Software engineers are constantly looking for the next big thing. It could be a new framework, language, or type of architecture. Everyone wants to be on the cutting edge of technology and stay ahead of competitors.
The Go programming language is definitely still one of the latest trends! You might already know that Go is one of the world's fastest-growing programming languages in software development. Its simplicity, speed, and reliability make it perfect for complex and modern architecture. People often refer to it as Golang because of its domain name, golang.org.
You clicked on this article — so we assume you want to know more about Golang and whether it's worth learning. That's great! Keep reading to find out! 😉
Go: How it started
Let's first understand how Golang was created in the first place.
A team of Google's programmers (Rob Pike, Robert Griesemer, and Ken Thompson) felt it was time to improve their workflow. They needed a new tool that would eliminate the flaws of C and C++ as well as enhance productivity while still being relevant to Google's computational needs. In 2007, they founded the Go programming language.
Initially, Go was a project internally at Google. But then, it became an open-source project with its stable version launching in 2012. The source code for its compiler, libraries, and tools is freely available to anyone. Contributions to the project come from an active worldwide community.
Compared to C or C++, Golang is significantly better in terms of memory management and fast compilation. In addition, Go has been designed and optimised for multiprocessor systems. With Go, you can easily make applications that are reliable, efficient, yet easy to implement.
Advantages and disadvantages of Golang
Below are some advantages of Go:
- Fast compiled language. Go compiles to native code, so it will naturally outperform languages that are interpreted or have virtual runtimes. Besides, it compiles fast.
- The syntax is easy to learn, especially if you already have some background in any modern object-oriented programming languages such as C++, Java, Python, etc. The format of the language is somewhat similar to Python, where there is no semicolon (;) at the end of each instruction. Also, functions in Go can return more than one value like in Python.
- Go has built-in concurrency support called the goroutine. This light parallel thread is lighter than the thread in other languages. With Go, you can run parallel processing and take full advantage of your CPU. And you can write high-performance applications much easier..
- It supports garbage collection and does not need explicit memory management.
- Golang has rich standard library packages that contain things needed by most types of applications. Besides, you can find many open source packages provided by the community.
However, some developers might see the following things as disadvantages of Golang:
- Go does not have classes. Instead, it uses structs to represent entities or objects.
- There's no support for generics and inheritance. Instead, Go uses the embedding technique to support the nesting of structs.
- Go supports the object-oriented programming style, but from the above points, you've seen that Go has a different approach than other languages like C++ or Java.
- Go does not have exceptions (like try … catch, or anything similar). Error handling is quite different in Golang compared to other languages.
- Go support pointers, but not arithmetic pointers (because that would be unsafe for memory).
Some of the big companies that use Go
Golang has not only grown in popularity among developers but also been adopted by big brands such as Dropbox, Uber, Soundcloud, BBC, SendGrid, Medium, and of course, Google itself.
These companies use Golang for various purposes. Some of them use it for mobile development, some for web development, and others as a server-side language.
If you want to see a full list of companies using Go around the world, check out this page. You'll see that in the UK, over 50 companies are using Go. These include Form3 and Sainsbury's. The best bit? They are currently hiring via hackajob!
So, should you start learning Go?
We'd say that it's definitely worth learning Go. We have a variety of tech tutorials to help you on your way. And if you're thinking of adding Go to your skillset, then take your chance and start learning it today!
- Golang is fast and has other notable features that attract more and more companies to use it. Thus, it's a language that's in-demand, with many job opportunities.
- Golang is also one of the programming languages associated with the highest salaries worldwide. See the below result of Stack Overflow Developer Survey in 2020 - Go ranked the third place worldwide!
By learning Golang, you can also make extra income as a freelancer. Take a look at Upwork as an example of a global freelancer platform. There, a Golang developer can a tidy sum into the £££ (or $$$).
- Golang is easy to learn. Though some concepts in Go are different from other modern object-oriented programming languages, Golang is simple, so you can learn it quickly. Some programmers even claimed that they learned the basics of Go in only a few hours.
So as you can see, Golang is a promising programming language. It can run on all major operating systems. It features simple syntax and clean code that makes development easier than ever – all things which will be music to your ears. Moreover, it offers excellent career prospects for programmers as seen by the companies searching for Go programmers via hackajob. Without a doubt, Golang is one of the programming languages to look out for.
So, start learning Golang today!