Client Side vs Server Side: Summary
In short, server-side refers to the systems that function on the server, while client-side refers to the software that users interact with that run on their web browser. Client-side web development involves interactivity and collecting or displaying data, while server-side is about functioning behind the scenes to manage that data.
Web development is not a single activity—it’s an umbrella term for several different fields of website creation. The primary forms of web development are client side, server side, and full stack development. Both client and server side programming are necessary to make a website function. Skilled developers who work in these fields often need to work closely together to create a well-designed and functioning product.
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Full stack developers, on the other hand, have the skills of both client side and server side web developers. Companies often hire full stack developers to manage their web presence and keep their sites up to date. In this article, we’ll focus on client side vs server side web development and how you can learn the necessary programming languages to break into the industry.
Client Side Web Development
Client-side developers use their coding skills to create visually appealing, functional, and helpful web applications and dynamic websites. These programmers are responsible for every part of a website that users see or interact with. Homepages, shopping pages, slideshows—virtually any feature that shows up in a web browser falls under this discipline.
Client-side developers are also known as ‘front end’ programmers, as the ‘front’ of a web page is what receives user input. These developers are well-compensated for their work, earning an average of $100,208 annually in the United States, but wages vary based on location and company.
Server Side Web Development
To understand what a server-side developer does, we must first go over how a website works, and how it’s different from a picture or an interactive text document. The client-side of a website is simply a display and collection platform for information. The site communicates with web servers, using them to retrieve and send data from databases to provide you with the services you need.
Server-side developers design, build, and maintain the source code that make this exchange of data possible. These programmers are also known as back end developers, and they work behind-the-scenes, making sure everything runs as it should on the application servers. Back end programmers are also paid very well, with salaries averaging $117,284 in the United States.
These programmers generally master coding languages such as Python, SQL, Ruby on Rails, PHP, and Java.
How to Become a Client- or Server-Side Web Developer
The tech industry is unusually holistic in its hiring practices, and they take into account much more than just a degree. In fact, many front and back end development jobs don’t even require a degree. For many people, a short stay in one of the nation’s many coding bootcamps is enough. Coding bootcamps are a form of career and technical education that teaches students only what they need to land a job in tech. Plus, these new programs already have a proven track record in the industry.
If you already have a college degree, that’s even better. But many would argue that a coding bootcamp education, work history, and a strong portfolio are more important than degrees and titles. The tech industry is primarily concerned with your ability to do the work.
So if you want to become a client or server-side developer, consider a coding bootcamp. Programs such as university coding bootcamps often provide full stack web development courses, which are an excellent way to learn both front and back-end coding languages. If you’re interested in learning more about alternative coding education programs, click the link below.