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Most Popular Programming Languages for Backend Development

Princess Ogono-Dimaro - November 05, 2022

As technology integrates further into everyday life, the tech industry requires more professionals, including those in backend development. Computer programs created by backend developers require an acute knowledge of the best programming languages for backend development to create programs like anti-virus apps, social media platforms, and online games.

With there being around 700 programming languages , it can be challenging to discern what the best programming languages to learn for backend development are. Programming languages for website and mobile application development vary depending on what you are using them for. In this guide, we will discuss the most popular programming languages for backend development.

What Is Backend Development?

Backend development is the process of creating the parts of software or websites that users don’t see. They utilize a backend framework, also known as the server-side programming language library, or server-side scripting language for faster development. The backend is also referred to as the data access layer that focuses on backend logic, servers, APIs, and databases.

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What Are Programming Languages?

Programming languages are sets of vocabulary and grammatical rules for giving instructions to a computing device or computer to make it perform certain tasks. There are many types of programming languages that focus on specific functions like special syntax and keywords that organize the program instruction. Some popular choice languages include C, Java, and Ada, among other high-level programming languages.

What Programming Languages Do Backend Developers Use?

Backend developers often use Python and Ruby for backend development, although proficiency in other programming languages is necessary as certain languages serve different functions. Below are the best programming languages to learn for backend development.

Best Programming Languages to Learn for Backend Development

  • Python
  • Ruby
  • PHP
  • Golang
  • SQL

Which Programming Language Is Best for Backend Development?


Python is a full stack, high-level programming language. It is also called a multi-paradigm language and this is why it is popular among a wide range of tech giants like Netflix, Google, and Facebook. It has a readable, straightforward syntax and is excellent for first-time programmers. Python also offers frameworks that are used in front end development.

Python is known as a cross-platform language because it can be written for Linux and will run on Mac OS. It is a perfect example of why this flexible language is good for desktop development and web development. It has an active community where you can learn backend development, backend development languages, and other development technologies.


Ruby is an object oriented and open-source scripting language. It was invented by Yukihiro Matsumoto in the mid-1990s. Scripting languages like Ruby don’t talk to the hardware directly. Rather, it is written in text files and parsed by an interpreter before it can be turned into code.

The program reads from the top to the bottom because of its procedural nature. As well, as an object oriented language, it breaks out pieces of code and they become objects. These objects can be created and reused in different parts of a program and other applications.


PHP is a general-purpose scripting language. It is used to build interactive and dynamic websites. This language was one of the first backend languages that could easily be embedded in HTML. PHP makes it easier to add different functions to web pages without using external files for data. PHP has gotten new capabilities and features in its regular updates.

The language became more popular because it is easy to start with. Without full knowledge of web development or experience in the field, people can create web pages using a PHP file within a short period. The syntax is simple with command functions that are user-friendly.


Golang, also known as Go, is a compiled, open-source language and statistically typed language from Google. The programming language is designed to be readable, high-performing, and efficient. It aims to make the backend development process easier for newbies in the field.

It is known as one of the easiest programming languages, especially if you already have knowledge of any other computer programming language. Go can be used for different purposes like data science, web development, and even cloud computing.


SQL means structured query language. It is used to communicate with databases. This language is commonly used for relational database management. Its statements can be used to perform tasks like data retrieval from a database or data update on a database.

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Relational database management systems such as Microsoft Access, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Ingres, and Sybase use SQL. SQL was also the first programming language that allows access to multiple records using a single command.

Which Programming Language Should I Learn First?

Python is always the best option if you want to learn an easy and interesting programming language. With Python, you don’t need to jump into difficult syntax rules, and the programming language is a lot like the English language, making it easy to understand when you’re a newbie to programming.

Python is also ideal because it can be used for graphic user interfaces, cross-platform development, web development, and even software development. It has a higher demand than many programming languages because employers prefer it.

Is it Possible to Choose the ‘Wrong’ Programming Language?

It is not possible to choose the wrong programming language because each of them is useful in one way or another. However, if you wish to specialize in backend development, you need to choose a programming language that would make your work easier.

How to Learn Backend Development

To learn backend development, you must understand the different aspects that make up backend development. Backend development training programs can teach you the basics, but online coding bootcamps for backend development are best for learning practical skills and gaining relevant experience that can lead to a lucrative career.

Learn Data Structures and Algorithm

Learning about data structures and algorithms is an important first step to take even though many backend developers skip it. It gives you a basic idea of the development process, so every other aspect will be easier to grasp. You don’t need in-depth training on data structures and algorithms, as basic information and understanding can help you in the long run.

Learn a Programming Language

The next step is to learn a programming language. Choose the most useful and sought-after ones in your specific niche. Additionally, start off by learning only one coding language, as trying to learn more than one at once can be overwhelming. Programming languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, and JavaScript are good for starting out.

Learn a Framework

When you choose a programming language, it will determine the framework you need to learn. Most frameworks have the same Model View Controller principle, whether it is Ruby on Rails or Django. The basics of this framework will help you to understand the concept and apply it to other aspects.

Build a Project

Learning is easier when you practice, so it’s best to start practicing what you’re learning to see how it can be applied to projects. Your project can be anything, from a simple blog to a resume builder, or even a photo gallery web app. With time, you can begin to work on more advanced projects to add to your professional portfolio.

How to Learn Backend Development: Top Resources

  • . freeCodeCamp is a platform that offers backend web development courses with Django and Python. The course covers all you need to know about Python, starting with the basics, eventually advancing to advanced-level Python.
  • Codecourse . Codecourse offers resources to learn PHP. You will learn the basics of PHP and get specific skills to help you master this programming language for backend development.
  • Codecademy . Codecademy offers online training for different programming languages such as Python, PHP, SQL, and JavaScript. You can find resources to prepare you for a career in backed development.
  • W3School . W3School is one of the most popular resources for web development. It has different tutorials and guides to help you learn backend programming languages like Python, PHP, SQL, and JavaScript.
  • The Odin Project . The Odin Project is an online learning resource for full stack development. This means you can learn both front end and backend development to help you master web development in its entirety.

Ready to Break into Tech?

For those with big career goals wanting to become ambitious developers in the backend development industry, learning the best programming languages for backend development is the best place to start. Employers are looking for experienced backend developers with a great history in backend development programming languages.

To kick off your career in tech, start by learning Python–the easiest programming language for beginners. Utilize the many online resources or enroll in a coding bootcamp. After all, backend development is a crucial part of web and software development, and without a fully functional backend, users are unable to enjoy the services provided on the front end.

Best Programming Languages for Backend Development FAQ

Which is the best language for a backend developer to use?

The most popular language for backend development is Python. The programming language has a large library with lots of pre-written code and frameworks for backend development. This means that as a developer, you do not need to write lines of code from scratch. It will save you time and effort while increasing your productivity.

Is Python good for backend development?

Python is great for backend web development because it offers code readability, vast backend frameworks, and libraries. It is an older language with pre-written code to reduce the workload of backend developers. Python also offers a vast community of developers who share information.

Is PHP good for backend development?

PHP is an excellent scripting language for backend development. This open-source programming language can generate dynamic page content. The backend technology is also responsible for business logic and can collect data and receive cookies.

Which is better: Django or NodeJS?

Django and Nodejs are both useful for backend web development. However, Django is more secure. This framework offers a built-in system that protects it from security failures. NodeJS requires manual operation to administer security flaws and this makes it less secure.

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Princess Ogono-Dimaro

About the author: Princess, a certified Career Coach by the International Association of Professions Career College, is an expert tech content writer whose work has appeared on Raffela, Play Junkie, Blockster, and Smartereum. She writes about arts and tech, and she has studied blockchain, cryptocurrency, and digital marketing. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Benin and also attended The Nigerian Law School.

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