3 Backend Languages Your Developer Should Know

What is backend development, and why does it matter to your business?

Well, generally, the term backend development is what's used to refer to server side programming.

All the behind the scene processes and activities of a web based application are achieved via backend development.

From logging in to an online store to making a bank transaction while checking out, all the flow and authentication is controlled by powerful backend programming languages.

A backend developer deals with scripting, databases, and the overall architecture of a website.

A backend program is what enables your website to communicate with your database and fetch required information.

Here's an example of backend and frontend development as it relates to a blog post:

The post's text, colors, fonts, images, & overall aesthetic, all pertain to it's integrated frontend.

Whereas the post's data obtained from the database (such as it's saved comments, or even the content itself), the data dynamically pieced together before page load (like calculation of post read time, or a display of current date), & much more, pertain to the backend of the post.

Therefore as can be surmised, both frontend & backend languages are critical for the smooth operation of even the simplest of pages.

In this article, we'll be discussing 3 foundational backend languages that your developer should know, as well as each one's key features.


Java is the most widely used object-oriented, general purpose programming language.

It was developed in 1995 by Sun Microsystems.

Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is a powerful feature that makes Java a very versatile language.

Several programming languages produce code AFTER program compilation, and so that generated code needs to be compatible with the machine it’s running on.

This is not an issue for Java, because of the versatility of JVM.

The JVM acts like a mid-layer that can execute the code on any machine, regardless of where it was compiled.

Java Key Features:

  1. Platform independent– As explained above, JVM (Java Virtual Machine) is the key to platform independence.
  2. Object-oriented– The code is built as a combination of objects. Hence it's easily controlled, manipulated, and extended.
  3. Basic– You likely won't have an issue with Java, if you're already familiar with Object Oriented Programming (OOP).
  4. Multi-Threading– Java is good at multi-threading, which means that it’s capable of handling multiple jobs concurrently. Which in turn saves memory usage.
  5. Robust– The exception handling and memory management feature of Java helps to minimize coding errors.


PHP is a server-side open-source language used for web scripting worldwide.

Rasmus Lerdorf developed this scripting language in 1994.

PHP is best known for its portability, as it can be easily deployed on a server that has IIS or Apache, and a compatible database system.

PHP Key Features:

  1. Database Integration– Easy integration with databases like MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase, Informix and PostgreSQL.
  2. Accessibility– Easy access to large number of libraries for data representation and module accessibility.
  3. Versatile– Platform-independent and interpreted language.
  4. Case Independent– No case-sensitive issues unless you're declaring new variables.
  5. Dynamic– Considered the best at generating dynamic content.
  6. Alert System– A built-in system helps in reporting errors and warnings.
  7. Log Generation– Access logging system that generates a summary of latest accesses.
  8. Data types– Auto data type assignment depending on the value assigned to a variable.


Python is a high-end, extremely popular open-source programming language.

It's known for its interactive nature. Officially released in 1991.

Guido van Rossum developed this programming language while he was working on developing an interpreter.

It's a high-level, functional and interpreted backend programming language.

Also renown for how simple it is to learn, primarily attributed to it's versatility and easy syntax.

Like its other counterparts, Python is also platform-independent

Python Key Features:

  1. Dynamic Typing– Variable data types are declared at run time so there is no need to declare variable data types beforehand (not the case for C++).
  2. Integrable– Other programming languages like C++ and C can be integrated with Python. This property is referred to as being extensible.
  3. High-Level– Developers can focus on the target problem, rather than on memory management or system architecture, as the language handles this automatically.
  4. Interpreted– No need of compiling the code before running. The code executes line after line making it easy to debug any issue.
  5. Libraries– The coding effort is reduced at times, because of the available libraries and modules.
  6. Expressive– The ease of understanding the code allows a developer to focus on problems at their core.
  7. GUI Support– Python can be used to produce very interactive Graphical User Interfaces.

Which of These 3 Languages Is Best?

Now that we've covered these 3 languages, you're probably wondering, which one of these is best?

Well here's the thing.

Just as running, walking, and driving are all actions we take to get from one place to another, one can't objectively say one form of transportation is better than another.

As it boils down to:

A) Circumstance

B) Preference

The same can be said for these backend languages.

Your developer may have a preference for one of these languages over the others, but should be able to leverage any per the specific circumstance.

Because the bottom line is that these languages are ALL highly supported, robust, foundational languages that make up the world wide web!