Tech lingo can be overwhelming to the untrained ear. More so if there is extensive work to be done with a developer, which means you will be hearing more tech lingo, more frequently than normal.
It’s likely that the terms such as “back end”, “full stack”, and “container” are being thrown around, and you’re stuck in the middle, busting your brain to remember it all.
If it is a case where you are working closely with developers, then chances are you will eventually catch on to the terms. But why not speed up the process?
Below we discuss some of the most common, if not confusing terms you should know when working with developers.
Front End and Back End, Knowing the Difference
If you find that you’re scratching your head trying to define the front end and back end of a website and coming up short, don’t be too hard on yourself. The truth is that the difference between them isn’t always clear.
The front end, sometimes referred to as the “client side”, can also be referred to as “web design”, which involves everything users see when they stumble on a site, including HTML and CSS languages. A common job associated with the front end is the job of a web designer, who, obviously, designs websites. This, however, can be tricky.
Depending on the particular company, the term “web designer” can suggest something quite different. The aim here is to give a general idea of what “front end” is referring to under regular circumstances. And that is everything users see when they log onto a website.
Also known as the “server side”, the back end refers to how the site works, updates and changes. In other words, everything users can’t see in the browser; think databases and servers.
People who work on the back end are called programmers or developers. As opposed to a web designer, their biggest concerns are security, structure and content management. They will be familiar with languages such as HTML and CSS, but under normal circumstances will have no reason to draw on those skills.
The idea of back-end development is to have a site that is dynamic, meaning updated and constantly changing in real time. This is the case for most websites. Examples of dynamic sites are blogs, Google Maps or Facebook. A dynamic site requires a database in order for all the information, such as user profiles, images, and blog posts, to be uploaded while the site remains functional.
Web developers work with languages such as PHP or .Net, as these are languages the database recognises. By writing this code, they are able to communicate with the server which then tells the browser what to use from the database.
Due to the nature of a developer’s work, there are times they will be required to move software from one computing environment to another. For example, from a staging environment into production, or from a developer’s laptop to a test environment. This software must not only be moved to a different computing environment, but must also run reliably. This is where containers provide a solution. But exactly how do containers help?
Containers consist of an entire run-time environment, meaning an application including all of its dependencies, binaries, and all configuration needed to run it. All this is fitted into one package. In a nutshell, by containerising the application platform and its dependencies, you eliminate worries such as the differences in OS distributions and underlying infrastructure.
Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), for example, represents the content, and also uses paragraph tags (
) to determine how many paragraphs a page will have. Words that appear between tags represent the content shown on a web page. HTML consists of markup symbols and text that specify what is displayed on the web page as well as what elements belong together.
So, one might say HTML is more about the structure of a website. Well, structure is all good and dandy, but it will take more than that to make a website something special. This is where Cascading Style Sheets comes into the picture, allowing developers to specify how a site looks in terms of, for example, its styles and colours.