Which programming language to choose: Node.js or Golang?

In the domain of technology, there are new advancements coming up every day. It has become really crucial for the programmers, developers, and technology enthusiasts to keep a tab on the market in order to not miss out on any new development. In fact, such is the pace of new developments and advancements that missing out of these for just one week can take you backward in your approach. Almost, each day there is something new in store, be it development-wise, programming, or any other aspect.

Now, in the programming front, today there are a number of advanced programming languages available like Node, Vue and Ember. Hence, there is a wide range of choices available for web and mobile developers. This range of choices in languages are not only suitable for front-end developers but also the backend developers. In this blog, we will be comparing the two popular programming languages, i.e. Node.js & JavaScript. However, before starting off with the comparison of Node.js vs. Golang, let’s understand a bit about both of both, like how they started, and how they are useful. So, first up we have Node.js.

What is Node.js

Node.js is a free open-source server framework that prominently runs on several platforms, comprising of Mac OS X, Windows, Unix& Linux. It is a server-side platform constructed on Google Chromes JavaScript Engine. Hence, it uses JavaScript on the server and is known for providing a rich library of various JS modules that simplifies the process of web development with Node.js. Initially, it was developed as a platform to execute JavaScript code. JavaScript, mainly designed for the client-side scripting, executes scripts directly in the browser sans any kind of communication with the server. Here in the Node.js, the scripts that are written in the JavaScript can be run by the server to generate dynamic web pages where content is created before the page is sent to the browser.

The reason behind the instant prominence of Node.js in web application programming was that it allows writing both front-end as well as back-end in the same language. Looking back, it was in 2009 that Node.js was created and just in the span of two years, it was released and was ready to be shared in the open-source libraries. Gaining constant fame, this platform was first created with the aim to build scalable, networked apps. Node.js compiles JS code into native machine code with the use of some complex optimizations.

What is Golang

Python and C. Now C is a compiled language where the source code is translated into the computer-readable code by thee compilers special software converts the code into instructions that the computer is able to perform. This approach brings in high-performing & secure applications, though it requires some of the additional complicated programmings. Whereas, interpreted languages, like Python, converts the source code into the machine-readable format during the runtime. This eases the programming process, however, it might impact the performance.  Go boosts of features like limited structural typing, memory safety, and garbage collection, and thus it avoids many features offered by other modern languages, such as method & operator overloading and type inheritance. Also known as Go, it is a Google product and much young, with its release in 2007.

Just like most of the innovations in the arena of IT, Go again was a result of developers’ dissatisfaction with existing solutions. They aimed to create a language that combines the advantages of other programming languages, with the hope to attain enhanced performance. Meanwhile, it was in 2007 that Go was created at Google as an experimental project that was designed to be practical, robust, and, nevertheless, funny. It took two years for its launch to the public as an open-source language. Go is a result of C & C++ evolution, and with Go in web development, it gets easier and efficient to write robust networked apps.

Related Blog: Would GoLang be a good choice as a programming language for your business

Growing prominence of Golang

Lately, some criticisms came in the way of Node.js, where its usage in a high-performing, networked application environment was doubted. This led to some developers moving to the Go language. In fact, there are a number of prestigious corporate enterprises that switched to Go, beyond the language creator, Google. There is Dropbox that switched to go and claimed a significant improvement in performance. Even the developers of the Docker virtualization system are using Golang. However, one must take note of the fact that Node.js is still very much popular is being used by a wider audience. It has many more modules and is easier to use. Hence, Node.js is not going anywhere for now at least. Also, for the creation of a web application, many would still prefer Node.js, as presently Go is used more as this scripting language where the focus is on concurrency and speed is prioritized.

we will be talking about the difference between Node.js and Golang based on its features

Performance: Node.js is based on JavaScript (an interpreted language), which generally is slower as compared to most compiled languages. Hence, in this regard, Golang beats it, as it was the performance that the developers primarily aimed for while developing Golang, which is an improved compiled language. It performs way better than Node.js, as Node.js can?t offer the same optimum service as CPU bound memory owing to JavaScript. However, as it comes to server performance, they both offer more or less the same kind of results.

Front-end and Back-end: As it comes to Golang, it easily runs with goper.js in the browser. Still, the fact remains that JavaScript front-end programming languages are most preferred by the developers for client-side development. Instead, Go is preferred as a language for backend development and it is highly used tor development of concurrent applications. With Node.js, on the other hand, there are no issues faced in switching to client-side development.

Error-handling: In the scenario of error-handling, Node.js is seen as a clear winner. In Node.js, a catch mechanism is used which makes it allows to easily detect where the error is. Also, most developers are aware of this error checking process, as it is quite a commonly used method. On the contrary, in GoLang, here they use an explicit error checking method and hence troubleshooting is quite complex here. Golang program is on the run and error codes returned afterward. Now, even though this approach is complex, still it ensures consistency and reliable application in the end.

Scalability: When considered Scalability, Golang again beats Node.js. Node.js is not seen as a suitable option for large projects owing to its weaker parallel process. Meanwhile, in Golang, the Goroutines prove to be incredible as they allow multiple threads to perform in one go and along with parallel tasks.

Concurrency: In Node.js it uses the event called mechanism, whereas Go uses co-routines known as Goroutines. Here, the mechanism is based on single-thread and it is here Golang leaves behind Node.js. However, Node.js offers async generated support called semi co-routines, whereas Golang uses a lightweight thread managed by Go runtime. Here the interactions are way easier owing to the channels.

Level of Maturity: Despite being introduced much later in 2009, Golang tends to be robust and mature. Even though Node.js shows the same maturity and enjoys a larger audience?s support, but the issue is in terms of changing API. Here the developers might come across some issues as they write Node modules.

Developers Availability: Going by the statistics, JavaScript remains the most used and preferred language among developers across the globe. The stats indicate that 62.1% of the developers use the language globally, whereas Golang only has 4.9% users, globally. However, this figure is certain to increase soon as Go surely is going to make it big in the future. However, for now, it is much easier to find a development team for Node.js than for Golang. Also, the number of developers for Node.js &Golang largely depends on the availability of educational resources. Meanwhile, for now, it is easier to create a team of efficient developers for Node.js than for Go.

Developers Tools: Node.js enjoyed higher popularity as compared to Golang and has more developers using it. Thus, its tools armor consists of a wide range of tools. Also, there is a lot of help available out there for the newbies in the form of tutorial videos, journals, articles, platforms and a lot more. Also, it enjoys large community support of seasoned developers, who constantly work to improve the environment. Now as Go is new when compared to Node.js, hence it lags behind in this aspect.

It doesn’t have a large community of experienced developers, in fact, the number of developers is less owing to its difficulty to learn. There is an issue with the availability of adequate resources and knowledge base to get access to this language. Hence, be ready for a lot of research & manual configuration to work with Golang.

Developers Learning: As it comes to JavaScript, it is widely prominent & implemented coding and used languages by developers all around the globe. Hence, it can be a cakewalk to learn and work on Node.js, if one is knowledgeable of JavaScript. Also, for newbies on board, they can easily get their command on the language with the help of a large community out there keen to share their experience and there are other resources also. However, in the case of Golang, it doesn’t enjoy the same level of familiarity as Node.js does. Hence, it requires the programmers to learn this new language that comes with its own set of rules &Goroutines, which has static typing and is different to learn.

Blockchain Implementation: The technology is constantly progressing and there is a new introduction every other day. These days Blockchain is a technology that is widely prominent and a myriad of enterprises have shown interest to implement this technology related to cryptocurrency development. As it comes to integrating Go with Blockchain technology, it is way easier as compared to how it is in Node.js. Hence, for the integration of Blockchain technology, Golang must be the preferred language.

Conclusion: Above we compared both Node.js and Golang programming languages from different angles. It is really hard to crown one as the winner, as both of them have their advantages and disadvantages. In regard to performance, Golang appears to be reliable than Node.js. speaking overall, Node.js is certainly the more popular option and is being widely used, with many supporters. However, that is not to say that Golang is any less in its efficiency. In fact, this platform offers great performance, is highly innovative and much reliable and consistent. While making the big decision, consider the project size, its structure, and type of development process that aptly suit your business goals. Ultimately, the one that best meets your business goals and objectives should be given preference.


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