Go-programming language – beginner tutorial

Go (programming language) - Wikipedia

Whenever we talk about the top programming languages to consider in the development ecosystem, the first few names that strike are Java, Python, C++, Swift, SQL, and JavaScript.

However, the world of programming languages is not confined to these languages only.

There are various other programming languages that are slowly and gradually rising up in the list of top programming languages. One such language that is emerging to be the new love of developers is Go programming language.

Wondering what is Go? And what makes developers fall for this programming language? Let’s uncover in this article.

What is Go Programming Language?

Let's Go! with the Go Programming Language - Avenga

Also called Golang, Go is an open-source, statically typed,  and compiled programming language designed by Rob Pike, Robert Griesemer, and Ken Thompson. The language, that appeared in the market in 2009, was designed with an intention to enhance programming productivity in the era of networked machines, multicore, and huge codebases. Something for which the Google team picked the best characteristics of the popular languages, like:

  • Static typing and runtime efficiency of C++.
  • Usability and Readability of Python and JavaScript.
  • Object Oriented Programming (OOPs) concept ofSmalltalk.
  • Concurrency element of Newsqueak.

The language has just entered into its version 1.13.1. But, has gained a huge momentum in the market – bringing it several steps ahead in Go vs Rust discussion and similar comparisons. It has entered into the list of Top 10 Programming language by IEEE Spectrum and become the fourth most active languages on GitHub.

Not only this, it has become the third-most highly paid language as per Stack Overflow developer survey 2019 with an average annual salary of $109,483. And the best part is, it is predicted to grow ahead effectively because of the key characteristics it comes up with.

Top Characteristics of Google’s Go

1. Open-Source

Google Assistant Go for Android - Download

The foremost characteristic of Golang programming language is that it is open-source. That means, anyone can download and experiment with the code to bring better codes into picture and fix related bugs.

2. Static Typing

Python best practices: Static typing in Python with mypy | Sunscrapers

Go is a statically typed programming language and works with a mechanism that makes it possible to compile code accurately while taking care of type conversions and compatibility level. This gives developers freedom from challenges associated with dynamically typed languages.

3. Concurrency Support

2.3 Concurrency

One of the prime characteristics of go programming language is its concurrency support.

Golang, unlike other programming languages, offers easier and trackable concurrency options. This makes it easier for app developers to complete requests at a faster pace, free up allocated resources and network earlier, and much more.

4. Powerful Standard Library and Tool Set

This programming language also comes loaded with a robust standard library. This libraries offer ample components that gives developers an escape from turning towards third party packages anymore.

Also, it offers a wider range of tools that makes development process efficient. This includes:

  • Gofmt: It automatically formats your Go code, which eventually brings a major impact on readability.
  • Gorun: This tool is used to add a ‘bang line’ in the source code to run it, or run a similar sode code file explicitly. It is often used by Go developers when experimenting with codes written in Python.
  • Goget: The Goget tool downloads libraries from GitHub and save it to your GoPath so that you can easily import the libraries in your app project.
  • Godoc: The tool parses Go source code, including comments and creates a documentation in HTML or plain text format. The documentation made is tightly coupled with codes it documents and can be easily navigated with one click.

5. Testing Capabilities

Go language also offers an opportunity to write unit tests along with writing the app codes. Besides, it avails support to understand code coverage, benchmark tests, and write example codes to create your own code documentation.

6. Garbage Collection

7 Things You Thought You Knew About Garbage Collection - and Are Totally Wrong

The programming language also offers exceptional power of garbage collection. Meaning, developers need not worry about freeing up pointers or the situation associated with dangling pointer.

Because of these characteristics, the language has gained attention of various popular brands.

This, in turn, has made several startups and established brands consider this language for their app needs. But, in case you are someone who wish not to analyze the market scope and use cases on your own, it is better to get familiar with the pros and cons of Go programming language.

So, let’s begin with looking into the advantages of preferring Golang for your development needs.

Advantages of Golang Programming Language

1. Ease of Use

Ease of Use is Critical for Project Management Tool Adoption - Eclipse PPM

One of the biggest benefits of Golang language is that its syntax is similar to that of C and C++. There are not many complex functions to learn and implement. Besides, the documentation is simple and can be used quickly.

A ripple effect of which is that the number of developers taking an interest in working with Go language for building native and cross-platform applications are increasing.

2. Cross-Platform Development Opportunities

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Another advantage of going with this language is that multiple types of applications can be developed in Go. This includes software and mobility solutions for Windows, Unix, Linux, BSD versions, and mobile platforms.

3. Faster Compilation and Execution

go build vs go run - Rakesh Mothukuri

In Golang development environment, there is no Virtual Machine. The code is directly compiled to machine code, which makes the compilation process faster and more effective.

Besides, the compiler produces only one executable file after compilation. This file does not suffer from any kind of dependency and can be uploaded and run anywhere. This makes the code execution process faster.

4. Scalable

Another feature that makes Golang outshine other programming languages is that it is highly scalable in nature. It enables top android mobile app developers to handle multiple tasks at the same time, especially channels and goroutines.

5. Time Saving

Time saving techniques for the test day - CetKing

With features like automatic declaration of variables, latency free garbage collection, and faster compile time, it saves consideration development time; giving developers enough time to be productive.

With this covered, let’s turn towards the drawbacks of going with Golang.

Disadvantages of Go Programming Language

1. Still Developing

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Though the popularity graph of Go programming language is growing and it holds a promising future in the market, it is still in its nascent stage. This is making it tough for the language to beat the competition with popular names like Java.

2. Too Simple

Keep It Simple, But Not Too Simple - The Modern Observer Group

Programming languages like Swift and Haskell are difficult to learn. But, at the same time, they offer a myriad of opportunities to perform abstractions and other complex processes. Something that is not possible in the case of Golang because of its ultra-simple design.

So, the most primary characteristic turns out to be one of the major disadvantages of golang language.

3. Absence of GUI Library

Why C++ is not used for GUI? - Quora

Another con of go programming language is that it does not offer native support for GUI libraries. This implies app development companies have to connect a library to their application manually, rather than using native solutions like that in the case of Java or Python.

4. No Specific Niche

Designed by Google with the motive to deliver endless support and solutions, the language has characteristics that goes well with all. However, the language has still not found a single niche to conquer.

While it is facing competition from JavaScript in frontend development world, it is lagging behind Python in the world of data visualization and analysis. Because of this, many developers are still hesitating from investing in this language for a particular purpose.

5. Poor Error Handling

Creating Error Messages | Best practice in UX Design | by Vivek Kumar | UX Collective

In the case of Go language, a function is required to return error if any error is expected. Developers have to write a huge number of ‘if’ blocks to perform error handling process efficiently and effectively. Something that is one of the golang coding challenges when they have lost track to the error that can further result in missing out of some imperative error handling logic.

6. Lack of Frameworks

Business Transformation Transformation Icon, HD Png Download - 601x600 PNG - DLF.PT

Last but not least, Go lags behind programming languages like Python, PHP and Ruby on Rails in terms of number of frameworks to go with.

Now as you know the pros and cons of Go programming language, it is likely that you might have made your mind of whether to embrace it in your app tech stack or not. But, in case you are still confused, feel free to contact our app developers.


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<b><strong>Karan Makan</strong></b>

Karan Makan

Technology Engineer and Entrepreneur. Currently working with International Clients and helping them scale their products through different ventures. With over 8 years of experience and strong background in Internet Product Management, Growth & Business Strategy.

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