Back End = How it Works
Front End = What it looks like
A Mechanical Example:
Think of the instrument panel of your car. Instead of the whole car system, let us think about the air conditioning.
If you engage the Air Conditioning controls, you expect cool air to blow on you.
The Front-End is what You Touch
The look of the instrument panel is the front-end development.
When doing front-end development, the car designer makes decisions on problems like these:
- Do you push the AC button?
- Is the AC button a toggle switch?
- Is the AC controlled by an electronic screen?
- Do you have an AC settings option for the driver and passenger?
- Do you have a control to alter the strength of how hard the AC blows?
- What color should I make the hot and cold selector switches?
- How big should the switches be?
- Are the switches hidden behind a device which makes the car’s controls look cleaner?
This is the front-end development of a car instrument panel.
The Back-End is how it Works
The functionality of the air conditioning panel is the focus of the back-end developer.
A back-end developer will think about questions like these:
- The button triggers an air conditioning solenoid. How strong is that solenoid? What amperes will the solenoid need to run the air conditioning pump?
- The air conditioning pump need power. Will we get this from the distributor and what gauge wires will we need to run it safely?
- What electronic motors will run the AC fan so that the driver of the car can control the strength of the AC?
The back-end developer is responsible for ensuring that when the car driver pushes buttons on car instrument panel they actually have cool air blown on them.