What kind of projects should you work on if you want to become a Backend Developer?

I really enjoy Backend Development and want to continue my education and land a job focused on the Backend, but I am having some trouble coming up with project ideas to put onto a portfolio. I know it’s fairly easy to show off your Frontend skills in a Portfolio, but I am terrible at web design and Frontend development, and I would like to be able to show off my Backend skills.

I understand that you need to understand the workflow for Frontend as a Backend developer, and I am already planning on learning more about the Frontend. However, I much prefer the Backend so I would want to be able to build a Portfolio that would help me land that kind of job.

Another question: If you are currently looking for Backend jobs, do employers and HR care if the design of your projects look good?

I am having some trouble coming up with project ideas to put onto a portfolio

I would start out just by googling it.

I am terrible at web design and Frontend development

Yeah, join the club. But I also know that we often can’t be picky about our first job.

Another question: If you are currently looking for Backend jobs, do employers and HR care if the design of your projects look good?

Well, it certainly helps. But if you are applying for a b/e job and just just have a functional f/e to display it, yeah, that would make sense. But still impressions are impressions…

I would suggest to not limit yourself and to learn some f/e. The other possibility is to find someone that likes f/e and build something together - working with others on a project looks good. I would do both - some solo and group projects.

You don’t have to be good at design to make a nice-looking front-end. Instead just look at a real-world modern website, and copy that design for your APIs front-end.

All the companies I interviewed with looked at my portfolio website. And the company that hired me, multiple developers there commented about my portfolio when I started.

Also it may be easier to get a full-stack job and then transition to back-end.

All of FCC’s back-end/full-stack projects are more than enough to show you know how to build and work on the back-end.

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The key is being able to focus on the back-end but still produce work that uses the front-end. The front-end could be simple, straight forward and you leverage as many front-end resources possible to help you. Probably the biggest examples are using UI libraries like bootstrap, rather than building your css from scratch.

You want some UI, you just don’t want to focus on it too much. Knowing front-end in general, and how to integrate it with the back-end is important.

Yes, if your work looks unprofessional, they will have a hard time taking you as a serious developer. This doesn’t mean your work needs to have fancy UI, its just the UI it does have should at least look acceptable. From there, if your focusing on the back-end, you should be able to have the UI “lead” into what you primarily focus on, which is the back-end. So stuff like security, infrastructure, architecture, and good coding practices all become more important since your focusing on the back-end rather than the more visual front-end.

It’s relatively easy and simple to put together a basic UI using Angular, React, or Vue using Material UI nowadays, and Material UI is what I’d recommend to get a professional-looking front-end quickly with minimum effort.

You really don’t need to be good in design or front-end development when you’re using Material UI. It does that “hard” work for you. Just pick one of the free themes and you have what you need.

Do you know what back-end means? I am not sure I do but you should be able to define it. My guess is that most of the skills involve database and server. Anything else?

I might misunderstand this question but if I do then design is critical. A good designer is worth much more than a programmer. Employees need people that can do a good design.