Back-End, The Backstage of The Web

A while ago we presented you the whole front-end development story up to this day and age. Now we shall go back in time to get to know what happens behind the scenes on the web, and where the back-end development came from. Jump on board with us and let’s take a trip back in time. Don’t worry, where are we going we don’t need roads.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in [June, 2019] and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


The basics of back-end development

It’s more important than ever before for a company or entrepreneur to showcase themselves to the world through a visually striking website. And, yet, few users are aware of the effort needed to offer them what many have just taken for granted.

The pre-1994 web

When the Internet became user-friendly, the ‘90s were still experiencing its first stages, there was no trace of back-end then. At the time, the Internet was fueled by basic HTML code, accessed by a computer that connected (often slow) to the server where the site was hosted.


An Internet propelled by basic HTML meant that users could only see static pages as they were built, unlike today, where pages are filled with dynamic content. It was just impossible to visit websites that could present custom HTML depending on browser requests.

CGI & The Birth of Back-End Development

Fortunately, 1993 and 1994 gave birth to the CGI (Common Gateway Interface), allowing browsers to interact directly with the servers, run the requests in real-time, working the information dynamically. 

Obviously, requests require some background processing and the execution of different applications. That’s why present-day back-end development is so important. Unlike front-end development, which is accountable for everything the user sees, back-end development allows database management and server-side processing to take place behind the scenes, away from the users’ glance, but essential for the interaction between the website’s different levels of information.

Back-end Development Tool

To make sure applications and databases are capable of addressing individual requests from users, back-end developers rely on programming languages ​​such as Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python, or Java. Like the integration and use of MySQL tools, Oracle and SQL databases are required to make sure web application processes are found, recorded, and sent back to the users.

The Present & Future of Back-end Development

Recently, back-end web development has been embedding the creation of APIs (Application Programming Interface) for mobile apps. Taking into account the boom in the popularity of cloud computing, back-end “serverless” development appears to have a major role in the future of web development.


Front and back-end development are interconnected and naturally share the same future. Both are definitely related to mobile. Whether or not mobile experiences happen to replace the traditional way of accessing the web via desktop, back-end development will have its say in all sorts of web deployments.

More versatile languages ​​are now emerging and will boost the future of the back-end across multiple platforms.Clojure, a Lisp-based functional language, has been gaining traction and provides quite interesting integration advantages to make life easier for back-end workers. It’s a “simplified” language, which encompasses several engines like Java virtual machine, Common Language Runtime, and JavaScript. The future is also here.

Wages & Training

Wage-wise, everyone wants to know how much a back-end developer earns. The numbers swing depending on several factors. From experience to training, etc. At KWAN, we want to help you to answer this question, taking into consideration the professional reality. For this, we have created a Salary Calculator for different roles, not just for full stack developers, that you can check and enter data anonymously.

Like everything in life, no one’s born acquainted with back-end intricacies. To fill this role, you must train yourself for specific languages, such as those already mentioned in this article: Ruby on Rails, PHP, mySQL, Python, Clojure, etc. Web Development courses (check in this article 30 platforms where you can improve your dev skills!) are also a good starting point and, even though they tend to be more wide-ranging, they can put you on the path toward full-stack development (front-end & back-end).