Why Do Some Programmers Say Frontend Is Easier Than Backend?

24 February 2023

So, you’re wondering if frontend development is easier than backend development. Truth be told, the question is rather challenging. Frontend and backend development are two somewhat complicated aspects of web development in 2023. Fortunately for you, we’ll determine which type of development is more challenging in this article: frontend or backend! 

Do you ever wonder why so many backend developers say that frontend is easier? Discover the answer to this and many other related questions in this article! Have you ever asked yourself questions like What makes frontend easier than backend? What skills are needed to become a successful frontend developer? or What techniques do developers use to make the frontend development process easier?  

It is well known that backend development is more difficult than frontend development. A study by the University of Oxford found that “Backend developers tend to have a higher workload than frontend developers, due to the complexity of the programming language used”. The same study also noted that “The complexity of the backend language also means that backend developers need to have a higher level of technical knowledge than frontend developers”. 

In this article, you will learn why so many backend developers say that frontend is easier, what skills are needed to become a successful frontend developer, and what techniques are used to make the frontend development process easier. After reading this article, you will have a better understanding of why frontend is easier than backend and why it is important to learn both. 

Is Frontend Development Easier Than Backend?​​

During the past decade, frontend development has grown in popularity as more engineers switch from backend development to frontend. Due to its greater availability and perception as being “easier” than backend development, frontend programming has the propensity to be used more frequently. The primary reason so many developers like the frontend are its simplicity. Frontend development has a lower learning curve and calls for less technical knowledge than backend programming. This makes it possible for developers to get started straight away even with just a basic understanding of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Moreover, several frontend frameworks, such as React and Vue, have made it simpler for developers to create working prototypes of websites fast. The tools available are another reason frontend development is perceived as being simpler. Website development is made simpler for developers by the abundance of tools, libraries, and frameworks available. As an illustration, CSS preprocessors like Sass and LESS may significantly cut down on the time required to develop and maintain CSS code. The same is true for JavaScript build tools like webpack and gulp, which may assist developers in writing task automation and optimized code.

The fact that frontend development is more visible and tangible than backend development is a last consideration. As a result, developers can more easily comprehend and interact with the code they write since they can view the results of their labors in real-time in the browser. Developers may be highly motivated by this and debugging and troubleshooting are also much facilitated. In conclusion, many backend engineers assert that the frontend is simpler since it is more approachable, has access to tools, and is more visible and concrete. Because of this, a lot of developers are switching from the backend to the frontend, and this trend is probably going to continue.

What is Frontend & Backend Development?

Frontend development (client-side development) refers to the development of the parts of a website that the user can see and interact with. This includes code that is responsible for the look, feel, and behavior of the website and includes HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. 

Backend development (server-side development) is the creation of sections of a website that the user does not directly view or interact with. This contains program code for databases, servers, and APIs that manage and handle the website’s data.

What’s the Difference?

The main distinction between frontend and backend development is that the former concentrates on the external components of the website, whilst the latter does so for its internal components. Backend development is in charge of data processing and storage, whereas frontend development is in charge of the appearance, feel, and functionality of the website.

Frontend developers build the aesthetics, style, and interaction of the user interface using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. The logic, databases, and APIs that power the user interface are created by backend developers in languages like PHP, Python, Java, and Ruby. Backend development is concerned with how the user interface works and interacts with the server-side logic and data, whereas frontend development is concerned with how the user interface appears and feels.

Why Is Frontend Harder Than Backend?

Why is it that some claim that frontend development is more difficult than backend development these days? There are several reasons why this is so, let’s look at them.

Keeping up with a rapidly changing environment

The rapid advancements in frontend development have given it a reputation for being challenging. Every few months, new frameworks and technologies like React, Angular, and Vue are released to improve development. These continual updates mean that staying up-to-date requires constant learning of new lessons and courses. Once Angular was the most popular frontend framework, but now React is the preferred choice for many companies. Even Netflix has gone back to using the original JavaScript due to performance concerns. With no indication that these advances will soon slow down, it’s important to remember how quickly the industry is developing the next time someone claims that frontend development is easy.

More information to consider

Frontend development may prove to be equally challenging in 2023 as backend development. With opinionated frameworks, state management systems, and intricate logic, there should be no assumption that the workload for backend developers is greater than that of frontend developers. However, frontend development entails more than just programming, as it demands creativity, aesthetics, and an understanding of user experience. This includes being adept with design techniques, creating prototypes, and making sure the design looks professional. Furthermore, it necessitates taking into account how users will interact with the software to deliver the best user experience.

More tools to learn

As the workplace evolves, so too must your skillset. Keeping up with the latest tools, such as Webpack, React, Yarn, and NPM can be a challenge, as you may find yourself constantly learning new technologies, leaving less time to learn other programming topics, such as different paradigms, languages, and best practices. Nevertheless, it is important to remain up-to-date and not be discouraged by the ever-changing landscape.

Test suites and testing

Testing the frontend of a web application is more difficult and tedious than the back end. In addition to checking for the theoretical soundness of functions and objects, and assessing edge scenarios, frontend testing requires tests for design components, logical operations, and state changes. As such, manual testing is often preferred over creating a unit test suite, which is more time-consuming and frustrating. All in all, frontend testing is more complex, laborious, and frustrating than backend testing.

Why Is Backend Harder Than Frontend?

Both backend and frontend development have specific explanations for why they are more difficult.

The higher learning curve for beginners

Compared to frontend development, learning backend programming can be more difficult. To build a website’s frontend, only HTML and CSS are needed. However, the backend requires a deep understanding of programming languages. This can be daunting for newcomers and lead them to believe that frontend development is easier. In reality, the learning curve for the backend is much steeper than for the frontend.

Frontend is less visually appealing than the backend

Just knowing where to look can help you find the backend, which can be just as aesthetically pleasing as the frontend. However, with frontend development, you can often see the effects of your changes in real time. The response time for the backend can be unpredictable, making it more challenging for a beginner.

Many backend languages

The complexity of learning backend languages can be attributed to their variety and the need to comprehend multiple languages. While frontend development only requires knowledge of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS, backend development involves mastering three languages to work with the various methods available. Although the concepts are generally the same, transitioning between languages can be challenging, leading many to stick with the language they are most comfortable with or switch only when necessary for a better career opportunity.

Summary 

So, which is harder, the backend or the frontend? The truth is that both types of development are equally difficult, but for different reasons. Frontend development necessitates comprehension of design concepts and user experience, as well as the ability to produce an aesthetically beautiful user interface. Awareness of server architecture, security, and strong technical language and framework knowledge are all necessary for backend development. In the end, both styles of development are essential for a successful product, and they each call for a unique set of talents. The distinctions between the two and the many tasks that each may be utilized for must be understood. You can more readily pick which form of growth is best for you if you are aware of the distinctions.

The post Why Do Some Programmers Say Frontend Is Easier Than Backend? appeared first on Flatlogic Blog.

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