Backend development involves writing code that runs on the server-side and handles tasks such as data storage, processing, and retrieval. Frontend development, on the other hand, involves creating the user interface and experience that the end-users interact with. While it is possible to specialize solely in backend development, being a backend developer without ever writing any front-end code can be a bad idea for several reasons.
Firstly, as a backend developer, you may be responsible for developing APIs that the frontend relies on. If you don't have an understanding of how the frontend works, you may struggle to create APIs that are efficient, easy to use, and meet the frontend's needs. Developing APIs in isolation from the frontend may lead to poor API design, which can result in slower load times, increased latency, and poor user experience. Something I have had experience was with how many xhr requests are sent to the BE from Drupal in a headless system. I've had frontend guys complain that it is inefficient. Unrelated problem probably, but solution is to know what they are doing in the frontend.
Secondly, working on the backend without any knowledge of the frontend can hinder collaboration with frontend developers. Backend and frontend developers must work together to ensure that the website or application is working seamlessly. Lack of understanding of the frontend may result in misunderstandings, communication issues, and slower project completion.
Thirdly, having no knowledge of the frontend may limit your career prospects. As the demand for full-stack developers continues to grow, having experience with both frontend and backend development can make you a more valuable candidate. As businesses look to reduce the number of developers they hire, full-stack developers become more appealing as they can handle both frontend and backend development.
Fourthly, as a backend developer, you may not be able to troubleshoot issues that arise on the frontend. While frontend developers are responsible for creating the user interface, backend developers are responsible for ensuring that the application functions correctly. Without any knowledge of the frontend, backend developers may struggle to identify the root cause of issues and may not be able to provide a quick solution.
Fifthly, having no knowledge of the frontend may lead to poor code quality. The backend code may work correctly, but it may not be optimized for the frontend, leading to issues such as slow load times, high latency, and inefficient code. Frontend developers need to work with the backend developers to optimize the code and ensure that it is running smoothly.
Finally, being a backend developer without any knowledge of the frontend may lead to a lack of empathy for the end-users. The users interact with the frontend, and having no knowledge of how it works may result in the backend developers prioritizing functionality over user experience. This can lead to a product that is functional but hard to use.
In conclusion, while it is possible to specialize in backend development without any knowledge of the frontend, it is not a good idea. Backend developers who understand the frontend can collaborate better with frontend developers, troubleshoot issues, and produce better quality code that is optimized for the user experience. With the growing demand for full-stack developers, having experience in both frontend and backend development can open up more career opportunities.