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The development of a modern application might be compared with a house construction: one should hire a team of specialists – each master of his trade. As the builders lay foundation, erect the ossature and carry out all the necessary utility systems, so do the team of developers  with your web application. Backend Team think over the main application architecture, choose the necessary technologies and consider the means of communication and data processing. Frontend Team, in their turn, put into life the designer’s mock-up and implement the interaction between end user and backend.

Let’s have a look at each of them.

{ Frontend }

As it was mentioned earlier, Frontend developers implement the end frontage of an application, hiding the complex processing logic and data transmission of application. Reading this paragraph, one can convey the impression that easiest part of web-app development falls to Frontend developers’ lot: it’s a piece of cake to chuck together buttons and forms and to compose them in accordance to the designer’s mock-up. However, it’s an unsound opinion.

As a Backend developer, Frontend starts from choosing the stack of technologies on which the  client-end portion of architecture will be based. Nowadays, a great number of different frameworks exist, which allow to ease the process of creating the client-end portion and the task of prime importance is to choose the one that will give the best fit to the particular case: AngularJS, jsblock, EmberJS, BackboneJS or even crude Javascript.

One should keep in mind lots of nuances while choosing: whether the user will work with a great data flow at a time, whether the special components will be used: extensibility, modularization, etc.

To make a further step, one should think over the means of time optimization of client end load: to use means of code/ styles/ images and other data compression, because all that is written and used in client-end will be downloaded by end-user web browser and there one should pay attention to the traffic volume.

One more challenging task for a Frontend developer is to turn into reality the idea of the designer and the customer. The question is not about a tricky or flamboyant physical appearance and animation, but how to make it in such a way that it will look good in all browsers and mobile devices with different platforms, screen sizes and its restrictions.

For sure, today we have CSS Frameworks that have a set of ready-to-use styles for creation of responsive and adaptive web apps. However, they are often quite bulky or their usage makes no sense in view of the fact that one should remake them to get the desirable appearance or because of the giant framework that contains lots of styles where just several classes are used.

And finally, the most challenging task is for sure to implement the mediation between end user and backend portion. It’s really very important to application to be intuitive and evident for the user, that’s why a Frontend developer should have top skills and experience in so-called “human” interfaces even if your application is quite complex and have a set of its components which the user hasn’t faced before: every thing should still preserve its intuitivity, one should learn the user to use your application, to steer him and give him tips.

It’s a topical issue to make several things before the user does, i.e. to be like a ghost for him: to fill in the form with predictive data, scroll the page on the necessary blocks, imply why data didn’t passed a validation and to make error messages less frightening and more understandable. After chatting with the user and getting the necessary data, the client end sends it to backend and waits for the results to inform about them and display to the user.

{ Backend }

Backend developers work under the hidden part of frontispiece – main application logic, and you know, this problem is a beast: to process and store great volumes of data and to secure them.

To do that one should use a giant stack of technologies, each to a particular task. As an experienced builder, Backend developer should start from foundation placement for an application – it’s really a significant step, because if anything goes wrong, all the application will crash down. One should go over the ground each and every thing: to choose the appropriate framework keeping in mind the possible load on the app, choose the appropriate data base which will comply to app’s data.Though, here we have lots of nuances: different databases have different features either of storage technique or of speed of such parameters as reading, record, search.

One should think over the data transmission on the client end – to optimize the volume of transferred data and choose the most appropriate format. Oftentimes Backend developers face the necessity to bind an application with other external services which cause further hardships and peculiarities. The processing of all the data falls to their share: from importing small piece of excel table, image or video processing to making a complex calculation of flights to air-traffic controllers. All this should work as a duck takes to water as the users don’t get used to waiting.

{ Fullstack }

A Fullstack developer, as you’ve already dawned upon, is a jack-of-all-trades. He can materialize the idea of a designer, liven it up using any framework and will take care of its backend. On the one hand, it’s a perfect worker – he knows exactly what he should send and what he should get and return and there’s no ground for the battle between Frontend and Backend developers. Fullstack developer always knows where something might go wrong and fix it whether it might be on client or back end.
From the other side, a Fullstack developer is snowed under with too many things: everything depends on one human being. In such situation one can start to write a code from one’s point of view or to bury oneself under the back end thus not paying enough attention to other end. If you have a whole team of Fullstack developers, sooner or later they will split into Backend and Frontend. If it not happens, the code goes to squash from different approaches and methods of code writing. If one thinks, one person cannot be a know-it-all.

Fullstack developer won’t know so many twists and turns as a narrowly focused specialist does. But if you find such a person, hold onto him.

Roman Rimsha
Roman Rimsha
Pre-Sales Consultant
*instinctools EE Labs

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