Top-Rated Backend Developer Skills

To build a career as a backend developer, you need a particular skill set. In this article, we are going to tell you in detail what basic skills are necessary to get this job and succeed. Also, you will know how much effort this position requires.

After reading this article, you will learn about

  • soft and hard skills required for a backend developer;
  • what skills you need to craft a winning resume and impress the recruiter;
  • top five backend developer skills to succeed in this field;
  • how to introduce your skill set in the resume;
  • what becoming a backend developer actually means.

Who Is a Backend Developer?

Job seekers often have questions such as “what do backend developers do?” Before crafting your resume, you should look through the job description carefully. Then, you understand what experiences and backend developer skills you need to get this job.

Here is a short description of the backend developer job:

  • referring to server-side development;
  • working with inner processes of web applications;
  • scripting, databases, website architecture;
  • writing codes that help manage the work of browsers and databases;
  • teamwork with front-end developers and other devs.

Hard Skills

The hard skills deserve the most attention, as they are essential for working in this field. These skills represent you as a professional in the first place. So, they are the first thing the hiring manager is looking at. 

Look at the following hard skills for backend developer that are a must for every applicant:

  • perfect knowledge of backend programming language;
  • managing hosting environment;
  • understanding automation processes and front-end technologies, such as JavaScript, CSS, and HTML;
  • security and accessibility compliance.

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Soft Skills

Soft skills are as important for a backend developer as hard ones. For instance, the ability to cooperate with the devs team is among the main requirements for this job position. Interpersonal skills help perform work effectively and be a good team member. Together with the professional skills, a soft skill set increases your chances of getting a dream job. 

Here are the soft skills each backend developer should possess:

  • perfect communication skills (written and verbal);
  • leadership;
  • time management skills;
  • organizational skills;
  • multitasking.

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Must-Have Skills to Be the Top Candidate for the Position

Among all soft and hard skills, there are the top-rated skills that can be crucial for your future career. The recruiting firms highlight certain skills related to automation tools and the ability to apply several technologies. Without these skills, it will be impossible to become a backend developer.

Look through the top backend developer skills that do matter:

  1. database and cache;
  2. web development languages;
  3. server;
  4. API (REST & SOAP);
  5. communication.

This skill set is the perfect combination of the central requirements to start a career as a backend developer. 

Web Development Languages

No doubt that web development languages are a must for a backend developer. You should know at least one programming language like Ruby, Python, or Java to work in this field. Of course, the more languages you know, the more chances you have to get a job as a backend developer. 

The best programming languages you can mention in your resume to get more interviews are the following:

  • Python;
  • Ruby;
  • PHP (Hypertext Preprocessor);
  • JavaScript.

If you know more than one programming language, be sure that you will be on the top list of the candidates. 

Database and Cache

Database and cache involve the perfect knowledge of different DBMS technologies. This skill is one of the most crucial for the position of a backend developer. Database and cache are related to such tools as Redis, SQLServer, Oracle, and MySQL. Also, the knowledge of caching mechanisms (Memcached or Varnish) can boost your chances of getting this job.

Server-side processes are interrelated with interface and databases. A backend developer should be able to control the access, storage, and recovery of the information. That’s why you should mention these skills in your resume to show your competence.


Any site requires a database for successful storage of the content and cooperation between the client and product data. Backend developer skills should involve the knowledge of server management. Such databases as SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle are connected with altering, arranging, storing, and recovering information.

List all these skills in your resume to show your expertise in server management. Also, do not forget to mention that you acknowledged such tools as Kubernetes, New Relic, and Docker.


Knowledge of web services and Application Programming Interface is also on the list of the wanted skills for backend developers. Also, the desirable requirement for the candidate is the knowledge of the creation of REST and SOAP services. The backend developer should be skilled in HTML for working with data and designing substances in Internet browsers. 

Do not forget to mention that you have knowledge of API, REST, and SOAP - these increase your chances of landing a job. 


Surprisingly, communication skills are at the top of the list for backend developers. Having the hard skills is obviously not enough for this position. The job of the backend developer is also about constant cooperation with the devs team, especially the front-end developer. 

You should ensure the recruiter that you have perfect verbal and written communication skills. Communication is necessary to increase the effectiveness and productivity inside the devs team and the whole company.

How to Improve Backend Developer Skills

If you need to get some skills in a short time, you should be focused on your goal. The fast way to get a required skill set in this field is to start a course. Still, you should be ready to take some time before you become an expert. Also, it requires extra effort to start a career as a backend developer. 

You should be passionate to get a reward and improve as a specialist. Even if it isn’t so easy, the results are worth all the effort and time spent on learning and practicing.

Join an Online Degree Program

An online degree program has more advantages compared to the offline course. Firstly, you won’t spend your time on unnecessary things. Also, you will have an opportunity to learn anytime and anywhere. You will be able to plan your time and combine learning with other duties. 

Gaining new knowledge and skills is crucial for the future backend developer. Constant learning is a key to success and career growth. If you have been working in this sphere for several years, it doesn’t mean that you became the best expert ever. New knowledge and skills are crucial to perform your work effectively and grow as an expert. 

Follow Influencers in the Field

Following influencers in the field of software development is also a good idea to get new knowledge and skills. Here is a list of backend developer blog worth joining.

  • Joel on Software (focus on technical stuff; useful insight on the business side of software development);
  • Coding Horror (insightful posts about human aspects of programming);
  • Toptal Engineering Blog (general software blog; tutorials on advanced language and programming tips);
  • Sentry Blog (technical challenges);
  • The Practical Dev (forum for software engineers, devs, and programmers).

  • Scott Berkun (posts are dedicated to design and creativity applied in software development);
  • Martin Fowler (object-oriented programming);
  • Rudder Stack (practical approaches and tips on software development);
  • David Walsh (articles about CSS, jQuery, JavaScript, PHP, MySQL);
  • Jeff Atwood (suggested reads for programmers from the co-creator of Stack Overflow).

Create a Network

One more way to get new skills and knowledge is to cooperate with experts in this field. You can join a forum or find those people who want to improve in the field of software development. It will be easy to learn together with those who are as passionate as you to start a backend developer career.

Also, while networking, you will improve not only professional skills but also interpersonal ones. Learning in a group is useful for developing communication skills and the ability to cooperate in a team.

Backend Developer in the Workplace

Look through the backend developer job requirements to understand what you will do in your future workplace. After you occupy your position, you will have a variety of responsibilities. 

The key responsibilities of the backend developer involve the following:

  • coding and creating functional web applications;
  • analyzing the goals and requirements; 
  • fixing bugs and errors and providing working solutions;
  • interacting with the database for storing data;
  • ensuring the access to information for every user;
  • managing APIs;
  • building the architecture of the system;
  • cooperating with front-end developers 
  • providing server-side algorithms of the web applications. 
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How to Showcase Your Skills

Before you craft your resume, you should know several useful tips. First of all, remember that the way you present your backend developer skills affects your success during the hiring process. 

We recommend keeping a balance between soft and hard skills. Do not mention only professional skills. The recruiter should also know more about your interpersonal skills. Also, use bullet points to introduce your skills in the resume. If you just list them in one sentence, the ATS bots will probably skip your resume. 

Skills for Resume [Example]

Check these two examples from the backend developer resume to understand how to craft this part of the resume effectively.

Right Resume Example


  • Web development languages (Python, Java);
  • managing APIs;
  • SQL;
  • HTML;
  • CSS;
  • JavaScript;
  • perfect communication skills;
  • Time management skills;
  • good organizational skills.

Wrong Resume Example

My skills: conceptual skills, creativity,leadership SEO, strong communication skills, knowledge of programming languages.

In the second example, the candidate just listed several skills (some of them are non-relevant) and highlighted soft skills. In the first sample, the job seeker used bullet points and mentioned only relevant professional and interpersonal skills.

Skills for the Job Interview

During the job interview, you should highlight that you possess all the necessary skills needed to be a backend developer, including the hard and soft ones. Very often, the candidates think that the best strategy is to mention only professional skills. 

One more mistake is that the job seeker mentions irrelevant skills or simply lies about their expertise. Do not try to impress the employer with false information about your skills. Still, everything will be clear after the first test. 

Finally, you should show how you apply both hard and soft skills during the working process. The best strategy is to provide examples from your previous job experience.

Your cover letter matters! That’s why outsourcing to professional cover letter writing services is such a common approach. It will help you get through the recruiting process and land your dream job.

Sample for Backend Developer Resume Skills Section

The main issue for the resume skills section is the way you present the information. Remember that if you mention the non-relevant data or organize the skills ineffectively, it decreases your chances of landing an interview. The hiring manager needs only several seconds to scan your resume with the help of ATS bots. So, check our backend resume example and backend developer requirements to craft a winning resume. 

Backend Developer Skills in a Resume Skills Section

Here you can see a winning example of organizing the backend developer skills section.


Hard Skills:

  • web development languages (Python, Java);
  • managing APIs ( Kubernetes, New Relic, and Docker).
  • server management (SQL Server, MySQL, and Oracle);
  • DBMS technologies (Redis, SQLServer, Oracle, and MySQL).

Soft Skills:

  • perfect communication skills (both written and verbal);
  • time management skills;
  • good organizational skills;
  • multitasking;
  • leadership.

This sample follows all the basic requirements of a good resume, including formatting, the way of presenting information, and the relevance of data. This way, the ATS bots approve the resume, and the hiring manager will see that you are the fitting candidate for this position.

Backend Developer Skills Incorporated Into Work Experience

Apart from mentioning the top skills for backend developer in the skills section, you should also include them in the experience section. This strategy works because you show how you can apply your skill set while performing various duties. 

Resume Example


Back-end Developer

May 2015–June 2020

GenITeam, NYC.

Key Qualifications & Responsibilities

  • developed web applications that analyzed and rendered data;
  • fixed bugs and errors; 
  • provided working solutions to enhance performance while applying New Relic;
  • managed APIs with the help of Kubernetes.

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To Sum Up

Backend developer skills involve a rich set of characteristics that are crucial if you want to get a dream job. Here are key insights from the article.

  • Backend developers require both hard and soft skills.
  • Top-rated skills for backend developers are database and cache, web development languages, server, API (REST & SOAP), and communication.
  • The way you present your skills in your resume affects your future career opportunities.
  • Mention your skills in both skills and experience sections.
  • Improve your skills to become a real expert in this field. 

After reading this article, you know how to craft a working resume. But if you are still not sure about your ability to create a winning resume, our writers can help you with it.

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