Why use Golang for modern app dev?

by | Apr 6, 2022

Key use cases for Go language development 

In today’s cloud-focused environments, speed, agility, and security increasingly impact operational success – and profitability. While traditional approaches to application development excused long cycle times, unwieldy code, and eleventh-hour fixes, those habits don’t transfer well to the hyperscaling, multicloud strategies, and workload optimization that companies need now.  

Modern application development prioritizes reliable yet rapid innovation — and Go (Golang) is a high-performance, developer-friendly language designed to scale for those realities. 

Why companies use Golang for modern app dev 

As a programming language, Golang was purpose-built for cloud-native development. Thanks to fast compile times and lower cognitive load, developers can use Golang to quickly and efficiently develop maintainable systems. Specifically designed to overcome downsides found in older programming languages, Golang brings together the most critical needs of modern development.  

Using Golang delivers the performance of C, the ease-of-use found in languages like Python, the garbage collection feature of Java, and native, language-level support for concurrency. And because Golang is compiled to machine code, instead of being interpreted or having virtual runtimes, it provides significant performance advantages over other languages. 

Language-based vs. framework-based systems 

A key driver in Golang’s flexibility is that it’s a language, rather than a framework. In framework-based systems, merging, modifying, and updating code can be time-consuming and difficult. While language-based models like Golang sacrifice somewhat in terms of features, the benefits of available patterns and standard libraries for maintainability are significant.

Framework based systems are feature rich, include framework shoehorns architecture, have questionable dependency strategies, teach framework-specific patterns rather than best practices, and are difficult to upgrade. Whereas, language-based systems use language as the system, translates learning, is built modularly, are always backwards compatible, and are single binary.

Golang vs. Java, Rust, and other programming languages and frameworks 

Golang is incredibly robust, and while it isn’t a cure-all for software projects, it does provide building blocks for cloud-native environments and DevOps-focused organizations that want to scale quickly. 

Comparison chart for Java, Golang, and Rust.

Golang’s standard libraries address the vast majority of needs and problems. And because it was built to be as simple and clean as possible, in Golang you only add what you need before you deploy, rather than relying on a cumbersome framework mired in dependencies. This helps to avoid spaghetti development that slows down performance over time. 

Top use cases for Golang development 

As a compiled language, Golang’s focus is on writing efficient parallel code — making it ideal for today’s multiple processor machines and distributed developer teams. Because it’s designed for excellent performance and collaborative work, Golang is often used for workloads like APIs, web apps, CLI apps, networking, data processing, and cloud-native apps.  

Using Golang for DevOps 

Golang makes it easy for developers to adapt quickly to changing requirements, allowing the faster turnaround times IT customers demand. And because popular DevOps tools like Docker and Kubernetes are written in Golang, many companies find the use case for Golang development in cloud-native applications is hard to beat. 

Golang compiles directly to machine code on a single, standalone binary with no additional dependencies, so it’s faster and better suited to microservices and containerization than other languages. Python, Java, and JavaScript compile into intermediate object code, which slows down and complicates the process. As a result, older languages often can’t match the performance gains Golang delivers, and aren’t as easy to use in a DevOps process.  

Security — at speed and at scale 

A critical point in favor of using Golang for modern app dev is its test-as-you-go structure. Because testing is built into the toolchain, developers can find and fix issues before other workstreams are impacted. This radically increases maintainability and scalability in cloud environments. 

Golang’s guarantee of backwards compatibility, while often seen as primarily a collaborative work and future-proofing selling point, also impacts its reliability and security. Because Golang is backwards compatible, new security fixes can be added to older code without slowing it down or breaking it, simply by adding additional features. 

Modernizing legacy workloads 

Golang provides API bridging that can enable legacy workload migration to the cloud or unlock those workloads to inform cloud-based apps. Rather than rewriting and redesigning an entire legacy application for the cloud, or attempting to run it within a container, Golang can add an abstract layer between a legacy backend system and a more modern, cloud-native frontend.

Getting started with Golang 

Use cases for Golang development could make recentering your tech a smart move. But how do you know if using Golang for modern app dev will pay off for your organization? As a tech-agnostic firm, Fusion has the breadth of expertise necessary to deliver expert — yet objective — guidance for your digital journey.  

Whether you’re considering adding Golang development to a project in progress, or you’re looking for a full assessment of your cloud readiness, we can help. From strategy to implementation to managed services, Fusion adds expertise to your team. 

Learn more about cloud-native development >>

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About the author

John Dow
Application Development Consultant
John is an App Development Consultant at Fusion Alliance. He is a tinkerer of all things software with experience across stacks. He thrives on creating elegant systems and services that help teams achieve their goals.

Connect with John on LinkedIn

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