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Ask HN: What is the proper way get into back end development?
3 points by Arisaka1 41 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 8 comments
Side note: I'm currently working as a frontend developer, but I want my career to take a trajectory that leans towards backend.

My personal choice of language/framework right now is Python with Django. I'm aware that JavaScript and TypeScript would be more "appropriate" given my background, I want to get exposure in another language.

And to clarify, the question isn't only about languages and frameworks, but subjects and principles.




Backend has quite a bit to do with managing data, aggregating it, modifying it, sanitizing it, etc. Because of that I’d recommend learning a bit of SQL. The Postgres manual is actually quite accessible and it had a huge impact on my career. With Django you might not need to write SQL too frequently since you can use its ORM but knowing the underlying tool can help you understand and avoid things like n+1 bugs, SQL Injection security vulnerabilities, and it can empower you write efficient ORM code.

Best of luck in your transition!


The best way to change a career trajectory is with a job.

Finding a job in backend will be more work than studying, but studying won't change that because finding a job is a matter of people you know + people you meet and you will still have zero work experience in backend.

Good luck.


Building some projects never hurt, since you already know how to do frontend, start making something that also has a backend..

At your current position, you may be able to start doing some work on the backend as well, maybe tell your immediate manager that you'd like to test the waters in backend as well.


Can anyone recommend books on backend that are both more exhaustive and more specific than Designing Data-Intensive Applications (which seemed more like a high-level description of storage options)?


Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture is a good one to start with - https://martinfowler.com/books/eaa.html

It describes very well the underlying patterns and techniques that’s common across many backend software components. You’ll have to supplement that with your stack-specific stuff, and some newer material regarding scaling and operations/monitoring/alerting.


If you're looking for books in databases, I'd recommend flipping through Designing Data-Intensive Applications and picking a topic that interests you and diving into the references. It's meant to be a high level overview. A lot of the value in the book is the references and recommended readings Kleppmann suggests in each chapter.

other than that you would have to be more specific on what you're looking to learn.


There's more to backend development than just databases. Imagine that someone very naively said to you "I know how to program, I've never done any backend development and I want to work as a backend developer in the future. I'm looking for Backend: The Book".


Ah sorry about that. I think my comment came off as a bit rude after reading it back to myself. Backend development means so much nowadays I think it would be hard for someone to publish a general book on it. But maybe someone else has found something that I'm unaware of. I think you'll have the best luck collecting some general resources about different subjects. Here's some resources that I recommend flipping through.

- Any up to date book on the programming language of your choice

- Any up to date online course of the programming language of your choice

- https://hpbn.co/ (networking)

- Build APIs You Won't Hate (api design)

- https://github.com/donnemartin/system-design-primer (system design)

- API Design Patterns by Geewax (somewhat opinionated, but overall good resource for api design)




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