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Getting Started with Go

Go is relatively a new language, it was created at Google in 2007 and the production version was released to public in 2009. Go is a lightweight, fast, statically typed, and compiled programming language.

The origin of the Go programming language

In 2007, several developers at Google (including Ken Thompson, who is a major figure in early computer science and a Turing Award winner) sought to create a new programming language.

First, they wanted to combine the qualities of the main languages then in use: C was fast, Python and JavaScript were easily readable, etc. Go would be everything at once.

Secondly, they meant to make concurrency (i.e. executing multiple instructions at once) much more convenient to manage than with their current tools.

Since then, many companies have started using it, Google, of course, but also Uber, Twitch, Dropbox, etc. and updates are regularly released with new features or bug fixes.

Go in 2022

According to several indexes (such as the TIOBE index and the PYPL index), Go is among the top ten most popular programming languages in the world. Therefore, by studying it, you will be sure to learn a language that is used in the industry and that will be supported for many years to come.

And one last thing, 2022 is the perfect year to start as the Go team finally added the long-awaited generics, more on that later in the course.

Is the language called Go or Golang?

Officially it is called Go. The "golang" name came into the picture because the website was originally golang.org (There was no .dev domain back then, and .com was not available).

Side Note: Although the official logo denotes Go in two capital letters, the language name is simply written as Go(G in uppercase and o in lowercase), not GO.

What are the advantages of Golang?

  • Golang is a lightweight, fast, statically typed, and compiled programming language
  • Golang is a cross-platform and open-source programming language supported by Google
  • Golang is easy to learn
  • Comes with Built-in concurrency and a robust standard library
  • A growing ecosystem of partners, communities, and tools

What IDEs does Go Support?

Golang does not ship with built-in IDE, however the language and the libraries are designed in such a way to support most of the well-known editors and IDE's.

Some of the popular and well-known IDEs that have good support for Go are as follows.

  • VS Code
  • Atom
  • Eclipse
  • Sublime
  • IntelliJ (through a custom variant called Goland)
  • Vim and many more

Go use cases

Go is a general-purpose language, which means that it can be used for both low-level (e.g. operating systems) and high-level (e.g. web applications) tasks. But its concurrency features make it particularly well suited for network programming, which is why it is often used for web servers. There are also many libraries for data science, machine learning, etc. (even though Python is still the most popular language for those tasks). Finally, many command-line tools are written in Go since it is easy to create binaries for all platforms.

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