Backend Development: A Beginner’s Guide

Dec 1, 2021

11 Min Read

Backend development is the talent that allows the web to function. However, it does it quietly and unobtrusively, allowing users to browse their favorite websites without knowing the backend developer’s or team’s efforts. So, to clear things up, what exactly is backend development? What is the mechanism behind it?

Backend development languages are used to manage the backend functionality of web applications. The code connects a web page to a database, manages user connections, and executes the web application. Backend development and front-end development work together to deliver the final product to the end-user.

What is Backend Development?

Backend development, as previously said, is what keeps the internet working behind the scenes.

Backend developers are primarily concerned with a website’s functionality. As a result, they produce code that concentrates on the functionality and logic of the system that underpins the product they’re developing. The technology they use is never apparent to end-users.

A mix of servers, programs, and databases make up the backend. Backend programmers’ tasks include creating APIs, developing code to interface with databases, constructing, working on business processes and data architecture, among other things. It is frequently dependent on the function and the organization.

Programming Techniques: Front-end vs. Backend

The front-end is, intuitively, the opposite of backend development.

The main distinction is that, whereas backend developers create the functionality of a website, front-end programmers create and design the user interface, establishing how the site appears to visitors.

Backend web development establishes the underlying technology that allows websites to process user activities on the front-end and produce accurate information.

Neither functions without the other—the back end is required for the front-end to function, and the front-end is necessary for users to access and interact with the website.

Because backend languages are more technical, backend developers often earn more than front-end developers. Backend developers make an average of $101,619 per year, while front-end developers make $76,929.

Full-stack developers, on the other hand, are capable of working with both back-end and front-end technologies. As a result, they’re the programming world’s jack-of-all-trades.

Backend Development Languages: What Are They and How Do They Work?

Object-oriented (OOP) or functional programming can be used in the backend.

The first is an object-oriented technique. Statements should be executed in a specific order when using object-oriented programming. Java,.NET, and Python are all popular OOP languages.

The latter is a more “action-oriented” method. A declarative language is used in functional programming, which means that statements can be performed in any sequence. Some of the well-known languages for data analysis are SQL, F#, and R.

Statically typed or dynamically typed languages exist. The former is more strict, but it is better at catching errors, whereas the latter is more flexible, but it does not allow for variable types to change (which could account for unexpected errors).

Backend Programming Languages: 7 of the Most Popular

Now, look at some specific backend development languages and their applications.

1. Java

Java is the most widely used and renowned programming language globally, and for a good reason. Java is not just highly adaptable (it’s used in everything from smartphones to smart cards), but it has also been around for about two decades. The Java Virtual Machine is what makes Java so versatile (JVM). Compiling a program in numerous programming languages produces code that may behave differently depending on the computers it is run on. Because of the JVM, this is not an issue for Java. The Java Virtual Machine is an intermediate layer that allows code to run on any machine, regardless of where it was written.

While Java is very popular among desktop and commercial software writers, it is not as beginner-friendly as Python. This is because it is more verbose and requires more code to build out functionality; as a result, it is less lucrative for people who are just getting started.

However, Java’s long history of popularity and wide range of applications has a sizable user base. As a result, any queries regarding the language will almost certainly be answered in forum posts and online lessons.

Java’s Capabilities

Java backend technologies can be used to accomplish a variety of goals, including the following and others:

  •  Development of (Android) mobile applications
  •  Creating a website
  •  Connection to the database
  •  Processing of images
  •  Programs with a graphical user interface
  •  Networking

Java-Based Companies

Some of the most well-known companies that use Java backend technology include:

  •  Airbnb
  •  eBay
  •  Evernote
  •  Fitbit
  •  Groupon
  •  Hubspot
  •  LinkedIn
  •  Pinterest
  •  Uber

Average Java Developer Salary

Java developers in the United States earned an average of $79,137 per year in April 2020, with incomes ranging from $57k to $117k.

The Mosh’s Ultimate Java Mastery Series On Code

This course tackles Java, from the fundamentals to complex concepts, is clearly explained. “No fluff,” says Mosh, the course instructor. There will be no shoddy programming or phony shortcuts.”

Course Description:

  •  Course Name: The Ultimate Java Mastery Series
  •  Provider/Platform: Code With Mosh
  •  Instructor: Mosh Hamedani
  •  Price: $49
  •  Level of Expertise: Beginner

2. PHP

PHP is used by 78.2 percent of all websites that use a server-side programming language that we are aware of. In 1995, when there were limited possibilities for creating dynamic websites, the language was released.

Because PHP is dynamically typed, you can develop multiple solutions and workarounds for a single problem. But, unfortunately, it also implies that the same line of code might signify numerous things depending on the environment, making PHP systems challenging to scale and slow to perform.

For a variety of reasons, PHP is an excellent language to learn for individuals who are just getting started:

  •  It is more error-tolerant, which means you can compile and run a program until you hit a troublesome section.
  •  In comparison to a language like Ruby on Rails, the setup is quite simple. You can get started in 5 minutes by downloading MAMP (for Macs) or WAMP (for Windows).
  •  As a result of the significant community and tool support, several resources are dedicated to the language. Because the language is updated frequently, make sure you’re using an up-to-date lesson.

Php’s Capabilities

Based on the PHP website, you can perform the following:

  •  Collect information from the form
  •  Create dynamic page content
  •  Cookies can be sent and received
  •  Scripting on the command line
  •  Scripting on the server should be written
  •  Create desktop programs

Php-Based Companies

A few companies that employ PHP in their development teams include:

  •  Buffer
  •  DocuSign
  •  Facebook
  •  Hootsuite
  •  Lyft
  •  Mint
  •  Viber

Php Developers’ Average Salary

PHP developers in the United States earned an average of $82,007 per year in April 2020, ranging from $55k to $100k.

Where To Learn Php: Team Treehouse’s Beginning Php Track

What this course covers: You’ll be able to create your first PHP websites by the end of this series of classes. Arrays and control structures in PHP, functions, basic error handling, and more are all covered.

Course Description:

  •  Course Name: Beginning PHP Track
  •  Provider/Platform: Team Treehouse
  •  Instructor: Many
  •  Price: $25 monthly subscription
  •  Level of Expertise: Beginner

3. .NET (C#, VB)

Microsoft’s counterpart to Sun Microsystems’ (now Oracle) Java is ASP.NET. Visual Basic (VB), C#, F#, and other programming languages create websites utilizing the web application framework.

Its MVC (Model-View-Controller) architecture lets a controller handle backend development while interacting with a model to process data. The result is then supplied to the view as a front-end web page to be displayed.

.NET Core, which was released as open-source in 2016, allows it to work with iOS, Linux, and Android. Because the code is highly robust and dependable, it is a favorite choice among enterprises. In addition, because it’s a Microsoft product, you’ll get a lot of help if you get stuck.


C# is a high-level programming language, which means programmers can create programs that aren’t limited to a single computer type. These languages read and write more like human languages than computer languages.

C# is popular among programmers because it combines the advantages of C++ (another backend language). Still, it is easier to use because it error-proofs commands that cause C++ users to get stuck.

On Stack Overflow, programmers lauded the language for its “interesting syntax.”

Visual Basic

VB is a computer language that allows you to alter code written in the BASIC programming language using a graphical user interface (GUI). Because of its simple grammar and extensive usage, it is a simple language to learn. As a result, prototyping is a common application.

The enormous amount of RAM required to install and execute GUI-based development tools is a disadvantage of VB coding.

. NET’s Capabilities

  •  Construct desktop applications
  •  Develop mobile applications
  •  Create web apps and games
  •  Make use of big data
  •  and a lot more

.NET-Based Companies

Some of the firms that use.NET as a programming language include:

  •  Docplanner
  •  Microsoft
  •  Overflow of Stacks
  •  Starbucks

.NET Developers’ Average Salary

.NET developers in the United States earned an average of $68,524 per year in April 2020, with incomes ranging from $44k to $111k.

Where Can You Learn .NET: Udemy’s C# And.Net Core For Beginners

The topics covered in the course are from the syntax and structure of a C# program to deploying .NET Core applications; you’ll study the C# language and .NET Core essentials.

Course Description:

  •  Course Name: The C# and .NET Core for Beginners
  •  Provider/Platform: Udemy
  •  Instructor: Pontus Wittenmark
  •  Price: $114.99
  •  Level of Expertise: Beginner

4. Ruby

Ruby on Rails (often referred to as Ruby) is a web development language based on the Ruby programming language. Ruby on Rails includes a set of tools that make it easy to construct basic tasks (for example, you can create a simple blog with just one line of code).

Ruby requires less backend effort, allowing developers to construct and deploy apps quickly. In addition, it’s a lot like Python in that it’s great for prototyping. As a result, Ruby became more popular in the early 2000s, but its popularity has subsequently waned.

Because Ruby is open source, it can be modified and expanded upon.

Ruby’s Capabilities

  •  Repetitive tasks should be automated.
  •  Create web-based applications
  •  Create games and apps for mobile devices
  •  Construct prototypes
  •  and a lot more

Ruby-Based Companies

Here are a few examples of firms that use Ruby as a backend language:

  •  Airbnb
  •  AngelList
  •  Codecademy
  •  Kickstarter
  •  RapGenius
  •  Scribd
  •  TaskRabbit

Ruby Developers’ Average Salary

Ruby developers in the United States earned an average of $91,542 per year in April 2020, with incomes ranging from $54k to $136k.

Where Can You Learn Ruby: Ruby Basics And Fundamentals! Interactive Mammoth On

What this course covers: Even if you’ve never coded before, you’ll have real-world Ruby apps to include in your portfolio at the end of this course. Everything you need to know about Ruby is covered in this book.

Course Description:

Course Name: Becoming a Web Developer: Learn the Fundamentals of Ruby!

Provider/Platform: Mammoth Interactive

Instructor: John Bura

Price: $500

Level of Expertise: Complete beginners

5. Python

Python is the fastest-growing programming language for a reason. Web and desktop programming are also possible with this versatile language. In addition, numerous tutorials and guidelines are available online, similar to those available for Java, making it an approachable language for people just getting started.

Furthermore, as compared to other backend languages, its syntax is straightforward. On Stack Overflow, Python programmers praised it for its “elegant,” “readable,” and “beautiful” code.

Ruby and Python, as previously said, have a lot in common. Both languages are dynamically typed, open-source, and object-oriented. The main differences between the two are their popularity (Ruby is on the decline, while Python is on the rise) and the tools available in Ruby’s language.

Python’s Capabilities

  •  Python is used in a variety of ways, including the following:
  •  Shell scripting across platforms
  •  Automating quickly
  •  Straightforward web design

Python-Based Companies

The following are some of the largest companies that use Python as a programming language:

  •  Asana
  •  Mozilla
  •  Netflix
  •  Pandora
  •  Pinterest
  •  Quora
  •  Spotify
  •  Uber

Python Developers’ Average Salary

Python developers in the United States earned an average of $76,526 a year in April 2020, ranging from $58k to $107k.

Where Should You Learn Python? Zero to Mastery’s Complete Python Developer In 2021

What this course covers: You’ll create 12+ real-world Python projects to show off, one of which is an actual portfolio website in Python where your prospective employer and clients may contact you.

Course Description:

  •  Course Name: Zero to Mastery’s Complete Python Developer in 2021
  •  Provider/Platform: Zero To Mastery
  •  Instructor: Andrei Neagoie
  •  Price: $29 monthly subscription (or $264/year)
  •  Level of Expertise: Beginners

6. SQL

The most prevalent query language is Structured Query Language, or SQL (pronounced “sequel”). SQL is a database-interface programming language. Because SQL is a declarative language, it is ideal for novices to learn. A declarative language allows programmers to ‘declare’ the results they want to see without specifying the steps or procedure that will get them there.

A query language like SQL is ideal for individuals who want to use the richness of information held in databases.

SQL’s Capabilities

SQL is a programming language that may be used to access, manipulate, and create databases.

Those that work with data regularly will benefit from understanding SQL. Financial analysts, data-driven marketers, and online entrepreneurs are all examples of this. SQL is a great place to start if you’re interested in diving into the world of Big Data.

SQL-Based Companies

Because SQL is a query language, it is widely used. For example, if a firm or business has a database, SQL is almost certainly being used to query it.

SQL Developers’ Average Salary

SQL developers in the United States earned an average of $81,622 per year in April 2020, ranging from $61k to $130k.

Where Can You Learn SQL? Pluralsight’s Introduction To SQL

What you’ll learn: You’ll learn how to query data and shape results, as well as how to build and alter data in tables and modify tables themselves.

Course Description:

Course Name: Introduction to SQL

Provider/Platform: Pluralsight

Instructor: Jon Flanders

Price: $29 monthly subscription

Level of Expertise: Beginners

7. JavaScript

JavaScript is a language that may be used on both the front-end and the backend. It is not to be confused with Java.

It’s an excellent language for beginners because it’s a higher-level language with minimal setup (you can start coding in your browser).

Objects generated in this language are slow due to the language’s flexibility. As with most dynamically typed languages, it’s also challenging to maintain and scale.

However, because the language is widely used, the community is extensive, providing many resources and job chances if you are familiar with JavaScript backend technologies.

JavaScript’s Capabilities

JavaScript can be used to create a variety of websites and applications, including:

  •  Websites
  •  Apps for mobile devices
  •  Applications for the desktop
  •  Games
  •  Servers for the internet
  •  Presentations
  •  and a lot more

JavaScript-Based Companies

JavaScript is used by several well-known companies, such as:

  •  Asana
  •  Airbnb
  •  Codecademy
  •  eBay
  •  HotelTonight
  •  Square

JavaScript Developers’ Average Salary

JavaScript developers in the United States earned an average of $76,526 a year in April 2020, with incomes ranging from $58k to $107k.

Where Can You Learn JavaScript: Mammoth Interactive Coding For Cats

The course entails a (cat-themed!) crash course on JavaScript coding (with cat-related examples).

Course Description:

 Course Name: Coding for Cats | Cat-Themed JavaScript Course

 Provider/Platform: Mammoth Interactive

 Instructor: John Bura

 Price: $99

 Level of Expertise: Beginners

Introduction To JavaScript Programming At Launch School

This course will provide you with a good foundation in basic programming and problem solving with a programming language and teach you how to build modern web applications from the bottom up.

Course Description:

Course Name: Launch School’s Introduction to Programming with JavaScript

Provider/Platform: Launch School

Price: $199/month

Level of Expertise: Beginners

Begin Your Education To Become A Backend Developer

Hopefully, you gained a better understanding of backend development and the capabilities of each language featured in this presentation. This isn’t an exhaustive list of backend languages. Suppose you’re thinking about a career in development. In that case, it is highly suggested to look over the job descriptions for the roles you’re interested in and make a list of the languages that come up frequently. Then, using backend language classes such as the ones listed above, start studying them.

Don’t be put off by the jargon used in the industry. Keep in mind that everyone who is an expert at something started as a newbie.


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