Golang is an open-source, light-weight procedural programming language, developed in 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson at Google but launched in 2009 as an open-source programming language. It is currently ranked at 13 according to the popularity index, as opposed to 65th rank 2 years ago. Golang is widely used in production at Google and in many open-source projects.
It is meant to simplify the process of software development, particularly for complex architecture and processes. That is the reason why huge tech giants and MNCs like Facebook, Apple, Google, Docker, etc. are adopting it. It is a wonderfully engineered programming language and lets us see why should we learn it.
1. Easy to Learn
Since the syntax of Golang is somewhat similar to the C-language, it is easy to pick up, especially for C-style or Java programmers. The syntax of Go is smaller as compared to a lot of other programming languages and has an only minimalistic set of features to get the task done. The core language consists of a few simple, orthogonal features that can be combined in a relatively small number of ways. This makes it easier to learn the language and to read and write programs. Not only has clarity, but it also has extensive documentation available to understand the concepts from scratch.
Creating multithreading applications using other programming languages like Python, Java, etc. is difficult since they often suffer from performance issues, concurrent execution, threading-locking, race conditions, and deadlocks. While developing Golang, this was kept in mind. Golang has a concept of goroutines, which is a lightweight thread managed by Go runtime. It has growable segmented stacks, which means it will use more memory only when needed. Goroutines has built-in primitives to communicate safely between channels. When sharing data structures, it allows you to avoid having to resort to mutex locking.
Go can have high-quality parsing libraries that are easy to plug into other libraries. It is excellent for writing networking applications, like writing TCP or HTTP servers at the production level. It also makes it possible to invent your protocols. Also, it has a lot of cool libraries like netconf, ssh, etc. to play around with networks coupled with great performance. One could find code examples for almost any network-related functions.
4. Standard Library
Go has an amazing standard library that provides a huge range of convenient and easy-to-use built-in functions and packages for working with primitive types. Some packages make it easy to handle I/O, encoding and decoding, manipulate raw bytes, network utility functions, parsing, debugging, and a lot more. Not limited to this, there is no need for an extra dependency since the support for testing is also built into the standard library.
Go deliberately leaves out many features of which are present in modern Object-Oriented Programming languages. Since everything in Go is divided into packages only, it has only structs instead of classes. It comes without any separate runtime library. There is no concept of inheritance as well. This ultimately makes it easier to maintain and modify as there is no overhead of making a track of classes that are to be inherited. Along with these, there are no dynamic libraries, annotations, constructors, or even generics!
Because Go is open-sourced, there is a huge quantity as well as a variety of development tools that are already present and serve the purpose. There are tools to refactor your code, documentation look-up, generate code coverage of the test, point out unreliable concurrent codes, memory outline, and more. There are also various editors, IDEs, and plugins that can readily be used. The standard library is adequate to start creating command-line tools.
7. Speedy Execution
Modern higher-level languages like Java first compile the program into byte code which requires a virtual machine (JVM or other VMs) on the top of your operating system to convert the byte code into binary files which the hardware processors understand. This is because Java is an interpreted language rather than a compiled language. This often results in high execution time. Go on the other hand is a statically compiled language, which makes it’s execution close enough with the lower-level languages, thus making it very fast.
Other Benefits of Golang:
It is designed and backed by Google, which means it is more useful for production-based code and manages large programs with efficiency. As it is open-sourced, it can easily be molded and customized for oneself. It supports cloud-native development (it’s said to Go is the language for DevOps) and cloud platforms have support for running Go code. Last but not the least, Go developers are one of the highest-paid developers in the industry with an average salary of $135,750 per year!