What Is Go Programming Language and When to Use It
Over the past couple of years, we have seen the rise of a new programming language called Golang or simply Go. Let’s take a closer look at Go so we can find all the benefits and when should we use it.
Google Go Language
Go was created by Google about ten years ago when they were experiencing extremely long wait times for C++ to compile. Since this created a bottleneck, they decided to find a solution which was an entirely new programming language. Basically, they took all of the things that make C++ so great, most notably performance and security features, and combined it with the speed of Python. This allows Go to use multiple cores quickly while being able to implement concurrency. If you are wondering what concurrency is, think of it as multitasking. For example, when you are browsing a website online, many things are occurring in the browser simultaneously. The same thing must be achieved with software development if the product that you are creating will have to do many things at once. This makes it very attractive for developers and can be used in a distributive computing environment.
Why Use Golang?
Since this programming language is relatively new, a lot of people are wondering what Golang is suitable for? Well, let’s take a look at some of its benefits:
- Great for web development
- Great for command line scripting
- Can be used for network server applications
- Can be used for front-end development
Developers enjoy using Go because it has a full development environment, and Go is rather simple to learn even for developers who do not have a lot of experience. One of the reasons for this is because it has a vast ecosystem of tools, thus making it very useful for big, collaborative projects. This makes it an excellent choice for programming a custom software. If you are looking for even more benefits, Go was created and is currently supported by Google, which has one of the most significant cloud infrastructures in the world and can be massively scaled.
Disadvantages of Go
While Go development certainly has its advantages, you might encounter some problems while using it merely because it is so new. Specifically, you might have trouble taking benefits of its libraries. For example, if you get stuck and require assistance, there are not many resources out there to assist you. However, you can expect Google to start creating their libraries as the technology becomes more advanced and the community of developers grows to a sizeable chunk.
One of the biggest issues is in the generics. Even though Go offers many functions such as “map” or “filter” you will not be able to reuse those same functions for other types of collections.
One of the reasons that many experts believe Golang has a bright future is because of Google. While there are other factors, Google has a long track record of creating products users love, which offer a lot of value and are easy to use. The fact that it combines the best of traditional languages such as C++ and Python while still being easy to use will make it very attractive in the future.
Also, according to the information on the Golang website, it was able to retain a place in the top five of last year’s Stack Overflow survey of the most loved programming languages. The data also indicates increasing levels of user satisfaction and the number of developers who plan to learn Go in the future. From all the numbers given, we can see that people who are already using Go love it and the ones who are not are eager to learn. In fact, if we look at the statistics over the past five years, Golang has been steadily rising in popularity without a single decline over that period. This is enough of size sample to extrapolate the data into the next couple of years and beyond. We can safely say that Golang will continue to gain more full acceptance and adoption over the next few years.
We are also starting to see an increasing amount of Go meetups and conferences over the past five years. This could help reduce the gap in knowledge some people are facing since there are not a lot of Golang libraries available.
We mentioned what is Golang good for, but you should always remember that the choice of the programming language will depend in large part on your project and the skills that your current team possesses. For example, if the project requires knowledge of Python, but this expertise is lacking on your current team, then you can use Golang as a substitute. The same thing can be said about Perl as well. However, you will need to be careful because if you decide to use Go and encounter some issues, it could be challenging to resolve.
While you will hear a lot of things about the simplicity of Golang, do not let this deter you from using it for advanced programming. Golang has been both criticized and praised for its simplicity with some experts going as far as saying that it has become superficial. However, you should keep in mind that it does include features such as pointer semantics that will allow you to write low level and advance coding you have to know all of the details. Therefore, there is no need to wonder what Go is used for since you can use it to create all kinds of applications.