Efficiency Meets Flexibility: The Advantages of Using Go in Your Project

Efficiency Meets Flexibility: The Advantages of Using Go in Your Project

Dawid Perkowski - Senior Full Stack Developer
7 minutes read

Since Go was developed in 2007 at Google, the language has only grown in popularity. On the Tiobe index, the Golang programming language is currently in 12th place, and it’s slowly climbing up the rankings. In the Stack Overflow survey for 2022, meanwhile, 64% of developers using the Go programming language chose it as the language they like using most and want to keep working with.

However, Go (or Golang) isn’t just popular among developers – businesses of all sizes and industries are quickly adopting this language for their projects as well.

Why do developers and brands (including giants such as Microsoft, Uber, and Netflix) adore the language, and when should you think about using Go in your project? This introduction to the Go programming language will cover everything you need to know.

What is Go?

Go is a statically typed, general-purpose, open-source programming language designed by Google. The creators wanted to develop a language that would combine the ease and speed of programming from a dynamically-typed, interpreted language with the efficiency and safety of a statically-typed, compiled language.

That’s how they created Go – a language that both has a straightforward syntax making it easy to learn and read, and is also lightning fast thanks to direct compilation and concurrency support.

Go or Golang?

One thing that might confuse you though is hearing the language called Go in one place and Golang in another. Which one is correct? Actually, both of them are – Go is the official name while Golang has been adopted due to its domain name.

When the language was developed, its creators wanted to use the simple “Go.org” domain for the website. However, since that domain name was already taken, they decided to launch the “Golang.org” domain instead, the name being a portmanteau of “Go” and “language”.

Later, it turned out that “Golang”, as a unique name, also makes it far easier for people to search for related resources. As a result, some people started to use the “Golang” name interchangeably with “Go”. So, while the official name for the language is just Go, the official Twitter tag for the language is #Golang. The same goes for the name of Google’s development community.

A short history of the Go language

Go was designed in 2007 after three developers working at that time for Google (Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson) got tired of working with other backend programming languages, especially C++.

As the company was growing tremendously fast, the amount of code developers needed to manage the entire infrastructure was also increasing quickly – both in size and complexity. Eventually, Griesemer, Pike, and Thompson got tired of how over-complicated, unstable, and time-consuming using C++ for their engineering tasks had become and decided they needed a simpler solution.

Since neither of the existing languages could meet their requirements though, the trio settled on developing an entirely new language that would be both incredibly simple to use and also enabled them to complete their engineering tasks faster. The developers’ joint efforts resulted in Go – a language that combined the syntax and static typing of C++ with the most useful features taken from other back-end languages, such as concurrency and memory management.

The language was originally only used within Google, until March 2012 when Go became an open-source project and was released to the public. Since then, the popularity of Go has been slowly growing. In a Stack overflow survey for 2017, only 4% of developers said they were using the Golang programming language regularly. In 2022, however, the number of surveyed developers who know about Go grew to 11.15%.

Go-based development tools are also becoming increasingly popular:

  • Kubernetes – an open-sourced system for containerized applications deployment, monitoring, management, and scaling – had been adopted by over 60% of organizations in 2022.
  • In the Stack Overflow survey for 2022, Docker (a development platform that enables developers to build, deploy, run, update, and manage container applications) came out on top both in the “Most loved” and “Most wanted” categories for development tools.
  • Grafana, an analytics and data-visualization solution, reached one million active instances in 2022.

Golang use examples

Thanks to how fast and flexible the language is to use, Go is being adopted by various companies as well. The Stackshare website, for example, has a list of over 2,760 companies that have already used Golang for their projects. Of course, we won’t mention all of them here – that would take a book rather than an article.

Instead, we have picked a few use case examples from different industries that you can find on the Go.dev page to show you which tasks Go can work especially well.

Cloud services providers

Dropbox switched from Python to Go in order to improve the performance, execution speed, and stability of its platform as they started to struggle with a growing number of users. Now, Dropbox has over 1.3 million lines of code written in Go.

Microsoft, meanwhile, uses Go for their internal cloud infrastructure, specifically for services like Azure Container Service and Azure SDK. Go is also widely used at Google for indexing and updating web pages, Chrome’s content management and optimization, and also for their Google Cloud services.

‍Media platforms

Two of the media industry giants, YouTube and Netflix, use Go to manage the intense load on their services. Netflix, for instance, relied on the language to build Rend Proxy, a server that can handle tens of thousands of simultaneous connections.

Go was also adopted by Dailymotion, who used the language to design an application through which they can add and remove users to their Wireframe server.

Online services

Uber has started implementing geofencing around airports. Now, when you leave a plane and start to think about the easiest way to get to a given destination, you can receive an app notification showing how many cars are nearby. The microservice they are using for this purpose was also built with Go.

Moreover, Uber boasts that its microservice has been running with 99.99% uptime since launch, and the only downtime they have ever experienced was due to third-party libraries.

News Outlets

‍BBC has been using Golang for its backend and internal analytic services, including crawlers and web scrapers, since 2012.


American Express started to use Go in 2016 after they were searching for a language through which they could modernize payment and rewards services and improve their performance.

After comparing microservices built in Go, C++, Java, and Node.js the Amex development team picked the first of these options as their preferred language for the microservices because of its speed, high performance, and ease of use.

Golang is also primarily used as an infrastructure language at PayPal.

Impressed? This is only the start of Go’s capabilities, as the language is also frequently used for:

  • Distributed network services
  • Simple stand-alone or long-running applications like tools for monitoring
  • Databases
  • E-commerce portal backends (e.g., Alibaba and Allegro)
  • and even Microservices for games

Basically, if you need a language that can handle tens of thousands of requests in a flash and that you can quickly scale up as required, Go might be just the one you need.

What are the best points of Go programming language

Above are just a few examples of brands using Go in their applications – and as interest in the language grows, we will probably see many more examples of brands using this language as their go-to.

What exactly makes Go such a popular option for development, though?

Go is Fast

One of the main reasons why Go was developed was that Google developers needed a faster and more efficient language to use. And Go really is a swift language.

Since Go can be directly translated into machine code and the language also has a compiler that was made with speed in mind, the entire code can be compiled much faster than other languages that first require translation into bytecode.

This way, it’s possible to compile even large programs in a much shorter time than they would otherwise take, if written in a different language.

Easy on the memory, even for large applications

Another strength of Golang is its concurrency functionality, which makes applications easily scalable without having to worry about memory usage. For this task, the Go language uses Goroutines, lightweight threads (only taking up around 2 kb of memory each) managed by Go Runtime that can run alongside other processes.

Since Goroutines are so light, they require much less RAM to run compared to, say, Java threads, which are known for using up plenty of memory. As such, you can add more functions to the application without worrying about it crashing or significantly slowing down.

Garbage collector feature

Garbage collection is another Go feature that developers love. This mechanism allows them to find allocated memory space that is no longer needed and then automatically clean it for reuse. The result is that developers don’t need to manage memory manually, but can leave the task to Go and instead focus on improving the business logic.

Go is an open-source programming language

Since 2012, Golang has been developed as an open-source programming language – and that also comes with a few perks. The first is that you can take advantage of various plugins, standard libraries, and other tools created and shared by other developers.

The GitHub repository for Go, for example, is filled with downloadable editors, IDEs, and plugins – plus there are a couple of cloud-based IDEs available as well. What’s more, Google and its community developers also regularly release new updates, plugins, and tools to make developing with Go even smoother.

The Go community is also a great place to reach out to other developers when you get stuck – sharing your problems with them is your best bet. For example, if the method call that you added or concurrent programs you designed don't work as intended, or when you are struggling with launching a new application on a given operating system.

Developers who have previously encountered a similar problem but found a solution for it will be happy to share their tips with you, and even provide a few extra hints on how you can improve your application further.

Fast to learn

Golang is also regularly praised for how easy it is to learn. Developers who are already familiar with C/C++ language can very quickly get the hang of coding in Go.

However, even new developers shouldn’t have many problems with learning Go thanks to the syntax being straightforward to read. In fact, plenty of Go developers say that a Go beginner can build an app using the language in just a few hours!

You can also find plenty of detailed guides, tutorials, and other documentation on the Go.dev website to help you install Go, learn how to use the various features, and create applications.

Made for large projects

Go was born out of frustration with how inefficient other backend languages were for managing quickly growing databases. That’s why Google developers designed Go to easily handle even large and complicated projects with ease. How exactly?

  • Go creates clean and easy-to-read code.
  • Very fast and smooth code compilation.
  • The Golang testing package includes a benchmarking tool that can be used to test and then optimize the performance of your Golang code.
  • GoDoc can create detailed documentation straight from written code and comes with cross-references, code samples, and direct links to version control system repository features – saving the developers plenty of time.
  • A Go binary file contains not only the application code, but also all of the support code required to run the binary on the target platform. This means that a Go binary doesn't need to rely on system dependencies to run on a new system, making it possible to run the application on multiple platforms.
  • The Go language is supported by AWS and Azure, with both services having a dedicated SDK for Golang.
  • Goroutines allow developers to expand the application as they need without having to worry about impacting memory usage.

All of these advantages make the language perfect for large-scale projects, but Go still has at least one more benefit.

During large projects on which several teams might be working together, it’s essential that they can understand what each of the other parties is working on. As the Go code is very simple, it only takes a glance for developers to understand exactly that.

Plus, Go is designed with the idea that there should only be one solution to a given problem rather than the more typical “there are as many solutions as developers” approach, which can quickly stall a project due to disagreements. By having only one solution to a given problem, developers can resolve issues much faster, and development teams are able to collaborate more effectively too.

Golang’s limitations

As easy to use and versatile as Golang might be, it still won’t be a good fit for every project. The biggest drawback of the language is the amount of libraries for some development areas is still relatively low.

For example, when it comes to machine learning and artificial intelligence, Python has far more libraries to choose from than Go. This unfortunately means that developers might need to write a lot of code from scratch to make up for the missing libraries if they want to use Go for their projects.

The second main issue is that, since Golang’s code is so simple, developers must often write more code for a given task than they would have to in other languages. Although developers can use the Go:Generate feature or the newly added generic functions to reduce the amount of code they write, Go applications still require more coding than, say, Python. So, for projects with tight deadlines, Go might not be the best option.

The last issue is that certain features available in other programming languages still don’t work in Go or have minimal functionality, purposefully. As the language was made to be as straightforward as possible, the Go team rarely adds new functionalities to it.

For example, Google only added a syntax for generic functions in Go version 1.18, released in march 2022, despite being asked for this feature for some years. That said, for some developers, the slow and careful addition of new features is actually a good thing – this way, the Go language stays true to its purpose of being simple and easy to use.

Other developers also point out that, this way, Google developers can also ensure that all Go applications created in earlier versions of the language will still be stable after an update – meaning no sudden incompatibility issues for application owners.

What can our Go team at Polcode do for you?

Does it sound like Go might be exactly the language you need for building your new app or service, but aren’t sure if it would be the right choice? Or maybe you don’t have anyone in your main team who knows how to use the language to its full potential?

Then, how about reaching out to our Go developers at Polcode? After reviewing your project requirements and having a short chat with you, they will surely be able to tell you whether Go is the right language for your project or if you should use another. If you like, we’d also be happy to lend a few of our Go experts to help your in-house team run the project themselves.

So, if you’re looking for a team of experts in building applications with Go, contact us, and let’s get your new Go project started!


Looking at how many large brands and also regular developers have decided to make Go their “language of choice”, and how many applications are already running on it, it’s clear that Go has a bright future ahead.

With all the benefits that the language can provide, it’s no wonder. Go is lightning fast (when it comes to both writing and compiling code), uses much less memory and CPU than other languages, can handle thousands of requests easily, and is pretty much made for modern times with support for cloud computing. That’s why Go may well be precisely the swift and versatile language your project needs.


How to get started with Golang – watch our free on-demand webinar

Watch our on-demand webinar in which we explain further why you should choose Golang for building scalable web apps in eCommerce, FinTech, and other high-demand businesses.

Get the recording now: https://polcode.com/resources/webinars/golang-use-cases-webinar/

On-demand webinar: Golang use cases (FinTech, eCommerce)

We'll walk you through what makes Golang special. Then, we'll dive into case studies to demonstrate how Go can help you create new products as well as revamp existing ones.

Golang use cases webinar (eCommerce, FinTech)

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