Google's Go language is a relatively new programming language that is already making waves.
In 2020, it was ranked as the 14th most popular programming language in the world (Redmonk, 2020). Just one year late, it rose up the 10th rank with almost 3 million of developers using it globally (JetBrains, 2021).
What makes this Google language so special? To answer it as briefly as possible: Go has a number of features that make it an attractive alternative to Java, C++, and other languages. In this article, we will explore some of these features and why the Go language is becoming increasingly popular.
Even more so, we will consider a practical side of this and discuss how can rewriting with Go make sense for your application.
Without further ado, let’s go!
What is Go?
Go is a compiled, general-purpose programming language. It was created at Google in 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson.
It is designed to be a fast and easy-to-use language, with the intent of being a modern replacement for C++ and Java.
The code is simple to read because it has fewer syntactic constructs than other languages like Java or Python. This in turn makes it much easier to learn by developers.
Go language has syntax loosely derived from that of C, plus added features such as:
- garbage collection,
- type safety,
- some dynamic-typing capabilities,
- additional built-in types such as variable-length arrays and key-value maps.
In Go, the general rule is that the programmer should not be concerned with memory management. The language uses garbage collection to reclaim unused memory.
In comparison, if you are using a language that does not automatically collect garbage, it is necessary to perform a quick and periodic sweep of the application heap manually. It’s crucial to release any objects which may be causing leaks.
Therefore, automating memory management by using Go makes programmers’ work much easier and convenient.
Why should you consider rewriting your application?
We mentioned that Go might be a good language to rewrite your app, so let’s now take a look at why it might be beneficial for you at all.
The most common reason for rewriting an application is that the original code is not performing well. Another reason is that you need to keep your code up-to-date with modern technologies. This in turn makes it easier for you to find competent developers on the market or rewrite your app even further in the future.
Rewriting part of your app can be beneficial for several reasons:
- You can reuse part of your code and reduce the amount of work required for future updates
- You can separate work into multiple tasks and perform actions concurrently, which makes it possible to finish tasks in less time
- You can simplify the deployment process by splitting up your application into smaller parts, which are easier to deploy
- You can rethink some past mistakes and update the app’s design or features, given you have assembled the properly specialized team this time
Why should you use Go to rewrite your app?
One of the most common problems that mobile app developers face is this:
- How to improve their app performance without having to write a new version of the whole application?
This is where Go comes in. It can help you with rewriting your application, mainly because it has the microservices that can help with all aforementioned cases.
- Extra performance - Go compiles to native code and has a fast runtime, which makes it ideal for high-performance applications, like web servers
- Reusability of your app’s parts - Go allows you to import packages from other repositories or projects, so you can reuse code that already exists in different projects
- Separate work - Go allows you to divide your program into different packages, which makes it easier to maintain and update your codebase
- Simplify deployment process - Go’s “go build” command builds executables without having to use a third party package
To fully understand how it works, be sure to read the article further!
Give your application an extra boost in performance
We established that Go can help with rewriting your application by separating work, simplifying the deployment process and, in general, adding an extra boost yo your performance.
But how exactly does it work?
Heavy calculations done faster
Go is a compiled programming language, which means that it compiles to machine code and can be executed on any computer without an interpreter.
For this reason, compiled languages are better for heavy calculations, as they run at a high speed and don't need to process instructions in a precise order.
And because Go compiles quickly and produces small executables, large projects like Google's search engine can compile all their code in just 10 minutes on a single machine.
Rewrite necessary parts and scale them freely
Programmers who create Go applications are often able to do so in less time than they would with other languages because they don't have to rewrite the whole application, but just parts where better performance makes a difference.
And when you rewrite your parts, they can be also scaled independently of the whole application. This means you can use the same codebase to build your application in different projects without having to rewrite any of the code.
This, of course, saves your time and helps you to manage your multiple tasks more efficiently. Which brings us to the next crucial advantage of Go language.
Be agile and deliver the changes faster
Golang is an open source, which means that it can be used by anyone and the code can be shared with anyone. What’s more, with its microservices, the other applications can also effectively work with the same functionality.
But the main reasons that make Golang so agile is what has already been proclaimed: it has the ability to change code quickly and efficiently.
What makes Go agile?
- Open-source nature, allowing to share the code with the other developers and applications
- Built-in features that help developers work more quickly, like aforementioned concurrency and garbage collection.
- Rich standard library that includes database drivers, JSON encoders/decoders, HTML formatter, and many others
- Great community that provides feedback on the development of the language and helps with bug fixes and new features.
All of the above can help you greatly simplify the deployment process, because you spend less time on changes and creating the code from scratch.
What’s more, being an open-source language with access to a community ensures that you have a smaller database that is easier to maintain.
Being this agile, it makes a great choice for startups or companies who want to iterate quickly on their product. Additionally, because of its great responsiveness to new requirements, Go is also often used as a backend language for websites and web apps.
Improve your operations with concurrency
Although it has been already mentioned in this article, it has to be stressed again: Golang makes your operations much more improved thanks to concurrency.
- Concurrency is a way to improve your operations by running multiple tasks at the same time.
Golang is a programming language that was designed with concurrency in mind. It has built-in mechanisms, goroutines and channels, which are used to run concurrent actions.
- Goroutines are lightweight threads that can be used concurrently with other goroutines in your application. It’s somewhat similar to traditional threads, but much less expensive to create.
- Channels provide an abstraction for passing values between goroutines, which is more efficient than passing values via function arguments or return values.
Goroutines mechanisms are also used to minimize locking and other thread synchronizations, which can make your application more responsive.
This improves your potential user's satisfaction rate: and that’s the ultimate deal, in the end!
Obviously, thetthe main benefit of concurrency is that it helps you achieve more at the same time. Running multitasks help you to better manage your operations and greatly reduce the time it takes to move your app from testing phase to the production environment.
And if you’re planning to introduce your product to external customers, greater agility also reduces the general time-to-market.
Overall, it simply makes your team work better and faster. Not to mention that in the end it saves your project’s budget which makes much more space for improvement and even making new plans.
Golang is fast, secure, reliable and has been tested extensively in production for more than 10 years under heavy loads.
The main benefits of rewriting your app with Golang a numerous, but let’s mention the honorary reasons already recalled in this article:
- The language is easy to learn
- Asynchronous event driven programming with goroutines
- Blazingly fast, it was designed for systems that need to scale up as well as to handle large data sets
- You can rewrite only those parts that need extra improvement
- Built-in support for concurrency, parallelism and the actor model
- You can share code with other applications or easily create microservices using URL routing.
- It’s a great choice for writing web applications because it’s lightweight and fast.
What’s even more important, by rewriting your app’s part to Golang, you can improve it without huge investment.
Rewrite your app with Go!
Sounds interesting? If you’d like to know more, you have come to the right place! We’ll be more than happy to discuss with you the possibilities to rewrite your own app in Go, so you can achieve the best improvement with most optimal costs.