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What Is Golang?

Golang, or Go, is a compiled, statically typed programming language designed by Google. Though Google first introduced Golang to the public in 2009, it didn’t become open source until 2012. Golang was designed by three Google developers who shared their dislike for C++: Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson. Their main goal was to introduce a programming language that is easy to learn, efficient, fast and readable.

 

Why Is Golang Important? 

Since the release of Golang in 2012 as an open-source language, it has gained popularity among developers due to its simplicity. Another reason for Golang’s popularity is its concurrency (ability to run multiple tasks in parallel). Currently, various sectors of the tech industry use Golang, mainly in game and web development, server-side programming, data science, design and in creating command-line tools.

Golang vs. Python: Which Should I Learn?

Python and Golang are two of the most popular programming languages today. Choosing which language to learn depends on your objective and style. Python allows you to write less code than Golang to accomplish the same task. Moreover, since Python has been around for longer, it has more libraries and packages that support different fields, like data science and scientific computing. Another point in Python’s favor is how it remains the most user-friendly programming language from a syntactical perspective. The downside to Python is that it’s dynamically typed while Golang is statically typed. A statically typed language lowers the chances of type-related errors during runtime. Moreover, Golang allows you to design and build systems more efficiently than Python.

More From Sara MetwalliPseudocode: What It Is and How to Write It

 

What Are the Key Features of Golang?

Golang Is Easy to Learn

When evaluating any programming language, one of the essential criteria is how easy or difficult it is to install and start using. Golang is quite simple in both regards. You can begin practicing Golang on the official website’s playground. Once you learn Golang’s basics, you can start building large programs with ease. If you have previous programming knowledge, you can learn the basics of Golang in one sitting. Even if you’re new to the programming world, learning the basics of Golang won’t take long.

 

Golang Has Clear Documentation

One of the critical factors to the success of any software is having clear documentation that is easy to follow. Golang has extensive documentation that takes you from installing Golang, to how to write good Golang code, to how to build different applications in Golang.

Related Reading From Built In ExpertsWhy Google’s Programming Language Is Worth Your Time

 

Golang Has an Active Community 

In case the documentation isn’t enough and you have lingering questions about using Golang efficiently, Golang has a welcoming, supportive and active community on both Slack and Reddit that’s always eager to help whenever you need it. 

 

Golang Is Versatile, Fast and Scalable

You can use Golang to build applications in various fields, from web development, to cloud computing, to data science, to game development. Not only that, but Golang is also scalable and allows you to build both small, simple applications alongside large, complex ones with an equal amount of ease.

 

What Are the Disadvantages of Golang?

Similar to any other programming language, there are some downsides to using Golang.

 

Golang Can Be Time-Consuming

Because Golang is not very descriptive, developers who write one-liners in Python may need more lines of code to perform the same task in Golang. This means you’ll need more time to implement even simple tasks.

 

Golang Lacks Support for Existing Libraries

Due to how young Golang is compared to other programming languages, it lacks support for SDKs for third-party interfaces. That requires you to write more code to support specific functionalities. 

 

Golang Doesn’t Support Generic Functions

In programming, a function takes an input, processes it and returns an output. Generic functions are a group of different functions with the same name and undefined types of inputs during compilation. Golang’s lack of support for generic functions limits code reusability and decreases development’s efficiency.

Learn Go Programming — Golang Tutorial for Beginners. | Video: freeCodeCamp.org

 

Golang’s Applications

Due to Golang’s popularity, many big companies like Netflix, Twitch, Dropbox, Kubernetes, Uber and Docker use it. Most of these companies chose Golang because their cloud-based services are one of Golang’s strengths. Some examples of how these companies use Golang include:

 

Golang Example: Hello, World!

The first program anyone writes in a new programming language is a simple “Hello, world!” In Golang, the program looks something like this:

package main
import “fmt”
func main() {
    fmt.Println(”Hello World”)
}