Front-End, Back-End or Full-Stack Developer: Which Should You Pursue?

The web development field is currently a hot one, as businesses strive to build a presence in an increasingly digital era. As our economy reels from the impacts of COVID-19, the need for talent in this evolving field has grown ever-more critical.

According to Job Outlook statistics, the sector is set to experience a boom in the next five years – leaping from 21,700 workers in 2020 to 27,100 by 2025. With diverse opportunities and plenty of job stability, it remains as one of the most attractive pathways for those aspiring to the ICT industry.

Below, we break down the three main types of web development: front-end, back-end, and full-stack – and where your abilities may thrive best.

Front-End Development

Full stack developmentFront-end web developers are responsible for designing, testing, and maintaining the “user-facing” elements of a website. These can include visual features such as navigation panels, applications, clickable buttons, and the general layout and structure.

They may work closely with clients to determine the needs and goals of their desired website – and produce or modify the user interface as such. They might also be tasked with optimising websites for varying formats (i.e. mobile phones), and employ routine testing to fix any bugs or issues that arise.

Those who enjoy the visual design aspects of web development may be best fit for a front-end role. According to Payscale, the average front-end web developer earns around $78,761 AUD per year, with the highest-earners gaining around $117,000 AUD annually. The field offers plenty of career progression, with potential for higher salaries as experience grows.

Based on recent statistics by SEEK, those aspiring to this field can also enjoy a whopping 30% projected job growth over the next five years – offering plenty of job opportunity and security.

Skills required:

  • Proficiency in popular programming languages, including HTML, C++, and Java
  • Excellent communication skills for working with various types of clients
  • The creativity and critical thinking skills to not only build a functional webpage – but one that matches the client’s (or UI/web designer’s) vision
  • Strong collaborative mindset, as you’ll not only be working with clients – but other web or software developers, too

Best course for aspiring front-end developers

ICT40120-Certificate-IV-In-Information-Technology-Web-DevelopmentThe Australian Institute of ICT (AIICT) currently offers an ICT40120 – Certificate IV in Information Technology (Web Development) for those looking to get their start in the world of web development.

Touching on front-end essentials as well as client support and basic cyber security, students will build a thorough, fundamental knowledge of general web development; helping them craft web designs, databases, and manage client requirements with confidence. The course is also an ideal stepping stone towards our ICT50220 – Diploma of Information Technology (Back-End Web Development).

Back-End Development

On the flipside, back-end developers focus on the “server-side” elements of a website.

The “back-end” of sites is typically composed of three parts: a database, an application, and a server. Those in back-end web development help in coding these aspects, enabling the “front-side” elements of the website to function and exist. As with front-end developers, these people are responsible for designing, maintaining, testing, and debugging the entire “back-end”; with daily tasks that often include managing databases, cloud computing integration, API integration, and cyber security maintenance.

Those who prefer the more process-oriented, analytical aspects of web development may be best suited for the role of a back-end developer. According to SEEK, the average worker in this field earns about $115,000 AUD annually, with the opportunity to earn more as experience grows.

Aspiring back-end developers can also expect a 30% job growth in the next five years, boding plenty of future job opportunities.

Skills required:

  • Fluency in common back-end programming languages such as Ruby, PHP, Python, and Java
  • Thorough knowledge of cloud computing and cyber security
  • Excellent collaborative and communication skills for working with front-end and other web developers
  • Analytical skills for examining back-end data, processes, and code – identifying and troubleshooting any issues that may arise

Best course for aspiring back-end developers

ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Back End Web Development)

ICT50220 Diploma of Information Technology (Back End Web Development)

Those seeking to hone their skills in back-end web development can pursue AIICT’s ICT50220 – Diploma of Information Technology (Back-End Web Development), a course that builds upon your fundamental abilities in the field, while helping leverage them for e-commerce and digital customer engagement.

Students will explore basic web design principles, the creation of web applications, and the skillset to develop large-scale, complex websites. Transferable ICT skills in cyber security, database management, client management, and team leadership are also touched upon.

Those who complete this course can go on to pursue entry-level roles in back-end web development, as well as general programming and web application development.

Full-Stack Development

CFSD-Certified-Full-Stack-DeveloperFor those who enjoy both the front and back-end aspects of web development, a career in full-stack development covers both systems. Full-stack developers are responsible for the user interactions of a website, while also managing the databases and servers required for the platform to function. They typically oversee the entire web development process – from conception to deployment – as well as the general production of related software and applications.

They may also assist with and guide the writing, development, analysis, and eventual implementation of required software.

According to Payscale, full-stack developers earn an average of $79,911 AUD per year, with the highest-earners gaining about $118,000 AUD annually. The field offers plenty of career progression, with the ability to earn more as experience grows.

Aspiring full-stack developers can also expect plenty of future employment opportunities, with a predicted 30% job growth in the next five years, according to SEEK.

Skills required:

  • Fluency in both front and back-end programming languages – including HTML, CSS, Javascript, Python, and C#, as well as Javascript frameworks (i.e. React, Node.js)
  • Comprehensive knowledge of UX/UI design, databases, and web server management
  • Excellent project management skills for supervising the end-to-end life cycle of the software/application development process
  • A keen eye for detail in identifying bugs, general problems, and areas for improvement

Best course for aspiring full-stack developers

If you’re looking to build your skills a full-stack developer, AIICT currently offers a comprehensive Certified Full Stack Developer course – helping students train in the fundamentals of both front and back-end development.

Comprised of two globally-recognised certifications by the Python Institute and DevOps Institute, individuals will explore the programming languages such as Javascript, HTML, CSS, MongoDB, Python, and React – along with the skills required for Agile Project Management.

The course also includes practical lab activities, simulating a real-world working environments to keep your skills “job-ready” for the market. Those who complete the program may not only go on to pursue entry-level roles in front-end development, but may also kickstart a career path in automation engineering, DevOps engineering, and software development.

Launch your web development career today!

Consider yourself a creative? And analytical person? Perhaps both? Then you may just find your calling in the rewarding (and increasingly in-demand!) field of web development. AIICT’s courses will not only grant you the training your need to get your foot in the door, but they also offer a flexible study experience through their online delivery – helping you learn at a time, place, and pace that suits you and your goals best.

Build your skills for a fulfilling ICT career today, and enquire with us on a course.