The Best Language for Backend Development

The procedures of developing, running, and managing modern apps require a robust backend. Choosing the correct backend can go a long way to determine if a development project will be successful or not. This explains why enterprises and independent developers must explore the best language for backend development before commencing an app development assignment.

Once you select the suitable backend, a development project would be hassle-free because the backend platform handles issues relating to speed, performance, and scalability. 

Since there are many excellent backends out there, settling for the most suitable one can be overwhelming.  To help resolve this challenge, we have outlined the best programming languages for backend development and discussed their features. Hopefully, this article will empower you to choose the right backend platform without much headache.

Before we review the best languages for backend development, let’s take a closer look at backends.

Introducing App Backends 

Backend in computing consists of machines that manage various server-related operations like database assignments, server logics, and the likes. Anytime you launch an app, the data that you interact with on the app screen is controlled by the app backend.  But the backend functions are hidden away from the app users.

The 10 Best Languages for Backend Development

Presently, there are several backend options available, and every one of them has it’s peculiar merits and shortfalls. This article collates the best ones you can use for app development. Let’s review the summary of the top language options for backend development.

Programming LanguagePopular AppsFramework Options
C#Windows Installer NMath  Visual StudioXamarin
PerlAmazon BBC  IMDBDancer 
C++  Microsoft Office  Mozilla FirefoxAdobe PhotoshopAPR 
Kotlin Trello Evernote SquareKTor 
ScalaLichess Apache Kafka Finagle by TwitterPlay 
JavaScriptCandy Crush Facebook  NetflixReact Angular  
Python Google Spotify  InstagramFlask 
RubyZendesk Basecamp GitHubSinatra 
Ruby on Rails
PHPWorkpress Wikipedia  YahooCake PHP Symfony 
JavaHadoop Jenkins  NASA WorldWind

Dropwizard GWT 

Let’s start reviewing these languages for backend development, one after the other, in no specific order.


Going by the Stack Overflow annual survey, JavaScript has remained the most prominent programing language among developers for 10 consecutive years. In the 2020 survey, almost ¾ of the developers claimed to use JavaScript, making it the most famous programming language in the world today.

It is essential to note that JavaScript has evolved from an exclusive client language to handling backend development as well. Node.js and other frameworks now allow JavaScript codes to run on the backend.

With Express .js and Node.js, JavaScript code can create frontend code and backend scripts. Moreover, various JavaScript-based APIs are available for making various apps like single and multiple-pages web apps, hybrid apps, and mobile apps.

JavaScript Features

Expedites Development Tasks: Since JavaScript handles both the backend and frontend coding, developers can build mobile and web apps quicker.

Better Scripting: Features such as hoops and DOM enhance coding performance and efficiency and significantly reduce scripting overhead.

Agile App Backend:  Platforms that use JavaScript backends depend on middleware like Express.js for handling backend development tasks. Such middleware handles suture headers, HTTP request logging, POST data, error handling, among many others. Since JavaScript coding syntax is flexible, it gives developers the liberty to choose any middleware they want.

Cost-Efficient: With JavaScript, application development assignments are less tedious and less expensive since the same technology is used for frontend coding and backend development.

It’s Opensource: It is crucial to have an active community of developers that supports a programming language to enhance it’s growth and development.  Since JavaScript and it’s middleware are open-source, several developer communities are involved in improving these technologies.

I/O Capabilities:  Node.js and Express.js have features for monitoring I/O actions from connected devices and can provide notifications when required. 

JavaScript Weaknesses

  • The complicated nature of the event-driven JavaScript backend functions is complicated, so developers that have used other backends mistake callbacks. However, the recent version of JavaScript has solved this problem.
  • Its challenging for JavaScript backend developers to understand the workability of middlewares.
  • The procedure for using MySQL with JavaScript framework is complex.
  • According to some developers, the standard design method is superior to JavaScript’s unopinionated framework.


After Guido van Rossum developed the Python programming language in 1991, it received wide acceptance and is presently among the most popular languages.  The neatness and readability of Python code make it helpful in writing scripts that execute backend functions.

A Stack Overflow 2020 study revealed that Python remained the leading coding language that programmers wish to learn 4 years in a row.  The programming language also ranked third among the languages developers loved most.

Python Features

Short Learning Curve: Because the Python coding syntaxes read more like English, it is easy to learn for both newbie and veteran developers. Python codes are also easy to read.

Massive Libraries:  With a vast number of Python libraries available online, you do not have to write extensive codes.  Libraries are made up of ready-made codes for performing several development tasks like testing, database email, and many more.

Inexpensive:  Python is freeware you can download at zero costs. There are several other free tools online that add value to your Python development assignments.

IoT Functions: Supports IoT functions such as the creation of physical objects for the Raspberry Pi device.

Code Embedding:  Python supports Write Once Run Anywhere coding schema, abbreviated as WORA.  This means you can embed Python code into another programming language like C++.

Python Weaknesses

  • When a Python code execution process is interrupted, it then slows down significantly. This is a shortfall that slows down Python development.
  • Python is not well suited for database development like other programming languages.
  • The procedure for debugging python code is complicated, requiring numerous testing
  • Python depends heavily on external libraries and frameworks to perform development tasks.


A Japanese computer genius called Yukihiro Matsumoto invented Ruby in 1990, a language similar to Java, Perl, and Python syntaxes. Ruby is presently of the most prominent languages for backend development. It is also commonly used for web development and prototyping.

Ruby uses a highly flexible and scalable object-oriented coding method. It is used by global companies like Airbnb, Shopify, and Etsy for managing backend tasks.

Ruby Features

Enhances Productivity: The multiple external libraries and the readability of Ruby make it an excellent choice for backend coding.  All tools required to handle backend tasks are within Ruby; you may not need any external material,

Meta-Programming: Buby’s ability to data injection to modify a running instance is called metaprogramming. This feature, along with introspection, scripts, and macros, makes Ruby development faster.

Extensive Library: Several third-party modules within RubyGems make ap development assignments faster.

Testing  Functions: Ruby has an extensive library that contains quality tools for testing and automating tasks that enhance quality development.

Fast Development: Ruby has a reputation for developing codes 40% faster than most programming languages. The object-oriented programming techniques make it exceptionally reliable for creating queries and computing replies.

Ruby Weaknesses

  • The runtime of Ruby is sluggish compared to other programming languages.
  • The sources and libraries of Ruby are limited despite being opensource.
  • Older programmers find it difficult to learn the relatively new Ruby language.
  • Debugging Ruby code is challenging.


It was far back in 1994 that Rasmus Lerdorf invented the PHP programming language, which eventually became the dominant programming language for the web today. According to data from W3Tech, a whopping 79% of all websites use PHP in the backend.

The ease of use and easy integration with several databases and server platforms makes PHP popular among developers. PHP continues to evolve, thanks to new development frameworks, extensive codebases, and active PHP developer communities.

Features of PHP Backend

Adaptability: Given that PHP is an opensource language, developers can take advantage of the many free libraries for expediting development projects. Moreover, it works on almost any operating system, from Windows to Linux, and everything in-between.

Cost-Efficient:  You can download PHP for free, and several active PHP communities willing to provide help if you get stuck. Moreover, you can hire a PHP coder at a relatively lower cost. According to the Stack Overflow Developer Survey in 2020, PHP is among the least paying development technologies today.

Ease of Use: Developers are leveraging PHP frameworks to create programs with minimal hassles and less coding. Developers can also create server functions faster with Object Relational Mapping, commonly called ORM, similar to the model view controller 

Beginner Friendly: Because PHP is simple and can be learned quickly, it is often recommended as the first language for newbie developers.

Automation: Since PHP is is scripting technology, developers can use it to write automation scripts for various tasks like URL mapping, authentication, and the likes,

Security: The insinuation that PHP is an insecure language is baseless. Modern PHP versions have in-built security functions that protect against various threats.

PHP Weaknesses

  • PHP coding skill has become so common that it’s no longer thrilling to be a PHP developer.
  • The lack of extensive libraries makes PHP less productive like other languages such as Python and Ruby.
  • The opensource nature of PHP makes it liable to abuse and substandard coding.


Although Java was created by James Gosling in 1991, it was officially published by Sun Microsystems in 1995. Going by the latest tanking by TIOBE in 2021,  Java the second most used backend technology today. This data shows that this coding language a powerful and influential technology. 

The various unique and innovative features of Java make it a preferred platform for developing web apps. It is also widely used for creating mobile apps and for writing codes for electronics.

Features of Java

Simple and Scalable:  With the server enterprise edition, the server can run multiple Java instances for auto-scaling.  Moreover, all the Java components you need are available and simple enough to understand.

Multiple Threads: With Java, you can handle requests in isolated threads on the server. That way, you can optimize performance in apps that consume massive CPU resources.

Extensive Opensource Libraries: Server development assignments can be completed faster with specialized libraries, like excel, unit testing, and many others.

Highly Secure: The unique security features of Java make it stand out among other languages for backend development. Typical examples are testing for reusable codes, the Java security schema, and the in-built function for screening viruses within the Java Virtual Machine.

Java Weaknesses

  • Programming in Java is costly and also time-intensive.
  • Garbage collection and low-level coding are missing.
  • Java backends are expensive to deploy due to it’s high-end hardware requirements.
  • The interface of  Java Graphical User Interface tools like Java GUI development application and Swing Toolkit are outdated compared to other modern GUI utilities.


C-Sharp is arguably the most prevalent language for backend coding assignments, often referred to as a C++ extension. One of its outstanding features is handling server-based automation through the ASP.Net framework.

C-Share has been used extensively to develop desktop programs and writing codes for embedded systems. It has a reputation for running codes faster than a lot of programming languages out there. It is widely used for creating game development platforms and command-line interface tools.

Features of C#

Cross-Platform Capabilities: Apps created with C# can be deployed in multiple platforms like Windows, UNIX, Linux, MacOS, and many more. See this article for more information on cross-platform frameworks.

Object-Oriented Coding: Developers can leverage the object-oriented coding technique to enhance coding assignments through classes, relationships, and reusable code snippets. 

Backward Compatibility: C# is beneficial for its compatibility with older frameworks. So businesses using older framework versions do not need to upgrade while using C#

Garbage Collection: C# has a memory management feature that reclaims the memory used by classes that the program no longer needs (garbage). This feature enhances the performance of C# programs.

C# Weaknesses

  • C# cannot be used to program embedded devices. A high-level coding program cannot communicate with machines.
  • It can only run on Windows OS and depends heavily on the .Net Framework to function.


The Perl programming language was invented in 1987 by Larry Wall and still relevant in the modern programming world.  A Stack Overflow study ranked Perk as the highest paying programing language today and has the infamy as the top-three most feared language as well. 

It is a scripting language suitable for many purposes ranging from prototyping to automation and lots more. Perl 5 remains valuable today.

Perl Features

Multi-Platform Compatible:  Perl can run on many operating systems such as UNIX, Windows, Mac, etc.

Extensive Library: As an opensource platform, Perl developers can access extensive libraries after paying minute “copy charges.”

Embeddable and Extensible: Perl can work with C++ and C libraries, using TWIG and XS. You can also embed Perl codes into C++ and C apps.

Capabilities for Text Processing: Perl has a reputation for excellence in text processing. Besides, the newer Perl versions support socket call processing.

Perl Weaknesses

  • The procedure for correcting bugs and extracting infectious data is complex.
  • Perl way of processing data is less than stellar compared to modern alternatives.
  • Perl libraries do not have modern features.
  • Handling extensive volume coding is challenging in Perl.
  • Features for enhancing performance and scaling are absent.
  • Perl developers are few, making it costly to hire a one.


Many developers describe C++ as a feature-rich extension of the C language.  The significant difference is the use of classes which makes C++ an object-oriented programming language.  This type of coding that creates relationships within the coding structure has become the standard model for modern programming.

C++ has been in existence for a long time. It is a low-level programming language that can communicate directly with embedded hardware devices. This feature makes C++ helpful in creating apps for different platforms such as gaming consoles, databases, various operating systems, and much more. 

C++ Features

Portability: C++ works across all platforms. In essence, C++ can be used to code apps for all operating systems, specialized hardware, and embedded electronics.

Object-Oriented Development: Unlike the C coding language, C++ supports object-oriented programming that enhances the productivity of developers.

Outstanding Memory Management: This programming language gives the developer complete power to allocate memory. Therefore, the developer can assign memory efficiently.

Talks to Machines:  As a language that uses low-level coding schemas, C++ has been used extensively to write programs for embedded devices.

C++ Weaknesses

  • Since C++ codes can communicate with hardware directly, a malicious coder can create an exploit that causes the machine to malfunction.
  • The Automatic garbage collection feature is missing in this programming language.,


The Kotlin programming language came to the limelight after globally renowned platforms like JetBrains and Android Studio adopted it for app development. Kotlin is gradually eating into Java’s market share; a recent study shows that 6 out of 10 android apps are made with Kotlin. A vital factor that drives Kotlin’s adoption is that it works perfectly with Java.

Kotlin Features

Short Code: With Kotlin, you can accomplish much without writing lengthy codes.

Easy to Maintain: Developers can quickly read and edit codes, thanks to the concise nature of Kotlin code.

Java Compatibility:  You do not have to migrate codes back and forth because Kotlin and Java codes can be used interchangeably.  So you can use one language to create additional functions in the code written in the other language.

The Limitations of Kotlin

Developers with experience in other languages may find it challenging to use Kotlin because primitive types are missing in the Kotlin programming style.

It can be complicated to manage variables and functions since primitive types are missing in Kotlin.

The speed of compiling Kotlin is sluggish, Java compilation is faster.


Scala can write fewer codes to accomplish tasks because its coding style merges both object-oriented and functional coding schemes. Scala developers can also leverage various JavaScript and JVM runtimes to create modern apps with excellent features. Scala can work with static types, making programming assignments related to static types more manageable.

Scala Features

Writes Less Code: Scala code is simple, brief, and readable because it combines functional coding with object-oriented coding.

Works with Java: Scala works seamlessly with Java language because it uses the JVM. So, both Java and Scala codes deliver similar results. This fact explains why many Java developers prefer to code the backend with Scala.

Easy Code Maintenance: The fact that Scala code is concise enhances it’s reading and maintenance. This means that developers can edit Scala codes with minimal hassles.

Scala Weaknesses

  • The method of coding in Scala varies extensively from Java programming style.
  • The way Scala uses both object-oriented coding and functional programming can be confusing.

A Final Note

We have come to the end of reviewing the best language for backend development as of 2021. The ten languages above were chosen by checking the latest data from well-respected sources like TIOBE Index, Stack Overflow Developer Survey, and W3Techs Survey. Developers will find this article valuable for selecting a suitable programming language for their development project.


What is a backend in computing?

The codes created by a programmer for handling server functions like logic and database operations are collectively called backend.

What are the best languages for backend development?

– Java
– C# 
– C++
– Perl 
– Kotlin 
– JavaScript 
– Scala 
– Python
– Ruby 

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