Backend Development: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

by Solomon Eseme


Updated Sun Jun 18 2023

Backend Development: The Ultimate Guide (2023)

The Ultimate Guide to Learning Backend Development 2023.

Hello Backenders, In this article, I am going to show you everything you need to learn backend development in 2021 from knowing nothing about backend development to getting your first job as a Backend Developer.

To come up with this list, I have consulted with different Backend Developers including myself in the backend development industry.

This list is a summary of the steps they all took and also includes the courses and resources where you can learn each of these steps.

This article will cover everything there is to know and learn to become a Backend Developer.

It all starts with you having a strong interest and passion to become a Backend Developer.


We will cover the fundamentals of Web development to have a glimpse of how the web works and some frontend development concepts.

Then we move down to the general OS and general knowledge of how the computer works and the underlying Operating systems.

Secondly, we will move into the advanced Backend Development concepts and building real-world projects.

Lastly, we will discuss important DevOps/CICD concepts and expose you to the concept of deployments.

Disclosure: I write reviews on courses I have used and will love to recommend, however, I am getting compensation for each course purchased using the links.

Before we delve in, if you’re a backend developer or looking at delving into this career path, join other developers to receive daily articles on backend development that will boost your productivity.

Web Development Fundamentals

Every great adventure starts with a step:

Before you delve into all the advance and fun things about backend development, it’s paramount to understand the basics of web development.

You need to be familiar with how the web works in general, and how the web even starts, you should be familiar with some buzzwords like HTTP, DNS, and browsers, and how they interact together to form a bigger web.

You also need to understand the Frontend part of web development and how it works, you need to learn about HTML, CSS, and the basics of JavaScript (or even more)

Things to Learn

The things to learn in the beginning stages are listed below:

  • What is the Internet?

  • how does the web work?

  • What is HTTP and how it evolves?

  • Learn domains and Hosting

  • HTML

  • CSS

  • JavaScript

  • Bootstrap

  • Frontend Framework

To take your study a little further in these fundamentals, you need to learn about how you can secure your web applications.

The Web Developer Bootcamp 2020 is the best Web development course out there that covers all the areas listed above and even more.

The Complete 2020 Web Development Bootcamp is also another course that I really love and will highly recommend too. The explanations are clear and it covers a wide range of topics.

Free resources

  1. Learn FrontEnd Frameworks: This is a free 8 weeks course that covers frontend frameworks and SPAs (Single Page Applications).

  2. MDN HTML Documentation

  3. Flexbox Froggy

  4. The CSS Box Model

  5. Bootstrap

General Knowledge

After finishing the first stage course and practices, you should be familiar with a lot more web development concepts though you might not be an expert in any one of those yet, it is definitely OK.

Now you should learn a lot more general knowledge about your Operating System and the use of Computers in a more advanced way.

If you’re already familiar with the concepts here, you can skip this to the next stage.

Things to Learn

The things to learn in this stage are listed below:

  • Terminal Usage: Anyone who wants to delve into Backend Development needs to learn the basic usage of the Terminal, whether you are using Windows, Linux, or Mac, learning how to use the Terminal is a must for anyone on this path.

  • How OS works: This is a very important concept to learn as a backend developer, because you will be faced with many challenges involving the knowledge of your operating system of choice, knowing how your operating system works will be the only remedy.

  • Process Management: A process is a program that is currently in execution. As a backend developer, it is paramount that you have an in-depth knowledge of Processes and Process management.

  • Threads and Concurrency: A Thread is a sequence of instruments within a program that can be executed independently. Through concurrency/parallelism, we can improve application performance. As a backend developer, it’s your duty to find and improve the performance of your application, and a good grasp of how thread works can be of great assistance.

There are lists of other important general concepts you need to learn to become a better Backend Engineer such as Input/Output management, Interprocess communication, Memory Management, etc.

These concepts and more will aid your journey as a better Backend Engineer, I will recommend this course below, as it has been my all-time favorite course in the subject matter.

Linux Mastery: Master the Linux Command Line in 11.5 Hours The course will expose you to the above listed and more.

Free resources

  1. Client Server Communication

  2. The 10 Operating System Concepts Software Developers Need to Remember

Backend Development Concepts

This is the stage we’ve been waiting for:

If you’re done with the above courses and resources, congratulations you’re on a better track to becoming a backend developer.


Pick a language

Next, you need to pick a backend programming language you wish to start learning.

This requires a little more research at your end to pick a language that is suitable for you, your needs, the reason why you started backend development, what you’re looking at learning, what you want to build, and the job market in your country.

I can only suggest the top 5 programming languages while you have the power to choose anyone and go for it with all your might.

Things to Learn

In any of the languages you decide to pick, there are lists of important concepts you need to learn and master in order to stand out, I will list but a few, and a list can be found here under “Software Stacks”.

  1. Learn the Language: Study and master the concept of the language, if the language is an OOP or Functional language then be good at it.

  2. Session management: Understand how the language handles Sessions and how you can invalidate sessions with the language.

  3. Authentication & Authorization: Most importantly, learn how you can handle authentication and authorization in the language.

In order of my preferences, I will list out the top 5 programming languages in 2021 and of course, show you the best course and resources to learn each of them.


Go(Golang) is Google’s open-source programming language for building simple, reliable, and efficient software easily. As a low-level language, it is a great start for engineers with a special interest in building systems software without the headache of C and C++.

Go Bootcamp: Master Golang with 1000+ Exercises and Projects is an excellent course to learn the Go programming language, parked with loads of Exercises and Projects to strengthen your muscles as you learn.

Master Go (Golang) Programming: The Complete Go Bootcamp 2021 is another great course parked with the latest trends in Go. Suitable for both beginners and experts.


Rust is a programming language developed by Mozilla Corporation as a low-level language for system programming with a focus on speed and security. It is like C, C++ and many big companies such as Dropbox and Coursera have already started adopting it.

Ultimate Rust Crash Course is one the best courses out there for Rust programming language. The instructor explains complex terms with ease and aids the understanding of the language.

Learn Rust by Building Real Applications takes you straight to building real-life applications using the Rust programming language. If you’re looking at getting your hands duty with projects, then this course is definitely for you.


It’s impossible to become a developer these days without learning JavaScript.

JavaScript has become the go-to language for web development including Frontend and Backend development with Node.js making it very popular among developers.

When comes to learning JavaScript, I can’t recommend The Complete JavaScript Course 2021: From Zero to Expert! enough. The modern JavaScript course for everyone! Master JavaScript with projects, challenges, and theory. Many courses in one!


Python is known to be a programming language that allows you to work quickly and build efficient systems easier and faster.

With Python, you will feel at home with the elegant and simple syntax to get you started.

Python posses as the easiest language to get started with and learning Python opens doors to a lot more careers with python you can learn machine learning, Data Science, and even Ai, etc.

I know just that one course that will teach everything you need to know about Python, from beginners level to expert level, this is the best course out there for Python Programming Language.

2021 Complete Python Bootcamp From Zero to Hero in Python is my highest recommendation for learning Python Programming Language for both beginners, intermediate and advanced level Python developers.

It teaches you Python like a Professional Start from the basics and goes all the way to creating your own applications and games.

Learn Python Programming Masterclass is a beginner’s friendly masterclass course for Python Programming Language for complete beginners.


PHP is a popular general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited to web development. Fast, flexible, and pragmatic, PHP powers everything from your blog to the most popular websites in the world.

PHP is among the most popular backend programming languages, though Python and JavaScript are high competitors, PHP still has a large job market.

PHP for Beginners – Become a PHP Master – CMS Project is my all-time favorite course on PHP. In fact, as a spoiler alert, this is the number one course I used to learn PHP.

PHP for Beginners: learn everything you need to become a professional PHP developer with practical exercises & projects.

Learn Git and GitHub

One of the most important tools you need to learn now after taking any of the courses above is GIT.

You need to understand what Version Control Systems are and how to use them in your day-to-day journey as a Backend Developer.

Things to Learn

The things to learn in this stage are listed below:

  1. Learn the basics of Git: Git is an open-source distributed version control system. It is basically used to track changes to your files. Git can handle anything from small to complex projects. You need to learn how to install and use Git with some basic and useful commands.

  2. Learn GitHub: GitHub is a code hosting platform and collaboration. With GitHub, you and other backend developers around the world can collaborate and work together on a project.

You also need to be familiar with other types of version control systems and platforms out there such as SVN, GitLab, and BitBucket.

This course is my number one course for anything relating to version control systems and collaboration.

GitHub Ultimate: Master Git and GitHub – Beginner to Expert.

Go from complete novice to expert in Git and GitHub using step-by-step, no-assumptions learning.

Free resources

Learn a Framework

Next, pick up a framework and start building with it.

Depending on the language you studied above, you will also have to make a choice to choose a framework within that language to start with.

I will list out some top frameworks below with the best course to learn them and of course other resources, but the list can be found under top 5 backend frameworks.

Things to Learn

In any of the frameworks you decide to pick below, there are lists of important concepts you need to learn and master in order to stand out, I will list but a few:

  1. Study more about APIs: At this point, you should learn more about building, managing, and securing APIs, you should also learn how to build different types of APIs such as REST, SOAP, and GraphQL.

  2. Learn Software Testing: Test-Driven Development is an important concept in backend engineering to fish out bugs and poorly written codes in development. Learn different types of Software Testing such as Unit tests, Integration tests, etc.

In no particular order:


It’s a web application framework with beautiful and elegant syntax. it is also an open-source framework for building simple to complex web applications following the MVC architectural pattern.

PHP with Laravel for beginners – Becoming a Master in Laravel is my favorite Laravel course of all time. I will highly recommend you start your Laravel journey with it. Learn to master Laravel to make advanced applications like the real CMS app we build in this course.

We have covered a complete guide to learning the Laravel Framework:

Laravel Framework: The Ultimate Guide 2021 (highly recommended )


Django is a high-level Python web framework that is built with Speed, Security, and Scalability at its core. Built by more experienced developers to facilitate the application development process by taking away plenty of web development hassles.

Django & Python: complete BUNDLE + Django real project 2020 is a complete bundle for learning Python and as well as Django python framework for building intuitive Backend applications. I highly recommend this.


Expressjs is a go-to framework when using Node.js for Backend development.

Express is a fast, unopinionated, and minimalist JavaScript framework for Node.js. It’s a flexible Nodejs web framework for building a robust set of features in Web and Mobile applications with Node.js.

NodeJS – The Complete Guide (MVC, REST APIs, GraphQL, Deno) is the complete guide you need to learn Nodejs and Express. This is my number one course on anything related to JavaScript for Backend Development.

Build Awesome Projects

At this stage, you have learned a lot and practiced with the projects in each of the courses.

Now is the time to take project building to another level, look up other learners online and connect with them to build collaborative projects together.

I will personally recommend you read this gist to gain some project ideas you can start working on as you learn backend development to strengthen your muscles.

Some of the communities and groups I will recommend include:

  1. Backend Community: A community of backend developers sharing knowledge and growing together.

  2. #100DaysOfCode: A hashtag and kind of a community of learners, learning and building projects for 100 days while posting daily progress online.

  3. FreeCodeCamp Community: Another interesting community to join and grow together.

Learn Databases

At this stage, you should be proud of yourself, you’ve come a long way.

You should also have used some databases during your practices and building projects.

But in this stage, we are going to explore more advanced concepts of databases you should master to become a great Backend Developer.

Things to Learn

I have a list of things you should learn in Databases already here, but I will just list out a few important ones.

  • ORMs (Object Relational Mappings): These are sets of classes that automate the transfer of data stored in relational databases. You may have already learned this when working with frameworks as different frameworks have different ORMs.

  • SQL: (Sequential Structured Language): You definitely need to learn SQL very well to manipulate database queries.

  • Transactions: You need to learn how to handle multiple queries efficiently with Transactions.

I will suggest you start to learn MYSQL then PostgreDB for relational databases and MongoDB for NoSql.

If you want to be good at Backend Development, you have to be really good with Databases, The Ultimate MySQL Bootcamp: Go from SQL Beginner to Expert is the number one course I will recommend. Become an In-demand SQL Master by creating complex databases and building reports through real-world projects.

Free resources

Learn CI/CD and Deployment

Now that you know backend development, you need to step further a little by learning Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployments.

I have just the right courses to get you started building your first pipeline for your backend deployment.

DevOps Project: CI/CD with Jenkins Ansible Docker Kubernetes teaches everything you need to learn from Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployments to Jenkins and Kubernetes for both beginners and advanced learners.

Back in the day, it was a lot more difficult to do. But now, it’s super easy and you can use tools like GitHub Pages, or Netlify.

Free resources

  1. The Complete DevOps Developer RoadMap

  2. 10 Free Courses to learn Docker

  3. 5 Free Courses to learn Kubernetes

  4. Deploying Applications with Heroku

  5. Host a Laravel Project on a Shared Hosting

Getting your first Job

Wow! Congratulations on getting here:

This article is already long enough and adding more can only give you more text to read.

I will be posting content relating to getting jobs and career opportunities available for Backend Developers.

You need to subscribe to this newsletter to stay ahead when I start dropping them.

Free resources

  1. 10 Awesome Web Developer Portfolios

  2. How to land a six figure job in tech with no connections 

  3. Model examples for Fullstack Developer LinkedIn profiles

  4. Recruiters, what kind of CS projects impress?

  5. CS50 — Prep and Practice for Technical Interviews [YouTube]

  6. Sharing some interview tips (Silicon valley employee)

Final Notes

You’ve made it this far, Congratulations once again, and Good Luck on your Back Development journey.


Learning is a process, it takes time and Progress is what should be paramount.

Always make progress no matter how little, it counts.

Please consider joining our Slack Community (message “Solomon Eseme” to be added to a group of learners) and subscribe to our newsletter if you’d like to be added to our once-weekly email list, and don’t forget to follow me on Twitter.

I will love to hear your thoughts and feedback, let me know in the comment section below.

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