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The Top 8 Backend Programming Languages in 2023


by Wiktoria Stretskite

The back end is the server side of a digital product. It’s the inner layer that the end users don’t interact with — instead, they deal only with the interface. The back end ensures the operations of a website or a mobile app, such as placing orders, transferring payments, making bookings and so on. Not every programming language is suitable for creating the server side. If you’d like to become a backend developer, you should know which language to learn and why. In this overview, we’ll list the most popular backend languages 2023 and explain what enabled them to gain mass adoption.

Factors That Impact the Backend Languages Popularity

Mass adoption of a programming language depends on three key factors:

  • Learning curve
  • Technical features
  • Use cases

Technical features determine both the use cases and the learning curve of a language, so all these aspects are closely interconnected.

Languages that are easy to learn boast simple syntaxes. In programming, syntax is similar to grammar in a human language.

The more use cases a language has, the better. One day, you might want to switch from the backend development to another sphere. Even if you stick to the backend programming, you may switch between industries if the use of the language isn’t limited to one sector.

As for the technical features, we won’t purposefully focus on them here. However, we need to mention reusable code. Some languages enable you to copy snippets of code from one digital product and paste it into the code of another product. It’s a superb approach for saving your time and effort. The logic of some other languages limits the application of reusable code and you’ll have to write more lines from scratch.

Now, let’s focus on our list of backend languages! Please mind that the development sphere is incredibly dynamic. Next year, some names might leave this list and others will take their place.


For a decade already, it has been the most obvious choice for back-end development. eBay, Google and Facebook used it to build their websites.

It’s curious that previously, JavaScript’s primary field of application was the front end. Over time, developers began to rely on this language for creating the server side as well thanks to the evolution of its frameworks. 

If you’re only planning to start an IT career, opt for JavaScript! No matter which area of professional development you ultimately choose, you’ll most probably be able to apply this language.


This one is the most popular programming language in the world. It managed to attract an incredibly extensive audience thanks to its simple syntax and an impressive selection of libraries with ready-to-use code snippets. It’s an open-source language, which means it’s being actively improved and developed. Whenever you need a consultation, the representatives of the multinational development community will be glad to share their wisdom with you.

Backend development is just one of Python’s fields of application. It also comes in handy for prototyping software, analyzing data, machine learning and other tasks.


Consider this one if your goal is to earn as much money as possible! Ruby isn’t the highest-paying programming language. But the alternatives that can deliver a more generous income aren’t that widespread and offer more limited employment opportunities. There are fewer Ruby developers on the labor market than their colleagues who stick to JavaScript, hence the pay rise.

Twitter, Etsy and Crunchbase created the server sides of their digital products with the help of this programming language. More and more businesses switch their infrastructures to Ruby. It’s an extremely secure language that lets you easily introduce amendments to the code.


Its second name is Golang, these are full synonyms. It has already become one of the most common backend languages — and its audience keeps expanding faster than the userbase of all its competitors. Most coders who’d like to learn a new programming language confess they’re thinking about Go. So far, it’s mainly considered an additional option to Python or JavaScript — but the odds are high it will be able to overshadow them.

Go entered the limelight just over a decade ago. It was invented with the aim of accelerating the processes of writing and executing the code. Its learning curve is remarkably shallow. It’s spot-on for online booking systems, cloud-based solutions, cybersecurity and microservices as well as music and video streaming. 


Just like Go, this one is only gaining prominence — but already deserves the status of one of the best backend languages. Coders value it for its outstanding speed, rich standard libraries and open-source nature. AWS and Meta can serve as examples of A-list brands that use Rust in their workflows.


It remains one of the most popular backend languages regardless of its age. Coders began to use Java almost three decades ago and its audience is very wide. Developers praise it for its simple syntax and rich libraries.

LinkedIn, PayPal and Netflix are among the most prominent Java adherents. Many big tech companies still require it — but this might fail to last long. More modern languages outperform Java in flexibility, so the demand for this option has already begun to go down.


This language might become obsolete in the foreseeable future. The demand for it has been declining in the past few years. It’s been around for nearly three decades and had become a bit outdated from the technical point of view. WordPress still sticks to it — and it’s the no.1 content management system on a global scale. Tumblr, Wikipedia and Meta resorted to it to build their backends.


It’s not enough to learn only SQL to start a successful IT career. It’s essential to master at least one other language. Nevertheless, we include this option in our list of the top backend languages because it’s a widespread solution for building the server side. Developers don’t use it to write code — instead, SQL comes in handy for communications between relational databases. Microsoft, Dell and Accenture are among the companies that employ it.

So Which Language Should I Learn?

To determine which language it makes sense to learn, pay attention to these factors:

  • Duration and cost of education. You can learn a programming language in a university, at a course or on your own, using free tutorials from the Internet. Courses are the best option because they don’t last as long as university programs and the tuition is supervised. Feel free to choose between full-time and part-time courses.
  • Employment opportunities in the desired location or area. Would you like to get a job in your country, or abroad, or work for a foreign employer from the comfort of your home? Do you want to join a large or a small company? Check which programming languages are mentioned in the vacancies of your preferred type.
  • Difficulty of the language. If you lack tech experience, consider the simplest languages first.
  • Go and Rust seem to have better perspectives than PHP or Java. Yet if you want to learn PHP or Java for some reason, you should still be able to find a good job in the next few years.

Now, you should be able to make a conscious choice!