5 Best Programming Languages for Back-End Web Development

Coding for Beginners
Written by:
App Academy
Published on:
April 21, 2023

Explore the top programming languages ideal for back-end web development. This post provides insights into their features, benefits, and why they are considered the best in the industry.

As a career, computer coding involves many steps and processes. These steps and processes make things like web development, app building, cloud computing, and AI management all happen seamlessly. One of the most crucial roles in programming is that of a back-end developer. And back-end development involves its own cache of programming languages.

But back-end training isn’t just for back-end developers. Anyone wanting to learn full-stack development needs to know both back-end and front-end languages.

So what are back-end programming languages and what are the best ones to learn for aspiring software engineers, developers, and more? Let’s find out!

What is Back-End Programming?

The “back-end” refers to the server side of a program or software that users don’t see. In fact, sometimes back-end is referred to as “server-side” programming. The back end makes the program run as it should. On the back end, there’s a server, an application, and a database. While the end user will never “see” the back-end code, it communicates information to the front end so things look, act, and function as intended.

As a back-end programmer, you’ll focus on the functionality and maintenance of a program or software application to make sure the front-end works as it should and users encounter a seamless experience.

Where front-end programming languages depict what the user sees and interacts with, back-end programming languages create everything a user doesn’t see. It’s the “man behind the curtain” pulling the levers and pushing the buttons.

When you work with both front-end and back-end programming languages, you’re creating what’s called a full-stack experience. Some engineers specialize in one side of the software or the other, while some have working knowledge of both ends.

Learn More: Front-End vs. Back-End Programming: Why You Should Learn Both

The Most Popular Back-End Languages

Back-end languages vary by function. Depending on what you need to accomplish, you’ll use one of the common back-end languages listed below. A good back-end programmer is at least familiar with these and knows when to use each one.

If you’re just getting started, or you already know front-end programming and want to learn back-end so you can advance to a full-stack developer, here are the languages we recommend learning first.

Ruby on Rails

Ruby on Rails (more casually known as “Rails”) is an open-source web application development framework. There are a number of framework libraries within the Ruby programming language, so Ruby is highly regarded in the development world.

Rails specifically makes web development easier because it comes with a pre-built structure for web development. You don’t need to build anything from scratch. Think of Rails as a set of building blocks you can use to create a structure. Where other frameworks would require you to make the blocks yourself, Ruby already has them ready for building. It’s up to you to create something.

If you’ve ever used Airbnb, Github, Fiverr, or Twitch, you’ve used an application built on Rails.

Read More: Ruby on Rails vs. Python


Over the years, Python has become one of the most sought-after skills in the industry, despite being over 30 years old. Because it’s written in plain English, Python is popular and easy to learn for beginners.

Python is also a multipurpose programming language, meaning it can be used anywhere that uses data, mathematical computation, machine learning, AI, or code in general. Unlike some of its other back-end counterparts, it can be used outside of just web development. Python also has an active community, so it’s constantly updated and improved.

Some of the most famous applications in the world — from Uber to Instagram to Google and Netflix — were built with Python.

Read More:


JavaScript is everywhere. It’s an all-purpose tool for anything involving web development and coding. JavaScript is not only good to know for back-end development, but front-end development as well, making this an ideal language for full-stack developers. As of 2022, nearly 70% of back-end developers said they use JavaScript in their projects. This is due to JS’s ease of use, functionality, and versatility. And it’s one of the reasons we teach JavaScript here at App Academy.

Read More:


C# (C-Sharp) is a language created by Microsoft and is still popular with beginners. It comes with a vast library and troubleshoots as you go along to save you time when you’re ready to run your code. If you already know C and C++, C# is a breeze to learn. As with other back-end languages, C# is regarded as being modern and easy to read.


SQL, or Structured Query Language, is a unique beast in that it uses query language to search databases. It’s used for things like pulling up user information or updating company databases.

SQL most commonly extracts, stores, and manipulates data in a relational database. Almost every application uses data, so data analysts and scientists alike are familiar with SQL. As applications have gotten smarter and continue to use more data to function, SQL has become an important language for any back-end programmer to know.

Read More: The Best SQL Certifications to Level Up Your Career


Not to be confused with JavaScript, Java works on the Write Once Run Anywhere principle – it can run anywhere once it’s written. Java is commonly used with large projects because of its safety and ability to scale up with ease. Because of this, it’s a popular programming language for game developers. Although it’s a commonly used language, it’s complex and takes up a lot of space, making it a better choice for advanced programmers.


PHP is a common, flexible, and simple language used in back-end development (Facebook was developed using PHP). It’s been around since 1994 and can work on almost any platform, making this a popular language for beginner back-end developers.


Node.js is a framework commonly used to run JavaScript on the back-end side (Angular is JavaScript’s framework on the front-end). It’s an efficient and powerful runtime environment. Because it’s so useful, Node.js has helped to make JavaScript even more popular. Node.js is primarily designed for JavaScript (anything that ends in js is built for JavaScript), but can be modified for other languages if you put the work in to finding specific modules or applications.


Django and Python go hand-in-hand. If you learn Python – which we highly recommend for back-end developers – you’ll want to learn Django, too. The creators of Django pride themselves on the framework’s “clean, pragmatic design.” Meaning, it’s fast, secure, and scalable. Django provides libraries and tools for writing code in Python and improving the program’s performance.

How to Choose the Best Back-End Programming Language for You

When it comes to back-end web development, the programming languages you choose to learn will depend on the specific projects you’ll be working on as well as what you already know. JavaScript is a popular language for both front-end and back-end coders, making this a great choice for front-end, back-end, and full-stack developers.

Python, JavaScript, C#, and PHP are all coding languages. That is, the code you write will be done in one of these languages. These are the building blocks of your program. They come with libraries designed to help you write code faster and more efficiently.

Frameworks are like templates for codes and come in libraries. They’re designed to make your life easier so you’re not trying to create something out of nothing. Popular back-end frameworks include Ruby on Rails, Node.js, and Django. Note that Node.js is designed to work primarily with JavaScript.

Some languages are used for database management systems. SQL is a popular and useful database language to know. Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) is another common database language that works with – you guessed it – Java to connect and execute queries.

In back-end development, languages, frameworks, and database management systems all work together to make your side of the program happen. In App Academy’s bootcamp, we not only teach programming languages but how these three pieces of the back-end puzzle fit together.  

But learning these 9 languages isn’t just for back-end developers. At App Academy, we teach full-stack development. Learning back-end is a great way to become a full-stack developer, whether you’re just getting started or already know front-end development.

Start Developing Your Skills with App Academy

Back-end programmers do a lot of heavy lifting. It’s crucial that aspiring back-end programmers get proper training and education on these languages — and that they create a programming portfolio to prove their skills.

That’s why coding bootcamps are so successful in filling the gaps where back-end developers and engineers are needed. They teach you the languages that are most widely used in the industry and give you intensive, hands-on training to learn and understand them.

Since 2012, App Academy has helped thousands of people develop the coding skills they need to find rewarding careers in tech. Explore our programs today to see which one is the best fit for you.

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