Top 6 trends in back end web development for 2019

Back end is the backbone of web development, and it's constantly evolving. Learn the top back end web development trends that you need to master.
Jan 20, 2020 • 3 minute read
Adam Smith @HomebrandAdam
Technical Co-pilot
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Back end web development is more than just learning a few programming languages.

Devs need to keep pace with rapidly changing technology to stay relevant in today's web landscape.

Back end web development is evolving at a dizzying pace as new technology presents devs with both opportunities and challenges. Here's a look at the trends shaping 2019.

1. Security

Security is front and center for any company or website dealing with data. The latest Data Breach Report from Risk Based Security found data breaches were up 56.4% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year.

Considering 72% of attacks target a site’s back end, back end web developers need to pay particular attention to security in 2019.

As new web applications generate even more data, the risk rises. Back end developers will have to make sure to build secure systems from the ground up, and encrypt data at every level.

2. Blockchain

Blockchain is about much more than cryptocurrency. It can be a valuable security solution to the aforementioned data breach problem.

Decentralizing your data makes it next to impossible for hackers to access it. Companies are increasingly turning to blockchain solutions for decentralized data. NASAimplemented blockchain security to prevent denial of service attacks to air traffic services. While blockchain can be too complex a solution for sites with a low volume of data, if you’re collecting a lot of sensitive user data, blockchain could be the answer to your security concerns.

3. Python tightens its grip

Developers love Python for its simplicity and natural syntax. It’s a clear, concise and readable coding language, and while it has its detractors, it’s storming up the ranks to become one of the most popular languages for back end development.

While the ubiquity of JavaScript doesn’t seem likely to change any time soon, the latest Stack Overflow developer survey found that Python is the fastest-growing programming language. It’s overtaken Java, C# and PHP in use by developers, and looks set to continue its dominant trend in the years ahead.

4. Going serverless

This one might not be such good news for a lot of back end developers specializing in server provisioning and maintenance, but there’s an increasing trend towards cloud companies that offer Function as a Service (FaaS) or Backend as a Service (BaaS) solutions for development.

Add to this trend the move towards managed serverless applications like AWS AppSync or Auth0, and front end devs can now hook into back end features without any knowledge of back end coding. Gulp!

There’s a silver lining here. The rise of Amazon Web Services (AWS) means that AWS certified cloud engineers are in high demand. And serverless isn’t likely to replace back end development, so much as to free up developers from tedious maintenance tasks to enable them to innovate.

5. Data science

As back end developers set up systems to collect, store, manage and access user data, the insights available from that data become more sophisticated. An increasing number of companies are employing data scientists to interpret the data they collect and provide actionable insights.

This doesn’t mean a software engineer has to be a data scientist, or that a data scientist has to be a software engineer. What it does mean is that back end developers need to find ways to turn the data they collect and store into a product that can be used by data scientists. If, however, you can position yourself as an end-to-end data scientist pairing engineering know-how with statistical collation and analysis, you’ll be in high demand indeed.

6. GraphQL

If any organization understands the difficulty of managing (or mismanaging) a lot of data, it’s Facebook. Ethical questions aside, the practical challenge presented by the number of data sources Facebook has to manage mean that REST APIs aren’t a scalable solution.

GraphQL is their solution. GraphQL is a Facebook-developed query language that helps load data from the server side to the client side. It’s far more sophisticated than REST, with the ability to aggregate data from multiple sources and return multiple resources with a single request. 

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