Mastering Back-End Development: A Complete Guide

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Mastering Back-End Development: A Complete Guide

Start your path to back-end development expertise with this detailed guide.


8 min read

Your Back-End Development Journey Begins Here

Welcome to the start of an exciting journey in back-end development! I'm thrilled guiding you step-by-step from the very basics to advanced concepts and frameworks. In this blog series, I will break down complex topics into manageable, easy-to-understand posts published weekly. (For more Context please read this post).

Each post is designed to build on the previous one, ensuring you develop a solid foundation before moving on to more advanced topics. Together, we'll explore the essential skills and knowledge needed to become a proficient back-end developer.

There are numerous programming languages available for back-end development, such as Python, PHP, Go, and many others. Each of these languages has its own strengths and capabilities for building robust back-end systems. However, in this series, I will focus on the JavaScript stack, which I am most proficient in. JavaScript's popularity in the back-end development world has been steadily increasing, especially with the rise of powerful frameworks like Express, NestJS and Next.js.

Get ready to dive deep, ask questions, and apply what you learn. By the end of this series, you'll not only have a comprehensive understanding of back-end development but also the confidence to create your own web projects. Let's embark on this learning adventure together!

Stage 0: Foundations Of Web Development

Before we start learning Express or PostgreSQL and before we dive into meta frameworks, we need to build a foundation for our journey. How can you be a good back-end developer if you don't know what HTTP is? How will you handle caching if you've never heard of a CDN? Hypothetically, if you build a website, how will the world find a route to your servers? These foundational topics are essential for becoming a skilled back-end developer, yet they are often overlooked in favor of popular choices.

Kids this days!

This might seem a bit tedious at times, but this is where the distinction between a good and a bad back-end developer is made. I assure you, this line becomes more bold and significant as you progress in your journey. As you get deeper into back-end development, the importance of these basics will become increasingly clear.

  • How does the internet work? - (web pages, networking and web servers)

  • How we talk to each other? - (ip, dns, tcp, HTTP, browsers)

  • Who are you? - (protocol, domain, tld, url)

  • Where are you? - (vps/v ds hosting, edge computing)

Stage 1: JavaScript Basics

Alright, now that we have a basic understanding of how the web works, we can move on to learning a programming language. In our case, that language is JavaScript.

To get started, we will:

  • Basics of JavaScript syntax and structure

  • Reading & writing to files

  • Event handling

Stage 2: Let's give Computer Science a chance

While there are many back-end developers who lack basic knowledge about computers, such as algorithms, databases, and the general workings of computers, we are not going to skip these crucial topics. Understanding these fundamentals is essential for becoming a proficient back-end developer. We will dive into the basics of computer science to ensure you have a solid foundation.

We will learn the basics about the following subjects in this part:

  • General computer knowledge (cpus, storage, memory, ...)

  • Algorithms

  • Data structures

  • SQL & NO-SQL Data bases

By the end of this stage, you will have a comprehensive understanding of these core computer science concepts. And you will thank me later when its time to decide between different technologies in your use cases.

Stage 3: Essentials Before We Dive Deeper

Before we start learning more about JavaScript and especially Node.js, we need a basic understanding of tools widely used in the industry, such as coding environments, dependency management, and code automation.

  • Package managers (npm, yarn, ...)

  • Scripts

  • GIT

  • VS code and its ecosystem

Stage 4: More On JS

As we progress we need to go deeper on javascript and its ecosystem. we will learn about typescript, Object-Oriented programming, asynchronous programming and many more!

In this step we will learn about:

  • OOP

  • Error handling & Debugging

  • Promises, Event loops, Modules, ...

  • TypeScript

  • JavaScript run times

Stage 5: JS Run Times

JavaScript was initially created as a scripting language meant to run on web pages, allowing developers to add interactive elements and enhance user experience. However, its potential expanded significantly when web developers could run JavaScript on servers by leveraging Google’s V8 engine and Node.js. after that JS community saw an explosion of ideas and possibilities.

In this part we will learn about:

  • V8 Engine

  • Node.js

  • Call stack and heap

  • Basics of edge computing

  • Web servers

Stage 6: NodeJS Frameworks

While there are many frameworks for Node.js, the concepts behind them are quite similar (While there are many similarities, there are some differences in concepts and features among them). by learning one of them, you can expect to know a lot about other frameworks discussed.

While building everything is possible without these frameworks, learning and using them is highly recommended since they make you more efficient and your job much simpler.

We will mainly focus on Express.js and its stack since it is more widely adopted and used.

In this part we will learn about:

  • Express.js/Fastify/adonisjs

  • Routing

  • Middlewares

  • Security & Authentication

  • Error handling

Stage 7: Nestjs Basics

NestJS is a Node.js framework designed for building efficient, reliable, and scalable server-side applications. It leverages TypeScript and incorporates elements from Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) and use a framework like Express.js under the hood. With its modular architecture, NestJS allows developers to create well-structured and maintainable codebases. The framework also provides built-in support for a wide range of tools and libraries, making it easier to integrate various features into your applications.

in this stage we will learn about:

  • NestJS Cli

  • Modules, Controllers, Providers

  • Middlewares

  • Dependency Injection

  • Life cycles

  • Guards

Stage 8: More On Databases

Databases are the backbone of any back-end system, storing and organizing data in a way that allows for efficient retrieval and manipulation. There are several types of databases, each suited to different use cases.

Learning about different types of databases is crucial for any aspiring back-end developer. Understanding the strengths and limitations of each type enables you to make informed decisions based on the specific needs of your application.

We will also learn about ORMs, which make working with databases significantly better and easier. They provide a more developer-friendly experience when working with databases.

in this stage we will learn about:

  • SQL data bases

  • NO-SQL data bases

  • ORMs and modern DB tools (typeorm, prisma, drizzle, ...)

  • Migrations

Stage 9: Advanced Frameworks Concepts

After we have learned enough about NestJS and databases, we will dive into deeper subjects listed below. Keep in mind that these subjects are not tied to a specific framework or programming language, so learning them will give us a significant advantage over time.

  • Security, Authentication, ...

  • Serialization

  • Logging & debugging

  • Websocket & Streaming

  • Events & Queues (Kafka/RabitmQ/NATS)

  • caching (Redis)

Stage 10: Design patterns

In this step, we will learn about common solutions to common problems that have been around since programming began. we will learn to use these solutions elegantly in appropriate places.

  • Creational patterns

  • Structural patterns

  • Behavioral patterns

Learning this techniques requires lots of reading and practicing over time.

Stage 11: Deployment

In this section, we will dive into the concepts of Deployment, Docker, and Nginx. We will start by understanding the fundamentals of CI/CD, Deploying to servers and platforms, exploring how these practices help automate the integration and deployment of code, ensuring that software can be released reliably at any time. we will learn about Docker, a platform that enables us to create, deploy, and run applications in isolated containers.

What we will learn in this stage:

  • Basics of Linux

  • Docker

  • CI/CD (tools & platforms)

  • Nginx

  • Deploying and maintenance

The learning materials in this section are not strictly necessary for securing a job but significantly enhance your chances of getting hired.

Stage 12: Architectures

What do we know about answering questions regarding the big picture of the project or solution we are going to work on? Is it suitable? Is it scalable? These are some of the questions you will face soon in your job as a back-end developer, and we are going to be prepared.

  • Model-View-Controller (MVC)

  • Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

  • Command and Query Responsibility Segregation (CQRS)

  • Microservices

  • Domain-Driven Design Approach(DDD)

Continuous Learning and Future Steps

Learning JavaScript, Nodejs, and other back-end topics is an ongoing journey. This guide is a comprehensive starting point, but web development is vast and always changing.

In the near future, I will dive deeper into each topic, providing more detailed tutorials and insights. As we progress, I may add or remove subjects based on the latest industry trends and best practices.

We will explore specific libraries and tools that I believe are beneficial for your development journey. Stay tuned for more in-depth content, and remember, the key to becoming a proficient developer is continuous learning and adaptation. Together, we will navigate the complexities of modern web development and enhance our skills, one step at a time.

At the end, please consider subscribing to my newsletter. In this weekly newsletter, I will share everything you need to learn about web development. You can expect detailed articles, tutorials, and tips on a wide range of topics.