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Nodejs Vs. Go – Settling the debate once and for all!

Nodejs Vs. Go – Settling the debate once and for all!

  • Last Updated on January 16, 2023
  • 14 min read

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

nodejs vs golang development

These programming languages or frameworks are not just viable for frontend development, but 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 backend development is all about. Simply put, it is about writing code to create APIs, cross-platform applications, 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 also seems to be dominating the backend framework programming language market. Furthermore, both Golang and Nodejs can be paired with React Native.

In this article, we’re going to compare Node JS Vs Golang. But before we start our comparison, let’s get the basics right first.

What is Node js?

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript runtime environment that executes JavaScript code outside of a web browser. It is designed to build scalable network applications and is particularly well suited for real-time applications that require a high degree of concurrency.

Node.js uses an event-driven, non-blocking I/O model which makes it lightweight and efficient, making it an attractive choice for building data-intensive real-time applications that run across distributed devices.

Node.js is built on the V8 JavaScript engine, which is the same engine that is used in Google Chrome. It is commonly used for building server-side applications, but it is also used for creating command-line tools and building desktop applications.

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According to W3Techs, Node.js is used by over 2.0% in the web servers of almost every well known website.

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What is Go language?

Go, also known as Golang, is a programming language developed by Google in 2009. It is a statically-typed language with syntax loosely derived from C, but with additional features such as garbage collection, type safety, and dynamic-typing capabilities. Go is designed to be simple, efficient, and scalable, and it is particularly well-suited for building large, distributed systems.

One of the main features of Go is its support for concurrency, which allows developers to easily write programs that can perform multiple tasks concurrently.

Go also has a strong focus on simplicity, which makes it easy to learn and use for developers coming from other languages. It has a small standard library, which means that many common tasks, such as connecting to a database or making an HTTP request, require external libraries.

Despite its simplicity, Go is a powerful language that is used in a wide range of applications, including server infrastructure, networked programs, and command-line tools.

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As per the above graph, Go is used by less than 0.1% in the web servers of popular websites. Source W3Techs.

Golang Vs Node: What Makes Them Powerful?

Today, Go is one of the top-most popular languages that is widely used for programming. It enables top-of-the-line productivity and multi-core power usage. On the contrary, Node comes with a complete runtime environment equipped with all necessary development tools.

Pros and Cons of Golang

Below, we will examine the pros and cons of Go in order to provide a better understanding of the language.

Golang Pros Golang Cons
Easy to read and maintain code Requires more coding for simple features due to lack of complex abstractions
Neat and clean syntax Code reusability is more difficult because Go does not support generics
Actively supported by Google No built-in GUI library for building GUI applications
Prevents variable errors with static typing Community is less mature compared to some other popular programming languages
Alerts developers when code lacks documentation May consume more computing resources for complex programs, resulting in larger file sizes due to the absence of a virtual machine (VM)
Improved performance as a compiled language
APIs available for testing and stretching code
Static code analysis tools available, such as GoMetaLinter
Supports concurrency for parallel processing

Pros and Cons of Node.Js

Next, we will examine the pros and cons of Node.js in order to provide a better understanding of the language.

Pros of Node.Js Cons of Node.Js
Useful for building scalable web applications Can be challenging to debug due to the dynamic typing of JavaScript and the potential for variable-related code errors
Integrates well with the NoSQL database MongoDB Asynchronous programming requires a high level of expertise to master and create scalable applications
Easy to learn due to the use of JavaScript APIs and packages may experience frequent changes and updates, leading to compatibility issues and confusion for developers
Provides fast performance with the built-in Event loop feature
Active and growing community with frequent updates and releases
Well-suited for building streaming applications
Allows for easy caching of individual modules and promotes fast application development

Which Companies Are Using Them?

To succeed in the rapidly changing business environment, companies are adopting up-to-date technologies to achieve the best quality and super-fast performance. Now it is the time to find out which are the popular brands that opt to go for developing backend solutions after comparing Node.Js Vs Golang :

Companies using Go

  • LinkedIn
  • Netflix
  • eBay
  • Trello
  • PayPal

Companies using Node.js

  • Uber
  • BBC
  • Google
  • Medium
  • Intel

After looking at the applications of Nodejs, let us move forward to the benchmark comparison of Golang vs NodeJS.

Nodejs Vs. Go – time to settle the debate

The debate between Go and Node.js for web app development is ongoing, as both languages have their own strengths and benefits. Go is known for its simplicity and ease of use, as well as its ability to be compiled, which can make it an appealing choice for web app development.

Additionally, Go is gaining popularity among web developers.

On the other hand, Node.js has a strong presence in the web development community and is not losing ground.

To determine which language is the best fit for your project, take a closer look at the specific characteristics of Go and Node.js and how they align with your needs.

Simplicity & learning curve

JavaScript is, without any doubt, one of the most widely-used programming languages across the globe. Basically, it is an asynchronous programming language and contains a callback function as well.

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 that contains a structured learning process of which many are supported by a huge JavaScript developer community.

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

In Go language, full-stack developers are required to learn everything about a full-stack framework like its specific processes, concepts, rules, pointers, strict typing, interfaces, coroutines, database connections and a bunch of other stuff.

That means, if you hire a Golang application 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 an 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 is as not agile as it should be.

Read more: Essential tips to improve Node.js performance at scale

Benchmarks

To determine the most suitable tool or language for a task, it can be helpful to compare the performance of different languages when running through various algorithms and tasks.

In this example, we will compare the benchmark task performance of Node.js and Go for different computer language methods and algorithms.

nodejs-vs-golang-image-04

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Based on the data presented, it appears that Go requires less time, memory, and CPU load to perform operations compared to Node.js.

Error handling

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

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

In Node JS, error handling can be inconsistent at times. But, it offers better and clearer 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.

Availability of Developers

Go is comparatively a new and prospering language. In addition to this, Go is also touted as one of the most difficult application frameworks. However, Go has a brighter scope in the future as it is growing tremendously.

As NodeJS is a heavily used programming language, it is much easier to find developers that possess Node.js expertise. Because of which, it becomes easy to build a team of professionals for multiple development tasks.

Development Tools

Node.Js offers numerous development tools and languages, which is a prime reason to choose it. Along with this, it is an event-based framework that contains a microservice architecture.

Furthermore, Node Package Manager or NPM is a standard library that contains around 8,00,000 building blocks that can be installed easily and can have hassle-free operations.

On the contrary, Go Lang contains lesser tools as compared to Node.Js. Actually, Go has a standardised full-fledged library with features that can easily operate without any third-party support. Go lang contains many advanced and innovative tools such as Go run, Gofmit, Godoc, and GoMetaLiner.

Performance

Performance can heavily affect an application’s average response time and CPU load times, which is directly proportional to customer satisfaction. If we talk from the benchmark task performance perspective, then both NodeJS and Go are some of the best application development technologies to work with the heavy load. However, they are different in some key performance areas, let us see how:

Raw Performance

Go has an upper hand in the case of raw performance. Go can work without an interpreter and is compiled right into machine code. It gives Go the same level of performance as low-level languages.

Both Go and Node.js feature a garbage collector, which prevents memory leak and ensures stability with memory footprint. In this way, Node.js is extremely helpful with memory management as it works as an efficient garbage collector.

Real-life performance

Node.js marginally trails Go in real-life performance. A much-improved single-threaded Node.js is a much improved and single threaded thing that boosts efficiency. Apart from this, the V8 Javascript engine ensures that the application will deliver a real-time performance without any interpreter.

However, if database server interaction or network applications is involved, the performance of Golang Vs Node.Js is often equal.

Read More: Development practices our NodeJS developers

Ecosystem

Node.js has a long history and a well-established community, which means that there are many tools, libraries, and tutorials available for Node.js development. Golang, while newer and less popular, has the advantage of supporting a cross-platform runtime environment, making it easier to develop cross-platform applications.

Additionally, Golang has gained popularity in recent years and has a growing community of developers. Both Node.js and Golang have their own strengths and benefits, and the choice between them will depend on the specific needs of your project.

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 huge community and organize Node+ JS Interactive, an event every year during which they announce all changes and improvements.

Today, Node JS has reached 82.1k stars on GitHub.

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

Google, in fact, hosts a 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, 76% of respondents using Go at work and 66% are saying Go is critical to their company’s success.

Conclusion

It seems that both Node JS and Golang are growing. But, according to statista JavaScript and HTML/CSS were the most commonly used programming languages among the software developers.

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

All these clearly concludes that there is no perfect language when it comes to 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 robust tools to use for any given project.

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FAQs

Which is better: NodeJS or Golang?

Both Node.js and Golang have their own strengths and weaknesses, and the best choice depends on the specific requirements of your project.

Node.js is built on Chrome's V8 JavaScript engine. It's designed for building fast and scalable network applications and is particularly well suited for real-time systems and web applications.

Node.js has a large and active community, which has produced a wide variety of modules and libraries that can be easily integrated into a project. It's also relatively easy to learn, especially for developers already familiar with JavaScript.

Golang, also known as Go, is a relatively new programming language developed by Google. It's designed for building high-performance, concurrent systems and is particularly well suited for building web servers and other network applications.

Go is known for its simplicity, readability, and efficient memory management. It's also well suited for large-scale projects and has great support for concurrency, making it well suited for high-performance web servers.

In summary, Node.js is better suited for building real-time systems, web applications, and projects that are heavy on I/O operations. Go is better suited for building high-performance, concurrent systems and projects that require efficient memory management.

Why is Golang better than NodeJS?

Golang is a programming language created in 2009 by Google - designed to be simple, reliable, and efficient. Some reasons why Go may be considered better than Node.js include:

Go is a statically-typed language, which can make it easier to catch errors during development. Go's concurrency model, which uses goroutines and channels, is often considered more efficient and easier to work with than Node.js' event loop.

Go's built-in garbage collection can make it more memory-efficient than Node.js, which relies on the V8 engine's garbage collection.

Go's standard library includes a variety of useful tools and packages, such as a built-in HTTP server and support for cryptography. However, both Go and Node.js have their own strengths and weaknesses and it depends on the requirements of the project.

It's also worth noting that Node.js has a much larger ecosystem and community, which can make it easier to find support and resources.

Is Go faster than NodeJS for web app development?

Go is generally considered to be faster than Node.js when it comes to performance-critical tasks such as serving high numbers of requests simultaneously. Go's lightweight concurrency model and built-in support for network programming make it well suited for high-performance web servers.

On the other hand, Node.js excels at I/O-bound and high-level programming tasks, making it a popular choice for building web applications and real-time systems. The choice of language will depend on the specific requirements of your project.

Node JS vs Golang – Availability of skilled professionals?

The availability of skilled professionals is an important factor to consider when choosing a programming language for a project.

Node.js has been around for longer and is more widely used, so it may be easier to find developers with experience working with it. Node.js has a large and active community, which has produced a wide variety of modules and libraries that can be easily integrated into a project.

Golang, also known as Go, is a relatively new programming language that has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is not as widely used as Node.js, so it may be more difficult to find developers with experience working with it. However, Go has a rapidly growing community, and more and more developers are learning it.

It's worth noting that the availability of skilled professionals should be considered in the context of your project's specific requirements. It may be worth investing in training for your current team or hiring someone with experience in the less common language if it aligns better with your project's needs.

author-profile

Ubaid Pisuwala

Co-founder of Peerbits and Entrepreneurship, Formulation of Business Strategies, Creation and Management of high-performance teams, Management of key corporate relationships.

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