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Golang: why should you choose this language?

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Hundreds of IT products are brought to the market annually. Over time, users have new requests: change the interface, speed up, optimize the application, and so on. To fix bugs and improve the system, developers are looking for the most effective solution for the client and the least labor-intensive solution for the team.

Looking for convenient tools for working on the web, Google engineers in 2007 thought about a simpler version of C and C ++. The idea was successfully implemented in the form of Golang - a compiled multithreaded programming language. It was planned that it would be used only for Google tasks (a derivative of the Google language). But soon the engineers shared their best practices with the entire community.

In this article, I want to talk about the benefits of using Golang and how it attracts backend developers. 

Docker and Kubernetes applications popular among all programmers are written in Go. The backend of the mobile version of Uber too. By the way, the company's developers were among the first to come up with a standard for the design and maintenance of the Golang code. Go also succeeded in the blockchain. Hyperledger Fabric, a platform for implementing blockchain projects, also actively uses Go. This list can be continued for a long time, but the world statistics looks far more eloquent.

According to Stack Overflow, Golang is in the top 3 languages ​​in which programmers would like to write code. Python and JavaScript are in the lead. In Popularity of Programming Language ranking, Golang is in 13th place out of 28. For comparison, it was in 30th place five years ago. All this suggests that the popularity and perspective of the language are growing. My advice to you: to be on the same wavelength with the global IT community and learn Golang today.

Golang is easy to learn 

The Golang creators aimed to make it not overwhelmed. This makes the language look more beginner-friendly. The threshold for entering it is low. Even those who are relatively new to Java, C, C ++, or Python will quickly grasp and get used to the Go syntax. It does not have classes, support for inheritance, exceptions, and annotations, which makes it easy to change the code. And with the help of the GoDoc utility, it is convenient to document the code.

The language is over ten years old now. Arrays of open source code and libraries have already been implemented for Go, and the results are available on GitHub. Therefore, a ready-made solution can be found for many tasks. There are various integrations, and the Go standard library includes many useful tools, including a web server and a test suite, which many other languages ​​lack.

Go efficiency - fast in compiling and executing commands

Go compiles much faster than its C / C ++ counterparts. One of the advantages is that it compiles to binary files, and you don't need a virtual machine (like in Java, for example). Go is a cross-platform language, which means we can develop for any platform: Windows, Linux, macOS. We just compile and launch.

Golang is one of the fastest and most efficient programming languages. The way it handles any workload is not comparable to the capabilities of interpreted languages
like PHP, Node.js, Ruby, and others.

In Java or C #, you might have come across a term like multi-threading. This mechanism is designed to use all the resources of the computer on which the program is launched in order to solve time-consuming tasks as efficiently and quickly as possible. For example, shoveling large amounts of data in several streams or sending out a huge number of letters. This is achieved using built-in primitives - goroutines (threads). Creating such a procedure in Go is simple: we add the keyword “go” in front of the function.

Goroutines are very lightweight. Compared to Java streams, which consume many megabytes, Go is literally irretrievable. It is quite sparing on system resources. The Golang runtime allows thousands of goroutines to run simultaneously. At the same time, infrastructure maintenance is inexpensive. You won't have to overpay for hosting.

Easy to integrate with your current backend

It can be expensive and time-consuming for a business to completely rewrite the current project you are working on in Go. There is a solution - to integrate the Go-backend into the current project. For example, there is a large PHP application. We can add new Go services to it, and they will get along well together. The same goes for integration with Java, Python, and other backend languages. Another plus - there are many libraries for integration on Go: PostgreSQL, MySQL, RabbitMQ, Redis, GraphQL, and others.

Convenient for implementing a microservice architecture

Today, in larger projects, the microservice architecture approach is very popular. Why? Modern applications contain a large number of external services: databases, caches, search engines, message queues, and so on. Developers look into the future and disassemble complex projects into smaller ones that cover specific business needs. The client can provide some final products to certain users, others - resell to third parties. Go is great for further development. It uses asynchronous input/output, so the application can interact with any number of services without blocking web requests. GRPC protocols allow microservices to communicate seamlessly with each other.

Wide range of applications

The language has built-in (concurrency) multi-threading capabilities for processing large amounts of data. For example, for email newsletters and notifications. Everything related to web services in this regard is easy to implement in Go:

  • streaming video / audio systems (chats, streaming services);
  • highly loaded API;
  • parsers with large amounts of data (XML, JSON, CSV);
  • system apps (system cross-platform applications that can be run on different operating systems);
  • serverless web services (AWS Lambda, Google cloud functions for Firebase);
  • notification services.

And where is it better not to use Golang? 

In open sources, you can find libraries for implementing the GUI interface in Go. But, in my opinion, it is better not to write Desktop GUI applications on it. After all, the language was created to solve problems on the web. The same dubious "crafts" come across on GitHub in the areas of game development and mobile development.

Experience of our team

We have been writing on Golang at NIX since 2019. At the moment, the team has about 20 people with expertise in this language. In two years, we have successfully implemented about ten projects in Go. Among them are developments in such domains as Fintech, real estate, high-load video processing services, sports news, and others.

Why choose Go? 

For example, in an online banking project, we dealt with hundreds of thousands of user transactions. In an application for video processing - with a service that was supposed to run on Windows, since auxiliary software and hardware for this platform were involved. The sports news service has thousands of online users, real-time data, and high requirements for the speed of content delivery to the front-end. In all cases, the key features of the language came in handy - concurrency and cross-platform. In short, whenever we used Go for its intended purpose, we had only positive results.

As in any business, in IT, time spent on development is a direct proportion to spent money. Customers do not want to lose either one or the other. Therefore, it is important for the team to quickly resolve technical tasks. A modern back-end developer needs to know at least one language that can quickly solve business problems. Golang is great for this. If necessary, you can take some parts of the application into microservices in Go. When properly designed, combining Golang with other back-end languages ​​gives amazing results - a competitive product and a satisfied customer.

Taras Seryogin, Golang Engineering Leader, NIX United

Taras Seryogin, Golang Engineering Leader at NIX United.