For over a decade, the Go programming language has been disrupting the software development world. It may be new, but it has grown from a curiosity for geeks to one of the top ten primary languages of professional developers. They particularly appreciate its speed and efficiency.
Go is used primarily to program web services, utilities, IT infrastructure, and libraries. It’s great for coding web servers and microservices, it works perfectly with scalable projects where concurrency is a must and so it is becoming the most important language for cloud-based projects. What’s behind this growing popularity?
This article gives you everything you need to know to decide if Go is a good choice for your new software project. More specifically, we explain:
Go, or Golang is a programming language designed for Google by cloud engineers Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson back in 2007. They wanted to create a language that would speed up their work on cloud-centric projects. Thus, they began to develop a statically typed language that would be as easy to use as dynamically typed languages while maintaining a similar level of expressiveness.
Go is all about reducing the amount of typing. It reduces clutter and complexity, which makes the developer’s work much easier. If you’re considering Go for your next software project, contact us directly and we can advise if this is the right choice for your case.
Go language keeps growing in popularity because developers can use it for a variety of applications - from cloud-based and server-side apps to DevOps automation, command-line tools, and many more. These are our top three products written in Go:
Docker: an open-source platform for building and managing software delivered in packages called containers.
Kubernetes: an open-source container orchestration system. It is compatible with Docker. Kubernetes containers allow for automating application deployment, scaling, and management.
Ethereum: an open-source blockchain cryptocurrency and decentralized computing platform. Ethereum generates Ether, a popular cryptocurrency.
Go is a relatively young programming language, compared to other popular languages like C++, released in 1983, Python (1991), Java (1995), or even C# (2000), which can offer greater library support. Nonetheless, Golang has already earned the deserved trust in the software development industry. Apart from Google, it’s currently used by giants like Microsoft, Uber, Twitch, Slack, Shopify, Dropbox, Facebook, Netflix, Paypal, and American Express.
By choosing Go, you benefit from regular updates, a modern feel, simplicity, agility, and high performance. Go code is perfect for developing cloud apps and microservices because of the following advantages:
Static typing guarantees type safety— typing errors are signaled during compilation rather than when running the code, so developers can easily avoid certain problems in the production environment and perform code refactoring safely. At the same time, the static type features guarantee conciseness, expressiveness, and readability.
Golang was created by Google, so it’s very unlikely it will cease to exist. Companies investing in this technology can be certain they won’t have to change it soon. In addition, Google typically updates Go twice a year, which, in comparison to other programming languages, is rather frequent (e.g. Python is updated once a year, C# once every one to two years).
Go is cross-platform, which means that the code will work on different operating systems, including Windows, Linux, and macOS. Go also offers numerous built-in language features that enable easy development across different platforms. There are also plenty of libraries to support interacting with hardware, and building GUI applications.
While concurrent programming is typically complex, Go has built-in concurrency features that make the language very efficient at running multiple tasks simultaneously. That’s why Go is great for building large enterprise platforms that have to handle multiple users at one time.
A Go app is easy to scale and develop as your business evolves. Owners can actually move from small business to enterprise-level using the same technology stack and they won't create unmanageable technical debt.
Go handles errors rigorously, which saves a lot of time and money for coding. Of course, errors will occur, but the syntax and compiler checks make it pretty clear where they are before compilation, which makes fixing them a lot easier.
Go excels at allowing control of memory allocation. The garbage collection system automatically frees the no longer used memory of programs and doesn't sacrifice too much performance. The recent versions of the language (Go 1.16 and beyond) have improved the performance optimizations as well.
Go code compiles fast to native machine code and doesn’t require any virtual machine or interpreter. This short compilation time guarantees a high speed of development. It's much faster than in Java or Python.
Go is an open-source programming language, so it undergoes constant simplification and improvements. In case of problems or questions, developers can benefit from a growing community of users.
Many developers claim the standard Go library packages are powerful enough to focus on the logic of the app rather than low-level details. Of course, most programming languages have their own standard libraries, but the ones in Golang are designed to maximize productivity. Developers can typically achieve a lot using just the standard library packages, which saves development time and personnel costs.
Go is trendy and is growing in popularity among developers. The 2020 Stack Overflow survey indicates that Go is the third most wanted language among developers who aren't yet familiar with it. It has also moved from 10th to the 5th preferred language by current users. This popularity certainly suggests that the number of Go coders will continue to grow.
When will opting for Go help you maximize business benefits? Consider the below scenarios - if at least two of them are your requirements, then Go will be an excellent direction to go:
That’s actually what Go was created for. Microservice-based architectures are perfect for this programming language because Go is incredibly lightweight, allows managing memory safely, and compiles fast. Go applications use less RAM (a lot less than ones written in e.g. Java), so your cloud usage bills will be reduced. In addition, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform all give Go first-class support as a major language.
As a programming language, Golang is simple to use, fully concurrent, and minimizes the probability of bugs, which means that developers can actually focus on coding rather than debugging. That’s a plus for any business that is looking to cut costs. In most cases, development teams will spend less time coding in Go than in any other language. However, Go developers are among the highest-earning coders globally, so owners must keep that in mind when budgeting their projects.
Golang is certainly among the most flexible programming languages. It’s a great option when you first create an MVP and intend to scale your app over the years. Go can be used to write web applications, cloud services, streaming platforms, news portals, and on-demand services - the application spectrum of this language is wide.
Go was designed for creating complex, yet high-performing applications accessed by millions of users at one time. It can manage social networks, streaming platforms, and cloud hosting for large files stably and consistently. It's easy to scale as well, which is particularly useful for startups and enterprises alike, and any company at the growth stage.
Just like any other programming language, Golang isn’t perfect, so it won’t suit every software development project. The choice should always be made on a case-by-case basis. Consider the below situations:
When you have a tight budget: in most cases, opting for Go allows companies to cut software development costs in the long run. However, Go developers are among the highest-earning coders globally, so owners must keep that in mind when budgeting their projects. C++ that supports the .NET framework typically allows companies to optimize software production costs.
When you want to build a complex application fast: large applications with robust functionalities may require a different programming language when they need to release fast. Also, the simplicity of Go may sometimes work against it - it may actually require more time and effort from developers.
For object-oriented programming: although Golang enables an object-oriented style of programming, it doesn’t have a type hierarchy. Instead of class inheritance, known from the most popular object-oriented programming languages, Go enables type composition. That requires a different structure and modeling of such applications, which may increase the time spent on the development of enterprise applications. Also, Go may be not the best choice for mobile applications, as the support for mobile devices is still experimental.
When you need to start building immediately: Go may be the most popular language developers want to learn (over 36% declare their interest), but the current pool of experts is rather limited. Golang hasn’t yet made it to the top ten of the most widely known languages. You may be struggling to find specialists for your project if you need to hire them quickly.
It's not surprising that more and more businesses are considering Go to build their next tool. It's a versatile programming language designed to meet the demands of the modern, competitive software engineering market.
Go is easy to learn and use. You can use Go to build a variety of programs and apps faster than in other programming languages. It's equipped with a set of tools that simplifies and speeds up writing the code. As an open-source programming language, Go undergoes constant evolution, improvements, and users’ growing community.
Coding in Go is typically faster than in other programming languages thanks to fast compilation. It guarantees great performance thanks to concurrency support. An app or program written in Go is lightweight and uses little memory, which also reduces cloud usage costs. What more can a business need?
Every project has its nuances, so before you delve into building a Go application or solution, consult an experienced outsourcing provider to see if this technology is the right fit for the task. You can contact us directly here to arrange an initial consultation.