Go Programming Language: An Introduction | Simplilearn

During the last decade, Google (now restructured underneath the dad or mum firm Alphabet, Inc.) has diversified into virtually each tech sector there’s—from cellular gadgets, cellular working software program, and synthetic intelligence to robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT). As one of many world’s largest tech firms, it was solely a matter of time earlier than Google got here up with its personal programming language.

And so, in 2009, the Go programming language was born. Created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson, Go (also known as Golang) is an open-source language that first started growth in 2007.

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As Google Go developer Andrew Gerrand explains: 

“We set out to build a language for systems programming – the kinds of programs one might typically write in C or C++ – and we were surprised by Go’s utility as a general-purpose language. We had anticipated interest from C, C++, and Java programmers, but the flurry of interest from users of dynamically-typed languages like Python and JavaScript was unexpected. Go’s combination of native compilation, static typing, memory management, and lightweight syntax seemed to strike a chord with a broad cross-section of the programming community.”

Like many different Google tasks, Go is open source, that means that the programming language is open and freely out there. This enables anybody to contribute to it by creating new proposals, and providing fixes to bugs, making the language quicker and higher for all customers.

What Makes Golang Distinctive?

Go’s design takes inspiration from different languages like C, Algol, Pascal, Oberon, and Smalltalk. Specifically, Go is derived primarily from the Oberon language. On the identical time, its syntax is much like C. In the meantime, Go’s object-oriented programming (OOP) is much like Smalltalk’s, besides with the ability to connect strategies to any kind. Lastly, Go’s concurrency is usually taken from Newsqueak—one other language developed by Golang co-creator Rob Pike.

Whereas Go language is closely impressed by C, it additionally comes with further options, equivalent to:

  • Rubbish assortment
  • Native-style concurrency
  • Fast compiler
  • Pointers

These are just some of the numerous native options that permit builders to bypass writing lengthy traces of code to deal with reminiscence leaks or networked purposes. It’s because of this that Go is especially perfect for growing cloud-native purposes and distributed networked companies.

The truth that Go is such a brand new language (relative to trade stalwarts like C, Python, and Java) can also be one in every of its primary strengths. Go was designed at a time when multicore processors, pc networks, and enormous codebases had been already the norm. As such, Go excels at studying shortly. It’s additionally a breeze to work with and straightforward to learn—traits which have made it one of many world’s high programming languages a decade later. The truth is, in response to the TIOBE Index for October 2019, Go is the 17th high programming language. 

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Benefits of Go

Simple to Use and Learn. Go could not have the recognition of JavaScript or Python, nevertheless it’s a high 20 programming language for a cause on account of an important attribute it shares with them: Go is simple to make use of and perceive.

Go’s syntax is straightforward, with a forgiving studying curve that makes it extra accessible to novice programmers. It additionally helps that there aren’t too many complicated features to be taught. However aside from being friendlier to newbies, Go’s slick and clear syntax makes it good for legacy code that will want a number of programmers writing totally different variations of code on high of each other. And for those who’re somebody who’s already proficient in C# or C++, studying Go needs to be extra accessible on account of its putting similarities to C. 

Spectacular Commonplace Library. Go customers have entry to a powerful normal library that comes packaged with the language, which saves the difficulty of importing or studying complicated secondary libraries. 

Go’s normal library is refined however not complicated, serving to cut back the danger of points from conflicting operate names. For instance, the addition of slices is one in every of Go’s finest contributions to programming because it affords a extra easy approach of integrating knowledge constructions into code blocks. Go consolidates what would in any other case be sophisticated workarounds in numerous languages right into a single line of code by means of its interface.

Sturdy Safety. As a rule, less complicated code is safer and safer than sophisticated code. The identical idea applies to Go. And since it’s a statically typed language, Go customers don’t have to fret about having to keep away from and search for hard-to-identify errors—challenges which might be par for the course with extra dynamic languages and their giant variety of variable sorts.

The inclusion of a rubbish collector additionally helps stop reminiscence leaks. And whereas Go’s lack of generics means programmers have to be extra cautious when operating checks, its ease of figuring out errors in comparison with different languages signifies that Go lends itself to a extra thorough method to writing clear code.

The Google Identify. This will not seem to be a bonus per se, however Google’s dimension and stature within the tech trade guarantees a safe future for Go. Certain, Google has been identified to guess massive on formidable tasks and platforms (see Google Glass, Google Reader, Google+ and different merchandise within the Google graveyard), it doesn’t seem like the corporate will abandon Go anytime quickly.

It additionally helps that a few of the world’s largest firms are utilizing Go, with names equivalent to Uber, Twitch, Medium, Docker, BBC, and Intel, all utilizing the language of their tasks. If something, all of this goes to indicate that Go will probably be a fixture in Google’s structure for a few years to come back. This additionally signifies that now’s pretty much as good a time as any to be taught Golang. 

Intuitive Documentation. Whereas Go’s enchantment lies in its ease of writing and studying, it’s nonetheless vital to doc applications correctly. The excellent news is that Go has normal insurance policies for documenting all included features and libraries. Google’s language additionally notifies programmers after they’ve forgotten to have documentation in place. This generally is a godsend for novice programmers, who are sometimes vulnerable to falling into unhealthy documentation habits as they be taught to jot down code. A number of the IDEs that help GoLang are Eclipse, Vim, Visible Studio Code, LiteIDE, and JetBrains GoLand. 

Disadvantages of Go

After all, this isn’t to say that Go is an ideal language—no language is. We’ll take a better have a look at a few of Go’s widespread criticisms.

Lack of a GUI Library. Go is unbelievable for growing single-page apps. Nonetheless, it has no native GUI library, which implies you’ll must know how one can join a library to your app—one thing that will’ve been simple to do with Python or Java’s native resolution.

Too Easy. Considered one of Go’s major strengths can also be one in every of its most criticized flaws. As simple as it’s to select up Go, its simplicity additionally means it’s not as versatile as different languages. Once you have a look at different languages like Rust and Haskell, these are sometimes thought-about to have steeper studying curves on account of their complexity. In change, nevertheless, they arrive with good abstractions that present programmers the flexibility they should do extra with much less. Go, sadly, doesn’t have this sort of vary.

No VM. Go’s runtime doesn’t include a digital machine (VM), such because the one supplied by Java. This was a aware selection by its creators and affords distinct benefits that make Go simple and fast to make use of. However it additionally comes with tradeoffs.

For one, it doesn’t include the first benefit in style languages have when operating on VMs: effectivity. VMs are all about writing environment friendly code, which signifies that Go recordsdata are considerably bigger than competing programming languages. However it’s not all unhealthy information. Google has been engaged on the effectivity of Go over the previous few years. So, it’s solely a matter of time till we are saying goodbye to the times of complicated applications written with Go consuming up numerous RAM. 

Go Has But to Mature. In comparison with its contemporaries within the programming world, Go remains to be in its teenage years when it comes to maturity. Go boasts a wise native library, however for now, it’s nonetheless a far cry from languages like Java and the help they get pleasure from from a cottage trade of libraries and an enthusiastic neighborhood. 

Getting Began with the Go Programming Language

For those who’re eager about pursuing a career in software development, it gained’t harm to select up area of interest languages like Go. Whereas it’s the brand new child on the block subsequent to extra established languages like Java, Python, and C, its design strengths of cross-platform compatibility, simplicity, readability, and help for contemporary processors make it a comparatively fast examine. 

Whether or not you’re somebody who needs to grow to be a full-stack developer or a front-end developer, including newer languages to your arsenal of programming abilities ought to make you a extra engaging rent with potential employers. 

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