For many businesses, their initial web applications are not built with user-friendliness and scalability in mind. As time passes and the business grows, it becomes increasingly tough for these applications to handle more requests and heavier loads. After encountering such issues, a small team of Google engineers namely Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson built a programming language known as Go in 2007 to address these problems. Go (also called Golang) is an open source and general-purpose programming language. It is a statically typed, compiled language that possesses the ease of use of dynamically typed, interpreted languages like Python.
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To go into the details, the creation of Go was motivated by the need to solve problems such as effort duplication, slow build time, uncontrolled dependencies and cross-language development issues at Google, as well as to provide an alternative for C++ and Java. Furthermore, developing a language with higher productivity levels was essential, due to the fact that multi-core processors were becoming more prominent. Concurrent, garbage-collected, and designed for scale. Go is made for building reliable and complex software. Although it was first released back in 2011, it only started to gain popularity in recent years due to the following benefits which are not exhaustive.
Go is fast
As Go is a compiled language, it is really fast. Given that Go is compiled to machine code; it will naturally outperform languages that are interpreted or have virtual run times. When you are done writing the source code, it is run through a compiler which converts the source code into an executable file that can be distributed to run the program on another machine.
Easy to learn
Go does not have crazy programming syntax compared to other languages and it is simple to learn. It looks almost similar to other learned languages which means you do not need to spend a lot of time checking things up. The documentation is also easy to follow.
Garbage collection, or automatic memory management, is a key feature of the Go language. It was intentionally made easier than in C and C++. Go excels in giving a lot of control over memory allocation and has significantly reduced latency in the most recent versions of the garbage collector. It accomplishes this by running concurrently with the program.
Concurrency is the ability to deal with many things at once, such as a web server handling multiple requests but it is notorious for being difficult to achieve. Thankfully, one of Go’s biggest selling points is that it supports two features that make concurrency almost trivial: goroutines and channels. Goroutines are functions capable of running concurrently with other functions while channels allow different goroutines to communicate with each other to determine how best to complete a task.
Static Code Analysis
Go depends a lot on static code analysis. For example, godoc for documentation, golint for code style linting, gofmt for code formatting and more. These tools are commonly implemented as stand-alone command line applications and integrate easily with any coding environment. Best thing is that it gives you a sense of safety.