Go Programming Language

Go Programming Language

Go, also known as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled language developed by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson at Google, and it was announced to the public in 2007. The language was designed with simplicity and effectiveness in mind, aiming to address criticisms of other languages in use at Google for networked systems (such as C++ and Java) while retaining their useful characteristics.

Go was specifically designed to handle large-scale software projects and to leverage the power of modern multicore and networked machines. The primary purpose of the language is to improve productivity and satisfaction among programmers by providing a model that is easy to understand and pragmatic.

A Quick Intro to Go

The video below provides a good overview of how Go works. This quick intro to Go should help you know whether it’s a language that deserves more attention for your coding project.

Golang Strengths and Weaknesses


  • Performance: Go is compiled to machine code, which makes it naturally faster than languages that are interpreted or have virtual runtimes.
  • Concurrency: One of the standout features of Go is its built-in support for concurrent programming. Go has goroutines, which are lightweight threads managed by the Go runtime, and channels, for communication among goroutines. This makes it well suited to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Simplicity and Clarity: Go’s syntax is clean and easy to understand, reducing the cognitive load on developers and increasing productivity.
  • Standard Library: Go has a rich standard library which covers a wide variety of areas. It provides packages for handling I/O, sorting, web servers, cryptography, and more.


  • Error Handling: Go’s approach to error handling can be seen as a bit repetitive and verbose since it requires explicit checks on whether an error occurred after many operations.
  • Lack of GUI Libraries: Go is not typically used for developing desktop applications with a graphical user interface. There aren’t many libraries that support GUI development in Go.

Technologies Associated with Go : Go is often used in web development, networking, and DevOps tools. It is frequently paired with technologies like Docker (which is written in Go), Kubernetes, Terraform, and many others. In web development, Go can be used with several frameworks such as Gin, Echo, and Revel.

Apps Developed in Go

To understand the Go programming language and what it’s strengths are, it is useful to take a look at some of the apps that have been developed in the language. Here are some well-known apps that are developed at least partially in Go.

  1. Docker: An open platform for developers and sysadmins to build, ship, and run distributed applications.
  2. Kubernetes: An open-source platform designed to automate deploying, scaling, and operating application containers.
  3. Terraform: An Infrastructure as Code (IaC) tool for building, changing, and versioning infrastructure safely and efficiently.
  4. Dropbox: While not entirely written in Go, Dropbox moved significant portions of their back-end infrastructure to Go.

Go Code Samples

Simple Hello World Program

The code below demonstrates the Go version of the common “Hello World” basic program.

package main

import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Println("Hello, World!")

Go Concurrency

The code block below shows an example of how to use goroutines and channels to handle concurrency with Go.

package main

import (

func printNumbers(c chan int) {
	for i := 1; i <= 5; i++ {
		c <- i

func main() {
	c := make(chan int)
	go printNumbers(c)

	for num := range c {

In this code, a goroutine is started that sends integers through a channel. The main goroutine receives the integers from the channel and prints them. The program prints the numbers 1 through 5, with a delay of 1 second between each number.

Why Use Go?

Go is intended to address the problems that large organizations like Google encounter when dealing with concurrent programming, making it ideal for building scalable, high-performance network servers and data pipelines. The language is highly efficient and fast due to its compiled nature, which gives it a performance advantage over interpreted languages.

Go’s standout features include its native support for concurrent process channeling, baked directly into the language. This allows programmers to structure concurrent software with greater ease and efficiency, making full use of multicore processors and distributed systems. Go’s simplicity further enhances its appeal; its minimalistic, easy-to-understand syntax improves code readability and maintainability, making the language easier to learn and work with compared to others like Java or C++.

The language boasts a robust standard library that significantly reduces dependencies on third-party libraries. This library, comprehensive and feature-rich, supports various needs, including web server development, cryptography, and data compression/decompression. Additionally, Go is a fitting choice for cross-platform development, offering a “write once, run anywhere” model. It also stands as the backbone of modern, cloud-native technologies such as Docker and Kubernetes. Consequently, if you’re working in a cloud-centric environment, proficiency in Go can be a substantial advantage.

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