Best practices and trends in technology

Getting started with Go programming language

Feb 05, 2015

Google Go! Or just Go. Well in case you are wondering, we are talking about the new programming language also known as ‘Golang’. It is not Python, it is not Java, it is not Ruby. Go is not about type hierarchies. It is not about functional programming or object-oriented programming. Go is more about software engineering than programming language research. Or to put another way, it is about design of the language in the service of software engineering. It is about improving the work environment for its designers and the folks working on it. It was created and conceived at Google, back in 2007 and now is available for most modern operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, BSD and Linux.

What is a language all about? It is the art, craft and science of writing programs which define on how computers operate and respond. So ‘Go’ is another open source programming language which makes it easy to build efficient, reliable and simple software. It is though loosely derived from C but it is a language with a clean syntax and advanced features. Since it is widely available on various platforms, the library is well documented and focused on software engineering principles, we can categorize it amongst the language one prefer to be its first programming language.

It is often referred to as a “simple” and compiled programming language, a language that can be learned in a few hours if you already know another language. Go was designed to feel familiar and to stay as simple as possible. It’s tempting to approach new languages from the mindset of another language, where you just map a keyword from one language to the keyword of another, but you will get frustrated pretty quickly.

So if you want to get started with Go, we have a lot of online resources and reference books as well. Below are the few brief steps to install Go.

  • Installation of Go
    Download the archive from here and then extract it, creating a Go tree. For Windows, just download and run the installer and just make sure that the installer should have added c:Gobin to your PATH environment variable. If by any chance if you are upgrading from an older version of ‘Go’ you must first remove the existing one.
  • Configuring Your Environment
    Now we need to ensure that our environment is also ready and that necessitates one more step and a bit of background. The Go compiler requires a system variable, GOPATH, to be set that points to the root of the directory. So create a GOPATH directory and then set the environment variable.
  • And then get Go-ing
    Now we are good to Go Hello! You can refer online tutorials and reference material for your first hands on program

Online resources

An Introduction to Programming in Go by Caleb Doxsey
Programming in Go by Mark Summerfield
And many more books on:

Today, Go has found a home in the cloud as well. Go arrived as the professional experienced a speedy constructing shift toward cloud computing, and we were excited to see it quickly become an important part of the cloud movement.

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