by Sydney Stone
As a developer, are you a Golang guy or gal? Or are you more of a Python person? Perhaps you love both and fall somewhere in between. Is one really better than the other? Or is it just a matter of preference? What makes these two languages so popular anyhow and what are the key differences?
Golang, or “Go” is a minimalistic open source programming language developed by Google. It is a statically typed, compiled language similar to C or C+ with concurrent programming features. Go is used primarily in the development of cloud applications. Google, Dropbox, Uber and eBay were all built using the Go language. Golang also supports the popular Docker technology.
Python is an interpreted, dynamically-typed scripting language that has been around for decades. It was created by Guido van Rossum, a Dutch programmer who is still heavily involved in its development. It is one of the most frequently used open source programming languages in the development world today. Known for its flexibility and agility, Python is used primarily for backend projects and solutions.
So, which is the better programming language? Since there are diehard fans on both sides of this argument, let’s take a look at the advantages of the two programming languages and why developers love both.
ADVANTAGES OF GOLANG
1. Golang is super-easy to use.
Because Go doesn’t contain a large feature set, it’s extremely easy to use. This is especially true for developers who are accustomed to C and C++ programming. Go offers just the basics with no added fluff. The language itself only contains 25 keywords.
2. It’s extremely fast.
Speed and time to market is crucial when it comes to development. Being able to program a solution quickly and in the most efficient manner saves the client a ton of money and makes them happy, which makes them want to use your development services again. Speed is one of the main reasons that more and more developers are turning to Golang.
Due to its native concurrency processing, Go is able to offer faster compilation capabilities than most other languages, including Python. Python threads are very resource intensive and demanding. By utilizing “goroutines,” Go can execute many computations at one time instead of performing sequential processing. This cuts down on memory and CPU usage. Some programmers report Go being up to 30 times faster than Python.
Go’s automatic memory management (i.e. “garbage collection”) is another way it is able to increase speed. It runs concurrently with the program, which simplifies file structure and saves on overall application development time.
3. It doesn’t require a web framework.
Most of the tools you need for programming are built into Go’s platform, so you don’t really need a web framework. Because there is such an active community built around Golang, there are numerous built-in tools that are natively supported, so there is no need for any third-party libraries.
Having this type of ecosystem makes Go the perfect programming language when working with a large team of developers.
4. Compilation is faster and easier in Golang.
Because Go is a compiled language, the overall compilation process is much easier. It simply compiles all files into a single binary file. Compiled languages are converted down into machine-level code. This code is easily read by the processing computer and doesn’t need to be interpreted every single time the application is run. This is one of the key reasons Go is so much faster than other languages.
5. Go is very easy to learn.
Go was created to be a very easy language for programmers – even beginners – to learn in a very short amount of time. This is especially true if the developer is highly knowledgeable with C or C+ languages. The entire Go language is all about efficiency and shortcuts.
6. Go is easily scalable.
One of the reasons so many large cloud solutions were built using Golang is because the language was designed to scale. It is able to handle many sub-tasks concurrently and has several built-in features to support goroutines and other channels.
ADVANTAGES OF PYTHON
1. Python allows you to be creative when writing code.
The Python programming language is conducive to creative coding. There are several features, including the ability to add new functions to those already built-in, “magic methods” to overload operators, and you can use functions as properties thanks to the “property decorator.”
While these features allow your inner programming artist to shine through, it can be difficult for other developers to read and understand your code.
2. Python features extensive support libraries.
Python has a large and comprehensive standard library that includes unit-testing, documentation-generation, web service tools, operating system interfaces, threading, databases, internet protocols, string operations and more. There are numerous modules to choose from that will allow you to add additional functionality without writing additional code.
3. Debugging is easy with Python.
Because Python is an interpreted language and statements are executed one at a time, the debugging process is much faster and easier than in other languages.
4. Python code is portable.
Precompiled code is portable. Python works on the WORA (Write Once Run Anywhere) principal. You only need to code one time and you can run that code anywhere. This is one of the reasons developers continue to use Python to build custom applications. Like Java, Python programs can be run on any operating system.
5. Python is easily integrated.
Python supports multiple systems and platforms. It is able to process XML as well as other markup languages. It’s very easy to do web development using C, C+, Java or COBRA components. Because Python is an interpreted programming language, you can run the same code on multiple platforms and not have to worry about recompilation. This simplifies the process when it comes time to make changes to the code.
6. Python has staying power.
Python has been around since the 1980s and it’s still one of the most popular programming languages used today. With generations of developers using it, Python has one of the largest online communities containing an expansive wealth of knowledge and support services built-in. There are endless numbers of user groups and forums where you can find any answer to any Python problem you could possibly ever have.
As you can see, there are many benefits to both Python and Golang programming languages. While Go is the shiny new kid on the block that everyone is talking about, there is a lot to be said about a language like Python that has stood the test of time and is still being used by millions of devoted developers.
As to which is better, it really comes down to the developer’s own personal preference and the particular development project they are working on. Both are great programming languages with their own sets of benefits and challenges. Choose whichever one resonates with you and go out and create great code.