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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Pitch me on Go

Part of a new series! Feel welcome to dip in and weigh in on a past question.

Let's say I've never used Golang before. Can anyone give the run down of what the language does and why you prefer it? Feel free to touch on drawbacks as well.

Top comments (48)

codewander profile image

Coming from scala, clojure, elixir viewpoint, the golang ecosystem is huge and many vendors provide bindings. From a python, node view, golang feels a little smaller.

aceix profile image

Man, u've bee sleeping in dough; niche background

codewander profile image
codewander • Edited

Super fast pr reviews because there are very few choices to make. I don't love go, but that seems like it's strongest selling point relative to scala. It kind of reminds me of the goals of "basic English".

wiseai profile image
Mahmoud Harmouch

In brief, GO is a blazingly fast, statically typed programming language that outperforms so many damn dynamically typed languages.

FYI: There is a go version of docker-compose called compose v2. Worth a try. You will never regret that.

cpustejovsky profile image
Charles Clinton Pustejovsky III • Edited

Most if not all languages can be used to be build distributed microservices. With it's focus on package oriented design and concurrency primitives, Go was actually made to build distributed systems. Given how much companies need to scale, it makes Go an excellent tool in their arsenal.

Go also has made the brave decision to remove powerful abstractions like inheritance, function overloading, etc. These may be nice, but they can often bite us in the ass later, and I don't think any developer is trustworthy enough to not to abuse them, especially when they're on a deadline and it's a Friday afternoon.

I think Go is amazing for problems dealing with I/O and where a long term solution is needed.

It may not be the best option for something where you need to be as memory efficient as possible.

Also, as much as I dislike NodeJS, I'd use it over Go for prototyping. An opinionated, statically typed language isn't great for throwing together a disposable prototype.

peerreynders profile image

It is a very simple language

"It must be familiar, roughly C-like. Programmers working at Google are early in their careers and are most familiar with procedural languages, particularly from the C family. The need to get programmers productive quickly in a new language means that the language cannot be too radical."

Go at Google: Language Design in the Service of Software Engineering

In Rich Hickey's terms it tends more towards easy (familiar) rather than simple.

peerreynders profile image
  • sorta functional but lacking

First time I've seen that as a euphemism for procedural.

Go FAQ: Why build concurrency on the ideas of CSP?:
"Experience with several earlier languages has shown that the CSP model fits well into a procedural language framework.".

It's a procedural language with a built in coordination model (for something functional you have go with something like Erlang or Elixir).

iamschulz profile image
Daniel Schulz

Just look at the mascot.

wesen profile image
Manuel Odendahl • Edited


  • get shit done
  • very readable
  • lots of nice libraries
  • all libraries that do async work are easily integratable
  • easy cross compilation + static binaries
  • opinionated toolchain
  • easy to integrate code generation
  • go mod + workspaces finally make it nice
  • faster than most things out there, good enough for serious embedded work


  • kind of user hostile (terse tool output)
  • dependency management was a shitshow for a long time (kind of solved)
  • people gloss over the fact that you can easily make big big concurrency booboo if you don't know what you are doing
  • very verbose (github copilot helps a lot)
highcenburg profile image
Vicente Antonio G. Reyes

What's the basis for learning Go in a day?

wesen profile image
Manuel Odendahl

I like pointing people who already know programming to "Effective Go". If you have no experience with concurrency and threading, that will take some additional learning. Don't go in there just YOLOing channels and goroutines left and right.

My rules for goroutines:

  • know when, where and why a goroutine is created
  • for every goroutine, make sure it can properly be cancelled
  • for every goroutine, think and design how it would report errors
  • for every goroutine, know exactly when it finishes, and how its results are handled
  • use errgroup to start goroutines, and write actual goroutine bodies as Run(ctx *context.Context, args...) error
dominikbraun profile image
DB • Edited

Go being learnable in a day is a huge misconception about the language. Basic syntax yes, but it takes months to figure out proper package- and project structures.

codewander profile image

Why so long?

Thread Thread
dominikbraun profile image

The language is very opinionated on how to implement things - for example, reading a file or running a web server. There's only one way to do this in Go.

But Go is very un-opionionated when it comes to your code layout and project structure: There is no "default structure", you can create packages as you want, you create files as you want, you can place multiple types and functions within a single file, you can define interfaces inside the package that uses the interface or inside the package that provides the concrete implementation of the interface...

It just takes a time to figure out how to properly structure the code. Go is very liberal in this concern and each project should use a structure that fits best.

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codewander profile image
codewander • Edited

Why is it unopinionated on how to organize types and functions within modules?

Thread Thread
dominikbraun profile image

In other languages, say, Java, you'd create a file for your Order class. There's no such convention in Go. You can create a file called order.go containing an Order type, but other types, constants and functions may also be in that file. Go simply doesn't have any restrictions regarding the code structure, and that allows for the best-fitting solution for your use case on the one side but also many possibilities each with their own pros and cons on the other side.

Thread Thread
codewander profile image


I was more curious about why the leadership is opinionated about error handling, but isn't as opinionated about module conventions.

I understand that in both functional and procedure languages, there is a much larger degree of freedom in how you group together items inside of modules. I haven't done a lot of c programming, but I assume it has very well established patterns for organizing modules by now.

mrwormhole profile image
Talha Altınel • Edited

well that's easy: Look at the motto "Go will make you love programming again, we promise"

I was easily lost after the burnouts with 7-8 different+bloated languages and hostile communities. If you don't follow CoC of Go, you are not counted as a Go developer. The community and fhe founders of the language made a huge difference and a fresh start in my whole life.

acoh3n profile image
Arik • Edited

Probably my favorite thing about Go is that it's lacking features. While just about every other language is competing for feature parity with other languages, Go seems to be true to keeping to its original philosophy of simplicity over a bunch of features. This makes for code that is generally quite readable and understandable by others because there aren't ten thousand ways to do every thing.

raddevus profile image

Uh, no one mentioned the real reason to use Go :

Easy to deploy!

1) build 2) give user Executable (single file).

perelson profile image
Andrew Perelson

This. Easy cross compile and easy to deploy.

drsensor profile image
૮༼⚆︿⚆༽つ • Edited
  • Fast compile. In fact time of running go run is on par with JIT-ed scripting language like Javascript (node/deno) or Python
  • Unlike scripting language, it produce static binary (though the size is still bigger than Rust, C++, or Zig)
  • Beware of dependency that interop with C or static library (FFI). It can give you bottlenock caused by cgo. There is several solution for this like using gccgo or converting C code via c2go. Those will remove the bottleneck but it's not always works (depend on the dependency you use or C code you want to convert)
  • Coming from Python? Check out Go+
pandademic profile image

WARNING: I'm super biased , Go is my favorite language.


  • easy cross compiling support
  • reasonably simple language*
  • great dependency management**
  • amazing standard library
  • simple concurrency
  • single binary output
  • hard to forget
  • a wide variety of libraries
  • awesome mascot


  • not the best environment setup , the first few times around anyway

("1 astrix") reasonably ... somethings take getting used to
("2 astrix") if your environment is setup properly , also , it takes some getting used to

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