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Beginner's Guide to Careers in Coding & Tech: Full Stack vs Front End vs Back End Developers

Sigma School
30th June 2024

In today's tech-driven world, the demand for skilled developers is skyrocketing. Whether you're a complete beginner or looking to switch careers, understanding the different coding paths can help you make an informed decision.

This guide breaks down the roles, skills, and career opportunities for front end, back end, and full stack developers; as well as other notable & emerging or fully remote tech careers.

What is Front End Development?

Definition and Role of a Front End Developer

Front end development focuses on the client side of web applications. Front end developers are responsible for the look and feel of a website, ensuring that users have a seamless and interactive experience.

Skills Required

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Frameworks: React.js, Angular
  • Responsive Design
  • Version Control/Git

What is Back End Development?

Definition and Role of a Front End Developer

Back end development deals with the server side of applications. Back end developers manage the database, server, and application logic, ensuring that data is processed correctly and efficiently.

Skills Required

  • Node.js
  • Python
  • Ruby
  • SQL
  • PostgreSQL
  • RESTful APIs

What is Full Stack Development?

Definition and Role of a Front End Developer

Full stack development involves working on both the front end and back end of web applications. Full stack developers have a broad skill set that allows them to handle all aspects of web development.

Skills Required

  • HTML & CSS
  • JavaScript
  • Node.js
  • React.js
  • Database Management
  • Server, Network, and Hosting Environments

3 software developers seen discussing about their tech project, enjoying their their tech career in a flexible working environment

Types of Tech Careers in Back End Development

Job TitleDescription
Database AdministratorManages and maintains database systems ensuring data integrity.
Server-side DeveloperDevelops and maintains server-side logic and integration.
API DeveloperDesigns and implements application programming interfaces.
DevOps EngineerManages deployment and operations processes for software.
Back-end EngineerBuilds and maintains the server, application, and database.
Backend DeveloperSpecializes in server-side application logic and integration.
Cloud EngineerDevelops and manages cloud infrastructure and services.

Types of Tech Careers in Front End Development

Job TitleDescription
UI/UX DesignerDesigns user interfaces and enhances user experience.
Front End DeveloperBuilds and maintains the client side of web applications.
Web DesignerCreates the visual design of websites.
Front-end Developer/EngineerSpecializes in client-side technologies and frameworks.
CSS/HTML DeveloperFocuses on building web pages using HTML and CSS.
Front-end JavaScript DeveloperDevelops web applications using JavaScript frameworks.
Front-end Web DesignerCombines web design with front-end development skills.
Web/Front-end UI Developer/EngineerBuilds user interfaces for web applications.
Mobile/Tablet Front-end DeveloperSpecializes in front-end development for mobile and tablet devices.
Front-end SEO ExpertOptimizes web pages for search engine visibility from a technical perspective.
Front-end Accessibility ExpertEnsures web applications are accessible to all users.
Front-end DevOpsFocuses on front-end operations and deployment.
Front-end Testing/QATests front-end applications for quality assurance.
Web ProgrammerCodes the functionality of websites based on design specifications.
Web DeveloperDevelops and maintains websites and web applications.
Front End Developer DesignerCombines front-end development with design skills.
Marketing Web DeveloperBuilds and optimizes websites for marketing purposes.
Lead Front End DeveloperLeads a team of front-end developers and oversees project development.

Types of Tech Careers in Full Stack Development

Job TitleDescription
Full Stack DeveloperHandles both front-end and back-end development tasks.
Technical LeadOversees technical aspects of projects and leads development teams.
Software EngineerDesigns, develops, and maintains software systems.
Product ManagerManages product development and coordinates between teams.
Quantitative DeveloperDesigns logic systems and works with business and technical aspects.
Production Support DeveloperMaintains system functionality and addresses day-to-day technical issues.

Emerging Tech Careers with Huge Potential

As technology evolves, new and exciting career opportunities continue to emerge. Here are some of the most promising tech careers for the future.

  • AI Ethicist/Algorithm Bias Analyst
  • AR (Augmented Reality) App Developer
  • Virtual Reality (VR) Experience Designer
  • Cybersecurity Analyst for IoT
  • Blockchain Developer
  • Genomic Data Scientist
  • Space Data Analyst
  • Quantum Computing Scientist
  • Voice Interface Designer (VUI Designer)
  • Clean Energy Tech Specialist
  • Machine Learning Engineer
  • Artificial Intelligence Specialist

Top Tech Careers for Remote Work

The flexibility of remote work is particularly appealing in the tech industry. Here are some top tech careers that are well-suited for remote work.

  • App Developer
  • WordPress Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Front End Developer
  • Full Stack Developer
  • Back End Engineer
  • JavaScript Developer
  • Ruby Developer
  • Python Developer
  • API Engineer
  • Web Designer
  • UX Designer
  • Visual Designer
  • Technical Marketer

Other Notable Tech Careers

There are many other rewarding careers in tech beyond the typical development roles.

  • Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer
  • Data Scientist
  • Cybersecurity Specialist
  • Technical Support Engineer
  • Network Engineer
  • IT Project Manager
  • Systems Architect
  • DevOps Engineer
  • Game Developer
  • Android App Developer
  • IOS App Developer

How to Choose the Right Path for You

Self-Assessment

Assess your interests and strengths to determine which area of development aligns with your skills and passions. Consider what aspects of tech excite you the most and what type of projects you enjoy working on.

Educational Paths

Explore various educational options such as coding bootcamps, degrees, and self-learning. Coding bootcamps, in particular, are a great and effective way to step into the world of tech careers due to their intensive, hands-on approach.

To learn more about what a coding bootcamp entails and how it can benefit your career, read our comprehensive guide on What is a Coding Bootcamp?.

Career Progression

Think about your long-term career goals and how each path can help you achieve them. Consider the potential for career growth and opportunities to transition between roles, such as moving from front end to full stack development.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right coding career path is crucial for your success in the tech industry. By understanding the roles, skills required, and career opportunities in front end, back end, and full stack development, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your interests and goals.

Ready to start your coding journey? Sigma School (a top coding school in Malaysia) offers a comprehensive coding bootcamp designed to help you become a successful developer. With an intensive, hands-on curriculum, experienced instructors, and robust career support, our bootcamp is the perfect way to launch your tech career.

Still exploring and not ready to commit? We’ve got you too, get a taste of our program with the Coding Fundamentals Beginner Module for FREE! Join our community, access beginner materials, and start learning today.