Whom to Hire: Front End vs Back End Developer? Quick Comparative Analysis for Businessmen


Web development (front-end and back-end) is one of the most dynamic industries in IT. It covers a wide range of tasks, so it is creating new instruments and tools, becoming more complex, attracting more talented programmers, giving new opportunities and expanding horizons for further development.

Difference between front-end and back-end

There are lots of languages both for front-end and back-end development, and programmers are constantly arguing about the most convenient and most popular one. But popularity shouldn’t be the main criterion for choosing the right technology. What you need to rely on is the task itself and the opportunities that the technology gives. Any language or framework can be the right one if it solves the problem – that’s is how to define if the tool is effective or not.

What Is Front-End Development?
If we compare a website to a human being, front-end would be its face.

When you see a website with lots of engaging features and user-friendly interface, you admire the work of a front-end developer. He/she is responsible for GUI, graphic user interface that allows interaction between users and apps.

Front-end developers take care of the website content and layout so that users could work with it seamlessly.
The key technologies of front-end web development are HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.

Text becomes clear and readable with HTML – bold, italicized or broken into paragraphs. CSS adds colors, backgrounds, and styles. JavaScript makes a website more interesting and dynamic due to dropdown menus, slides, and scrolling.

Developers use various frameworks like Angular, jQuery, Bootstrap, or React to speed up and facilitate processes.

Also, front-end development includes responsive design. It makes interface design adaptable to any screen starting from smartphones and up to wide screen monitors of PCs.

To sum up, front-end development consists of two elements – coding and design. Thus, front-end developer can create a website structure and make it attractive with CSS code.

What Is Back-End Programming?
When you want to buy a bar of chocolate from e-store, you interact with front-end. As soon as you press a search button, it transfers your inquiry to the back-end realm to find something matching. When you get the list of results, it is front-end again. The invisible part of the process that gives you a fast and relevant answer is called back-end.

If front-end deals more with appearance, back-end allows smooth work of the website. When comparing front-end vs. back-end development, the former would be a face while the latter is the innards.

Back-end developers use such programming languages as PHP, Python, Ruby on Rails, .NET and many others. Back-end code interacts with a database using MySQL, SQL or Microsoft Access. It unites server, app, and database to solve the task and respond with front-end code.

Database creation and integration, providing security measures, development of CMS and reporting systems, and server-side programming – these are all the responsibilities of a back-end developer.

The difference between front-end and back-end development is that the latter doesn’t imply any design, it is fully based on application logics and architecture.

Hiring Hurdles in Front-End and Back-End Web Development

Why Is It Hard to Hire Front-End Developer?
Front-end development experts are in high demand all over the globe. The shortage of the programmers is the most noticeable in small countries with a significant skill gap.

No wonder that the demand causes price rise. High salary expectations are one more obstacle on the way to hiring a good front-end developer.

High popularity also leads to the fact that senior developers are picky about the projects they agree to work on. On the other hand, juniors also carefully choose the employer as they seek for mentorship and they will unlikely join a small team.

If you need to hire a front-end developer with a university degree, it might be hard too. The majority of front-end developers are self-taught, so the one with a formal education can be a rarity.

Why Is It Hard to Hire Back-End Developer?
The first and foremost problem with finding a back-end developer is a variety of programming languages. Roughly speaking, back-end can be built with the help of any language including such popular ones as PHP, Python and Ruby.

Also, one needs to pay attention not only to the basic technology but also to the frameworks that the candidate works with. Frameworks are not interchangeable which means that you need a developer with a particular experience.

While speaking about experience, it’s not about the number of years. The complexity level of a project also matter. Some developers can work with servers while the others spend years completing simple tasks.

However, there are job markets where hiring back-end developers is less problematic. To avoid the issues with staff shortage, it is better to choose the country with a large number of programmers in total. Such countries as China and India have the largest quantity of STEM graduates. If talk about Europe, Ukraine holds firm positions in the number of tech graduates and the total number of developers exceeds 120 000.

Salaries of Front-End Developer vs. Back-End Developer in USA and Ukraine

Cost of Front-End Development in the USA
Salary of a middle front-end developer in the USA is about $$72000 – $120000. Senior front-end developer gets on average $85000 – $130000

Cost of Front-End Development in Ukraine
If you want to hire a programmer in Ukraine, it would cost you $30000 annually for a mid-level specialist. Senior front-end developer earns approximately $48000.

Cost of Back-End Development in the USA
Price of back-end development depends not only on seniority level but also on the particular technology.
According to Indeed, back-end developer in Utah receives $106000, while in San Francisco the average salary is $135000 reaching up to $200000 in some cases. Middle developers earn there about $80000 annually.

Cost of Back-End Development in Ukraine
If we take back-end development in Ukraine, Python would be among the cheapest technologies. Middle back-end developer earns $24000, and senior programmer costs $36000. PHP is more expensive; the cost varies from $30000 to $42000 respectively.

Svitlana Rumyantseva
Project Manager
Svitlana is a PM with legal education and PhD degree in political science. She has experience in managing in-house and offshore/nearshore software development teams including freelancers. She is sure that smooth communication and motivation is the basis of efficient teamwork and successful projects. Svitlana is passionate about networking, achieving great results and acquiring new knowledge.