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Molly Struve (she/her)
Molly Struve (she/her)

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Frontend vs Backend, which do you prefer and why?

I am a backend girl because I love optimizing code performance and dealing with data. How about you? What draws you to a particular section of the stack?

Discussion (44)

sarahscode profile image
Sarah Katz

I'm a frontend person because I like to see my work - former artist/graphic designer here, so I'm definitely a visual person and frontend appeals to that.

But I like backend sometimes too, because it's cool to be actually working on the things that make the frontend run well.

So ... full stack?

leejarvis profile image
Lee Jarvis

I think I prefer backend so I don’t see my work 😅

jesusgollonet profile image
jesús gollonet

Ex creative-coder turned into passionate backender. I've followed a strange path from flash to interactive installations to web frontend to backend / ops. When I started programming I didn't understand how someone could be coding without the output being visual. And now I'm at my happiest when I don't need to even open a browser.

molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her) Author

YES! I have never been a very visual person. Some people can look at a webpage and lay all the pieces down, I struggle so much with that so the backend came easier to me. Also when I started I felt like the logic flow of the backend and Ruby was easy for me to understand than the frontend.

amit_savani profile image
Amit Patel

I am backend developer for about 12 years. I love it so much. Thanks to Ruby which keeps me happy all the time.

I am amazed by front end designs and SPA. I keep on collecting great designs and clever CSS hacks but I use them for reference to get it done from frontend designers and developers.

molly profile image
Molly Struve (she/her) Author

Copy/Paste frontend snippets FTW!!!

I often refer to frontend people as Wizards, bc I literally feel like they wave their hands and beautiful things suddenly appear on the page. SO much respect for that ability!

Thread Thread
torianne02 profile image
Victoria Crawford

THIS! It blows my mind what people can do with CSS.

emnudge profile image

I like backend, but I'm a frontend guy. I really like visual programming where I can see my code come to life in a more user-friendly way. I like making things for the common person more than other developers.

cescquintero profile image
Francisco Quintero 🇨🇴


My initial days in web programming were as a frontend but having to deal every hour with CSS and browsers was unappealing.

Then came this day I had the chance to do a migration of about 20 wordpress sites. I did manually for every site but learn a lot and promised myself to learn bash to automate things.

Also, I had started to relearn Ruby on Rails(I had been introduced to the framework in that same place), got a job as a RoR backend developer(in a another company) and from that day on, I've been a backend.

In fact, I'm a fullstack but I consider fullstacking as a myth but yeah, have to believe it from time to time :D

pringels profile image
Peter Ringelmann

Front-end! I tried back-end for a while but found it to be quite dull. I get that some of the performance challenges can be interesting to work on, but most of the time I felt like I was just passing data from one place to another.

On the front-end I get to sink my teeth into way more diverse topics like UX, animation, performance, etc.

I guess I've always just had a love for graphics :)

kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman

For me they each strike a different chord. On front-end, it is very satisfying to iterate on a design and finally arrive at something which makes the user feel safe and confident in their task. On back-end, it feels like a sweet accomplishment when I figure out a way to handle a complex use case elegantly.

I probably prefer the logic-based constraints of the back-end more than the cognitive science constraints of the front-end. But I like to get into both.

matthias profile image
Matthias 🤖

In my first job, I started as a Java Backend Developer (Java EE with Tomcat and JBoss).

I really liked the opportunities and different approaches which backend development offered to me (APIs, databases, Spring Framework).
In the last years I do not spend much time writing Java code. My primary language for backend work is now TypeScript and / or JavaScript (which - in my opinion - makes developing faster).
In my current job I am also doing some DevOps stuff with Kubernetes and Docker, which I also like very much.

As I am now working in a smaller company I also have to do some Frontend work with React and Angular, which is totally okay for me and I also find it enjoyable.

So at the moment I would call myself a Fullstack / DevOps Engineer, but I still prefer Backend work, because I am a terrible designer.
If I am forced to put some numbers in here, I would say 75% backend and 25% frontend.

The only drawback in Backend development: Your work is not as present as Frontend stuff.

johannarlee profile image

Front End because it's been such a fun part of my life for the last decade, but back then I never knew that it could lead to a legitimate career. There are days where it actually is shocking to feel like I'm being paid to do what I love doing. Making clean and delightful user interfaces makes me actually giddy.

justsharkie profile image

Front End gal here! I think it's probably because I'm also a designer, and those two just work so well with each other. Then I can design something and develop it and everything is right with the world. :P

tvanantwerp profile image
Tom VanAntwerp

I started with graphic design and now I mostly work in the front end. I love the instant visual feedback of it.

I used to think the back end was the more complicated bit, but I'm not as sure anymore. Front end is plenty complicated these days, and I should really spend more time with the back end.

prahladyeri profile image
Prahlad Yeri • Edited on

I'm a full-stack dude because of two reasons:

  1. I'm a freelance coder who works solo, so I can't afford to get too specialized (in just one framework or skill).
  2. I want to code an app that works, so I take care of both frontend and backend.

I happen to know python, php, JS and HTML/CSS, and they all play their part in the stack! I don't have a thorough mastery over front-end CSS design, so I use a solid framework like Bootstrap and libraries like for development.

If I were working in a large IT company like Google or Amazon as a dev, maybe I could have afforded the specialization of working as a frontend or backend dev!

drighz profile image
Rodrigo Mikin

I am both, thou most people prefer me to work on the front-end side because i work swiftly like an hour for an estimated 8 hours of work. I also like dealing with data / API integration / SQL stored procs as they are fun to work with thou easy if the framework you are working on is organized (component-based).

torianne02 profile image
Victoria Crawford • Edited on

I've only been coding for over a year and haven't yet landed a job, but I really prefer backend.

When I first got into coding, I thought I wanted to go into frontend but then I learned Ruby on Rails and fell in love with the backend.

cigwe416 profile image
cigwe416 • Edited on

When I started learning how to code, the first programming language I ever learnt was C++ but I really did not enjoy it since 100% of all what I built were console apps. I really wanted something I can see immediately (something visually appealing to me) so I had to switch to frontend since it was much more appealing to me.
But I started learning backend(NodeJs) over 2 years ago and it is becoming more fun as I get to understand how systems are designed and engineered.

nuculabs_dev profile image
Nucu Labs

I didn't enjoy writing any front-end code until I discovered Vue.JS. Overall I like the backend more, I don't wanna fight with CSS and supporting a ton of different web browsers.

I'm glad that at my current job the application I'm working on is for internal use only and I only have to support the latest version of Chrome and Firefox.

niorad profile image
Antonio Radovcic

Total front-end/interface/click/touch-person here.

I started more serious development in Uni with Processing, which makes creating interactive and generative projects a breeze.

When trying new languages I always check out the visual capabilities/libraries/frameworks first.

I love to read about and play with low-level stuff too, though. So far C was the lowest level lang I made something useful with. I really enjoy RayLib, which is a game/graphics-library for C (has tons of bindings, tho).

burzumumbra profile image
Ronald Flores Sequeira

I'll found my self in the middle, but now so hard to be a Full Stack, not yet.
But I believe that this approach is a good way to have a complete understanding of the user needs, and possible practical solution.

For example, last week I got asked by the client to do some functionality to a subscription cancelation process, with WordPress plugins, the description was to trigger a poll right after the confirmation message for the cancelation was triggered.

So as backend approach I would have to code some communication between two plugins, that has not good Docs or I could find a workaround, to pretend there's a communication between the interaction of canceling and answering the poll.

I went with the second one. First by time priority, second by the complexity of the integration of two plugins, third, because I have more confidence in my JS than PHP skills.

The end user could no difference if the interaction that the client needed is accomplished, and after that, I got more time to resolve other issues at the backend, with more heavy needs from the client.

isaacfink profile image

I'm mostly backend because I like the logic part of it,
When I started programming I was fascinated by hackers, that was before I knew much about computers,
I started looking up learning paths to become a hacker, and that's how I started learning python, and later c.

plainprogrammer profile image
James Thompson

I used to have much less of a preference. I used to like moving between frontend and backend. Today, I favor the backend heavily because of both environmental factors of my career, but also the way frontend has taken on some of what I view as unnecessary complexity. I remember when knowing the specs for HTML, CSS were big keys to web development. Now, those pieces, which are still important have been almost wholly subsumed by an obsession with Javascript.

This isn't new though, before CSS Animations were possible there were libraries like MooTools that brought richer animations to the web. But, with the rise of component-obsession some of the same pitfalls of aggressive reuse that have plagued certain backend communities at times are becoming the expected normal for frontend. Think of the early days of Rails and the seemingly never ending flow of gems that turned some apps into little more than bundles of configuration and light customization with more of a meta-development feel.

I'm thankful that my role has me working across frontend and backend, because I can help guide folks towards not assuming that breaking frontend into small pieces means that those pieces need to be reusable. Sometimes just having small pieces is valuable, even if some of those pieces are duplicated to some extent. So, I definitely prefer the backend, but I think the frontend still has a lot to learn from not reinventing and retreading paths that are already well-worn in other communities.

caleb_rudder profile image
Caleb Rudder

I love both for different reasons.

I love front end because I love the feeling of being able to see my designs come to life and I enjoy the psychology around good designs.

I enjoy back end because of the ways we can dynamically generate pages and make things interactive and secure.

So, I guess you could say I'm drawn to full-stack...

steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao

hmmm.... backend been building APIs for a while so still prefer to focus on the backend but will be able to build something in the front-end using bootstrap or other prebuilt templates that I could modify myself.

iamschulz profile image
Daniel Schulz • Edited on

The similarities and differences between frontend and backend get washed up. See Chris Coyiers blog post about The Great Divide (
I think it's more about a Design/UX focus or a logical/programming focus (don't pin me down on wording here, please. I do consider CSS as programming).

That being said, I come from a visual background and feel most comfortable with CSS, but I came to enjoy writing business logic in JS as well. So... frontend full stack?

felipperegazio profile image
Felippe Regazio • Edited on

I love both, but im a front end guy and im loving to see some back end people saying OMG HOW THE FRONT END PEOPLE DO THAT???

Sometimes i say the same thing about the back end. I pass the page to the back end and at the end of the day the page comes back to me with the real data flowing sometimes sooo well that i think OMFG HOWW

karaluton profile image
Kara Luton

I only learned frontend at my bootcamp and have exclusively worked in that since. I really love seeing what I build come to life which is why I’ve always been drawn to the frontend. Lately, I’ve been thinking about diving into more backend development though!

aadibajpai profile image
Aadi Bajpai

I really like to design, graphically but also in terms of designing the logic behind something. So it's weird that I like backend and the initial graphic design, but can't really use a frontend framework to save my life 🤷‍♂️

erikthered profile image
Erik Nelson

Although I've been in backend and devops oriented roles for a while, I will say it's hard to hold a candle to the visual, immediate feedback you get with frontend development. The frontend community also has a pretty vibrant feel to it right now.

All that said, I do very much enjoy backend since it provides the data and logic in order to drive these experiences.

harken24 profile image

Started as frontend developer since it was easier to see results of my code visually, it really helped with my motivation and pushed me further to grow. My job now is frontend developer, but I got interested in backend a few months ago and really can't wait to make the transfer to backend developer since it's much more interesting for me personally.

elcotu profile image
Daniel Coturel

I'm backend. I like data structures, transactions, databases. In fact, I could say without blushing that my perfect job would be creating and maintaining APIs for others to consume.

_mikigraf profile image
Miki Graf

My career started in the backend, but with time I’ve grown fond of front end and AWS. My stack consists of Node.js/Python and AWS for the backend and Vue.js for frontend. A stack that doesn’t seem to be that popular..I can’t really find any remote job with it :(

I think in my case it doesn’t matter whether it’s frontend nor backend, I just want to see the product grow :D

silvestricodes profile image
Jonathan Silvestri

Bootcamp-trained on the backend, self-taught frontend and prefer working in that now.

Quite the paradox because I have no design/visual skills whatsoever.

lautarolobo profile image
Lautaro Lobo

Front-End! Because of the design, the creativity that you can put in there, creating ART with CSS & Co.

asg5704 profile image
Alexander Garcia

I love the Front-End because I can see my results (design) immediately. 😁

youssefayman profile image

I like Front-end becasue it's the perfect equilibrium of design and logic

prvnbist profile image
Praveen Bisht

Primarily a front-end dev with experience in ui/ux and I also started learning backend less than year ago. Going with MERN stack and Figma.

I started with front-end after taking CSE course and building things that looked bad visually is what drove me into design and getting fed up of building static things is what inspired me to learn back-end. It really feels great to be able to design something and then build from start to finish. Let's see what problem I face next that'll lead me into learning more interesting stuff.

phallstrom profile image
Philip Hallstrom

Backend, no question. Partly because I've never cared for Javascript. Mostly because I enjoy wrangling data and watching a well built system just... work.

trjahnke profile image
Tristan Jahnke

I love backend but I'm biased as a DevOps engineer and someone with very little graphics or design abilities

irinagabe profile image
Gabe Vigodi

I'm a frontend guy. I need the visual stimulation that page layouts offer.

johnmunroengica profile image
John Munro

There is no back-end/Front-end split there is just code when you work on the full stack.