Backend Python Developer: How Do You Display You Skills to Potential Employers?

2021-01-23T17:00:00Z

Hello everyone,

Currently, I’m focusing on Dr. Chuck’s PY4E course. Backend development intrigues me more than front development, which is why I need some advice. How do I show off my skills as a backend developer to employers online? Do backend developers just display their code on Github, or do they make portfolio sites like frontend developers?

Also, what type of projects would make me more marketable to employers? Personally, I want to build 1-2 quality projects that would highlight skills rather than several small projects.

From,
mcouyoute1

1 Like

If you are just starting, I would consider doing the projects here in the mongoDB/express/node stack since they are well supported and transferable to any stack you choose. That would include the API and Microservices, Quality Assurance, and Information Security as well as the python curriculum.

Regardless of whether you do that, you need to build projects in your desired framework (Django and Flask are the most common) and have them hosted for live use. I think it’s more important that your project works, that it’s not a copy of a tutorial, that you have a git repo that you’re trying to use well, that you’re testing your code, that you’re documenting your code, that you’re doing CI/CD stuff in your code, and that you’re just doing as many good software practices as you can, rather than picking a few magic projects. You will probably also need to learn the REST add-on for whichever framework you choose.

Even if you don’t do some of the aforementioned projects in javascript, you can implement them in a python framework and you should be able to get them to pass most of the tests associated with the projects (I think you should be able to pass all of the API and Microservices tests with a Django or Flask backend). I would suggest doing some small projects and building towards larger ones if you are just starting out, as there are a lot of quirks to learn in a new framework once you move away from the tutorials.

The good news is it looks like you should be able to host a Django or Flask backend on repl.it (which can connect to your git repo) as well, just like for the javascript apps in the curriculum already.

Good luck.

So one thing about the term “back-end” that is misleading, is that it actually really means “everything that can’t run in the browser”.

So this doesn’t mean you can’t build a GUI to show off what your learning, rather it just wont use HTML/CSS/JS in a browser. You could totally sidestep that entire environment and use something like Tkinter in Python to build a GUI. You wont be able to leverage web technologies, but depending on what your doing, that might not matter.

A back-end developer could easily setup their own website using some simple CMS system like Wix, to talk about themselves and show off their stuff. Or just don’t have a portfolio and use github as that interface. Visually you wont have much to show off, and anything you could show off, would need to be distributed thru other means.


I usually give the advice of starting “backwards”. So look at the requirements for jobs in your area for “back-end developers” or more broadly “Python Developer” (so you don’t even have to deal with the web), and see what they are asking for. What they are asking for is essentially what the “end goal” you should be going after.

So if they are asking for stuff like Django, then its still web related, or it could be data analysis, DevOps, or something else.

I’d also consider using Python as a jumping off point, and look into other languages for back-end. (Basically every language is a possibility) This also includes learning about database’s, as web stack or not, you probably will be interacting with some data from a database at some level.

If the front-end is the wild west with HTML/CSS/JS, the back-end is the rest of the world. So there is a lot to learn, lots of possibilities, lots of flexibility, and lots to choose from.

As long as you know your stuff, and know your core fundamentals for programming, and have built complex enough projects, you can break into the back-end realm. Just keep in mind what you build needs to stand out. Without any visuals to hook user’s in, your left with your background, experience, and project functionality.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building!

If you really want to stick with backend my advise is get a template or boostrap css
to show what you code from the backend. Tbh it doesn’t really matter if your design is crap as long as your backend workflow is good if you arr still lesrning. Although you cant really escape html, css and js since you have to use a template engine or get the json using ajax. I was a backend dev before on java and .net. i had to know some servlets and razor for html. Yup some companies will require you to learn html no matter what