Traditional Web2 development is generally divided into two separate categories: frontend and backend development. Unfortunately, due to the inherent differences between Web2 and Web3, these two categories don’t translate very well to the decentralized web. Titles such as ”Web3 developer” and ”blockchain developer” have conventionally been used to describe people with proficient skills within the space. Unfortunately, these don’t have that same “ring” to them as the more traditional Web2 terms. Thus, a new term has recently emerged to describe developers specializing in Web3: “blockend developers”. As this might be an unfamiliar term to many, we’ll delve deeper into blockend development and what the concept entails herein!
Blockend development generally consists of three main areas: frontend, backend, and smart contract development. To explain what a blockend developer is, we initially need to understand frontend and backend development. In addition, we also need to explore these concepts in the context of Web3. Following this, we can delve deeper into smart contracts, which will provide a complete overview of blockend development. Lastly, we’ll top everything off with a section explaining the term’s origins!
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What is Frontend Development?
We can divide Web2 programming into frontend and backend development. Accordingly, people usually work as either frontend or backend developers, and the two areas require different skill sets. For this reason, we’re going to explore more about these concepts in the following two sections, starting with the former. So, what is frontend development exactly?
Frontend development essentially revolves around implementing everything users can see and interact with on websites or applications. This means that frontend developers write the code for everything from the logo and the overall layout to more interactive elements such as search bars, buttons, fields, etc.
Frontend developers aim to design web pages or apps that users can easily navigate. This suggests that user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX) are central to frontend development. If you are interested in UI design, we highly recommend checking out Moralis’ web3uikit. This kit makes Web3 UI development significantly more accessible and allows you to provide an excellent UX for potential users.
So, now that we have a better understanding of what frontend development is, let’s look at what skills are necessary to become a frontend developer!
Frontend Development Skills
- HTML – HTML is an abbreviation for “HyperText Markup Language”, and programmers use this language to display and structure the contents of a website. This includes elements such as buttons, input fields, search bars, headings, titles, etc.
- CSS – CSS stands for “Cascading Style Sheets”, and developers use this to style a webpage or application. This includes adding animations, colors, changing the layout, etc., all essential elements for creating a more pleasant UX. What’s more, CSS is further used to create responsive design, which means creating a webpage or application that looks good on different devices. Furthermore, CSS makes it easier for developers to create unique designs and customize their products.
What’s more, if you have ambitions to, for example, develop games for additional platforms, it can be worth checking out Unity. Unity allows you to build game apps with ease, and in combination with the Moralis Metaverse SDK, you’ll be able to, for instance, create a metaverse dapp in no time!
What is Backend Development?
With a better understanding of frontend development and the skills necessary, we can take the following section to delve deeper into backend development. Let’s progress by answering the question, ”what is backend development?”.
While frontend development covers elements visible to users, the backend rather covers server-side logic and integration activities. Here the focus is on scripting, databases, website architecture, APIs, libraries, etc. Backend developers, therefore, need to write code that allows databases and applications or browsers to communicate with one another. This essentially means that backend development entails all activities ”behind the scenes” necessary for the functionality of a website or application. This further includes the maintenance of databases, servers, and applications.
So, while frontend development constitutes fonts, colors, design, etc., the backend part of the project is responsible for rendering from a server and fetching information from a database. Moreover, the backend code contains all sensitive information that needs to be hidden from users, such as private keys, as an example.
Backend developers require numerous different skills ranging from knowledge of data structures and algorithms to several programming languages, database management systems, version control, web hosting platforms, etc. As such, backend development is generally more tedious than frontend development. For this reason, it’s not uncommon to outsource activities to organizations specializing in these types of practices and use software to make backend development more accessible. This is often referred to as infrastructure as a service (IaaS) or backend as a service (BaaS), two solutions making backend development more manageable.
One of the most commonly used services in traditional Web2 development is Google Firebase – a backend development software application. The software provides tools such as SDKs to make backend development easier.
What is Blockend Development?
With a better understanding of what frontend and backend development refers to in a traditional sense, we can move on and take a closer look at what blockend development entails. So, in the following sections, we’ll dive deeper into how frontend and backend development differs in Web3. What’s more, we’ll further explore what additional skills are necessary within the crypto realm to provide us with an explanation of what we need to become blockend developers!
Web2 vs Web3: Frontend
These libraries allow developers to interact with a remote or local Ethereum node using an IPC or HTTP connection. As such, Web3.js interacts with the Ethereum blockchain and has the potential to retrieve accounts, interact with smart contracts, and send transactions.
Web2 vs Web3: Backend
When it comes to backend development, this is where we find the most significant differences between Web2 and Web3. What’s more, it’s backend development that, from a traditional perspective, has been the most cumbersome task of Web3 and requires an abundance of development time.
The main differences originate from the decentralized nature of Web3 and the interconnection the space has with blockchain technology. Unlike conventional Web2 backend development, Web3 backend primarily revolves around the communications infrastructure between dapps and the various blockchains of the market. Setting up the proper infrastructure takes time and can be quite unfamiliar to many transitioning from more traditional development practices. This suggests that Web3 backend developers need to establish functions to, for example, authenticate users and acquire on-chain user information.
Furthermore, just like within the Web2 space, setting up a backend infrastructure is difficult and time-consuming. As such, this is where Moralis enters the picture! The Moralis operating system provides an already developed, infinitely scalable backend infrastructure allowing you to avoid ”reinventing the wheel”. This means you can utilize Moralis’ SDK to fetch information, sync smart contracts, etc., and easily communicate with various networks. In addition, the platform further provides some phenomenal tools and integrations, such as native support for IPFS and MetaMask.
If you’d want to become a blockend developer, sign up with Moralis to reap Moralis’ benefits!
Now that we have somewhat of a better understanding of how frontend and backend development differ between Web2 and Web3, we need to look closely at the last component required for building Web3 applications, which is smart contracts.
What is Blockend Development? – Smart Contracts
An essential part of blockend development is smart contracts, which are critical for the dapps of Web3. A good analogy to describe what smart contracts are is digital vending machines. As such, someone can input funds; the contract then decides if the input is sufficient and, if so, executes a function, just like a vending machine. It’s this technology that partly allows for the creation of sophisticated dapps where code mediates interactions on the blockchain.
Primarily, developers use Solidity to develop smart contracts. Further, Solidity is an object-oriented programming language used to write EVM-compatible contracts. Also, other helpful tools for smart contract development are Ganache, Truffle, and Remix. If you’d like to learn more about smart contract development, click the following link on how to create smart contracts for a deeper dive into the intricacies of the process.
To summarize, blockend development entails frontend, backend, and smart contract development. This suggests that a blockend developer has sufficient skills to develop dapps for the Web3 realm by managing on-chain and smart contract development. So, blockend development is essentially a category encapsulating everything needed to build dapps and projects for the decentralized web!
The best place to learn blockend development is Moralis Academy. The academy provides some of the best blockchain courses on the market! It doesn’t matter if you’re entirely new to programming or have prior experience with Web2 or Web3!
The Etymology of Blockend Development
Now that we have a better understanding of what blockend development entails and the necessary skills to become one, we’ll take a closer look at the etymology of this phrase. As the previous sections explain, there are inherent differences between developing for Web2 and Web3. As such, the need to make distinctions between the developers operating within these spaces emerged. Traditionally, people used “Web3 developers” or “blockchain developers”; however, it didn’t have the same ring to it as “frontend developers” and “backend developers”.
On the 4th of May, however, Vito Rivabella coined the term “blockend developer” in a tweet. The phrase has since gained traction describing those working with smart contracts and building Web3 projects. So, if you ever stumble upon the term in the future, you’ll know that it refers to Web3 savvy developers!
What is Blockend Development? – Summary
Conventional development generally consists of two main categories: frontend and backend development. People proficient in these areas are often referred to as ”frontend” or ”backend developers”. However, these labels or categories don’t adequately encapsulate the skills needed when developing dapps or projects for the decentralized web.
Developers proficient in Web3 have previously been called ”Web3 developers” or ”blockchain developers”; however, these terms haven’t caught on. As such, a new term was introduced that has been gaining increased traction as of late: “blockend developer”.
Blockend development refers to everything you need to take a project from idea to launching it on a blockchain. As such, it involves frontend, backend, and smart contract development. Moreover, from a traditional perspective, backend development has generally been the most significant hurdle in Web3. To solve this issue, IaaS platforms such as Moralis have emerged to make blockend development more accessible. Moralis takes care of the backend aspects of blockend development, allowing you to focus on the frontend and smart contracts!
Moreover, here at Moralis, you have access to everything you need for blockend development. So, if you sign up with Moralis, you can build dapps and other Web3 projects with ease. In fact, joining the platform allows you to save an average of 87% on development time for all future projects!