Sunday, 24 April 2016

Google's Go Programming Language and Why You Should Use It

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As a programming enthusiast, I’ve done some serious work using languages like Visual Basic, Java, VB.NET and some web programming languages like PHP, ASP, JavaScript. I also played around with Python, C, C++ and some not so popular languages like Action Script from Macromedia and so on. However, I was introduced to the Go Language (A low-level programming language with a modern high-level syntax) while studying a journal for my M.Sc. project last month.
I started learning it and feel I should let my blog readers know about its benefits. I’ve been learning and reviewing the language for the past 5 weeks and have decided to point out some of its features to both experienced and would-be programmers out there.

An Overview of Go
Go is an open source programming language created by Google for fast system development. According to Google, “Go combines the development speed of working in a dynamic language like Python with the performance and safety of a compiled language like C or C++”. Another thing to know about the language is that it makes use of channels, goroutines (also known as threads in some other languages) as well as standard data structure referred to as maps and slices. A map represents a relation of two data types, one serving as the key and other as data holder. Slices are similar to C arrays but their size can be modified at runtime. Channels make it possible for goroutines to complete and communicate the result of a task to the rest of the program. Though, not as sophisticated and popular as some core programming languages like Java, It has been used in a number of innovative projects and embraced by more and more firms. A good example of businesses that has embraced the use of Go is a UK startup bank Mondo. At Mondo, Go is used to build, among other things, the banking ledger system. Also, Popular organizations such as BBC Worldwide and New York Times have incorporated Go into their software deployment

Why Go?
I know many readers out there are wondering why they should switch to this language. Below are some of the major reasons why you may decide to make use of Google’s Go language.
  1. Speed: This is an essential feature a programming language must possess to succeed in an extremely competitive market. Go use statically linked libraries during compilation to run directly on a server with no dependencies. This is in contrast to some other languages like Java where the libraries have to be executed on the Java Virtual Machine within a servlet container.
  2. Simplicity: Goroutines, channels and standard libraries of the language makes it easy for a programmer to achieve his/goals. This is a program that focus on simple verbose solutions and encourage developers to adopt a style that solves problem without any constraint.
  3. Fun to use: By reducing the work load on programmers through the use of innovative techniques to develop productive programs, Go has made coding fun for programmers like me.

In this post, I have introduced a young programming language that is continually gaining popularity in the software development field. It is however not enough to only read about it, you just need to start doing some coding with Go so that you can experience and have the feel of its features. To do that you can visit Udemy or watch out for Go tutorials I intend to make available on this blog when I fully get the hang of it. Don’t forget to always check back for more posts. Thanks for reading.
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