What Are The Top 10 Backend Programming Languages in 2023?
Though mobile and web development is composed of backend and frontend technologies but, the role of server-side functionalities is crucial.
In this regard, backend programming languages have great involvement. These server-side scripting technologies can leverage the speed, scalability, and success of your project.
So, this article diverts into the list of the most popular backend programming languages with their properties and drawbacks. In addition, we will also enlighten what backend development is exactly.
- 1 What is Backend Development?
- 2 What are the Most Popular Backend Languages?
- 3 Top 10 Backend Programming Languages
- 5 2. Java
- 6 3. Python
- 7 4. PHP
- 8 5. C#
- 9 6. Ruby
- 10 7. Golang
- 11 8. TypeScript
- 12 9. Rust
- 13 10. Kotlin
- 14 Conclusion
- 15 FAQ
- 16 Which programming language is best for backend development?
All behind-the-scenes activities of a program that involve databases, servers, APIs, and architecture refer to backend development.
Hereof, backend programmers pen the codes to authorize the web browsers to interact with servers and databases.
Some other potential backend development programming languages are Go, Rust, TypeScript, Scala, and Kotlin.
So, what is the best programming language for backend development? Let’s dive into the top backend development backend languages.
This language was introduced in 1995, but regular updates made it an appealing choice to build server-side of applications.
Mainly, it confers excellent results if you use this high-level language with Express, Next, or Meteor.js frameworks.
Dynamic Typing – Developers don’t have to designate the class of variable before appointing a data type. This feature gives more freedom and makes JS a very adaptable language. So, variables can modify their categories at runtime. Concise and flexible coding are also some positive outcomes of this feature.
Better Server Performance – This language is capable of conducting all elementary functionalities on the front side. It means JS splits the server processing load with the client side so servers can operate more efficiently.
- ECMA International updates this backend language on a yearly basis, which is a prominent advantage of using it.
- The availability of highly compatible and robust frameworks and rich interfaces are also advantages of programming with JS.
- Old browsers are not compatible with interpreting the new functions of JS.
Java is one of the most commendable backend programming languages, which is generally used to establish enterprise-level web applications.
This machine-independent scripting technology is famous because of its write once and run anyway (WORA) functionality.
Developers typically benefit from Java to build desktop, cloud, and Android applications. You can also use Java to develop chatbots, AI, and marketing tools.
Prominent Websites Using Java: Adobe, Microsoft, HubSpot, and Samsung
The core features of Java include:
Object-Oriented – Java follows OOP to construct the program design around objects and classes. This programming property increases the reusability and productivity of Java.
Simple & Secure – It is easy to master Java because of its simple syntax and OOP nature. Similarly, authentication approaches use public key encryption to strengthen security while using Java. Moreover, JVM acts sharply to safeguard data from tampering and virus threats.
Multithreaded – This feature lets Java run multiple tasks concurrently. Less use of system resources, better server responsiveness, and communication are advantages of multithreading.
The key advantages of Java include:
- Java is considered a highly scalable technology stack that could be used on any operating system and device. You can also utilize it for multiple sectors.
- Although few online sources claim that Java is dead but, if you learn Java and try to find jobs, you will be able to approach hundreds of opportunities. Yes, Java offers unlimited job opportunities to new programmers.
- The API system of Java is full of packages, classes, fields, and interfaces. Therefore, dev teams can use Java to link a variety of applications.
Some limitations of Java include:
- Java utilizes more processing and memory resources. This drawback also enhances the hardware expenditures.
- The absence of pointers limits Java’s support for low-level programming.
- Limited command over garbage collection is also a con of using Java.
Python is considered a prime choice to build backends, especially if you are a novice and willing to choose a high-level language.
The majority of developers also prefer Python over other languages because of its huge standard libraries.
Furthermore, the yearly report of the TIOBE Index labels Python as the most popular programming language, with a rating of 14.82%.
The use of Python is ideal for developing GUIs, task automation, and data-centric software.
Popular Websites Using Python: Google, YouTube, Bitly, Netflix and Uber.
Please read the article Building and deploying a Python application to learn more about this subject.
The core features of Python include:
Smooth Learning Curve – Python is a facile backend language. Its syntax has similarities with English, so that you can write and read it effortlessly. Many universities even include Python in their beginner-level courses.
Libraries – This backend language owns massive libraries. Developers can easily find Python Standard Library and use a variety of built-in constants, variables, types, and modules for free. Some other open-source Python libraries are Pandas, NumPy, TensorFlow, and Scikit Learn.
Portable – Python permits the developers to use the same code without any changes on a variety of machines. Yes, if you script a code for Windows, Python allows you to run the same code on the Mac. This property also reduces development time.
Procedure-Oriented & Object-Oriented – This language follows both the procedure and object-oriented nature of programming at the same time. Therefore, you can design the software around functions and objects according to the needs of your project.
Some advantages of Python include:
- Python is a highly flexible backend programming language that businesses can use for modern industries and applications. Indeed, it could be utilized for the development of mathematical computing, data science, trading, finance, and GIS applications.
- It is robust to script the code with Python. With limited lines of code, you can perform more functions compared to other server-side languages.
- Active community support and availability of third-party modules make it an appealing language as well.
The limitations of Python include:
- This backend technology is not considered a reliable choice to build mobile and large-scale applications.
- Insufficient support for multithreading and database access are also some cons to programming with Python.
PHP is a server-side programming language which was introduced in 1995. This open-source backend technology carries out the coding tasks on the server.
In this regard, it has excellent compatibility with all popular servers, including IIS and Apache.
According to the recent data released by W3Tech, around 76.8% of websites benefit from PHP for their server-side operations.
If we talk about its use, PHP is an optimal choice for developing business and web applications.
Renowned Websites Using PHP: Tumblr, Etsy, WordPress and Wikipedia.
Please read the article Deploying a PHP application to learn how to build and deploy a Python app.
The core features of PHP include:
Highly Flexible – PHP is flexible to embed with JS, XML, and HTML. Similarly, it has great compatibility with various databases, devices, and servers.
Simple – This backend language is simple to understand and learn. Pre-determined functionalities and the coherent nature of PHP keep the programming smooth for both seasoned and novice developers.
Case Sensitive – It is a slightly case-sensitive server-side technology. Yes, variable names are case-sensitive in PHP. However, the names of classes and functions are considered case-insensitive.
Secure – PHP is a safe language. In this regard, it doesn’t only have pre-built data encryption functions, but developers can also employ third-party tools to get more protection. In addition, PHP utilizes security algorithms to provide a secure environment for scripting.
Fast – It is an ultra-fast language. Indeed, PHP overcomes the load time because it consumes less memory during code execution. This feature also aids in improving the performance of an application.
The core advantages of PHP include:
- PHP comes with a lean learning curve. That means it is not difficult to understand and code this programming language to develop backends.
- Small businesses prefer adopting PHP for their ventures because of its scalable nature. Surely, you can extend your virtual and physical resources with PHP anytime.
- As an esteemed language, it holds an active community. Thus, you can benefit from the experiences of seasoned PHP developers.
Some limitations of PHP include:
- PHP confers second-rated tools for error handling. By the same token, insufficient debugging tools are also a drawback of using PHP.
- This is not a versatile language, which is why it is difficult to use PHP for AI, ML, and big data projects.
- Security glitches and a shortage of dedicated libraries are also major disadvantages of programming with PHP.
C# or C-Sharp is another high-level programming technology that was initially introduced in 2000 by Microsoft.
Though C# was designed for the .NET Framework in the beginning, but now it is being widely used. You can absolutely use C# to create games for desktop, cloud, mobile, and enterprise-grade applications.
TIOBE Index gives 5th position to C# with ratings of 7.71%. Correspondingly, it is labeled among the top 10 popular technologies in an annual report by Stack Overflow. Yes, C# got 27.62% votes in this survey.
Popular Tech Giants Using C#: Stack Overflow, Microsoft, ServiceTitan, and Trustpilot
The most common features of C# include:
Garbage Collection – C# manages the memory excellently with the help of garbage collection features. Hereof, this function identifies and eliminates the memory automatically which is not in use. This approach is better than manual memory administration.
IDE Support – This language takes advantage of using integrated development environments (IDEs). Yes, C# has the support of JetBrains Rider, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code in this regard. IDEs are helpful in compiling code, testing frameworks, and debugging errors.
Strong Typing – This feature of C# enables the developers to write cleaner code without runtime and compile time glitches. Similarly, you can create more safe and organized applications with strong type languages.
Interoperability – It permits the languages to communicate with each other in the same program. With C#, interoperability is feasible with unmanaged and managed code. Better data protection, high productivity, and reduction in errors are key pros of this characteristic.
Some advantages of C# are:
- C# is a Microsoft product, which is why dev teams find massive community support when they code with C-Sharp. In this regard, several discussion forums like ‘C# Developer Community’ and ‘C# Corner’ are available to get answers to your queries.
- High-level functionality, understandable syntax, and a big library guarantee fast development.
- C# belongs to the family of C languages. In this way, it has great compatibility with C++, Java, and C.
Some limitations of C# include:
- If you don’t utilize .NET as your primary tech stack, C# is not an adaptable option for your project.
- The learning curve of C# is steep, especially if you compare it with languages like Python and Java. By the same token, developers find .NET libraries arduous to understand.
- C# uses the common language runtime (CLR), which can increase the overhead of your runtime.
Ruby is another reliable name in our list of the best backend programming languages. Japanese programmer Yukihiro Matsumoto made this cross-platform language public in 1995.
It follows multiple patterns, including function, object-oriented, and procedural programming.
With Ruby, you can efficiently develop backends of automation tools and desktop, static, and custom web applications. It is also useful to build data processing services and handle web servers.
Renowned Websites Using Ruby: Airbnb, Twitch, Hulu, Slideshare and Goodreads
The key features of Ruby include:
Duck & Dynamic Typing – With the dynamic typing nature of Ruby, dev teams don’t have to wait for code execution and extra processing. Dynamic typing also promotes the use of duck typing while programming with Ruby. These features surely make typing more flexible.
Naming Conventions – It specifies naming conventions for methods, variables, classes, and constants. Likewise, Ruby constant and method names could be begun with capital letters. You can use the ‘$’ sign for global and the ‘@’ sign for instance variables. You can commence the class variables with the ‘@@’ sign.
Highly Flexible – Ruby is a highly flexible backend programming language that allows developers to modify and reformulate any section of software. Also, you can add and amend any part of a program at any time.
Developer-Friendly Syntax – The syntax of Ruby is not only developer-friendly, but they have great similarities with Python and Perl. So, if you are already familiar with Python, it is easy for you to proceed with Ruby.
Some advantages of Ruby include:
- Ruby is considered a cost-effective backend technology if you use it with the Rails framework. RoR promises scalability, performance, and quality of an application.
- It follows MVC architecture, which speeds up the development process. Hereof, modifications in model elements don’t affect the remaining infrastructure of an application.
- It is seamless for developers to deal with changes because Ruby is a stable backend programming technology.
Some limitations of Ruby include:
- Sluggish performance is one of the core drawbacks of programming with Ruby. Mainly, the performance of Ruby is stagnant compared to backend technologies Node.js and Python.
- Ruby is also considered a less popular technology, so it becomes troublesome to find proper documentation for Ruby libraries.
Golang is a relatively new backend language that was introduced in 2009 by Google. This multi-paradigm technology has similarities with C when it comes to syntax.
You can benefit from this open-source server-side language to build networking services, CLIs, cloud and web applications.
Renowned Tech Giants Using Golang: Google, Dailymotion, Dropbox and SoundCloud
Please read the article Deploying a Go App to learn how to build and deploy a Golang application.
Some features of Golang include:
Concurrency Support – Go is an advanced backend language that has the ability to handle several tasks at the same time. However, to ensure concurrency, it doesn’t rely on multithreading. Yes, Golang depends on goroutines instead of threads. Goroutines are famous for their light processing and scalability.
Fast Compile – The compiler of Golang is very powerful. Developers can robustly compile their code with Go because of its simple syntax.
Easy to Learn – Go is considered a simple language to read and write code. Especially if you have worked on Python and C projects, it will be seamless for you to learn Golang.
Active Community Support – It is a new language, which is why many developers think it will be hard to find active community support for it. Withal, the scenario is different. Golang doesn’t only have 115k repository stars on GitHub, but it also owns energetic community support over Reddit, Stack Overflow, and Slack.
Some advantages of Golang are:
- Powerful performance is the core advantage of Golang. Features like short development cycles and utilization of multi-core processors play a vital role here.
- The concurrent nature of Golang makes it a highly scalable language. Also, goroutines only consume 2 KB of memory, which keeps the processing extra fast.
- It has a built-in testing framework that enables developers to proceed with the Go test command.
Some limitations of Go include:
- More consumption of time while scripting the code is the primary drawback of Golang. Developers need to pen more lines of code for this language compared to other technologies like Python.
- Golang is still a young tech stack, and it has a limited number of supporting libraries and compatible frameworks.
- It is considered inappropriate for app development because it lacks backing for generic functions.
TypeScript is another novel technology among our list of popular backend programming languages. Yes, it was made public in 2012 by Microsoft.
However, Node.js is the perfect runtime environment if you need to use TypeScript for backend development. Dev teams can benefit from TypeScript to program Windows applications.
Popular Websites Using TypeScript: Medium, DoorDash, Canva and Kavak
The key features of TypeScript include:
Portable – This is a portable technology, and you can handle its code on any operating system, device, and browser. Similarly, developers can depend on any JS runtime environment to execute the code of TypeScript.
Statically Typed – TypeScript is a statically typed programming language. This property of TypeScript authorizes the dev teams to fix glitches while compiling rather than runtime executions. So you can identify and correct the error at the initial stage of development.
The benefits of TypeScript are:
- This backend language is typically used to improve the coordination among dev teams. Especially if you are a startup and commencing a project with novice developers, TypeScript will definitely enhance your collaboration.
- TypeScript depends on advanced practices to ensure code maintenance.
- It consumes less time to fix bugs and technical glitches.
Some limitations of TypeScript include:
- TypeScript consumes more time than code compilation, which is a major drawback.
- Uncomfortable early settings and typing errors are also cons of using TS.
If you are looking for a blazing-fast server-side language, Rust is the answer. This is a cross-platform and general-purpose programming technology that was initially launched in 2015 by Graydon Hoare.
With outstanding memory efficiency, Rust is best for dealing with operating systems, web, and gaming development.
Prominent Websites Using Rust: Cloudflare, Mozilla, Amazon and Coursera
The key features of Rust include:
Memory Allocation – Like C languages, Rust manually allocates the memory spaces. In this way, you can avoid automated garbage collection and get more control over the memory. This feature also aids in choosing the dynamic and static memory distributions.
Secure – Compared to traditional languages, Rust is more secure. It is a recent language that understands cyber threats and vulnerabilities in depth. Moreover, its type system, memory safety, and concurrency model make it a perfect choice to create security-sensitive programs.
Error Messages – It has the ability to identify errors quickly. Indeed, Rust robustly mentions the spelling and formatted glitch. So you can fix them in the meantime.
Efficient C Bindings – This functionality enables Rust to smoothly incorporate with C languages. It depends on foreign function interface (FFI) to interact with C languages and their APIs.
The benefits of Rust are:
- Zero-cost abstraction lets the developers pen an engaging script without taking care of its influence over performance.
- Rust is a significant name when it comes to dealing with big data.
- Robust development and memory safety are also pros of using Rust.
Some limitations of Rust include:
- The syntax of Rust is exclusive. Thus, the learning curve of Rust is steep, especially when you compare it with peer languages like Python, JS, and Java.
- Insufficient community and documentation support make Rust a less reliable choice for developers. In addition, this language doesn’t back data structure, which is why you need to use alternatives hereof.
- The absence of garbage collection features is also a disadvantage of using Rust.
Kotlin is a high-level server-side language that has excellent interoperability with Java and its libraries.
The cross-platform nature of Kotlin authorizes it to execute code on multiple platforms, including Mac, Pi, Windows, and Raspberry.
Developers can utilize this modern programming language to create data science, Android-based mobile and web applications.
Renowned Tech Giants Using Kotlin: Evernote, Netflix, Pinterest and Trello
The core features of Kotlin include:
Concise Code – This is the core competency of Kotlin. Yes, this technology allows the developers to write neat and short code in minimum time. It is supposed that Kotlin uses 40% fewer scripting lines than Java. In short, if you need a less time-consuming alternative to Java, you can consider Kotlin.
Interoperability – If you need an advanced backend language for your existing Java project, the use of Kotlin would be ideal. It can be incorporated with all of your Java codes, toolsets, and libraries. This feature also lets the dev teams keep the Java file as it is and generate new files for Kotlin.
Lazy Loading – This functionality is beneficial if you are building an Android application. With this feature, programming teams can only carry the essential resources to primary memory.
Extension Functions – With this property, you can annex methods to classes. In this regard, you don’t have to make any modifications to the script. It also lets the coders attach their functionalities with classes to improve productivity.
The benefits of Kotlin include:
- The affinity of Kotlin with multiple platforms is a prominent advantage of programming with Kotlin.
- Kotlin is usually used as an alternative to Java. Mainly, if you want to fix Java’s errors for Android development, you can go with Kotlin. In this regard, programmers can take advantage of null safety and functional programming properties.
- The reduction in compile time and availability of automatic tools are also pros of Kotlin.
Some limitations of Kotlin include:
- Although Kotlin is becoming popular day by day, but it is still painful to find skillful Kotlin developers.
- The unavailability of quality learning resources and active community support are also major drawbacks of programming with Kotlin.
This article shares one of the highly recommended backend programming languages with both positive and negative aspects.
Hopefully, this list of server-side languages will assist the developers in choosing the right technology for their projects. By the same token, beginners can also use this guide to pick a language to learn.
Which programming language is best for backend development?