Backend Specialization

Backend Specialization


I’m a fan of John Sonmez from Simple Programmer, and I have a copy of his book The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide. He talks about specialization and niching down from his book and YouTube videos. I’m following his advice and am interested in specializing in back end development. Should I still go through the front end portion of the course even though I chose back end development as my niche?


I would do it, just focus on functionality not design. First, it will give you more options if you later want to do full-stack or front-end. Also, it will help you work with your front-end people better. As a back-end, you will probably still be working with html and css, so knowing the basics will definitly help even if you don’t do it all the time.


Thanks for the response. Full stack is also interesting, but I’m sort of skeptical to go this route because I’m not fully niching down into front or back end but being more of a generalist between the two instead.


Yeah, I’d definitely do the front end. You want to at least know what’s going on on the front end. You’ll have the rest of your career to specialize.


That’s actually exactly what I’m doing. I went through the front end, not really enjoying the design aspect of it or making anything look good, but I loved working with the programming logic. I’m working through the back-end certification right now (on my last API project, then onto Dynamic Web Applications tomorrow or Thursday). I’d much rather work back-end than have to constantly tweak CSS to make sure everything is the exact pixel length managers want it as and all the other front-end stuff.

I already had some good experience scripting stuff in Python and Bash, so I was able to pick up Javascript a lot faster than if I were starting out from nothing. The exercises and challenges in the front-end cert are invaluable, though, I would NOT skip them. Even in writing the API projects, instead of googling how to do something I don’t quite remember, I can now reference back to code that I wrote during the front-end work. Trust me, you’re going to get more out of referencing code you yourself have written but don’t remember the nuances of, than you will out of someone else’s code on StackOverflow or GitHub.

I also want to be able to work remotely, which means I’ll probably need some experience to get hired. I’m most likely going to finish up the back-end cert in a few weeks, take a breather, and move onto learning React for the Data Visualization, and not start applying for remote jobs until I’ve got enough on my github from all the projects and a few real-life non-profit applications under my belt (that’ll also help negotiate a higher salary).

Tl;dr even if you hate doing front end stuff like I do, do the front end cert, you’ll get a lot out of it.