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Front-end vs Back-end Development: Understanding the Differences

Published on August 2, 2023 | Posted in  

To non-programmers, it may seem like there is one single thing called “coding” that people do to power their favourite apps, websites, and video games. When you start to look a little closer, major differences appear.

The digital world relies on front- and back-end development, but there are some coding terms you should know, as it’s important for parents and young coders to appreciate the distinction between them. Please read on for a closer look!

Centre Stage Versus Backstage

Perhaps it’d be easiest to explain the difference between front- and back-end coding by way of analogy. To run a successful theatrical performance, you need actors on the stage that the audience sees and people making things work behind the scenes.

Without the actors dramatically reciting lines, dancing, and singing, you wouldn’t have much of a play. The same is true of those responsible for set design, lighting, costumes, and things like that.

In coding, front-end development refers to building the aspects of a website, app, or game that the user sees immediately. Back-end development involves the digital property’s structure, system, data, and logic.

Our online coding classes ready students for both types of programming. Where a coder ends up depends on their personality and temperament more than their abilities or skills.

Which to Pick?

To continue the metaphor, not everybody who loves the theatre is drawn to the same aspects of it. Some people love to sing or dance. Actors stick to acting. Others love working on the crucial intangibles of performance out of the spotlight.

RP4K is proud to teach the popular programming languages that give kids the tools to do either work, so they’re free to choose their preference. Students and parents are right to wonder, what characterizes front-end and back-end development?

Front-end developers ensure the digital property looks great and functions properly. The visible parts must come to life and give users a straightforward experience. In other words, there’s an aesthetic design element and a practical component.

A few elements front-end developers oversee on static websites include:

  • Button
  • Layouts
  • Navigation
  • Images
  • Content organization
  • Graphics
  • Animation

These are visible to users and therefore fall to front-end developers. They use markup and web languages, such as HTML, JavaScript, and more. RP4K is proud to teach JavaScript, along with Java, Python, C#, and C++. Future employers and teachers or profs you may encounter later expect those they hire or teach to be proficient with these languages.

a desk with papers, laptops, and people, seen from above

Many websites and apps offer users interactive functionality, which calls for back-end developers to manage. Back-end developers make it possible for users to go online and book a reservation or class, order a pizza or do countless other things.

The skills and responsibilities required to be a back-end developer include allowing for scalability, data transformation and storage, backup, server architecture, and more.

Our online programming courses give students the foundational tools they’ll need to head off in whatever direction they choose.

How RP4K Gives Students the Basic Tools

It’s impossible to know what kind of coding you want to do until you get a sense of what coding is like. You need some foundations and experience before making a judgement call like that. Otherwise, it’s essentially just a coin toss.

The classes at Real Programming 4 Kids revolve around how to code a custom video game, one that students can play with friends and family. We start off lessons by emphasizing fun first and foremost while providing the basic mathematical concepts and coding knowledge.

The founder of RP4K is a mathematician proud to teach kids basic things like integers to more complex ones, like trigonometry. Still, the sessions are designed to prioritize fun over all else.

Framing coding lessons around video games helps motivate students, as does harnessing gamification concepts. Ultimately, students learning how to create a video game will feel like they’re playing one! We take the aspects of video games that make them so engaging and use them for learning purposes.

For now, your child needs to have fun in an extracurricular program. They’ll also learn fundamental concepts in math and coding, but we don’t assume they’ll apply this knowledge one day in their profession.

When our students grow up, they can decide to create their own app or work for a web company. They may become a professional video game developer or use their skills in countless other jobs that need them. Alternatively, they could go entirely in another direction that has nothing to do with computers!

RP4K is here to show kids a fun time, not train future employees.

Many In-Demand Coding Languages

RP4K is proud to teach the coding languages powering the most popular apps, websites, and video games. While employers look to hire coders fluent in these languages, that is only part of the reason we teach them.

Students need to be challenged, which means finding the balance between keeping them stimulated without being overwhelmed. They need digestible chunks of information that become progressively harder as their skills develop.

At first, we show kids how to create basic video games in relatively simple languages. As their abilities in each language increase, and they can more fully convert their imagination into a real program, they eventually move on to the next coding language when the time is right.

RP4K is proud to teach coding languages like Python, Java, JavaScript, C#, and C++. For now, they’ll use them to build video games in a fun, supportive atmosphere with at most three other students. Whether they want to become a front-end or back-end developer is a question only they can answer years from now.

It’s hard for non-coders to understand the ins and outs of concepts like back-end and front-end development. Once students begin to learn the languages and absorb the material, they may gravitate toward one type or the other. Until then, RP4K is here to ensure learning STEM concepts and coding skills is fun.

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