Introduction

Go is an open-source programming language that makes it simple to create software that is both reliable and effective. Go was introduced by tech giant Google and is a very promising programming language. It is a compiled language. It picks up a base from C and C . In the last decade, there have been significant improvements in the computing world, including a lot of networking, a lot of cluster/cloud computing, and multi-thread applications. Go was designed to accommodate these changes and to overcome the challenges & limitations faced by languages like Python, Java, and C/C. This Golang Tutorial explains it all.

In this article about Golang Tutorial, let us look at:

  1. Why Learn Golang?
  2. What is Golang used for?
  3. What makes Golang Special?
  4. Does Golang have a future?
  5. Is Golang better than c/c?
  6. How to learn Golang from scratch
  7. First Golang Programme

1. Why Learn Golang?

This part of the Golang tutorial is about why to learn Golang. Go is one of the fastest-growing languages in software development. Its speed, simplicity, and reliability in complex architecture make it a perfect choice for all kinds of developments. It is a minimalist programming language. There are no generics, no templates, no separate runtime library. It produces a single executable code that can be copied without breaking dependencies.

It has a smaller learning curve. The language fundamentals are well defined and can be learned in a single day. It is very close to C with added perks like garbage collection, structural typing, and CSP-style concurrency. It is really fast to learn, write, compile and execute.

2. What is Golang used for?

Probably the most important segment of this Golang Tutorial. Golang can be used for a number of software development projects like:

Web Development: Go powers fast and scalable web applications thanks to improved memory performance and support for multiple IDEs.

Cloud and Network Services: It’s simpler than ever to develop services with Go thanks to a robust ecosystem of tools and APIs on major cloud providers.

Command-line interfaces: Use Go to build quick and seamless CLIs with common open-source packages and a robust standard library.

DevOps and Site reliability: Go is designed to support both DevOps and SRE with its quick build times, lean syntax, automatic formatting, and doc generator. 

3. What makes Golang Special?

Some of the below-mentioned features make it special

  • Go is a strong and statically typed language where the type of the variable cannot change over time.
  • It has strong community support to ensure all developers have an easy time ramping up.
  • It is easy to create multiple threads and multiple processes with Go.
  • Go focusses on keeping the compile times down. 
  • Go has a feature for the garbage collection. 
  • Multi-Threading and Built-in Concurrency: Golang’s concurrent execution means that programming, compiling, and execution are all done substantially faster.
  • It compiles down to standalone libraries

4. Does Golang have a future?

Developed in 2007 by Google, it was first released to the public in 2012 as an alternative to C/C and Java for cross-platform app developers. It experienced a massive surge in popularity amongst programmers around the world.

It a robust, easy to learn, and fast language trusted by tech heavyweights like Facebook, Netflix, Dropbox, Uber, Twitter, and others. The demand for Golang professionals is increasing by the day as it is an extensively used programming language in the software industry. 

5. Is Golang better than c/c ?

Golang is simpler and more portable than C , hence is much easier to learn and code in. It also has some built-in features (such as garbage collection) that don’t need to be written for every project, and those features function well.

Go is a compact language built for ease of use and sc

Go has a faster compile-time as compared to C/C .

6. How to learn Golang from scratch

Let us start with the Golang tutorial.

  • Download and install go from https://golang.org/dl/.  Download the binary as per your OS and follow the installation instructions to install.
  • Once the installation is complete, verify the version by typing “go version” at the terminal.

7. First Golang Programme

Let us start by saying “Hello, World!”

package main

import “fmt”`

func main() {

    fmt.Println(“Hello, World!”)

}

In the above code 

  • Line one is for the declaration of the main package (a package is a way to group functions, and it’s made up of all the files in the same directory).
  • Next is to import the fmt package (a standard library package that contains functions for formatting text)
  • Then is the implementation of a main function ‘Println’ which gets executed by default when the main package is run. This will print our message to the console. 

Basic Concepts of Go 

  • Basic Structure: Code is written as statements made of keywords, operators, type, functions, and constants using 3 delimiters ( ), { }, [ ].
  • Filename: Go source code is stored in .go files.
  • Keywords: are the reserved which have special meaning eg. case, defer, go, map, struct, etc.
  • Variables: They point to a memory location where a value is stored. The syntax to declare the variable is 

               var <variable_name> <type>

The type parameter represents the data type. A value can also be given in the initial declaration like 

               var <variable_name> <type> = <value>

An example with variable declaration

package main

import “fmt”

func main() {

    //declaring a integer variable x

    var x int

    x=3 //assigning x the value 3 

    fmt.Println(“x:”, x) //prints 3

  • Constants: These are the type of variable which has a fixed value and cannot change once assigned and is declared using command “const”
  • Operators: These are in-built symbols to perform logical and mathematical operations There are 3 general types of operators – Arithmetic, operational, and logical.
  • Time and Dates: Package time us used to measure and display time for eg. time.Now() Is used to display the current time. Time formats can be customized. 
  • Data Types

Data types represent the type of value stored in a variable, a function returns, etc. 4 main data types are: 

  • Numeric Types: This type represents integer, floating-point, and complex values. Some examples are 

Int8– 8 bit signed integer

uint16– 16 bit unsigned integer

float32– 32-bit floating-point number

complex64– float32 real and imaginary parts

  • String Types: These represent a sequence of variable-width characters on which operations like substring, concatenation, etc. can be performed. They are defined in double quotes “ “. Keyword string is used to declare a string.
  • Boolean Types: This represents 2 values, true or false.
  • Structures:  These are user-defined data types that contain one or more data types and can be declared as

type structname struct {

    variable_1 variable_1_type

    variable_2 variable_2_type

    variable_n variable_n_type

Golang Interfaces: describes the behavior of the type.

Intermediate Concepts of Go

  • Control Structures: They are the mechanism to perform either repetitive or decision-making tasks in a program. Go uses the following control structures:
  • For loop – the syntax is 

for initialisation_expression; evaluation_expression; iteration_expression{

   // one or more statement

}

  • If-else- The syntax is 

if condition{

// statements_1

}else{

// statements_2

}

  • Switch case: It evaluates an expression whose result is compares with set of available values. The syntax is 

switch expression {

    case value_1:

        statements_1

    case value_2:

        statements_2

    case value_n:

        statements_n

    default:

statements_default

    }

  • Maps: They are another built-in data type that maps key to values. The syntax to declare a map is 

var m map[KeyType]ValueType  //  m: map variable, Keytype: data type of keys in the map, Value type: data type of the value in key-value pair //

  • Arrays and Slices: Array is a named sequence of elements of fixed size. To declare an array

var arrayname [size] type

However, Slices are more commonly used in Go as its flexible and has dynamic size. It is a pointer to the continuous section of the array, called underlying arrays. The syntax to create a slice is 

var slice_name [] type = array_name[start:end]

            Some functions that can be applied to slices are len and append

            len(slice_name) – returns the length of the slice

append(slice_name, value_1, value_2) – Golang append is used to append value_1 and value_2 to an existing slice.

  • Functions: They are the set of statements that performs a specific task. Syntax to declare a function is 

func function_name(parameter_1 type, parameter_n type) return_type {

//statements

}

Let’s understand it with an example- Function ‘calc’ will take 2 numbers and perform addition.

package main

import “fmt”

//calc is the function name which accepts two integers num1 and num2

//(int) says that the function returns an integer type value.

func calc(num1 int, num2 int)(int) {  

    sum := num1 num2

     return sum

}

func main() {  

    x,y := 15,10

    //calls the function calc with x and y an d gets sum)

    sum := calc(x,y) 

    fmt.Println(“Sum”,sum)

}

Advanced concepts of Go

  • Error Handling: Go does not have an exception handling mechanism, instead, it uses the interface type error to detect if there are any errors.
  • Go Routine: Go has a support system for concurrent applications. Goroutines are functions to execute the different pieces of code simultaneously. Goroutine is invoked using keyword go followed by a function call. Eg

go add(x,y)

  • Channels are a way for different functions to communicate with each other.
  • Standard Library and Packages: To increase the readability and reusability, code is organized in packages that can be imported into programs using syntax

Import package_name 

Go distribution includes more than 250 built-in packages and each one of them has different functionality. 

Conclusion

To wrap up this Golang tutorial, Golang is an exciting language that allows you to learn quickly while still meeting your real-world requirements. The above Golang tutorial will give you a basic understanding of the core concepts and techniques of Go. With the practice of the fundamentals, you can start building your own programs in Go.

If you are interested in learning more about software development, you can check out our holistic Master Certificate Program in Full Stack Development.

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