I know this is more software development related advice, but I hope someone can give some input.

I am 34. I have say 5 years programming experience, two in desktop, three in front end.

Now my idea was to deepen my knowledge in front end area as much as I can. Hence I was reluctant to also try to learn back end (opportunity for which there is at my job). Reason I was reluctant is I consider it could eat the time I could devote to working on front end projects (hence deepening my knowledge there).

But I am not sure anymore. Should I also try dive in backend? Hence slow down process of my development in front end ?

  • @JoeStrazzere Yeah could but back end could eat time which I could have devoted to working on front end projects, hence increasing my front end skills.
    – user114144
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:20
  • If you put blinders on like that, it will limit your growth opportunities.
    – jcmack
    Commented Jan 31, 2020 at 18:23

4 Answers 4


My answer is yes, and here's my reason.

A bit of background:

I hear you on this since it's a problem I've faced in my own time. I'm weaker on the backend, but I have a decent working knowledge to spin up a server, connect a DB, and build out some basic API routes when needed. I work with Android, iOS, and Web on a day to day basis.

Now to why I said 'yes, you should dive into backend' :

  1. Dedicating time into just front-end will make you redundant/helpless when a backend issue does happen (and let's face it, it will at some point). I personally fear not knowing exactly why something doesn't work. You don't need to know how everything happens. But having a working knowledge at the very least is required.
  2. It increases your own front-end knowledge exponentially. A lot of front-end 'gotchas!' rely on a backend heavily. Some services generate a view and then ship it to the front-end. In the world of today, a lot of validation is done not client-side, but server-side right? Things of that nature.
  3. Tech is always changing. New frameworks are always coming in and kicking older ones to the curb. A couple of years ago, Angular was the thing. Prior to that, it was Ruby on rails. I get whiplash from how fast we're moving here, but since I have a core understanding of front-end and back-end fundamentals, I can re-adjust given some time. You're probably doing a lot of re-learning on the front-end constantly and deepening your knowledge. Why not do some back-end learning too? The more we do something, the better we are at picking up patterns on it even if it changes.

The best advice I have heard for software developers is that you want your skills to be T shaped. You should try to have a deep knowledge in at least 1 specific area and a shallower knowledge in a wide area.

Only having knowledge in one area means you are limited to that one thing. Having a wide area of skills makes it harder to demonstrate mastery in all of them. So you need both.

However, you don't have to do everything at once. Start with the direction that will bring you the most immediate benefit at work but don't forget to include other things in your long term plan.

Understand that enhancing your skills should be a regular habit. Don't ever stop deepening and widening your skill set.

  • I know it has been a while since the original question was asked. However, Since I saw all the downvotes, I thought another perspective might be good.
    – David Cram
    Commented Feb 24, 2020 at 16:11

Yes, learn about "back-end" work. Why? You're almost certain to need that knowledge during your career.

I've been doing software development for a long time. During that time there have been several cycles in development style: our trade has cycled -- slowly -- from using a client-server model (frontend-backend) to using an integrated app model.

Francis Fukuyama notwithstanding, the present development style is not the "end of history." There's every reason to believe the cycle will keep turning. So if you choose to specialize in a corner of the trade that depends on the present position in the cycle, you'll be scrambling sometime in the future.

Plus, there's a constant in all this. Data lives a lot longer than programming styles. Knowledge and wisdom about data systems is vital to software careers. Those data systems are presently called "back-end."

So, yes, learn back-end stuff.


Should I also try dive in backend? Hence slow down process of my development in front end ?

You be a full stack developer, but heavier on the frontend than backend. You'll be at better frontend development if you also understand backend development and vice versa. The more you can understand the full stack even from a high level point of view, the better implementation is likely to be.

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