How to Learn Backend Web Development
Jan 25, 2021
computer with code

Web development is the creative discipline that brings concepts and ideas to life through the websites we use every day. It is also one of the most desirable and accessible careers in tech. If you have considered web development as a new career path, you have likely discovered the three main building blocks of web development: front end, backend, and full stack.

Whether you are new to web development or already proficient in backend languages such as Java and Python, this post will help you tease out the differences and show you how Lambda School can help you on your path to learn backend web development. 

Editor's note: Lambda School is launching an Enterprise Backend Development program! We expect to begin accepting applications for our first cohort this summer. You can sign up here to get updates about the program and to get notified when we begin enrolling students.

What is web development?


As someone new to the field of web development, you might wonder what web developers actually do. Web development is a field centered on creating and maintaining websites both for internet (online websites) and intranet (private network) use. Developers focus primarily on the user experience using technical and creative skills to bring designs and ideas to life online. The union of front end programming and backend programming, known as full stack, is where all skills come together to create and maintain websites of all kinds, including servers, databases, and applications.

Web developers typically work within one of the following three areas of a website: 

  • Front end development. Front-end developers are responsible for the behaviors and visuals of “client-facing” products and programs, including the design aesthetic, debugging, and other code analysis.
  • Backend development. Back-end developers address “server-facing” web application logic and integration by building and maintaining the tech needed to keep websites working and improve functionality.
  • Full stack development. Full-stack developers have the functional knowledge and ability to work on all aspects involved in building an application, including building and maintaining both the front and back ends of a website.

As an example, when you open your Netflix profile, you see designs and images brought to life thanks to front end programming, while backend code dictates the movies and recommendations you see on screen. The database itself stores your personal information within a profile, and algorithms track your preferences and viewing history, informing front end code and influencing what you see through the application programming interface (API). 

Where can I start learning backend development? 

Some online coding bootcamps and programs focus on teaching either frontend or backend development, while other programs, like Lambda School, incorporate all concentrations within their Full Stack Web Development Program. When looking for a program, consider what skills you will need within the field you hope you work in.

Typically, those who are hired for traditional front end positions hold specific user-facing skills such as graphic design, layout, images, and interactivity. Those hired for traditional back-end roles hold strong programming skills such as scripting, core logic, and databases, and in-depth knowledge of specific languages. However, as tech continues to grow, the demand for more well-rounded programmers is increasingly desirable for employers, and can provide more adaptability and job security for job hunters. And that’s not all. Employers are increasingly interested in programmers who can demonstrate good communication and collaboration skills as well. This is great news for students who choose coding programs like Lambda School, which give ample opportunity for group work, projects, and a comprehensive programming curriculum. 

According to Glassdoor, the average backend developer salary is $101,619. Although this is higher than the average full stack developer salary, in part because the work can be viewed as more rigorous and more technical, full stack developers who work in backend roles typically bring in higher salaries than their backend counterparts because employers are willing to pay more for individuals with more skills.

As you begin your search for a backend program, consider what Lambda School might do to level up your learning and your future salary.

What backend elements does Lambda teach?   

Lambda School full stack development program covers some aspects of backend web development, including a Node programming, database management, and framework utilization skills needed for a successful career in full stack development.

Here are the backend elements that are covered in our full-time full stack devlopment program.


  • Node.js Web APIs
  • Data persistence
  • Authentication & testing

If you're interested in a career in backend web development, we have good news! We're building a new full-time Enterprise Backend Development course, and we expect to begin accepting applications this summer. Sign up to get updates about our program launch and to learn more!

Lambda students also participate in real-world labs, allowing students to test and showcase their skills with other students on projects that carry over into their portfolios and serve as show pieces in job interviews. In addition, Lambda School not only teaches the languages and technologies you need to know as a new professional, but also how to learn any new on-the-job languages and technologies. These adaptability skills can be crucial in landing a job, keeping a job, and moving up the professional ladder.

Lambda School’s full time programs and free mini bootcamps make learning programming easier than ever before for working professionals and coding newbies ready to make a career change. When the time is right for you, Lambda is ready to help you make the change.

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