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Frontend and Backend Development what is the difference?

A testimonial from our Imalink consultant Artuur

We let Artuur VDK. have his say. He has been working successfully at Imalink as a Full Stack Webdeveloper for several years now and is happy to tell his story.


Artuur VDK


"Hey hello, nice to meet you! What do you do for a living? Programmer? That's right, I am also a programmer. Immediately I looked at him with a look of recognition until I asked in what language? Language?! I work in the music industry and take care of the programming of music events. Oh well, so you're not an IT developer of code but you book bands?

I had this conversation a while back on a Friday night in a brown pub. At the time I was just starting out at Imalink as a front-end developer for a telecom company as a client. That is now about 5 years ago but I still remember that evening vividly. With this in mind I will try to be as accessible as possible and tell you what I do as an Angular web developer.

I create websites for Imalink's clients, so I am a software developer. That gives a rough idea of what I do on a daily basis. More specifically, one can speak of a job as a Fullstack developer.

Frontend versus backend

Whenever I start talking about frontend and backend, a form of desperation usually pops up in the eyes of the listeners. Well let me explain it to you. There is a difference between frontend and backend development. You can specialise but you can also do both. In the latter case you are a full-stack developer.

Imagine a simple web shop. When you surf to it using your browser, take Google Chrome for example, all the code from the frontend is downloaded. This allows you to view the page. All the actions you can perform and everything you see on the page is initially frontend.

But if you are asked to create an account to be able to place an order, this information must also be stored. At that point the frontend is no longer sufficient and the frontend sends a message to the backend, for example 'create new user, username=HappyShopper 66'. The backend processes this sent information and ensures that you are saved as a user. Once that is done the backend sends a message back to the frontend and what you see on your screen is something like: "successful" or "this user already exists".

So the frontend developer is concerned with the interaction of a user and the visual aspect of the application. The backend developer is busy processing data and storing it in a database. Agreed, this is perhaps quite simple, but the difference is clearly demonstrated.

  • Because the Internet is faster and the browsers have evolved a lot, the code of the frontend is also more extensive and complex than before. This results in better and more user-friendly websites. It also makes the work of the front-end developer a lot more interesting and fun to do.
  • When a website is built with a separate backend and frontend, it becomes much easier to completely renew one of the two.
  • In the web development world there is a continuous race going on between the various front-end frameworks. Based on these frameworks you can quickly and easily cobble together a lot of things. While in 2018 Vue won over React, ( created by Facebook) it was the other way around in 2019. For 2020, we at Imalink have a strong hunch that Angular will take the first place.


Artuur VDK
Website development in a nutshell:


  • Languages: Javascript (for actions), html (placement on page), CSS (styling)Code runs: in browser
  • Also called: client-side, Graphical User Interface (GUI)
  • Developer works closely with: User Experience (UX) designer, backend developer


  • Languages: Java, C#, Python or PHP
  • Databases: these can vary SQL server, Oracle, My SQL, ...
  • Code running: on server
  • Also called: server side
  • The developer works closely with: frontend developer, analyst, software architect
Artuur VDK

Today I work for Imalink as a fullstack developer in a banking environment. Fullstack, because I do everything; I adapt databases, write code in Java as the backend and create a frontend with Javascript (Typescript and Angular). It's great fun because it allows me to learn how the whole process works. Until now I have had the most experience with the frontend and I like it the most. Since there are many new developments with frontend frameworks, I want to keep learning about them. My love for usability, design and puzzles is something I can perfectly put to use!

Are you, like Artuur, a Full Stack Developer? And are you ready for a new project? Then click here and find out what jobs we have in store for you! 

Are you looking for a job like Artuur's? Be sure to check out this Imalink job posting here!

Artuur VDK