Contributors: Alicia Wang, Conner Swenberg

What is backend development?

Backend Development is a subset of software development that specializes in the storage and transmission of data. A backend serves information to mobile, web, and other devices: whether you use Facebook on your phone or your computer, you communicate with the same place to get the information that is served on your screen. You can think of it as the “behind-the-scenes” of web functionality--it works together with the front end to deliver a product to the end user. Thus, backend development can encompass many things in a system, including (but not limited to) application logic, databases, and servers.

Why you should take this course

Backends sit at the core of an application. What makes Reddit Reddit is the vast network of related information that allow people to communicate over the internet. Banks and payment transfers like Venmo all have to be stored somewhere and validated by some protocol for security. Spotify and other streaming services need to organize and optimize content delivery to all devices to ensure a happy customer. The backbone of the internet and future innovations heavily rely on understanding and developing powerful backend systems. If these things excite your curiosity, you're in the right place! Taking the Intro to Backend Development course will give you the theoretical and experiential foundation to apply your creativity and build these systems yourself.

What makes backend difficult

Due to its “behind-the-scenes” nature, backend development can be a pain to debug. Unlike user-facing mobile apps or websites, there is less visual feedback to understand the problems within your code. There are also many possible ways to architect a system, but seeing the path towards the best way to design the application for functionality, simplicity, and maintainability is not always easy.

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