Go vs Node.js: Which Is Better for Backend Web Development
With the variety of programming languages available out there, Go and Node.js appear to be the most promising technologies for backend development.
To get a better idea, let us have a closer look at each of them and see what merits these two languages have.
Go or Golang is an open-source programming language that was introduced by Google in 2009. It is a newer, very promising language for building quick and easy applications. Having similar syntax to C language, Go is a statically typed, compiled and a cross platform language. It’s multipurpose makes it particularly suitable for backend development and its simplicity and high speed made Go gain vast popularity in the developers’ community. Global giants such as Google, Apple, Facebook, Uber, BBC, The New York Times and other use Golang in their applications.
In order to decide, whether Node.js or Go is better for backend web development, we will use the following criteria for our assessment: performance, concurrence and scalability, tools, community and error fixing.
Performance directly leads to how satisfied the customers will be as it greatly depends on the app load speed and response times. Go is very similar to C and C++ performance wise. It requires no time to warm up as it compiles and generates a machine code directly. Go has a built-in garbage collector that allows managing memory safely avoiding memory leaks. It has high level of security, speed and high modularity.
Concurrency and scalability
Concurrency is the ability to start, run and more importantly complete several tasks in overlapping time gaps. This contributes greatly to the overall performance when you need to run an app with multiple requests. The higher the concurrency, the lower is the risk of an app crash.
Golang with its GoRoutines and channels has a very strong concurrency. GoRoutines are virtual, lightweight, scale seamlessly, require no large memory. Passing through channels, they allow structuring programs in a way that is easy to maintain.
Node.js, on the other hand, is a single-threaded language. This means it cannot handle forking multiple processes, which results in slower application performance.
Ready-made tools affect the developers’ engagement time and the app performance.
Node.js can boast the selection of development tools and frameworks. Node.js has a micro-service architecture, which means that smaller modules contained within have well-defined operational interfaces that enable adding new components to an app.
Npm, a Node.js package manager, offers a truly impressive number of tools for any purpose. Finding the right one among over 800 000 blocks may be a challenge though due to the lack of balanced structure.
Go has a smaller number of tools available compared to Node.js. It has a standard matured library that does not require a third-party support. It has basic UI (user interface), but lacks GUI (graphic user interface).
Being open-source languages, both Node.js and Go have strong communities that work on improvements. Both languages have repositories on GitHub.
Node.js Foundation with its Technical Steering Committee has over 2000 contributors, who work towards security improvements for the language. Each year they organise events where they announce new releases and improvements
Go as a much younger language has a smaller community compared to Node.js. However, being backed up by Google, it grows fast in numbers and attracts more contributors each year. Their annual GopherCons gather developers from all over the world, where they share new opportunities and ideas.
Node.js uses a traditional approach when it comes to fixing errors and addresses an issue as and when it emerges.
Go, on the other hand, differentiates between errors and puts them into categories of run-time and compilation-time errors, so that a different approach can be applied when fixing those. While this may currently add work for developers, the prognosis for the next version of Go looks rather promising as eliminating and fixing errors will become a much faster and less time-consuming process.
As you can see both languages have great value and choosing the right one will largely depend on the type of app you want to build. Both Node.js and Go are good for their own reasons and here at Magnise, we can help you select the right language for your project. Our company offers experienced developers who have excellent knowledge and proven track record of implementing Go and Node.js. in app development. We will be delighted to discuss the type of application to match your preferences and needs and help you develop a truly unique product that stands out. Contact us to get more details.