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If you have stumbled upon this blog, you are either completely new to programming or you are trying to figure out what to learn first or you’re just curious and asking yourself why learn Go?
Whatever the reason, Go is one of the best programming languages to learn in 2021, regardless of your skill level.
Related: Why is Elixir making headlines?
A slew of helpful resources are available, Go is easy to learn, and there are plenty of opportunities out there for those who are willing to give it a serious shot. There are also tons of companies using Go for app development and constantly looking for skilled programmers.
So what makes it special? And why should you learn Go? Let’s try and figure it out.
Is Golang worth Learning?
We are going to break it down into 3 main reasons:
- Features of Go programming language.
- The state of Go. (The community, availability of resources, adoption, etc).
- What is the future?
To be able to have a better idea of the features of Golang or any other programming language for that matter, it is a good idea to know why it was created. Golang is a brainchild of three Google engineers and its foundation was laid back in 2007.
Back then Google had a massive codebase and that still is the case probably. The problem they were facing was that whenever there was a need for change, the entire code had to be compiled. Which is the process of converting human-readable code to something machines can make a sense of.
This process is time-consuming and the amount of codebase Google was generating, made fast & efficient code compilation close to impossible. To combat this challenge three Google engineers sat down together for a brainstorming session and that’s how Go came into being. They wanted this new language to have a few characteristics and those are simplicity & speed. A programming language that is easy to read & write, could compile code faster, and handle multiple processes at a time; also known as concurrency.
Over time, computers started becoming more and more powerful but a powerful machine does not mean your apps will magically run faster and perform better. Code has to be written in a way that can benefit from the power of the machines. There are a few programming languages that allow you to do that and Go is all those things when it comes to features, This aspect alone is enough to answer the why learn Go query.
The State of Golang
If you are just starting out with Go or any other language, remember that the community is as important as the technical prowess of the language. If you opt for a programming language that does not have a strong community backing, you will eventually hit a snag. No community also means scarce learning and troubleshooting resources online. It is, therefore, important that you choose a language that has a decent following.
Go has a large following and informative resources are available for learning and troubleshooting problems. One of those resources is Jetbrains, a company responsible for creating quite a few popular IDEs for various programming languages. In the last couple of years, they have conducted many surveys to identify the latest trends surrounding different programming languages.
According to a 2020 Jetbrains survey, over 19% of a sample of 20,000 developers reported using Golang, and the Google creation stood 12th on the podium. Now, you must be thinking, well, why learn Go when it is ranked 12th on the list? It is not as bad as you think it is. Especially, when you consider that in terms of usage, every other language, with the exception of Typescript, was released at least 9 years before Go. In the tech world, that is synonymous with 60+ years.
While it ranks 12th wrt to the usage, here’s some good news! Go ranks number 1 in terms of the number of developers planning to shift to Golang. This trend is in part influenced by the fact that a ridiculous amount of companies are shifting their applications to the cloud and Golang is proving to be a perfect candidate in assisting that migration.
Golang’s popularity can also be attributed to the fact that reputable websites like Upwork and Business Insider have ranked Golang among the hottest programming languages to learn. In addition to the promising statistics, you can also find helpful resources. Just type Golang in Google and you’ll be bombarded with the latest books, blogs like this one, and video tutorials. That’s all because the community is quite active and well, there’s a future in it too.
The Future of Golang
Remember we talked about the features of Go, garbage collection, fast compilation, and concurrency earlier? While Go might be unique when it comes to achieving these crucial features, these concepts are not limited to a specific language. However, if a language is easy to learn and can achieve these features too, it is definitely a plus. We also learned that many companies are opting for Go to migrate their apps to the cloud. This is probably the biggest USP of Golang.
Learning Go will expose you to more cloud-based technologies. And when everyone is honing in on the long-term benefits of shifting to the cloud, it is probably the best time to become a Go developer.
While Go’s popularity is constantly growing, it is a relatively new language compared to languages such as Java, Python, & Typescript, and finding experienced Golang developers can be daunting.