Go, or Golang, is a programming language conceptualized by Google and created by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson. It has similarities with the programming language C and was intended to replace C++. Go’s development came after its designers sought a way to implement the features and benefits provided by other languages into an open-sourced language that would make development quicker and easier.
Go is uniquely suited for use on servers, web development, and even command-line interfaces. Google uses it to power its cloud platform and also for its extensive networks of servers. Developers use it for application development, web development, operations and infrastructure, and more.
As one of the top-paying tech skills in recent years, Go’s popularity continues to rise. Sachin Gupta, co-founder and CEO of HackerEarth, said that over 30% of developers want to learn this language. So what other reasons are there for learning Go?
1. It’s easy to learn
All developers need to start somewhere, and Go is a great language for beginners since simplicity was the main goal in its creation. Its syntax is small and easy to remember, meaning you won’t have to spend large amounts of time sifting through reference documentation. Its format is also clean and easy to read, so it’s code is clearly understood. Here are some other reasons why Go is so easy to learn:
- It’s self-containing, meaning third-party libraries won't often need to be consulted.
- It’s easily documentable using docstrings that are simple for beginners to remember.
- It’s built to be future-proof, so it will continue to be relevant as coding evolves.
- It uses static typing, which helps to detect errors early in the coding process.
2. It’s agile
Go is fast, so it outperforms other languages. As a concurrent language, you can use it to run multiple processes at the same time. Unlike other programming languages that suffer from performance issues when multitasking, Go runs goroutines that communicate quickly and safely and don’t waste memory resources. Here are some other features that make it an agile programming language:
- Its superior-quality parsing libraries are easy to plug into other libraries, making it great for writing applications for networking.
- Its standard library has a wide range of convenient and user-friendly functions and packages with built-in support.
- It leaves out many of the features of other languages that create heavy overhead. Because of this, it’s easy to maintain and modify, making it simple to sustain without overloading resources.
- It’s a statically compiled language, making it faster and more agile than languages that need to be interpreted. Its execution time is more similar to lower-level languages.
- As an open-source platform, it makes customization easy. Plus, its methods of data abstraction and object-oriented development are amazingly flexible.
3. It’s focused
Go was built for a specific purpose — to be a practical problem-solving language. One of its creators stated that it was made for Software Engineers rather than for coding academics. This means that it performs as it was designed, and the benefits go to the user, whether professional or beginner. That’s one of the reasons why we list it as one of the 12 best languages for beginners.
Because it’s open source, it also encourages good documentation habits without needing any extra languages for annotation. Being backed by Google means that it can be used to manage large programs efficiently. It’s also useful for production-based code, microservices, push notifications, and streaming.
4. It offers good career opportunities
Go benefits from its backing from Google. Several of Google's larger services use it, such as YouTube and Google’s download server. Google’s international influence has prompted other large organizations, such as BBC Worldwide, Canonical, Heroku, Nokia, and Soundcloud, to use it as well. As a result, some of the career opportunities open to those who know Go include:
- Golang Developer. Golang Developers use Go to build software and web products. Their job duties may vary but often include developing code with the Go templating language and Go tools and frameworks, such as Sltr, Godep, Revel, and Stringer. These developers might also be responsible for troubleshooting and testing different functions of software and websites, making updates or modifications as needed.
- Golang Engineer. The duties of a Golang Engineer may be similar to a Golang Developer’s but depending on the size of their team, they may focus on administration more than development. These engineers oversee and manage development, taking the lead and training junior staff. They may also be involved in maintaining and troubleshooting, detecting issues, and applying fixes to maintain quality control.
- Golang Back-End Software Engineer. This career involves specializing in a specific part of software engineering. Back-End Software Engineers are responsible for the infrastructure of a software application. They write business logic, server scripts, and application programming interfaces (APIs) that will be used later by Front-End Engineers and Web Designers.
5. It pays well
Some of the best freelancing rates are paid to Go programmers. For example, Upwork lists the average rate at $64 per hour. Only Objective-C rates are higher.
As a specialty language, Go developers are in high demand, which translates to more lucrative job opportunities. Recently, GeeksforGeeks listed the average salary for a Go developer at almost $136,000 per year. So besides being easy to learn and agile as a programming language, it pays well, too!
How to learn Go
Just as Go was designed with simplicity in mind, our courses are meant to be quick and easy for those looking to build their programming skills. Our six-part course for learning Go will teach:
- How to set up a Go environment and create a Go file
- Familiarity with the data types and variables of Go
- Knowledge of Go’s conditional statements
- The use of functions in Go