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Last updated 2017-08-09

Best Practices

Learn backend development best practices

When it comes to back-end development, programmers look for a language that is intuitive and easy to implement. This is particularly important since much of the app’s code is written on the back-end, and they will have to work with it over and over again.

Some of the most popular languages used for back-end development are Ruby, Python, SQL, PHP, and Java. Each has its pros and cons, and which one you choose will ultimately depend on your specific needs.

Since the focus of this article is on the basics of back-end development, we are not going to dive deeper into each language’s benefits and drawbacks.

1. Scalability

When we talk about the scalability of the back-end, we are referring to the “flexibility” of its structure for integrating new codes (or “work questions,” using the former terms). This is crucial, especially if your app is intended to work in the long run.

Changes within apps are not only unavoidable but also recommended. Users change, needs change, business models change. So your app and its back-end must be developed in a way that will enable you and your team to face those challenges.

2. Security

Due to the constant interaction of the back-end with data, you can understand how important it is for it to be developed following secure practices. This is even more essential when the data your app interacts with is sensitive information, such as financial, personal, or medical data.

In order to build secure back-ends we suggest the following recommendations: only hire professional developers, use secure connections (such as the popular HTTPS), and encrypt your databases.

3. Robustness

By robustness, we mean the “strength” of the back-end or its capability to keep working even when unexpected things happen.

Imagine, for example, that you have a mobile commerce startup and your app isn’t prepared for a huge number of deal-hungry users logging in and making purchases during your Christmas campaign.

What it will happen? Your app will crash. And then, what will happen next? Yep, your users will get angry and impatient and quickly go find deals in your competitor’s app.

You don’t want this to happen, right? So, you must take into account that your app has to be developed in order to respond to unexpected situations, such as a huge number of users coming all at once on a deal hunt.

Few points I think are essential

  • learn about client-server communication(especially the HTTP part)
  • learn REST
  • start thinking how your app will scale and when it will have to scale - do not optimise prematurely but try to write a code that can be easily optimised in the future
  • think about security - there are billions(literary) people out there, some of them will use your app, some of them will try to break it. Make sure you can minimise the count of those who succeed
  • keep learning new stuff - getting stuck in one place for more than a few month is bad in this industry
  • learn from the best - both developers and their work. Check some frameworks, see how they work, what are the good and bad sides
  • know your tools - use the right tool for the job, don’t try to hammer screws because you have this shiny new hammer and you know how to use it