Why Golang/Go is so awesome

I have been working with Go for quite some time now and know more about it. My initial thoughts about it were accurate, I think with some variations. Go really can do almost everything.

It can be run like any interpreted language for development and compiled for production

This is something I love about Go a lot. You can run any Go code by just typing:

And, you can compile your whole app into a binary, copy that binary to a production server and just run it. No dependencies needed. If you have assets that your app reads (like images, etc) , they can be compiled into the binary as well! This gives a whole new meaning to portability (at least for me).

It supports parallelism and concurrency

With Go routines, you can run multiple things at the same time (assuming you have a multi-core CPU). Go takes care of splitting your routines into multiple-threads and all the house-keeping chores that come along with it. It is, by far, the best multi-threaded language I have come across.

Many developers think Node supports parallelism but it doesn’t. Node is a great language for its asynchronous model but it executes only 1 thread at a time. Most scripting languages that I know of (Ruby, Python, etc) have this issue. They have a global interpreter lock, which makes sure only one thread executes at a time. So, they are concurrent but do not support parallelism (running multiple things at the same time).

Since, web servers spawns multiple processes for processing multiple HTTP requests, you don’t generally notice the bottleneck.

It has a unit testing framework in its standard library

It’s the first language, I’ve seen doing this. No need to install external libraries. The testing framework (in a package called “testing”) is very performant. It also lets you run benchmark tests and example code for generating documentation.

It has support for GUIs apps

There are a bunch of libraries in Go that will let you write native applications for Windows, Mac, etc. Go has bindings for GTK, QML, etc. Some Go libraries will even let you write hybrid apps (for desktop applications – will talk about mobile later).The content in these native UIs can be done using HTML/CSS. I tried this for a proof-of-concept app that generates configuration for a proprietary ETL tool at my work and it is so easy to do! The library I used was : https://github.com/murlokswarm/app

It has support for writing web services and web applications

Go, with it’s standard library has a templating engine built-in. And, it is very performant. No need to worry about which library to use for templating, etc. You can, with a few lines of code, create a web service!

There are quite a few features that make Go a great language to work with. I hope it proliferates the IT market so much that more companies ask for Go as a main requirement for jobs (and not just a nice-to-have).

Golang: Restart web server on file change

A great feature of scripting languages like PHP, Python and Ruby is that you don’t need to re-compile the app or restart a web server every time you change something. With Go, you need to restart the web server for your changes to take affect. This can be a pretty daunting task.

We can, however, have this feature in Go as well (with some extra code). We just need to write a file watcher that will restart the web server on any file changes. Below is working code (from a project I am building) that does exactly this. You can modify it to suit your needs or just put it in your project as is.

Golang: Get the function caller’s name

Problem

Consider this code:

In the function foo, we want to get the name of the function (and preferably file name and number ) that called it.

Solution

We can get this information by traversing the stack trace (which Go’s “runtime” package has handy functions for:

Golang: Connect to Postgres and selecting data from a table

You will need to get the Postgres driver first. In the terminal type:

Connecting to Postgres

Selecting data from a table

After connecting to the database, you can do the following:

Earn more by learning Go!

According to this article a friend forwarded to me, software developers who learn Go, Python or Scala (along with tech like Apache Spark) have found it easier to find jobs with better salaries. Learning Scala caused the highest boost and in the second place was Go.

Learning python is a bit subjective in terms of getting a raise. It depends on what you are doing and which field you are in. So the increase in income with Python isn’t as consistent as it is with the other 2 languages.

Here is the article in detail: http://www.infoworld.com/article/3071623/salary/want-to-boost-your-salary-learn-scala-golang-or-python.html

Golang: Testing HTTP requests

Unit testing HTTP calls to external services is pretty easy in Go. Let’s say we have some code that makes HTTP requests like so:

We can test if the request is made and we get the response we want by mocking the external service. Below is the code:

Golang: Make HTTP requests

A simple GET request can be made like this:

POST request:

If more control is needed, like specifying headers, cookies, etc:

Golang: Polymorphism

Polymorphism is a bit different in Go. It supports polymorphism only through interfaces (and not through inheritance). To help you understand better, here is an example:

However, Polymorphism doesn’t work when driveACar(lammborgini) would not work if Car was a struct and not an interface. Here is an example:

Don’t waste time

A friend of mine sent me an interesting quote by Imam Ghazali which puts things in perspective.

Your time should not be without any structure, such that you occupy yourself arbitrarily with whatever comes along.
Rather, you must take account of yourself and order your worship during the day and the night, assigning to each period of time an activity that must not be neglected nor replaced by another activity.
By this ordering of time, the blessing in time will show itself. A person who leaves himself without a plan as animals do, not knowing what he is to do at any given moment, will spend most of his time fruitlessly.
Your time is your life, and your life is your capital: by it you make your trade, and by it you will reach the eternal bounties in the proximity of Allah.
Every single breath of yours is a priceless jewel, because it is irreplaceable; once it is gone, there is no return for it.
So do not be like fools who rejoice each day as their wealth increases while their lives decrease. What good is there in wealth that increases while one’s lifespan decreases?
Do not rejoice except in an increase of knowledge or an increase of good works.
Truly they are your two friends who will accompany you in your grave, when your spouse, your wealth, your children, and your friends will remain behind.
— Imam al-Ghazali

Go: Declaring and using objects

Go (or Golang) doesn’t have the concept of classes. The class equivalent in Go loos like this:

The above declaration can now be used as an object like so: