TechTalkTuesday – Backend and frontend

Welcome to #TechTalkTuesday – where tech terms are defined, explained, and no longer a mystery.

Today we're covering two terms: backend and frontend.

Whether you’re in IT or not, the chances are good that you’ll hear the terms backend and frontend at some point. These terms are used quite often in web and app development, but they are two distinct terms. That said, the backend and frontend need to seamlessly communicate and operate as a single functional unit.

Let’s dive in.

Understanding how backend and frontend work together

Let’s compare your favorite app, website, or game to a clock. Most clocks show just the face, with hands and numbers. They work seamlessly, telling you the time with great accuracy. What you see when you look at the clock can be compared to the frontend of the app, website, or game.

You will be able to interact with the frontend of the app, website, or game just as you can interact with the hands of the clock. But you will not be able to have direct contact with the parts inside of the clock.

Inside the clock are the gears, springs, and other pieces that work hard to ensure the clock keeps on ticking with great accuracy. Each part of the clock needs to be positioned just right, and it needs to work seamlessly with the pieces next to it so that it keeps on ticking.

The same holds true for the backend of an app, website, or game. Each section and characteristic has been carefully developed by a programmer or backend designer. Users cannot directly interact with the backend, but they interact through the frontend user interface.

The backend and frontend are pretty different from one another. But they are two aspects of one functioning system. The backend contains the parts that ensure everything works, while the frontend is what users will see and interact with.

This is a very high-level overview of two of the most popular terms used in the world of development. We plan on covering more terms related to development on upcoming TechTalkTuesdays!