According to an extended 2022 LinkedIn “Jobs on the Rise” list, web development (specifically back-end development) science is a specialty growing significantly across all industries. Thus, we have created this comprehensive guide to help you hire a back-end software engineer, as they are crucial for your web development team.
This article first explores the types, technologies, skills, and responsibilities of a great back-end developer. Then, we analyze the cost of hiring one and the alternatives you have concerning a candidate’s experience, engagement type, and region. By the end of our guide, you will be able to choose a back-end developer that corresponds with your company’s needs.
Table of Contents
What does a back-end developer do?
A back-end developer is one of the most critical roles in your development team. This person is responsible for creating and maintaining your website’s server, application, and database by utilizing related web technologies (i.e., Java, Python, and Go). For a better understanding, let’s look at the types of back-end engineers and their technologies, skills, and responsibilities.
The three types of back-end developers based on experience
The level of back-end developers’ expertise is subdivided into three engineering degrees to define your potential employee’s capabilities: junior, middle, and senior.
- Junior back-end developer.
In most cases, a junior back-end developer has 0–2 years of experience and is, in most cases, a back-end assistant. However, most junior back-end developers have the required knowledge to define and solve common obstacles when creating servers or databases. For this reason, they can be the best option for your company if you want to offer a lower salary but still complete a relatively easy project. However, most junior back-end developers still have an intrinsic passion for learning. Therefore, they tend to work slower than more experienced developers and might not have the skills you require.
- Middle back-end developer.
As with most fields, seniority in web development comes with years of experience. This is why a middle back-end developer is a safer choice for your company. A great web programmer will examine your business aims and budget and propose alternatives to solve occurring problems. The middle back-end developers have also gained valuable experience in the creation and maintenance of different website servers, applications, and databases. They have a better understanding of the development process in general.
- Senior back-end developer.
On the other hand, if you need a person for a senior web developer position, only a senior back-end developer will have the skills and experience (more than five years) required for the job. This person is not only a quick and effective web developer but also has the knowledge necessary to direct your website’s development team. They don’t require much control and can maintain development workflow by themself. That is why senior software developers are in high demand by early-stage startups.
Skills to look for in a back-end developer
As mentioned, for back-end developers to be useful for your website’s creation, they need to use at least one programming language, like Java or Python. You need to understand their experience with those different technologies to get a clear picture of your back-end developers‘ profile.
A back-end developer will need to use some server-side languages like Go, Ruby, Python, Java, PHP, R, or Node.js to build an application. These languages are the engineer’s primary tool to create your website’s server, application, and database and make them communicate with each other. Java and Python are the most popular programming languages of all time, specially designed and evolved to be easily understood by both beginners and experienced back-end engineers.
However, like Google’s GO, the rest of the programming languages are also efficient for developing and optimizing your website. For this reason, it is essential to discuss what your potential developers understand, what they can offer, and which of those technologies they can utilize for your website’s creation.
Apart from those technologies, a great back-end developer has considerable skills in creating and maintaining your website’s server and database. For example, a back-end developer should be able to work competently with:
- Database technologies like MySQL, MongoDB, Oracle, etc., to find, save, or change data and serve it back to the user.
- Administering servers like Microsoft IIS, Linux, Apache, etc., to develop and deploy the system.
- Application programming interfaces (APIs) executed across devices such as AJAX, SOAP, and JSON to trade data between mobile devices, websites, and other connected systems.
What are a back-end developer’s main responsibilities?
The back-end developer is a valuable member of your web development team. This person uses the tools and technologies we mentioned to construct each project’s back end.
Thus, your back-end developer will be responsible for creating or contributing to the web application with well-documented, clean code. Likewise, code testing, optimization, and security are usually your developer’s responsibilities.
Finally, your back-end developer must be an enthusiast. We mean that the person you choose shouldn’t only love the job but also be a great team player. This should be a priority for you as, in most cases, your back-end developer will collaborate daily with other team members (like the front-end developer or the project manager).
How much does it cost to hire a back-end developer?
According to Indeed, a back-end developer’s average base salary in New York for 2024 is $152,000. However, this is just an example, as a developer’s income is influenced by numerous parameters.
Back-end developer salaries vary by region, experience, and type of engagement. Let’s dive deeper into those three parameters.
Back-end developers’ salaries in different regions
The USA and Western Europe are the regions where back-end developers have the highest income. According to our company’s research, the average back-end engineer’s hourly rate in New York (for 2024) is $70. Likewise, the average web developer rate per hour in the United Kingdom is $93.
However, things are entirely different when it comes to Latin America or Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa. For instance, the average income per hour for a back-end engineer in Ukraine is $59.
Accordingly, the average software developer hourly rate in Brazil in 2024 is $44. This is why many companies from the US choose to create or hire offshore development teams from regions such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, and India.
Back-end developers’ salaries based on experience
The average back-end developer salary in the US is $100K per year. The developer’s experience also influences this amount. Similarly, a senior back-end developer in the US has an average salary of $155K.
However, a mid-career back-end developer makes around $102K a year, and junior back-end developers earn around $78K.
Back-end developers’ salaries based on engagement type
If you want to hire a back-end developer, you can choose between three different types of engineers based on the engagement type. You can either hire a freelancer or in-house developer, or outsource one.
If you hire a freelancer through Upwork or another platform, you have to pay only for the job done. Compared to the other two options, hiring a freelancer is the most affordable solution. However, it’s no big secret that dealing with problems is more common when working with a freelancer. Delays, time zone difference difficulties, or even project cancellations are only a few of those obstacles. For this reason, hiring a freelancer for web development may be less expensive, but it isn’t always the safest choice.
Contrarily, in-house developers are directly interested in positive results and are less likely to leave one of your projects. Of course, if you choose to hire a full-time, in-house developer, you have to offer a monthly salary and pay various financial and non-financial benefits.
This is why IT outsourcing proves to be a smart solution for an enormous number of companies. According to Ideamotive report, offshore outsourcing is becoming a better alternative for hiring web developers, and the reasons are convincing.
The methodology of outsourcing development services is pretty simple. All you have to do is hire one or more web developers through an offshore software development company or with the help of a marketplace like YouTeam. Then, a team of back-end developers will work on your project remotely. The fact that this company isn’t located in the US makes this solution more affordable than in-house developers. Although this solution is relatively more expensive than freelancers, it is favored due to its safety.
Where can you find the best back-end developers?
To hire the best software engineers for your company, it is important to define your business goals. By understanding your priorities, goals, and needs, you will find it easier to decide if you need to hire a freelancer or an outsourced development team, a junior or senior engineer, etc.
Where to find and hire a freelance back-end developer?
Hiring a freelancer is the best solution for companies that need to offer the lowest rates. Due to the competition on freelance platforms, you will find a back-end developer who will do the job at a relatively low price in most cases.
Also, working with freelance developers can be a good solution when you simply need to clear your backlog and don’t have long-term development tasks.
Thus, you could consider hiring a freelancer if you need a person to cope with a startup web development project. Some of the best platforms to hire a freelancer include:
Where to find and hire an in-house back-end developer?
If you need to hire a developer for a long-term project, a freelancer proves to be a risky choice. This is why many companies prefer to hire an in-house back-end developer.
By offering a monthly salary, you will add a motivated developer to your software development team. Thus, if you have substantial development projects, then an in-house back-end developer is a safe (yet expensive) solution. The following include the best online platforms to find and hire an in-house back-end developer:
Where to find and hire an outsourced back-end developer?
If you need more affordable web developers with an in-house team’s characteristics, you can hire an offshore developer. We have already explained how this kind of service works.
For example, IT outsourcing services prove to be an excellent solution for companies that can’t afford the expensive US salaries but need a great development team or individual.
In this case, similarly to freelance hiring, the best way to find a reliable development partner is to have a good recommendation. This is how you can be sure that your partner has similar business values and that you can trust them in your product development. However, if you don’t know anything about offshore outsourcing companies, you can try to minimize your risks by referring to devoted platforms. For example, YouTeam is a Y Combinator-backed marketplace that verifies each outsourcing partner so that our clients can hire developers with no risk.
Tips for hiring dedicated back-end developers
- Create a list of requirements. It can include a specific skill set, domain expertise, computer science degree, and certifications.
- Examine the developer’s programming portfolio. The experience of implementing back-end frameworks like yours shows that the developer will deliver the results you expect. In addition, check their GitHub projects and StackOverflow activity.
- Make sure the back-end developer’s skills match the experience listed on their resume. Ask technical questions and conduct a code assessment to understand if the candidate meets critical job requirements before hiring.
- Discuss their tech stack preferences and future career plans and compare them to your expectations for the candidate.
- Discuss their hobbies and interests to learn more about the developer’s personality.
It is also a good idea to start the interview with a brief introduction of the company, the project, and your expectations for the candidate. This icebreaker will help a back-end developer get a first impression of the company and better understand what relevant experience they need to mention and what information is less useful for the interview.
Why hire dedicated back-end developers with YouTeam?
If you are thinking of hiring a high-quality back-end developer or even an offshore team of engineers for your web development, our company will ensure that this cooperation will be both effective and affordable. Let’s have a look at the advantages of hiring an offshore web developer with YouTeam:
- We provide a vast number of software developers to choose from.
- We vet every engineer and cooperate only with trusted development firms.
- You will have the ability to up- or down-scale your development team.
- You can check the previous work of full-stack developers listed on the YouTeam platform.
To sum up, we have analyzed the characteristics of a back-end developer and the role’s main technologies, skills, and responsibilities. We also had a look at the cost of hiring back-end developers and their income variations based on region, experience, and type of engagement.
Finally, we concluded that using YouTeam’s platform to hire a back-end developer proves to be one of the safest and most cost-effective options.
Hiring a back-end software developer: FAQ
What does a back-end developer do?
What skills do back-end developers need?
Here is the skillset of a great back-end developer:
- Work with server-side languages like Go, Ruby, Python, Java, PHP, R, or Node.js
- Work with Databases (i.e., MySQL, MongoDB)
- Work with API (JSON, AJAX, SOAP)
What is the salary of a back-end developer?
Back-end developer salaries vary based on region, experience, and type of engagement.
- According to Payscale, in the US, junior developers’ salaries range from $70K to $78K, while senior back-end developers earn approximately $155K.
- Eastern Europe’s salaries are lower than those in the US (for example, developers in Ukraine get $42K).
How do I find a back-end developer?
What is the safest way to hire a back-end developer?
In-house and outsourced developers have proved to be the safest way to hire a back-end developer. In any case, getting a recommendation or feedback about a particular developer or outsourcing company is a must before hiring.We at YouTeam validate each and every outsourcing company that applies to our platform and also provide candidate vetting via HackerRank for Work. You can read more about our vetting process here.