The Other Side: Back-end Java Development

While the trend seems to favor UI/UX web developers in the software development industry, we should point out that most, if not all, internet-enabled applications and systems require some kind of back-end business on the other side. One of the best platforms to build the server side back-end of web applications is the Java EE platform, which leverages the community-driven Java language and a robust support system.

Job prospects for back-end Java developers who focus on programming business logic components are just as plentiful as jobs for development of user interfaces, although there may be a perception that the positions are not as fun. Here are some reasons why this simply isn’t true:

Strategic Design

While front-end development requires a lot of subjective design and iterative improvement, back-end development tends to be more objective and strategic. Non-functional concerns like expandability, reliability and scalability force the developer to think through many different scenarios. The focus on architectural decisions results in much more collaboration with team members and effectively a greater sense of accomplishment when the system performs as designed.

Domain Knowledge

The back-end developer must become familiar with the domain for which the application is being written, even more-so than a front-end developer. Because the developer will be writing code that interacts with one or more databases containing live data, they must understand how that data translates to real-world application. Since they must create logical flows that work with the basic objects of the system, they have a chance to really get to know the subject matter. Instead of just a dry exercise in programming, it becomes a matter of truly and thoroughly understanding the domain knowledge.

Varied Projects

Although it seems the front-end developer gets more variety, at the end of the day most UI’s can be reduced to just input fields, validation and visual displays of data. Back-end developers on the other hand have a much greater assortment of potential problems to solve. Real-time input processing, statistical analysis, integration with partner systems, security, data component interaction and system performance are all specific areas to which the developer can focus their attention and expertise.

Ultimately, both sides of web development are needed to deliver a complete product. But it is important to know the job prospects for a back-end developer are just as diverse and exciting as those for front-end roles.

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