Freelance BackEnd NodeJs Developer?

Hello everyone, quick question. Although I really enjoy frontEnd development… i’ve learn ( took some time ) that I REALLY REALLY love BackEnd. Particularly NodeJs.

Is it possible for me to become a freelance NodeJs developer ( for backend) or do i need to have the FullStack?


Possible? Sure. Probable? Less so, in my (only slightly informed) opinion.

I think it is harder to get hired as back end developer as a first job without a degree. There can be some very complex interactions on the backend and there is a lot of potential for damage to a company. If you screw up the spacing on a the f/e, it’s embarrassing. But on the b/e, you can screw up big, big things. That’s an oversimplification, but that’s how it was explained to me. My perception is that there is a preference for CS grads.

Another problem is that it is a little more difficult to show b/e work in a portfolio. I also think it is hard to mimic the huge, layered, integrated system that a b/e often is.

I think the nest bet is to put yourself out as full stack and keep developing both skills. Once you get into a job (fullstack or f/e) you can move towards a b/e position.

Again, I’m no expert, but that’s my understanding. It’s possible, just less likely.

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Makes perfect sense, Kevin. Thanks for the input, much appreciated.

The biggest issue with being a freelancing “back-end only” developer is that means whoever is hiring you will either have an existing project that needs updating in a specific place, or they will need to hire another person to handle the front-end while you work on the back-end.

Neither of which cases seems common or makes much sense business wise when you could just get a single “full-stack” person that does everything, even if they are worse at both ends.

There are also lots of jobs that are mostly only front-end (say build a static site for someone’s business, nothing fancy) which means freelancing in that realm is possible due to more jobs. This is less true for back-end work, which just turns more into “non-front-end related software development”.

Freelancing as a back-end dev, probably leans more into consulting where you are more of an “expert” that can get hired for a given project+company and work on that project for a while, effectively as an employee.

Regardless, as @kevinSmith said above, you gotta know your stuff, as the realm of back-end is inherently more risky as its job is to act as a “secure environment”. If you screw up security in some way, you could open up the application and your user’s data to attack. The front-end always has the back-end to act as the “last line of defense”. If the back-end gets compromised in any way or form, your basically screwed.

If you enjoy working on the back-end, then I suggest continue learning it but don’t focus on freelancing. Rather focus on getting a job at a company where you can do that work. Its less risk, means you get more training and back-up and can focus on the part you want to work in.

The front-end might be “flashy and cool”, but really its a single specific (popular) domain. Everything else can be “back-end”. From web servers, to operations, to systems, to cloud providers, to machine learning, etc etc, its all “back-end”.

Good luck, keep learning, keep building :+1:

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this makes a lot of sense… never thought of it like that…

Yea, I agree. . I really like the MERN Stack and have been really running with it for the past few months… Thanks for the words, much-appreciated.