In case you don’t already know, backend web frameworks are used in most backend development jobs and real-world projects. In other words, in most projects you as a developer don’t code everything from scratch using the underlying programming language such as Java, C#, Python, etc; instead, you use the frameworks built on top of these programming languages to speed up the development of the backend system. This has been the trend for years, not just in 2024.
What is a backend framework?
A backend framework is a library or set of tools that developers use to build the server-side (backend) logic of web applications including implementing the application logic, managing the database connections and interactions, configuring the server and more.
Something I need to point out is that there is no single backend framework that is the best for everyone. It all depends on several things such as your location and the market demands there, your coding background, aligning your choice with your preferred programming language and personal growth in the field.
Popular web frameworks for backend development in 2024
While popular does not necessarily mean the best for you, I want to first give you a list of some of the most popular frameworks among professional developers and then we look at how you can pick what is best for you:
- ASP.NET CORE and ASP.NET (C#)
- Spring Boot (Java)
- Flask and Django (Python)
- Laravel (PHP)
Tip: Check what is popular using Stackoverflow Developer surveys
Choosing the right backend framework for you
Now that we’ve got some ideas of what is popular, let’s talk about some of the key things that will help you pick the best backend web framework to learn in 2024. You want to make sure you choose the perfect backend framework for your needs because you’ll probably spend the next couple of years mastering the framework you’re using.
Of course, you can always learn and switch to a different language and framework along the way or as projects demand.
Pick a framework based on your preferred programming language
One common pattern among experienced developers is that they use the backend framework that complements the primary programming language. As already mentioned, the frameworks are built on top of the core programming language. Therefore, it will be easier for you to learn a framework of the language you’re already familiar with or interested in because you already have the right foundation.
Market demand and your personal preference
While the importance of choosing a framework you enjoy working with cannot be overstated, you also want something that puts food on your table and pays the bill.
Therefore, do your due diligence by finding out what is more in demand in your location.
When it comes to market demand, it’s clear that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Frameworks like ASP.NET, Spring and Spring Boot (for Java), Laravel (for PHP), Django (for Python), and Node.js are all popular choices in various projects and job postings.
Scary and intimidating job requirements
For new graduates or those with less experience, the job market can seem daunting, especially when many positions require years of experience, often labelled as “senior” roles. Don’t drop your interest in a language or framework because of these intimidating requirements.
The key thing in this kind of situation is persistence and broadening your skill set. Learning a highly demanded framework can help, but so can showcasing your capabilities through personal projects or contributions to open source. Remember, every expert started as a beginner, and practical experience, even personal projects, can be very valuable.
Get ideas from the community
Software engineering, in general, is always fast-moving, with new changes happening faster than anyone can catch up, so, joining a community of like-minded developers can be incredibly beneficial in getting information on what to focus your energy on.
You’ll also get access to learning resources, job-hunting tips, or moral support, communities (e.g. Reddit) provide a wealth of knowledge and experience you can tap into.
If you’re an absolute beginner you can start your journey to learning a backend framework in 2024 should start with a language you’re passionate about. Don’t worry if it is the buzz or not because understanding the fundamentals of backend development should be your priority at this phase.
For developers with some experience, you can broaden your considerations to include the key points raised in this post, such as the demand for a particular framework in your location but don’t forget to factor in your interest and the project requirements you’re most likely to encounter.
Lastly, remember that the technology you choose to learn today is not a lifelong commitment. The skills you acquire will be transferable, and your ability to learn and adapt will always be your most valuable asset in the tech industry.