Of the numerous programming languages out there, why is Golang a great choice? But, what is Golang and how does it work?
Golang is an open-sourced programming language released in 2009 by Google. Three engineers from the company—Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer—sought to take the best qualities of popular programming languages at the time and combine it into one language for universal use.
One of the things Golang, most commonly referred to as ‘Go’, achieved is a quick performance speed. Corporations such as Facebook, The New York Times, BBC, and Apple incorporated the language into their systems because of this.
How Does Go Work?
Building onto the C language, Go is designed to be both faster to run and easier to use than other programming languages. It is based on the C language, thus incorporating some of its features like syntax and memory management.
Advantages of Go
- Performance Speed
Go is fast because it is a compiled language, meaning that the code is translated to the appropriate structures automatically.
- Small Learning Curve
One of the primary focuses of Go is its easy to learn features and structure. Backgrounds in Java or C are also very useful for developers.
- Concurrency Capabilities
Goroutines, or concurrent functions that are both simultaneously and independently running alongside one another, make Go much more scalable. In comparison, Java threads are heavier and referred to as ‘blocking’ while Go is ‘non-blocking’. These goroutines can be run in the millions and not back up the system, unlike Java threads.
Disadvantages of Go
- More Code is Still Needed
Despite being much faster than other languages, Go is still simpler than languages like Python. Many more lines of code may be needed in Go to equal the same process in Python, where that language would only need a few lines, for example.
- Not Too Young, Not Too Old
Go has been in the world for over a decade, making it not quite a ‘new’ programming language, but not considered an old one either. Veteran languages that can keep up with current, newer languages are always preferred, but Go doesn’t quite fit the bill…yet.
- Struggles with Generic Functions
As a reminder, Go is a simple, compiled programming language. It can only be so detailed and specific, even with updates. Python outshines Go in that it doesn’t have any problems utilizing generic functions. Reusability and efficiency of code functions are negatively impacted in Go as a result.
What Go Does Best
Go is frequently used by developers for its simplicity and speed. These features make it a good fit for heavy backends. It excels at handling complex collections of data. Even with its compiler limitations, Go helps run some of the largest companies and software in the world like Dropbox and Netflix. Looking forward, for developers who anticipate big numbers of activities that may overwhelm and crash a system, adding Go to backend development could help keep that from happening.