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As a backend and a frontend developer I see the process from start to finish, first by creating the logic, displaying the correct data on a web page and then using frontend skills to make this look awesome. My question is, do pure backend developers care what their code ends up looking like in the frontend? As far as the user is concerned, they will ONLY see design/frontend. They don't actually care that your code is clean, DRY and maintainable. As long as it doesn't disrupt their payment process or flight booking they do not care.

Does this affect the average backend developer?

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3 Answers 3

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It's up to everyone involved in the development of an application (desktop, web, mobile) to ensure that that user experience is as good as possible. If you've got all parts of the team cooperating to achieve this end then you'll end up with a half decent application.

Back end code needs to be quick, reliable and scalable, but it also needs to be flexible enough to cope with potentially changing UIs and straightforward enough so that the UI developer doesn't have to tie themselves (and potentially the user) in knots to get it to work.

The quickest database access layer is useless if you can't get the data into and from the form the user needs it in in a reasonable amount of time. For example, if your application deals with potentially large datasets you need to be able to return small sections to the UI so that it's fast and responsive and the user can do something while you return the rest of the data. It's no good if you have to make the user wait for all the data to be returned.

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  • I'm a back-end developer and I do care about my code.
  • It drives me crazy to deal with messy code, be it front or back-end.
  • Unfortunately few employers see further than their noses.
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As someone who's moved towards doing mostly backend work after doing end-to-end I'd say I don't care. So long as it doesn't look like terrible.

When doing backend development your job is to provide robust, performant services on which the frontend is built. So long as the infrastructure is working smoothly your job is done. You would prefer it looked good but that's not your responsibility.

The part of the UI you have some responsibility for is the performance. There are lots of tricks you can use in the UI to make the backend seem responsive but it's much better if it really is responsive.

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good answer. This is what i thought may be the response. –  benhowdle89 Jun 25 '11 at 11:23
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Are you saying you don't care what your code looks like? How can writing good code not be a responsibility of a programmer? What if you work in a team? Or when someone needs to take over your project? Not a very social attitude it seems. –  Kristof Claes Jun 25 '11 at 17:55
    
God no! I mean I don't care what the UI my service supports looks like (that much). How the hell do you end up as a backend programmer if you don't value clean, maintainable code? –  Garry Shutler Jun 25 '11 at 19:02
    
"do pure backend developers care what their code ends up looking like in the frontend?" The UI is how your code looks, not the appearance of your actual code. Read the question. –  Garry Shutler Jun 25 '11 at 19:03

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