What are junior/early career backend jobs like?

Hi all -
tl;dr, I’m trying to figure out if I sound like someone who would enjoy backend jobs or backend-focused full-stack jobs as it seems hard to find descriptions on exactly what they do in their day-to-day work :slight_smile:

I’ve been studying programming for five months now. I’m doing a combination of a self-paced online bootcamp and self-study to prepare myself for a job hunt in the fall.

For some background, I have a BA in Physics, graduated about 3 years ago, and have been trying to figure out what I like ever since. I’ve definitely been bitten by the coding bug.

I’ve found that I definitely enjoy backend - currently learning Ruby on Rails. Frontend is okay, but I don’t seem to enjoy design as much as I’m not a very visually artistic person. I love figuring out what classes/models should exist in a program and how they should interact. I love problem-solving and basic algorithms…I haven’t tried anything too crazy, but I used to help a computer science major friend with the logic side of his algorithms homework. I don’t mind repetition and I like math.

Does it sound like I could be suited to a backend career path? As an extra, which sections of the FCC curriculum should I focus on if this ends up being my goal? (or any other recommendations on what I should study when I’m done with my bootcamp and FCC haha)

The thing about “back-end” jobs is security is more important than the front-end. Even having terrible security practices on the front-end, means little risk, as long as the “back-end” is secure. This is mainly due to the fact the front-end is “insecure” by nature.

Insecurities on the back-end are usually a huge deal, think leaked DB, personal information, hacked, etc etc. Anything serious is probably due to a “backend” security hole. This isn’t to say the front-end is without its own security problems, but the back-end is usually the “main line of defense”.

This is one of the main reasons why you don’t see that many “beginner backend jobs”.


Now the other reason is “back-end” is the term used for basically everything that isn’t the front-end in a web stack. There are tons of jobs that can be considered “back-end” that might not immediately come to mind. These sorts of jobs are stuff you could do as a beginner at work, while you get more familiar with whatever project(s) you’d actually end up working on. I’m just providing examples off the top of my head as to what I’d give to a beginner that wants to focus on the back end

  1. Internal full stack project, where UI doesn’t matter much.
  2. CLI utilities to perform jobs
  3. Scripting/automating common repetitive daily tasks
  4. Running reports
  5. Writing DB scripts (on a test database of course)
  6. Writing tests/manual testing

I’m sure there are more things, and companies with full training programs probably have their own way about it, but there is always work that can be done, the key is just being able to learn what you need for the given job.

Goodluck :slight_smile:

3 Likes

Thanks, this was super helpful!!