In recent years, Go (also known as Golang) has emerged as a powerful programming language for web development, capturing the attention of top companies worldwide. Developed by Google in 2007 and launched to the audience in 2009, Golang became one of the top 10 programming languages today. Programmers from the USA, Europe, Asia, and Africa use Go for web development and want to keep it the same.
Go combines simplicity, efficiency, and excellent performance to deliver robust and scalable web applications. In the article, you’ll learn what Golang is, its practical purposes, and why so many famous IT products were created. We’ll show the possibilities of this language, compare it to others, and share our relevant expertise.
Why use Go for Web Development?
High Performance and Scalability
One of the key reasons top companies opt for Go in web development is its exceptional performance and scalability. Go’s unique design focuses on efficient resource utilization, providing high-speed execution and low latency. Go’s lightweight goroutines and built-in concurrency primitives allow for efficient parallelism, enabling developers to handle large requests without sacrificing performance. This capability is particularly crucial for companies that experience high traffic loads or need real-time data processing.
Simplified Development Process
Go’s concise and expressive syntax, along with its minimalistic approach, simplifies the web development process. With Go, developers can write clean and readable code that is easy to maintain. Go’s strong standard library offers comprehensive packages for handling networking, encryption, file operations, and more, reducing the need for external dependencies. The simplicity of the language and the availability of extensive documentation and resources enable developers to quickly prototype ideas, iterate rapidly, and accelerate the development cycle.
Robust and Resilient Applications
Go’s focus on simplicity and reliability translates into robust web applications. Static typing, built-in testing framework, and strict compiler checks ensure early detection of errors, leading to more stable codebases. Go’s error-handling mechanism encourages explicit error checking, enhancing the resilience of applications. Additionally, Go’s native support for concurrency and lightweight processes facilitates fault tolerance and the creation of highly available systems.
Extensive Ecosystem and Tooling
Go boasts a thriving ecosystem with many libraries, frameworks, and tools. The Go community has developed numerous packages to address common web development challenges, covering routing, database access, authentication, and more. Popular frameworks like Gin, Echo, and Revel provide additional enhancements to abstraction and productivity. Moreover, Go integrates seamlessly with existing infrastructure and systems, allowing companies to leverage their technology investments and integrate Go into their tech stacks.
Scalable Microservices Architecture
Go’s simplicity, performance, and built-in concurrency features make it an excellent choice for developing microservices architectures. Many top companies have adopted microservices to improve scalability, maintainability, and deployment flexibility. Go’s small binary size, fast startup time, and efficient memory usage enable companies to build and deploy lightweight microservices that can handle many requests concurrently. Go’s compatibility with containerization technologies like Docker further facilitates the management and deployment of microservices.
Efficient DevOps Practices
Go’s design aligns well with modern DevOps practices. Its fast compilation and execution times contribute to shorter deployment cycles. Go’s easy cross-compilation allows for seamless deployment across different platforms. Additionally, Go’s native support for static linking results in self-contained binaries, simplifying deployment and reducing compatibility issues. These qualities make Go a favored language for companies prioritizing agile development, continuous integration, and rapid deployment.
When Go is the Best Match: Learning from the Experience of Top Companies
deployed Go to modernize and boost developers’ productivity
The company was growing larger, so its platform needed to be simplified. As the company’s goal was to make transactions between billions of people worldwide quick and easy, C++, which they used before Go, couldn’t be a suitable solution to continue. They needed something less complicated. Golang became a good support for PayPal as it offers simplicity and allows programs to write clear and easy-to-scale code. Besides, running the Go code resulted in a CPU reduction of 10%.
For 6 months, the developers had been working with Go, and as a result, presented its benefits for the company. They preferred the language for:
- Its fast tools,
- Rich libraries list,
- Type safety,
- An ability to compile machine code quickly,
- A convenient garbage collection,
And that’s not all. With the language, developers have had more time to think strategically instead of endlessly correcting code as compared to C++ or Java. It allowed the company to optimize development time without harming results. Now PayPal builds, tests, and releases pipelines with Go.
_switched from Python to Go _
The company used Python for most back-end services, and when they needed better performance, they turned to C. It was an appropriate solution, but the code maintainability had something to be desired with C. There are few C developers, and if something goes wrong, companies cannot guarantee that they will quickly find a programmer to help.
Bitly was searching for a simple language that could deliver a high performance. They wanted to find a language that would combine the advantages of Python and C. And Golang became this language. Since Bitly started to use it in their project (NSQ), the team has noticed that:
- The same workload can be run on fewer servers,
- Response time became nearly two times faster, as compared to Python,
- It took far less time to copy files to Google Storage,
- CPU load reduced.
The Bitly team liked that programmers could be onboarded in Go web development for a few weeks and start working on real tasks. No less important is that the Go community is welcoming and always ready to support, and the Bitly team appreciates it. Every year they participate in Gophercon, a conference for developers.
Speed of copying 7,000—11,000 files to Google Storage. Python and Go comparison by Bitly (bitly.com)
_made payments and rewards faster _
The company used at least three tools: С++, Java, and Node.js. They decided to try a new one to make payment processing faster, considering the high transaction volumes. Besides, they had two more goals: to modernize the architecture and build efficient apps for payment processing.
American Express chose Golang for:
- Code simplicity
- Easily running code writing process
- Contemporary tools and features
And had great results in payments as well as rewards networks.
How did it happen that American Express chose this language?
The company’s developers knew about its benefits, and it was their idea to pilot the language. But before the company began applying it, the developers had organized a programming languages showdown to find out which was the best for their needs in performance and design. They compared Go to С++, Java, and Node.js. It had a second result in performance (140,000 requests per second), but its tools, profiling and benchmarking features appeared to be impressive for the team.
After the showdown, American Express chose Golang also for high-performance microservices development. They didn’t originally plan to choose it for this purpose, but all the possibilities of the language, which the team noticed in practice, influenced their choice.
Go vs. Other Web Development Tools
But is Golang better for web development than programming languages that existed and were successfully used before it? Let’s find out.
Go vs. Java
Java is a very good solution for large web apps and high loads, but Golang is becoming increasingly convenient for programmers due to its simplicity.
Go’s main advantages over Java are:
- Higher performance out of the box,
- Memory saving,
- Goroutines, which are cheaper than threads,
- CSP model,
- Better dependency management which is useful when you have a set of projects that inherits a common parent,
- Easy code that allows speed up the development.
Java’s advantages are:
- Rich language facilities that make it easier to write large monolithic projects,
- More garbage collectors for various situations,
- Lower cost of development.
Wrapping it up, both languages offer many tools and features. Which of them to choose depends on a specific task. In any case, Java developers can quickly study Go due to its simplicity—and start writing efficient code if necessary.
Go vs. Python
Python and have many benefits. Both are used for back-end, web and API development. But since Golang appeared, Python developers have mastered it and have yet to use their previous programming language.
Go’s main advantages over Python are:
- Faster execution,
- Better bugs detection,
- A big choice of libraries and plugins,
- Many special libraries for AI-powered apps,
- Error handling makes code more clear and stable,
- The code is easy to read,
- Easier syntax,
- Better concurrency,
- Saves CPU and memory resources more efficiently.
Python’s advantages are:
- Faster API development,
- Lower cost of development.
Sometimes Python can be used with Go in web development to achieve better results. It’s important to choose an experienced developer who knows in which cases to use one or both languages. If you are looking for such a specialist and want to learn how to do it, learn more about Golang outsourcing services.
Go vs Rust
Rust and Golang have many benefits and similar features: they are often chosen for their performance, scalability, great range of tools, concurrence, and high speed. But they have some differences as well.
Go’s main advantages over Rust are:
- Easy to master and apply,
- Many libraries and frameworks,
- Simple syntax,
- Goroutines, which are cheaper than threads,
- It suits to handle large amounts of independent requests and is a perfect solution for server-side applications,
- Fast iteration and flexibility, so apps are easy to adopt and change for users’ needs,
- A few days are enough to onboard a programmer in a project,
- Lower cost of development.
Rust’s advantages are:
- Suits not only for web but for front-end and game development,
- Amount of control you have over memory management,
- Higher memory safety in complex systems,
- The best choice for low-level operations due to its finer control,
- Great at managing machine resources.
To sum up, we see that Rust and Golang can be used even in the most difficult and large-scale projects. They are worthy competitors which can give impressive results while used separately or together.
Go vs. Node.js
Many developers call Golang a “killer” of Node.js. Let’s see whether it is true. Go suits web development (especially large-scale back end), intensive data processing, real-time projects, and many other things. It’s a full-fledged language, while Node.js is a back-end JS runtime environment good for video games, messengers, and real-time apps.
Go’s main advantages over Node.js are:
- Stronger concurrency
- Being faster
- Takes less time, memory, and CPU load to perform operations
- Good memory management capabilities
- Lower benchmark time which helps to find out how to improve performance in a program or set of programs
- More quality tools, especially for the back end
Node.js’ advantages are:
- Error handling is more convenient for most programmers,
- Easier to learn, especially for JS developers,
- More various tools, including front-end,
- Lower cost of development.
Due to Golang’s multiple benefits for large projects, it is a better choice than Node.js. But if you need something not that complicated—for example, a project you aren’t planning for long-term future growth—there is no point in a more expensive tool.
To sum things up
- Go can be used for web development, API, charts, real-time communications, server apps, cloud-based services, cloud computing etc… Still, you’d better look for alternatives for mobile apps, graphics and front-end development.
- The programming language is often chosen for its simplicity and ability to save development resources and deliver great results.
- When compared to other languages and tools, this one, in many ways, surpasses Java, Python, Rust, and Node.js when you need to develop high-load or distributed systems.
- Major market players successfully use the language: for example, PayPal, Bitly, Dropbox, Netflix, and American Express.
At Relia Software, we have been developing back-end and high-load services for over 12 years. Companies choose us for a client-oriented approach and our unique cross-industrial experience at what we do. Based on the strong engineering culture, our in-house team has created many projects we’re really proud of.
- Mobile App Development
- Web application Development