GoLang Has Finally Come of Age. Should You Jump on the Bandwagon?

22 July 2020

The Go programming language, or GoLang, has gained a lot of positive reviews in developer circles lately. In a recent study by HackerRank, where over 116,000 developers from 162 countries were surveyed, respondents named it as one the language they are keenest to learn. Up to 36% of the respondents cited Go as their next language with Python coming next at 28%.


So, should you jump on the bandwagon? Should you use GoLang too? Let’s review the language to find out what makes it unique and better than standard alternatives.  

What is GoLang?

Go is a procedural programming language developed in 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson, all of whom worked as engineers at Google. It was formally launched in 2009 as an open-source language.

Go is a statistically typed language that produces compiled machine code binaries. The architecture comprises built-in arrays of varying lengths as well as key-value maps. The language also supports the standard library.

Like one of the most popular programming languages ever – C, Go’s syntax is straightforward, making it easy to learn. Like C, it also allows users to manage objects, deliver static/strict typing with concurrency, safely use memory, and collect garbage.

Reasons Why It Was Developed

GoLang was developed primarily to address the shortcomings of C and C++. During the entire development period, the focus was on getting rid of the two languages’ weaknesses while keeping their forte. The language also attempts to borrow some of the most valuable features of other languages such as Python and JavaScript.

From C and C++, for instance, GoLang borrows the runtime efficiency and statistic typing capabilities. While from Python and JavaScript, it borrows readability and usability.

Who Can Use Google Go?

Go is an open-source language meaning that anyone can start using the language anytime – and even contribute to its development. Most of the people who use it today, however, are server-side programmers.

Since one of its biggest strengths is concurrency, GoLang also serves database developers and network programmers splendidly.

Other people who would benefit from the Go language are system programmers, web developers, DevOps, and security developers.

Should You Jump on the Bandwagon?

If you were to ask someone who already uses GoLang this question, the answer would be a resounding YES. The following are some of the most significant selling points of the language;

  • Go is a compiled language 

Compiled languages stand out for their speed, as they’re directly converted to machine language that can be easily fed into and read by the computer.

This is different from interpreted languages, such as JavaScript, that must be converted every time the application runs. With compiled languages, once you’re done writing the source code, you just pass it through a compiler that converts the source code into an executable file.

  • It’s possible to cross-compile 

Yes, you can run the compiled file on a different machine. We’ve already discussed how compiling works. Once you’ve converted a GoLang source code into an executable file, you can generate executable binaries for different operating systems and then import them to a different machine.

As a result,  you don’t need to install Go on a different machine to run GoLang applications. This makes it very easy to deploy Go applications to production servers and local machines.  

  • Comes with error-checking features

The Go Complier’s error checking qualities is another feature that stands out. Error checking allows developers to detect missing packages, variables that went unused, mistyped or invalid operations, and imports necessary to run an application. 

Better still, the compiler searches for and reports these errors during the development process of your application. As a result, the Go language can give developers a heads up on whether they’re doing the right thing before running the program.  

  • A simple, standby library 

Another key advantage of the Go language is its simple and smart library. When using GoLang, you don’t have to import secondary libraries to accomplish those big projects. Neither do you need to be a genius or master everything about libraries.

Instead, the language itself comes with a sophisticated yet straightforward library that minimizes errors from conflicting function names. Slice, one of the language’s smallest additions, for instance, allows developers to incorporate data structures into code blocks.

  • Convenient documentation 

GoLang comes with a feature known as GoDoc that makes it easy to document your applications. GoDoc is a static code-analyzing tool that creates beautiful documentation pages straight from the code you’re writing. The best part is that the documentation tool uses plain English. 

Unlike other documentation tools that use languages such as PhpDoc, JavaDoc, or JSD Doc to annotate code constructions, GoDocs are in English only.  

Above all, GoDoc has all the bells and whistles characteristic of the best documentation tools, including code samples, cross-referencing, and direct links to the version control system repository.

  • Built-in testing 

Finally, if you’ve used JavaScript, you’ll understand how much of a problem testing can be. Finding the right testing framework is particularly a big headache. In the end, you often realize that you only need 80% of the framework you chose, yet have to learn everything about that framework.

Go solves this problem with an in-built testing framework that’s both simple and efficient. You can use it for different kinds of testing and profiling. It also supports advanced testing needs such as running parallel tests and marking tests as skipped, among other things.  

Brands that Use GoLang

Even after learning of the many advantages, you may want to know whether you’d be in good company should you choose to Go with GoLang. Well, Intel, Alibaba, Baidu, Uber, Medium, SoundCloud, and the BBC all use Go. And Google too!

NIX Can Help

If you still have cold feet, it’s normal. Throwing yourself at a new technology, especially one you’ve just learned about – isn’t always the best idea. The risk is just too high. 

The good news is that you have NIX to hold your hand in case you’re interested in trying out Go. We have the experience and expertise in the language and are home to some of the most-sought GoLang specialists. 

Contact us today to learn more.