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Backend Developers in 2021: the Greatest Challenges

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19/07/2021 |

5 min read

Dominika Reszke

Quietly but inevitably our workplaces and duties change slightly year by year, even if officially they remain the same. Backend specialists are no exception here regardless of the position held, or level of seniority. It’s just that tools, programming languages, and frameworks they use, as well as guidelines or projects they are involved in transform. 

Groundbreaking changes or great challenges may not be on the horizon this year but still, it is worth looking ahead at what may be on the cards.

Within the IT world, new trends and approaches emerge lightning fast, and new improvements or technologies hit the market almost every day. Some of them seem to be useful, but in the long run turn out to be quite pointless, while others become new IT stars out of the blue.

Backend development also has its unpredictable side but surely there are issues, problems, or challenges we may grasp. Some of them include:

  • distinguishing backend from front-end,
  • managing technical complexity of backend,
  • deciding what direction of development to choose, e.g. whether to develop credentials, standards, and fundamentals (like JavaScript), or focus on something fresh and promising,
  • choosing which programming languages to learn first to get noticed and outshine competitors,
  • determining which frameworks are best-fitted to own duties, as well as today’s world and market conditions.

In this article, we will focus on frameworks and programming languages that may help backend developers stand out from the crowd.

Programming languages you’d better know: great opinions, great options, great pay

Apart from an all-time favorite JavaScript (the most popular language for nearly a decade, currently used by almost 70% of professional developers, both backend and front-end ones), there are high hopes for at least several programming languages. 

Which of them are head-turners right now and can help you land a great job?

Big money

Well, we know for sure which of them belong to the highest-paid group. As Stack Overflow’s Developer Survey 2020 indicated, the top five highest-grossing programming languages last year were Perl, Scala, Go, Rust and Ruby, all of which are suitable for backend duties. The median salary for each one of them exceeded 70,000 USD (per year, globally). Of course, this may have to do with the fact that there are not many specialists of those kinds on the market. Among professional developers, only 3.3-9.4% (respectively) use the above-mentioned languages.

Good opinions

Moreover, the same survey shows us which languages have been the most appreciated recently. Rust is the clear leader among the so-called "loved" ones (86.1% of developers using it want to continue), followed by TypeScript (67.1%), Python (66.7%), Kotlin (62.9%), Go (62.3%), Julia (62.2%), and Dart (62.1%). 

On the other hand, languages or technologies dubbed "dreaded" encompass, first of all, VBA (80.4%), Objective-C (76,6%), Perl (71.4%), Assembly (70.6%), C (66.9%), PHP (62.7%), and Ruby (57.1%). 

In turn, among the trending languages and technologies that developers would like to start using, we may find Python (30%), JavaScript (18.5%), Go (17.9%), TypeScript (17.0%), Rust (14.6%), and Kotlin (12.6%). What’s important, we’ve seen a rapid rise of interest in TypeScript (and smaller – in Python) in the last few years, while Ruby, PHP, Java, and C++ have lost their importance, as The State of the Octoverse shows.

All in all, we may highlight such backend programming languages, as:

  • Kotlin (modern, concise, very trendy),
  • Rust (suitable for experienced developers),
  • TypeScript (many companies are switching to it),
  • Go (easy, efficient, gaining incredible popularity, too),
  • Python (fast and effective, with a great number of inbuilt libraries, used by many startups, and loved by developers – the Programming Language of the Year according to TIOBE, enjoying the highest rise in ratings in a year.

Backend frameworks it may be good to learn

The right selection of frameworks learned may strongly affect the backend developer’s career in general, as well as day-to-day work. Those trending now or those we may have high hopes about include: 

  • Django,
  • Laravel,
  • Express JS,
  • ASP.NET core.

Read more about top web backend frameworks in 2021 >


Django is an open-source free framework praised for high extensibility, scalability, and security and giving tools for rapid development, offering such features as an object-relational mapper, automatic admin interface, robust template system, and quick internationalization; based on Python.


Laravel is a PHP open-source web framework providing multifunctional and versatile tools and features for "Web Artisans", such as Serverless Platform (Vapor), Zero Downtime Deployment (Envoyer), Queue Monitoring (Horizon), Full-Text Search (Scout), Debug Assistant (Telescope), Micro-Framework (Lumen), and many more.

Express JS

Express JS is a web application JavaScript framework for Node.js described as minimalist, fast and flexible. Its numerous features, plugins, and libraries make development easy and fast.


ASP.NET Core is a lean, modular framework, appreciated for countless features for building incredible web APIs, web apps, and web UI; dubbed the most "loved" framework – as much as 70.7% of developers using it in their work want to continue.

And what do you find the most challenging for backend developers this year? Which frameworks and programming languages are worth mastering now?

Rated: 5.0 / 1 opinions
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Dominika Reszke

IT Content Writer with 12 years of professional writing experience. Prefers facts and figures to any kind of fiction.

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