Most Popular Backend Programming Languages: What They Are Best For and Which Companies Use Them

There is no need to tell what a backend is on Habré, so let’s go straight to the essence of the article. It talks about the most suitable programming languages ​​for the backend. In addition, the author talks about the tasks for which these languages ​​are ideally suited and the companies that use them at home.


It is difficult to count the number of articles on Habré that are related to this language. It is one of the most popular programming languages ​​and has been in use for over 20 years.

It is universal thanks to the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It allows Java code to run the same on all compatible platforms. JVM is a kind of layer in which a Java program is converted into code that can be executed on any machine.

Despite the fact that Java is extremely popular among software developers, it is more difficult for a beginner than, say, Python. However, Java has a huge community that will answer just about any newbie or professional’s question.

What can you do in Java

Java backend technologies can be used for a wide variety of tasks, including:

  • Development of mobile applications for Android.
  • Website development.
  • Working with databases.
  • Image processing.
  • Development of desktop applications.
  • Working with the network.

Companies that use Java

In general, there are a lot of such companies, here is a small list of the most famous:

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

How much does a Java developer get?

As of April 2020, the average developer salary in the US was $ 79,137. The spread is quite large – from $ 57k to $ 117k.


PHP runs about 78.2% all websites… The language was first introduced in 1995, when there were not many options for creating dynamic sites.

Since it is a dynamically typed language, there are several solutions to the same problem. True, this also means that the same section can behave differently depending on the specific situation, which makes PHP programs difficult to scale and in some cases slow.

79.1% of sites known to have backend use PHP

PHP is a great language for beginners and here’s why:

  • He makes mistakes. Thus, a program that has problems in its code will be executed until it reaches the area with an error.
  • The language has a very large community, and a large number of learning materials are available for beginners. The language is constantly being updated, so be sure to check the latest version.
  • PHP is much easier to install than, say, Ruby on Rails. You can download MAMP for MAC or WAMP for Windows and in 5 minutes everything will be ready to go.

What can be done in PHP

  • Collect form data.
  • Generate dynamic pages.
  • Send and receive cookies.
  • Write scripts.
  • Run scripts on the server side.
  • Write desktop applications.

Companies that use PHP

Here list of companies and some of the most famous:

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

How much does a PHP developer get?

In the spring of 2020, the average salary for a PHP programmer in the US was $ 82,007 per year. The spread is from $ 55k to $ 100k.

.NET (C #, VB)

ASP.NET is Microsoft’s answer to Java. .NET is a framework that is used to create websites in languages ​​such as Visual Basic (VB), C #, F # and others.

The basis of the language is the MVC (Model-View-Controller) architectural pattern. In this scheme, the controller accepts user requests and interacts with the model to process the data. Then the result is already transferred to the view, displayed as a web page interface.

.NET, released in 2016, can integrate with iOS, Linux and Android via .NET Core. The code is very stable and reliable, which makes the language a popular enterprise solution. Also, since .NET is a Microsoft product, it has good support.

C # is a high-level programming language that can be used to write software that is independent of the processor architecture of a particular computer.

C # is popular with developers due to some of the benefits of C ++. At the same time, it is easier to write code on it, avoiding errors that are typical for the same C ++.


It is a programming language that uses a graphical user interface to work with code. It is an easy language for beginners thanks to its uncomplicated syntax. In general, it is most commonly used for prototyping.

The disadvantage of VB is the large amount of memory required to install and run development tools.

What you can do in .NET

With it you can:

  • Develop desktop applications.
  • Create mobile apps.
  • Build web applications and games.
  • Work with Big Data.
  • Much more.

Companies that use .NET

Here full list and some famous names:

  • Microsoft
  • Starbucks
  • Docplanner
  • Stack Overflow

How much does a .NET developer get?

The average salary in April 2020 was $ 68,524 per year in the United States. The spread is from $ 44k to $ 111k.


Ruby on Rails is a web framework written in the Ruby programming language. He has a whole set of ready-made tools that make it possible to quickly perform basic tasks.

It is a laconic language that doesn’t take many years for the backend. So developers can build and launch applications quickly. It is also ideal for prototyping – much like Python. Ruby grew in popularity in the early 2000s, but then declined.

The beauty of Ruby is that it is an open language, so it can be modified and extended.

What you can do in Ruby

  • Automate routine tasks.
  • Build web applications.
  • Create mobile apps and games.
  • Create prototypes.
  • Much more.

Which companies use Ruby

Here full list and the most famous of them:

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

How much does a Ruby developer get?

The salary for a Ruby specialist in the United States at the beginning of the year was about $ 91,542 per year. The spread is from $ 54k to $ 136k.


Over the past few years, it has become an extremely popular programming language. The language is versatile and is used for both web development and desktop applications. There is a huge amount of different information on the Internet about this language, so it is good for beginners.

Moreover, the syntax of the language is simple and straightforward compared to other backend languages. Those who program in Python refer to code as “elegant,” “readable,” and “beautiful.”

What you can do in Python

Here are some optimal tasks:

  • Writing cross-platform shell scripts.
  • Fast automation.
  • Web development.

Which companies use Python

Full list and the most famous companies:

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

Average developer salary

In the spring of 2020, the median salary in the United States was $ 76,526 per year. The spread is from $ 58k to $ 107k.


This language can be used for both frontend and backend. It’s a great language for beginners. It has relatively simple settings, and the code can be written directly in the browser.

True, it is precisely because of the flexibility of the language that scripts written in it sometimes run very slowly. In addition, they are difficult to maintain and scale, as is the case with other dynamically typed languages.

At the same time, the community of the language is simply huge, there is a large amount of materials for study on the Web.

What you can do in JavaScript

Lots of things, including:

  • Front-end and back-end sites.
  • Mobile applications.
  • Desktop applications.
  • Games.
  • Web servers.
  • Presentations.
  • Well, and much more.

Which companies use JavaScript

Here full list and the most famous names:

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

Average developer salary

In the spring of 2020, the average salary for JavaScript programmers in the United States was $ 76,526 per year. The spread is from $ 58k to $ 107k.

Languages ​​written by developers who took part in the Stack Overflow survey

Expert commentary

Daniil Pilipenko, director of the SymbioWay IT specialist recruitment center and evangelist of the back-end direction of the online university Skillbox, added his expert opinion on the demand for the specialty “back-end developer”.

The demand for developers has continued to grow steadily over the past 20 years, with the number of developer vacancies increasing by about 15% every year. Moreover, the number of programmers themselves grows by no more than 5% annually. This leads to a constant increase in the deficit and, accordingly, the salaries of these specialists.

Finding good and strong developers is becoming more and more difficult. If you decide to create a project, it is better to choose the currently most popular technologies and programming languages.

I often come across projects on which something very rare, like Go, Erlang, or Flutter, is chosen as the main technologies, and then they cannot find developers for months.

As already mentioned in the article, the most common languages ​​for backend development now are Java (for large solutions), PHP (for websites) and Python (for small web solutions and scientific problems). If you choose these technologies, you will be able to relatively quickly find strong specialists, expand your team and replace those who burned out or left. Thanks to this, your project can not only be born, but also grow.

As a conclusion

In general, this is not a complete list for a long time. Yes, the article lists the most popular languages ​​for the backend, but there are others. For example, Go is not mentioned. Perhaps in the near future we will write an article with languages ​​for the backend that were not included by the author in the current collection.

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