Software Development: Golang vs. Node.js – What Developers and Businesses should consider for their software development projects?
In the previous blog posts, we have explored the advantages (as well as some disadvantages) of using Golang for software development projects of various kinds. This time, we take a closer look to understand how Golang stacks up against other popular technology such as Node.js and whether a software developer should switch from Node.js to the rising star that is Golang. Let’s find out how the competition stack up, as follow:
Golang was first introduced in 2009 and still considers to be a quite new programming language.
Similarly, Node.js was also launched in 2009, however, it has garnered a larger audience and community of developers when compared to Golang.
Performance and Concurrency
As Golang being a compiled language (similar to C and C++) and Node.js is an interpreted one, so, theoretically, Go provides faster performance since it does not require any interpreter or virtual machine for interpretation. Additionally, because Node.js is single-threaded, it can use up CPU resources for an extended period of time while running back-ground refresh jobs, but this does not seem to be a problem in Golang thanks to Goroutines.
(Read more about Goroutines in our previous blog post HERE)
However, both offers pretty much equal performance results in many real-life situations.
When it comes to scalability, Node.js seems to be weaker compared to Golang in terms of running background jobs in parallel with foreground queries which is required for many large scale projects. As mentioned before, by taking advantage of Goroutines with the capacity to allow multiple threads to be performed concurrently, Golang is able to overcome possible issues related to this specific part.
The Node.js approach in dealing with error is through throw/catch mechanism and this seems to be popular in the developer community, although such approach might cause some issues in regard to consistency.
With Golang, developers will have to implement explicit error checking and this might cause some difficulties in the process of finding errors. Still, numerous developers consider this approach as cleaner in general.
Golang, on contrary, requires developers to learn a whole new language, including new concepts such as Goroutines (concurrency in Go), strict typing etc. However, an experience developer who is already well-versed in another language such as Java, or C++ won’t find it difficult to get a hold of Golang.
Available tools and packages
For Golang development, the community is somewhat small but still growing. And even though Go is still behind Node.js in terms of number of supports, the number of contributions to Golang community has been increasing consistently in the recent years and now going stronger than ever.
Hiring Golang Developer vs Node.js developer
For the time being, the availability of Node.js developers are still far ahead compared to Golang, and thus it’s easier to hire a team of Node.js professionals than to form a team of Golang developers.
So, the decision of developers and businesses whether to choose Node.js or Golang would depend on the specific requirements of the development project they need at the moment, particularly when it comes to scalability for current or future expansion.
Node.js is a mature and very popular language with strong support by a large community of developers. Golang, on the other hand, with its simple structure and clear syntax, offers a concurrency model, and it is therefore more suitable for scaling up.
Again, Node.js, in return, can provides developers a wide range of already available packages or 3rd party modules which are not available or difficult to implement in Go. If that is the case, then it would be better to stick with Node.js.
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