Shortest Path to Back-end Development

900 Words | Approximately 4 Minutes Read | Last Modified on June 4, 2018

This guide is written for one specific person only. If you are not that particular person then this post might not serve you the best.

There is front-end development and back-end development. And there are many technology stacks. Based on our last discussion, I recommend learning back-end development with Python and Django. Visit this to view all other options, and then come back. You don’t need to explore all those right now.

Now no matter which path you choose, there are a few common things. Let’s look into those now.

The Commons

The first thing you should do is install a Linux distribution in your laptop. I recommend any recent version of Ubuntu since it’s the most user friendly option.

Ubuntu will contain a software called the ‘Terminal’. It’s just a box with a cursor. In here you write different commands and Ubuntu executes those commands.

You can do all these in Windows too. But it’s far more easier to grasp what is going on in Linux than Windows in my opinion, though I know some people will say otherwise.

Anyway, you must know a little bit about how to use this terminal. You don’t need to master it. Just know the very basics, and that will drastically help you on your way.

Then there are text editors. There are many text editors out there. Choosing one and sticking to it will be a good idea. I recommend Sublime Text 3. Another widely used is Visual Studio Code. Both are freely available. Install one and write all your code there. You can find the installation instructions in their respective websites.

There are a few more things you should learn like Git, SSH, Data Structures and Algorithms. But I say let’s skip these for now and keep the path minimal and easy. You can learn these at a later time when you have a better understanding of Python.

Back-end Technologies

There are many technology stacks one can learn for developing back-ends. But we are choosing Python stack because Python is very easy to learn and is popular in other interesting domains like machine learning, data analysis and simulations etc.

So you must learn Python. A very basic learning will not be enough this time. You must gather in-depth knowledge. But it will not be hard for you partly because it is actually a very easy to learn language.

You must know how to write simple software in Python. Wherever you learn from, they will have many examples and small ideas for you to practice. You must not skip those.

A good place to learn Python is this. But you might not like it. In that case you can search the web for resources or let me know and I will try to find out better resources.

And you must know how to use the package manager of your language. Python has a package manager called pip. It is used to install other software to use in your project. This is a beautiful thing. There are many software which are already written by other people. So instead of writing those things yourself, you can simply install them and use them in your projects.

After you are confident in Python, you can start looking into Django. Python has other web frameworks. But Django is most popular and robust.

While learning Django, you must know a little bit about databases. Django eliminates the need to write SQL. You can write Python code which you already know and Django will translate those into SQL for you. But knowing the basics of relational databases (MySQL, PostgreSQL etc) will help you great deal. As a matter of fact, you can learn a little bit SQL and stuff about databases before everything else. That will help.

You should also learn a little of HTML and CSS. They are very easy to learn. You can also learn Javascript a little, or you can skip it for now. I say skip it now but make sure you learn some, if not much Javascript at a later time.

But databases and HTMLs are not all there is in Django. Django is a little bit more. You must learn these well. You must develop a very good understanding of everything.

The best place to learn Django is the official tutorial. Official Django documentation is very beginner friendly and thorough so that will be your place to get any kind of Django related information.

But sometimes the official documentation will not be clear enough. In that case searching the web will usually solve your problem. If that doesn’t, you can always ask someone who knows Django.

Conclusion

In my opinion this is the shortest path to get started. Learning these will not make you an expert. And the road does not end here. But if you learn everything mentioned in this post well, you will be able to sell your skills for money. And the best thing is, you will acquire enough insights to decide what to learn next.

Best of luck!

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