Today, web developers have a wide range of options available when it comes to choosing a programming language for web development.

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These programming languages are not just viable for frontend development, but the backend development as well.

Now, in most of the web applications, there is usually more non-UI code than the code which is directly related to end-user interaction.

For instance, data needs to be stored and retrieved, logic has to be in place, and output to be calculated.

This is what the backend development is all about. Simply put, it is about writing code to create APIs, libraries, and working with components that don’t have user interfaces.

You might already be aware that Node JS. But, Node JS is not the only backend development programming language in the market.

Google’s Go language is also seems to be dominating the backend programming language market.

In this article, we’re going to compare two relatively new backend programming languages – Nodejs and Go. But before we start our comparison, let’s get the basics right first.

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What is Node js?

Node js was first created in 2009 and in just 2 years, the first version was released for sharing open-source libraries.

Node js is an open-source JavaScript framework which can run on different platforms including Windows, Linux, and Mac.

It is built on Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine and provides a rich set of libraries that simplify web application development.

Node js was first developed as a platform to execute JavaScript code.

Today, however, Node js enables creating code for both frontend as well as backend of a web application, making it a revolutionary web app programming language.

Achievements of Node JS so far…

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What is Go language?

Go language is a product of Google. It was created out of the need, just like most innovations in the IT world.

In simple terms, developers at Google were unhappy with existing solutions. So, they created a language that would combine the advantages of other languages to achieve better performance.

Go language or Golang is also an open-source programming language with its core structure built on principles of C for safety and Python for speed.

Go language involves limited garbage collection, structural typing, and memory safety features, resulting into avoiding a lot features of modern programming languages.

Because of this, Go language makes the process of writing code much more efficient and much more easy.

Achievements of Go Language so far…

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Nodejs Vs. Go – time to settle the debate

The Go language may appear as the perfect solution for web app development due to its feature easiness, compilation, and the fact that it is becoming increasingly popular among web developers.

But, on the other hand, Node js is not losing its ground as well.

So, there is only one way to settle this debate – take a closer look at the characteristics of Go and Node JS.

Simplicity & learning curve

JavaScript is, without any doubt, one of the most widely-used programming language across the globe.

And if a developer is not familiar with JavaScript, becoming an expert at Node js development is easy.

In fact, there are thousands of Node js courses available on the Internet of which many are supported by a huge JavaScript community.

This makes learning Node js much easier and simpler than the Go language.

In Go language, developers are required to learn its specific processes, concepts, rules, pointers, strict typing, interfaces, coroutines, and a bunch of other stuff.

That means, if you hire Golang developer for your web app project, you or someone from your team also must be familiar with Golang.

Plus, Golang is for backend development only, so you’ll probably need to hire frontend developers separately.

Scalability

The Go language was created keeping scalability in mind. In fact, due to the function goroutines, which can be executed with one another concurrently, Go language is perfectly suited for scalability.

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In simpler terms, Goroutines basically allows reliable and easy execution of threads which can be performed parallely in smooth manner.

On the other hand, web application development using Node JS works bit differently.

To tell the truth, it is less elegant as the concurrent programming in JavaScript is usually done using event callbacks, which makes concurrency inefficient.

As a result, the system gets messy very quickly. In addition, Node Js is single threaded, making instruction execution to be performed in sequence.

That means, the concurrency support in Node JS as not agile as it should be.

Error handling

Error handling in Go language has a uniquely different approach. Golang demands explicit error checking with the code written.

But, on the positive side, it does also ensure better consistency and flawless result.

In Node JS, error handling can be inconsistent at times. But, it offers better and clear error handling than Golang with common throw-catch handling technique.

And the best part is that a lot of web developers are already familiar with this technique.

Performance

One of the main goals of Go developers at Google was to achieve higher performance than Node JS and they did achieve that goal.

Golang framework is known to be very light-weighted and faster than Node JS.

But on the other hand, Node JS is dynamically-typed and is based on an interpreted language that executes slow compared to majority of compiled language.

Simply put, Node JS performance can be either terrible or high, depending on the type of web app your building.

However, if database interaction or network communication is involved, the performance of Golang and Node JS are often equal.

Ecosystem

JavaScript is out in the world since over a decade, which means you can easily find all sorts of tools for Node JS development.

In fact, the JavaScript community has created numerous libraries and tutorials and has been contributing the same for years.

Golang, on the other hand, is much younger and less popular compared to Node JS yet.

That means, web development even with using a Golang Development company will require a lot of manual configuration.

While Golang definitely has nice packages and libraries to use, but truth be told Golang will take time in catching up with Node JS.

On the other hand, finding Node JS development company is easier to find compared to Go developers (In fact, India is one of the most qualified countries for finding custom web app development company).

Community

As mentioned in the beginning, both Golang and Node JS are open-source and they have their own communities fully engaged in improving these programming languages.

When it comes to Node JS, its community is large and vibrant. The entire Node JS foundation is, in fact, aiming to enable widespread Node JS adoption.

In fact, Intel, IBM, Paypal, Microsoft, and Godaddy are active members of the Node JS foundation.

Each year, they come together as a community and organize Node+ JS Interactive, an event every year during which they announce all changes and improvements.

Today, Node JS foundation has reached 56,000 stars and one billion downloads on GitHub.

The Golang community, on the other hand, is young and smaller. But it is increasingly growing every year.

Google, in fact, hosts GopherCon event annually to gather Go developers from all around the world to discuss and explore new opportunities and changes.

According to a Golang Survey, 59 percent of participants (up from 55 percent) wanted to contribute to the Golang community.

Conclusion

It seems that both Node JS and Golang are growing. But, according to StackOverFlow, JavaScript is the most popular programming language.

However, Golang is ranked among top 5 most loved programming languages, leaving JavaScript behind.

All these clearly concludes that there is no perfect language when it comes web development. It all depends on the type of web application you want to build.

So, if you’re confused, it’s recommended to hire custom web development company as they know better what languages and tools to use for any given project.

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