Golang vs. Python: Which Should You Use?
Comparing Golang vs. Python is a bit like comparing apples to oranges. Both are popular programming languages, but they come with their own learning curves, use cases, and pros and cons.
In this article, we’ll take a look at what both of these languages are, their benefits and drawbacks, and when to use them. If you’re on the fence about which language to learn or use in a certain context, this should help clear things up.
What is Golang (Go)?
Golang, also known as Go, is an open-source, compiled, and statically typed programming language created by Google. It’s designed to be simple, readable, efficient, and high-performing.
Google’s goal in creating Golang was to simplify the software development process and offer a simpler alternative to programming languages like C++. Developed in 2007 and introduced to the public in 2009, Go has come a long way since its inception and remains one of the most used languages for software development.
Is it called Go or Golang?
You may hear the language called both Go and Golang. While the two terms can be used interchangeably, Go is the official name of the language.
“Golang” comes from the domain name of the official Go website, golang.org, which Google chose because go.org was not available. Ultimately, this is pretty helpful because “Golang” is much more searchable than “Go,” making it easier for those seeking information on the language.
Golang pros and cons
What is Golang used for and how can it benefit your organization? Let’s explore some of the pros and cons of using Go.
|Yes||Speed. Golang allows you to quickly build and compile code. It's compiled directly to machine code, giving Golang an advantage over languages that work through virtual runtimes. With Go, developers can write programs and turn over high-performing applications.||No||Writing the code is time consuming. Go is a strictly compiled language, so it requires developers to spend much longer writing boilerplate code. Comparing Go to Python, it would take dozens of lines of Go code to accomplish what you can do with a couple lines of Python.|
|Yes||Easy to learn. Go is one of the simplest programming languages to learn. It has a procedural approach and simple syntax, making it easy for software developers to quickly pick up Go, particularly if they already have a foundation in Java or C. Go is also a great choice for people new to programming.||No||No code reusability. Go lacks the generic functions that help you reduce the footprints of functions. Without these generic functions, developers don’t have the tool for code reusability, reducing the efficiency of the development process.|
|Yes||Library. Go comes with a standard library, full of powerful tools that make the process of development easier and faster. Many other languages require additional libraries that create conflicting function names and impede development. Go’s feature-rich library is a huge advantage over other programming languages.||No||Young language. Relatively speaking, Go is a younger language than Python, so it does not come with the same level of support and resources. Volunteers and programming-enthusiasts are the main sources for troubleshooting and information about Go, whereas other languages have official support libraries and tools.|
|Yes||Security. Go’s simplicity increases security. It’s easy to detect errors because Go is a statically typed language that doesn’t require complicated structures. Additionally, Go has an integrated garbage collector that ensures your memory goes untouched.||No||Too specific. Go was created to solve company-specific issues at Google, while other languages were built with bigger-picture goals in mind.|
What is Python?
Created by Dutch programmer Guido van Rossum, Python was first released in 1991. Python is a common, general-purpose programming language that is used for a wide range of applications. It’s an interpreted, high-level, object-oriented language with dynamic semantics. The language incorporates modules, dynamic typing, exceptions, dynamic binding, a high level dynamic data types, and classes.
Its range of features makes it useful for complex application development and for scripting that connects components together. Python can be extended to make system calls to practically all operating systems and to run code written in C or C++. Due to its unique ability to run on nearly every architecture system, Python is a universal language.
Pros and cons of Python
How do developers use Python and what are its strengths and weaknesses?
|Yes||Data visualization. When an application calls for advanced data analysis and visualization, Python is the go-to programming language. Python offers multiple libraries like Seaborn, ggplot, and Matplotlib that allow companies to create dynamic graphic reports that are easy to read and understand.||No||Speed. Because Python is an interpreted script language, it falls behind compiled languages like C and C++ regarding speed. When it comes to Go vs. Python, Python takes much longer to translate code, slowing down the development process.|
|Yes||Versatility. Compared to Go, Python is incredibly versatile. Python comes with a variety of frameworks and available libraries that allow you to tackle web development, machine learning development, IoT, and more.||No||Memory. Python is not the best language for applications that require a lot of memory. This is due to the diversity of data types—which is a pro in many cases—but ultimately limits Python’s memory capabilities.|
|Yes||Prototyping. Python’s agility and simplicity make it a great choice for prototype building. Accelerated development process and easy code refactoring generate high-quality prototypes that can be turned into a final product later on down the line.||No||Subpar mobile development support. While Python is versatile, many experts note that Python is not a strong choice for mobile development.|
|Yes||Large community. Compared to Go, Python is a much older language that has a huge community of contributors and enthusiasts who play a key role in language development. With a large community of users, information and troubleshooting solutions are easily accessible.|
Difference between Golang and Python
Now that we have an understanding of each language on its own, let’s take a closer look at how they compare.
|A procedural language based on concurrent programming||A high-end language based on object-oriented programming|
|Neutral||Good for system programming||Neutral||Good for computing and data analysis|
|No||Does not support object-oriented programming, meaning it also does not have classes and objects||Yes||Supports classes and objects|
|Yes||Supports interfaces||No||Does not support interfaces|
|No||More verbose (takes more lines of code to accomplish something)||Yes||Less verbose (takes less lines of code to accomplish something)|
|Yes||Supports concurrency||No||Does not come equipped with concurrency mechanisms|
|Neutral||Go is a statically typed language, so it employs a compiler||Neutral||Python is a dynamically typed language, so it employs an interpreter|
|No||Does not support exceptions (instead of exceptions, it has errors)||Yes||Supports exceptions|
|Yes||Supports channels and Goroutines||No||Does not support channels and Goroutines|
Which language should you use?
Should you use Go or Python? The answer depends on the type of project and its specific requirements. Both languages have strengths and weaknesses that work well in some projects but fall short in others.
Python is the best language for data analytics, web development, and AI-focused projects. Compared to Go, Python stands out for these types of projects because of its large number of frameworks and libraries that support development. Additionally, Python is your best option if you want to create scripts and tools that run efficiently while promoting readability across teams.
Go is a great choice for systems programming because its built-in libraries and support for concurrency facilitate smooth, fast web development. If your primary goal in developing a tool is scalability and speed, Go is a good pick.
Put simply, use Python when dealing with people, and use Golang when dealing with servers. However, it’s ultimately a case of comparing apples to oranges. Whichever language you choose, make sure its capabilities fit with the requirements of your project and needs of your team.
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