If you decide to become a backend developer, you will have to work on multiple use cases and codebases of different programming languages and frameworks. There will always be scope for learning something new with each task. And the best part about being a backend engineer is that you have a wide choice of technologies to choose from. 

Do you consider which programming languages and frameworks to learn and which are the most used among backend engineers? Read on and find out the most popular backend technologies and the required knowledge and skills corresponding to each of them.

Best backend technologies in 2021

Leading Backend Technologies

Before you pick a technology to gain proficiency in, you should consider a few points that can help you choose the best option for you:

  • Each technology works better for particular industries or specific use cases. For instance, Python has many libraries readily available for use with data-intensive applications and analytical engines. Similarly, each framework is better designed for particular projects and will have more preference than the other. Before choosing a technology, think about the projects you would like to work on in the future.
  • The skills required for each framework will also differ. For instance, JavaScript developers will find it easy to work with the NodeJS framework, and the corresponding learning curve will be relatively lower than non-JavaScript developers. If you have any technical background, you can use it to learn the following language or framework easier.
  • The salary range fixed for each technology stack will also differ. Salaries usually reflect the current demand and supply of tech talents corresponding to the technology stack. It is one factor that most companies pay attention to while hiring backend developers. Find out which technologies are in demand now and consider learning some of them.

Credit: @shahroznawaz

Django (Python)

Python has been consistently ranked to be the most popular programming language by the PYPL programming language index. 

While Python as a language has a broader scope of application, its framework Django is more focused on web development. This framework can be used for any project as it can easily integrate with all python plugins and libraries, allowing you to develop and add any functionality to your web application. 

Django is often used in conjunction with another python library, Flask, a lightweight version of Django with an extensible solution. 

Some of the advantages of using Django for a backend development technology: 

  • Django allows you to implement project ideas to actual functionality much faster than most other frameworks. Projects that take 3 to 5 months to complete with Java can be completed possibly within a month using Django. 
  • It provides a high level of security with built-in support for efficient account and password management. 
  • Django allows for easy implementation of features like content administration, site maps, RSS feeds, and more. 
  • Django is backed by a thriving open source community releasing an update regularly. It is up to date and reliable.

The average salary of Python software engineers is estimated to be around USD 89,951 a year. 

Average time needed to learn Django: 2 to 2.5 weeks.

Skills required for a better understanding of Django:

  • Understanding of the syntax of Python
  • Knowledge of Python paths to retrieve images and files
  • Command over programming control structures

Laravel (PHP)

PHP, as a backend programming language, can be used to create both websites and applications. Like Python’s Django, PHP has a framework, Laravel, that can be used to create servers and backend application development. With PHP powering over 79.1% of websites, Laravel is also increasingly getting more and more popular. 

It is considered a secured web development framework with several giant companies using it. Here are some of the advantages of using Laravel:

  • Laravel makes it easy to implement authentication and authorization. 
  • It is also easy to integrate mail services with Laravel web apps as it is directly connected to the SwiftMailer library. This library also makes it easy to connect with services like Amazon SES and Mailgun. 
  • Provides excellent performance for web applications
  • Offers better protection against cross-site scripting and SL injections
  • Allows easier test automation

The average salary of PHP developers is estimated to be USD 63,000 a year.

Average time needed to learn Laravel: 6 to 8 months

Skills required for a better understanding of Laravel:

  • Command over PHP
  • Knowledge of object-oriented programming and related frameworks
  • Familiarity with objects, properties, classes, and methods

Python for loop

Ruby on Rails (Ruby)

While Ruby is slower than Python, it is still a popular web development framework and is used by many top companies like Airbnb, Fiverr, GitHub, and more. 

Ruby on Rails is a web development-specific framework launched long ago in 2003. It is created to simplify web development and greatly reduces the time it takes to develop elements like forms, menus, and tables with reusable components. Some of the advantages of using Ruby on Rails are listed down below.

  • It is backed by a large open-source community and allows for code reuse in multiple projects. 
  • Ruby library code has clean coding and is well documented. Even beginners can start using the framework given the self-describing and highly readable code. 
  • It is cost- and time-efficient. 
  • Ruby simplifies the implementation of the Model-View-Controller format allowing you to separate the business logic from other features. 
  • Ruby on Rails can also scale up your applications efficiently and be well suited for a growing application. 

The average salary of Ruby on Rail developers is estimated to be USD 71,530 a year.

Average time needed to learn Ruby on Rail: 1 to 2 months

Skills required for a better understanding of Ruby on Rail:

  • Familiarity with involved syntax
  • Knowing the basics of objects, composition, inheritance, and more
  • Gripping on tools like Git and deployment tools

NodeJS (JavaScript)

NodejJS is one of the popular backend programming frameworks, given its high level of performance and consistency. It is used to develop web apps, video streaming applications, and many other kinds of applications. It is often the first choice for full-stack developers already proficient in front-end JavaScript development. It runs on the Google V8 engine and allows you to run JavaScript applications outside of the browser. 

Nodejs is often used along with the express JS module, a specialized backend web development framework. It allows you to build web apps fairly quickly and with ease. You can use it to create Restful APIs and web routing, and more features as required by your web application. 

NodeJS is preferred by both beginners and experienced developers due to its low learning curve, ease of use, various node modules, and comprehensive community support. Here are some reasons why Nodejs can be a perfect fit:

  • It has an excellent support framework via the NPM packages and modules
  • It is a minimal framework that is easy to use. Yet, it also provides all kinds of functionalities and features to build a complete and robust web application 
  • NodeJS comes with a built-in debugging mechanism and is relatively easy to debug 
  • It is easily compatible with other databases and frameworks like MongoDB, MySQL, Redis, Kraken, LoopBack, Sails, and more 
  • ExpressJS, a backend web application framework for NodeJS, is used by many big companies like Twitter, PayPal, IBM, GoDaddy, Flickr, etc. 
  • ExpressJS can be easily integrated with other frameworks like EJS, Jade, Vash, and more. 

The average salary of a NodeJS developer is estimated to be around USD 104,964 a year.

Average time needed to learn NodeJS: 10-12 months

Skills required for a better understanding of NodeJS:

  • Basic understanding of JavaScript
  • Knowledge of concepts like variables, operations, and functions
  • Basic knowledge of frontend and use database 


Golang is a statically typed and compiled programming language growing in popularity ever since its launch in 2009. It has a low learning curve, and anyone from beginners to experienced developers can get to work on it with little time to learn. It has a simple and easy-to-understand syntax and can be quickly adopted by programmers already experienced in C++ and C#. 

Some more reasons why GoLang remains to be popular are:

  • Golang provides concurrency support that allows you to run multiple processes to run simultaneously. 
  • Gin Gonic is Glolang’s web framework that provides some excellent options to build microservices much faster than other similar frameworks. 

The average salary of a Golang developer is estimated to be USD 117,000 a year.

Average time needed to learn Golang:1 to 2 weeks.

Skills required for a better understanding of Golang:

  • Knowledge of loops and if conditions
  • Knowledge of variable assignment and declaration
  • Understanding of use methods and functions


While this article covers the top five backend technologies, there are many more backend technologies, each with its advantages and specific use cases. Choosing a particular technology stack for a project largely depends on the specific case needs and requirements. But being proficient in the popular technology stacks can get you prepared for backend software development in any technology.

You can start with the framework you feel more familiar with and dive into a deeper understanding of it. Consider your previous programming experience and choose the most suitable programming language for you.

Special thanks to YouTeam for the article. If you’d like to read more about developers’ life, check their blog!

In CodeBerry Programming School’s “Basics of Programming” series, we discuss programming-related topics and everything you need to know to get started. Stay tuned for new articles and find the answer to every “what”, “why”, and “how”, you may have had about coding!

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