5 Best Programming Languages for Back-End Web Development

back end programming languages | app academy

Anyone wanting to learn back-end programming languages might want to find roles in software engineering, web development, or other varieties of programming 

Knowing back-end development is going to be crucial to your success in one of these roles — both in landing one and in continuing to grow in your career.

So what are back-end programming languages and what are the best ones to learn for aspiring software engineers, developers, and more?

What are back end programming languages?

The “back end” refers to the server side of a program or software. 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 be more focused on functionality and maintenance of a program or software application.

The difference between front end and back end programming languages.

Where front-end programming languages depict what the end user sees and interacts with, back-end programming languages create everything a user doesn’t see but uses to complete a task.

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.

The 5 best back end programming languages to learn

Not every back end programming language is created equally. Some are better suited for certain programs, functions, or software than others. 

Knowing how to use these languages and which one will work best for your particular use case are two applicable skills to learning back end web development.

Let’s discuss the five best languages to learn for aspiring back-end programmers.

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, so 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 with. Where other frameworks would require you to build the blocks yourself, Ruby has them done for you. It’s simply up to you to create something with them.

We teach Rails at App Academy because of its easy-to-understand framework, and because Ruby is so universally known and respected in the industry. If you’ve ever used Airbnb, Github, Fiverr, or Twitch, you’ve used an application built on Rails.


Over the years, Python has become one of the most sought-after skills in the industry, despite being over 30 years old.

It’s regarded as being just as versatile as Ruby, but even more so as its code is written in plain English. This makes it non-fussy and easy to read!

Python is also a multipurpose programming language, meaning it can be used anywhere that uses data, mathematical computation, or code in general. Unlike some of its other back end counterparts, it can be used outside of just web development.

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


Not to be confused with JavaScript’s front end functionality, “Node.js is a packaged compilation of Google’s V8 JavaScript engine, the libuv platform abstraction layer, and a core library, which is itself primarily written in JavaScript,” says Wikipedia.

Because of its primary function to make JavaScript run more efficiently on the client side, Node.js does have a particular use case with its front end counterpart. However, given JavaScript’s major popularity on almost all web-based platforms, it’s not surprising that Node.js capitalizing on that as well.


Sometimes, big corporations will create their own programming language to best suit their suite of products, services, and software. C# is Microsoft’s answer to that. Created in 2001, “C# is a simple, modern, and object-oriented language that provides modern day developers flexibility and features to build software that will not only work today but will be applicable for years in the future.”

As with other back end languages, C# is regarded for being modern, easy to read, and quick.


SQL is a unique beast, but it plays a critical role for many, many applications.

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

Where to learn back end programming languages

Where front end programming languages might be useful to folks in a number of different roles and industries, back end programming languages are typically reserved for those who will be building out the back end of applications. 

With that in mind, it’s crucial that aspiring back end programmers get proper training and education on these languages — and that they can create the 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 real training to actually learn and know them.

We may be biased, but we’ve taught over 5,000 students the fundamentals of back end programming, and they’ve gone on to find jobs as software engineers with a working knowledge of languages like Ruby on Rails, Python, SQL, and more.

Want to get started yourself? Take the quiz to learn which program is right for you.

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Written by Dev App Academy

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