Referred interchangeably as Go or Golang, this is programming language was designed to be simple, easy to learn, and applicable for a wide array of uses. Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemr released Go in 2009. The purpose was to make a language that combined the best attributes of other programming languages into one, leaving out their flaws.
Following its release, Go received a mixed response from programmers. Some people thought the language was more limited and frustrating than it was worth. Others believed it served the purpose its creators had for it. Over a decade later, programmers are still on the fence.
Pros of Using Golang
- Easy to Learn
Pike, Thompson, and Griesemr succeeded in coming up with a simplistic programming language. People with a basic background in Java or C/C++ have found this very easy to learn. One tool that makes this beneficial is Go’s independent code fragments. Changes made to these fragments in a section wouldn’t affect another section of code.
- Exceptionally Fast
Go has a high processing speed due to statically typed, native code, and speedy compilation process within the language. The creators designed it to be even faster than C++ and at least as fast as Python.
- Basic Can Be Better
Without a large web framework, which many programmers think is a problem, Go’s integration capabilities are broader. This allows for versatility in the language’s construction and applied uses.
- Allows for Concurrency
Concurrency in programming is the ability to run multiple tasks at one time. Go excels at this because of its channels and ‘goroutines’, meaning that the computer will have less idle time.
Cons of Using Golang
- Code Can’t Be Reused
One of the biggest downsides to using Golang is that you can’t reuse codes more than once for identical functions within a section of code. This flaw leads to you having to write more code, which makes the overall code length much longer. In the programming world, lengthy code may cause problems later.
- Small Community of Developers
Since Golang is a younger language than Java, Python, or C/C++, the number of programming developers using it is much smaller. Veteran programs like those mentioned have an ever-growing community, public solutions to common problems, a library of tools that keeps increasing, and has gained the trust of its users.
- It May Be Too Simple
Go’s simplicity was designed to be its number one advantage, though that may not be the case. A need to create complex functions within a simple language such as Go could undermine the purpose of the language. While simple and easy to learn, this makes it frustratingly simple for programmers who need to do more than what the language can handle without adding numerous lines of code.
Combine Golang with Frameworks
Web frameworks allow for more complex functions. Golang doesn’t require the use of these frameworks, but they can help the language achieve functions of other languages like Python and Java. Some of the most notable compatible frameworks include:
Should You Use Go?
Depending on your project, Go could be the perfect programming language for you. Think about the purpose of what you are working on will be. Ask yourself if it requires a language that can handle complex functions and consider any experience you have with programming languages. Ultimately, you must decide whether Golang aligns with your project’s goals.