6 Deadly Sins of a Backend Developer

The stability of a house’s foundation is critical, as small fissures or leaks can become more significant issues over time. Furthermore, significant home improvements or alterations may necessitate foundation repairs, which can be a costly and time-consuming process.

While it may seem unrelated, this discussion draws parallels between building a house and software development. The frontend of an application is what users see, while the backend is where the heavy lifting occurs behind the scenes. That is why it is crucial to work with top-notch backend experts.

To be a skilled backend developer, it is crucial to have a thorough grasp of the present-day market. Simply manipulating frameworks is no longer sufficient to fulfill the demands of modern employment positions. To achieve success, a prospective backend developer must excel in:

  • The knowledge of algorithms and data structures
  • Expertise in databases and data models
  • Familiarity with various theoretical architectures (and the corresponding programming languages they entail)
  • Proficiency in cloud hosting (AWS, Google Cloud or Azure)
  • Knowledge of server architecture
  • Dockers

Backend developers must work efficiently to meet deadlines, while simultaneously carrying out essential tasks such as refactoring, bug fixing, and scaling. This area of expertise presents numerous difficulties, and committing errors may lead to severe and long-lasting consequences. In this post, we examine the six most critical mistakes to avoid.

Avoid accumulating too much technical debt.

Initially, both frontend and backend engineers are prone to making the same error: accumulating excessive technical debt. While agile teams may employ technical debt to achieve quicker results and develop enhanced products, research indicates that the more technical debt that accumulates, the greater the chances of facing difficulties in incorporating new solutions or expanding the project in the future. Agile teams must be cautious of this phenomenon.

It is unwise to create new functionality on top of inefficient, pre-existing code, as this may lead to complications during refactoring. Commonly, seemingly insignificant problems such as ‘spaghetti code’, excessively lengthy functions/methods, deeply nested indentation, numerous if/else statements, and inconsistent variable naming conventions can rapidly escalate into significant issues.

Establishing a resilient system to monitor technical debt may help prevent the team from constructing a risky foundation, even while it is inevitable to incur some technical debt due to exacting coding standards and careful planning.

Avoid submitting incomplete or substandard documentation.

A comprehensive set of documents is akin to a precise map or a reliable recipe; they leave no room for uncertainty. According to the Python zen, being explicit is preferable to being implicit. Thus, relegating documentation to an afterthought is one of the most detrimental habits for backend engineers.

Reviewing the code manually, line by line to locate the origin of an issue can be a protracted process and may impede progress if there is a paucity of documentation, or none at all.

By following the recommended documentation practices, subsequent developers can reference reliable documentation when troubleshooting or revamping, and frontend developers can better comprehend the relationship between their project’s frontend and the backend.

Incorporating comments into your code is crucial. Well-commented code not only helps other developers and code reviewers, but also benefits the developers themselves when reviewing untouched code after an extended period.

Testing Omissions are Not Permitted

An efficient development process that incorporates testing is pivotal to detect and resolve potential bugs in the backend. Nonetheless, some developers may exclude testing due to restricted timeline or overconfidence.

As such, developers may commit this mistake when they are racing against the clock or depend overly on their own assessment or the findings of their individual code reviews. Even seasoned coders may be unable to predict how a programme will react in every scenario.

To prevent this issue, a swift solution is writing tests simultaneously with the code, or having another developer develop a set of tests founded on collaborative pseudo-code. Some teams take it up a notch and compose the code only after generating the most stringent tests conceivable. In this manner, they are constructing designs for particular circumstances.

Code’s dependability to execute as anticipated and its scalability to meet a project’s requirements can only be ascertained through comprehensive testing.

Multiple methods should not be employed to resolve a problem.

Collaborating with prevalent programming languages such as Python or node.js can be incredibly advantageous, primarily because of the presence of valuable resources. In numerous instances, importing pre-existing code can be more expedient than starting from scratch.

However, this can give rise to a broader spectrum of issues. Overdependence on third-party software and libraries can be problematic since it requires the handling of numerous Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) concurrently.

Notwithstanding, it is imperative to acknowledge that novel versions of technologies may encompass errors and alterations that can impact your tasks. Moreover, projects may become obsolete, and the exceptional library you discovered may unexpectedly become inaccessible.

It is crucial to be mindful that introducing fresh technology to a project may warrant extra exertion and necessitates careful consideration. Despite that, examining substitute approaches can be advantageous, and dedicating time to do the tasks on your own may prove beneficial in the foreseeable future.

A Backup Plan Should Always Be in Place

Databases are typically an indispensable necessity for backend developers, and information is a vital component for the app’s efficient performance. To guarantee the app’s durability, proficient backend developers ensure the availability of several copies of data in diverse locations (cloud, physical media, remote servers etc.). The intention behind this is to prevent the complete loss of the project in case of any probable hardware or software malfunctions.

Having consistent and trustworthy backups is an absolute necessity. If up-to-date data is lost for several days, it could cause significant damage. To evade such a catastrophic occurrence, it is advisable to invest in a secure storage system for a one-time.

Data Modelling Rule: Adequate Preparation is Crucial

It is imperative to guarantee correct creation of data models from the onset since starting over can be an expensive undertaking. In case a complete model overhaul becomes inevitable, it should be communicated that external factors are the cause and not due to a lack of careful planning.

Irrespective of whether scalability is a current priority or not, seasoned backend engineers will apprehend the project objectives and frame a model that is appropriate for the project, while taking the scalability aspect into consideration.

A well-designed data model is a manifest of meticulous planning since it can aid in circumventing potential database issues that may arise due to an attempt to perform too much.

Backend Developer’s Proficiency Requires Strategic Approach and Collaborative Attitude

The success of a Backend Developer depends not only on technical proficiency, but also on the recognition of their responsibility in the development process. For establishing a strong system, as opposed to a frail one, an expert and dependable Backend Developer is indispensable.

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