar/exe/dll is but this is first challenge to be solved on front-end side because package must be small so that it can be downloaded quickly by clients.
Network play role in this remember 100GBs vs Kbs ?

This can be little controversial but in many case frontend are built with fuzzy or no requirement and later requirement is added. Requirement is must for backend! 

This is the hardest part for frontend. I will leave this for now because it needs multi series blog just for this topic.


I know it might look like i am just trying to sell frontend development is more complex but my point is you become better engineer when you move to frontend.
If you are not doing any frontend then find way to do that or learn about these hard problem from frontend engineers and incase they say "i don't think about these challenges" then educate & help them.

If you like the post then you can follow me on twitter .


  1. I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for maintenance agency

  2. Really awesome blog, Informative and knowledgeable content. Keep sharing more with us.
    Mern stack Development Training in Hyderabad with Placements

  3. Really awesome blog, Informative and knowledgeable content. Keep sharing more with us.
    UI Development Course Training in Hyderabad with Placements

  4. Great job for publishing such a beneficial web site. Your web log isn’t only useful but it is additionally really creative too. Chen Zhi Cambodia

  5. Excellent article. Very interesting to read. I really love to read such a nice article. Thanks! keep rocking.

  6. I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post. prince chenzhi

  7. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a very well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and come back to read more of your useful info. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely return.

  8. Awesome article! I want people to know just how good this information is in your article. It’s interesting, compelling content. Your views are much like my own concerning this subject.

  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

  10. Do you have a business in mind and need a beautiful and functional website for it? If yes, there is no need to search here and there. Promanage IT Solutions is one of the leading web development services on the web.

  11. At Creative Web Pixel, the full stack development training in Jaipur is a certified program that trains students to build apps from scratch. We combine all modules together to get a great experience. After this course, it will not only brush up your programming skills but will also enhance your resume. We equip our students with advanced technology to become professional full stack developers.

  12. Awesome Article Thanks for sharing your valuable information are you looking for a mern stack development company from Technoduce to meet your business requirement on development, customization, designing, migration, maintenance, revamping, etc.

  13. It totally depends on your own preferences. Learn
    who is a front-end developer?

  14. What a comprehensive post! Extremely helpful and informative for a beginner like me. Thank you.
    Popular FrontEnd Frameworks

  15. Genic Solution is a custom software development company providing tailored solutions to fit their clients’ needs. Our Services
    software development
    inventory management
    delivery management system
    crm software


  16. Frontend development focuses on creating the user interface and experience of a website or application, while backend development involves building and maintaining the server-side logic and database interactions that support the frontend. Both are essential components of web development, with frontend handling what users see and interact with, and backend managing the behind-the-scenes functionality and data processing and visit CMOLDS a website development agency in dubai providing authentic and most advance services in this domain with great expertise.