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Should You Go With Google's Go? The Pros & Cons Of Using Go

June 21, 2020



Salim Elliye

Blog Editor with a profound interest in software development and advancements of technology.

The fact that the name ‘Google’ now stands for much more than just a search engine should be well known. It should come as no surprise to most that Google launched their own programming language.


The Go Programming Language is an open-source programming language sponsored by Google and created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.


Go has gained popularity since it was first announced in 2009, and it’s now being used by many companies worldwide and for a variety of applications such as:''Dropbox, Google, SoundCloud,  CloudFlare,  Docker and Cloud Foundry.''


When it comes to syntax, Google’s Go language is the C language when it comes to the 21st century. Being an open-source programming language, it is very easy to get some help and simultaneously make things easy for the time being.

What kind of programming language is Golang?


Although Golang is still relatively young compared to other programming languages, it’s already so mature and stable that it’s used by developers all over the world – even Google uses it. Golang is characterized by simplicity and multi-functionality, which the developers aimed for from the very beginning. One of the main reasons for the development of a new programming language was the dissatisfaction with established languages, which are either efficient in code compilation, fast code execution, or a simple programming process, but never combine all three advantages.

By combining important features from different language families, Golang sets a good example for other programming languages: the Google language combines the ease of programming, which distinguishes interpreted, dynamic language from the efficiency and security of a statically typed, compiled language. In addition, Go's structure aims to provide a short development process that allows you to create large executable files on a single computer in seconds.


The Pros and Cons of Using Go 




-It is fast. And not only fast in the sense that programs written in it run fast when compared to other common languages; but also fast in the sense that its compiler can compile projects in the blink of an eye. You can even edit and run Go programs directly on the Web.


-It is a garbage-collected language. This puts less pressure on the developer to do memory management, as the language itself takes care of most of the grunt work needed.


-It has built-in concurrency, which allows parallelism in an easier way than is possible in other languages. Go has the concept of goroutines to start concurrent work and the concept of channels to permit both communication and synchronization.


-Go has documentation as a standard feature. That makes it easier for developers to document their code and generate human-readable data out of source code comments.


-Go has a rich standard library which covers a lot of areas. In fact, Go is probably the only language that can claim to have a fully working Web server as part of its standard library.


-Go’s built-in build system is both elegant and simple. No need to mess with build configurations or makefiles.


-Go is Like C, so is everything else. Java, Rust, and Swift are like C, not to mention C#, C++, and Objective-C. They also have more interesting ideas under the hood. There’s more to a programming language than using curly brackets to define the basic blocks of code, but if that’s what you want, plenty of other solutions are more feature-rich.




-Go is still a very young language and has a very young ecosystem. This means there aren’t many libraries for it yet, leaving developers to write libraries themselves. There is also a shortage of books and online courses on the language.


-Go is simple to the point of being superficial. Go’s simplicity is mostly superficial, and in its effort to find simplicity, it threw away decades of valuable programming language progress.


-Although Go is a high-level language, it still has low-level features such as pointer-arithmetic which does not rule out the chance of doing systems and OS programming.


-Go’s tooling is really weird, on the surface it has some really nice tools, but a lot of them, when you start using them, quickly show their limitations.


-It is still not so easy to learn Go and it’s difficult to handle errors in it.



What is GoLang used for? 


Go is a good choice for web development. In addition we have outlined some of the tasks Golang is perfectly suited for:


Real-time development


A technology to create programs that users sense as immediate or current, providing solutions for e-commerce, chatting, online gaming and more.


Networking development


A study of how computers can be linked to share data. Today it involves web technologies, wireless trends and social media development. Golang features goroutines and channels were designed to meet modern tech demand. Go attributes, such as speed of development and deployment, also work perfectly for this task.


Cloud infrastructure


Golang provides on-demand access to shared computer processing, allowing you to process your data on a privately owned cloud or a third-party server. It also worth noting that the well-known Google Cloud and Docker platform were developed using Golang.


Micro services


A service-oriented architecture that structures an application, decomposes it to smaller services and makes it easier to understand, develop and test. Go-kit provides specialized support, such as infrastructure integration and system observability perfectly suited to writing microservices. 


Programming with Golang – an overview of its features


-GOPATH environment as a basis: One of the first official actions when programming with Go is to create the GOPATH directory, including the three subdirectories ‘src’ (go source files),’pkg’, ’GOPATH’, (go package objects), and ‘bin’ (executable commands). Any Go code that is written can be managed via this workspace, including the corresponding dependencies. The location of this obligatory GOPATH directory can be chosen freely.


-Modular structure with GOLANG packages: source files can be organized modularly in Golang using directories called packages. The name of the directory is also the name of the package to which all source files in this directory belong. If functions, types, etc. are to be used across packages, the capitalization of the corresponding identifier mentioned above must be used.


-Uniform, mandatory code formatting: Golang specifies certain conventions for formatting the code, such as exact spacing between elements. So, if you've learned how to program applications with Golang, you can easily read other developers' code without having to decipher their personal formatting style, as is the case with many other languages. The format does not have to be kept down to the smallest detail by the author – the integrated tool gofmt optimizes written Golang code automatically by fixing incorrect formatting.


-Relative imports as standard: All files and packages imported into Golang projects are always relative to the GOPATH/src directory, which makes the import process very easy. Furthermore, Go does not compile imported elements unless they are actually used. In this way, a clean code is guaranteed even if imported components are not used.


-Multiple return values for functions and methods: With Go you can create functions and methods that can return multiple values. This allows Go to clearly separate a valid result from an alternatively specified error in return. In C, for example, written errors are expressed by a negative counter value, while the actual error code is stored separately.




Should You Go With Google's  Go? Definitely YES


According to the recent studies, Golang has made a steep jump into the Top 15 programming languages list and is there to stay. This young language will definitely rock the area of cloud technologies and entrepreneurship programs in the near future.

Go is definitely a good choice when you are on a new project, or planning to improve the next one. Once you get used to the Golang development, you can make it mainstream, because its advantages are far superior when compared to the downside.

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