I have a question.
What's the correct term?
Back-end, Back end or Backend
- I'm a software back-end developer
- I'm a software back end developer
- I'm a software backend developer
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Personally, I'd write it as 'backend' or 'back end' as I'm not a fan of over-hyphenating (excuse my hypocrisy) unnecessarily.
The NGram essentially supports the argument that you'll find all three in a lot of places, and when I was Googling to test my own theories, a number of large tech sites appeared in each variation of spelling I searched for, leading me back to my first point:
Any of these is acceptable. Choose one you like and get coding.
EDIT: The NGram was misleading. Thanks for pointing that out in the comments.
Hyphenating compound adjectives is common in English, and both the links above use the hyphenated form for adjectival use.
Having said that, I agree that many software developers won't know the difference or care: if it doesn't show as a spelling error when typed into a computer, there is no problem. And if "backend" fails this test many will assume it's not in the computer's dictionary by accident.
From the Microsoft Style Guide:
back end, back-end
Don't use if you can substitute a more specific term, such as server, operating system, database, or network.
Two words as a noun. Hyphenate as an adjective.