The backend of your app is a critically important part of your product. Not only can it take your app to your target audience but also lead to better brand engagement. Various factors define the quality of an app – good performance, scalability, maintainability of code as well as overall security system. All of these factors depend on how equipped the web application’s backend is. That is why choosing the right tool for your project is of immense importance.
So, when it comes to choosing your desired tech stack, the options are galore. You have Ruby, Node.js, Go, Python, PHP, and many more. But without knowing the essential technology facts, it is easy to make a mistake. Amongst the most favored tech stacks are Node.js and Go. While relatively new, they are gaining increasing popularity, but in different ways and for different reasons.
How do you recognize which one is the winner? This easy guide intends to answer this question.
Node.js has received substantial positive reviews and has many achievements to boast of. For instance, in 2017 and 2018, the framework secured the first place in TechOverFlow survey, which ranked the most commonly used frameworks, tools, and library category. One of the leading streaming platforms, Netflix, adopted Node.js and observed a 70% reduction in startup time. Furthermore, a survey also highlights that 85% of respondents are happy using Node.js.
Go or Golang was created in 2007 by Google as an experimental project with the goal to be a powerful and practical framework. Within two years of its launch, the company made it available for the wider population as an open-source language. The core structure of Go is built on C and Python. Being a result of C and C++ language evolution, web application development with Golang is easy and more efficient.
Additionally, Golang involves limited garbage collection, structural typing, and memory safety features. Like Node.js, Golang has some significant achievements to call its own. Golang is the 17th most popular programming language. As per a Stack OverFlow survey, Go is amongst the top five most-loved programming languages. Furthermore, it is the fastest growing language on GitHub.
The battle between Node.js and Go
While Go appears to be the perfect solution for web application development because of its feature easiness and compilation process, Node.js is also not losing the ground.
Performance is of vital importance that can greatly affects an application’s load and response times. Hence, it has direct implication on customer satisfaction. For most developers, Go shows the same performance as C and C++. The framework has no virtual machine and so, programs are executed fast without any warm-up time. Additionally, it has a built-in garbage collector which has been designed to monitor and identify occupied memory that’s no longer needed and frees it for reuse.
When it comes to scalability of projects, Go serves as an excellent tool for largescale software projects. Concurrency is a strong side of Go. Its framework allows developers to run a vast number of Goroutines (methods or functions that runs in parallel with other methods) simultaneously without using too much RAM. Essentially, information between two Goroutines is passed while hiding the complexity which lets you structure your programs in a maintainable way. In Node.js, sometimes CPU-bound tasks can block the event loop which can slow down your program.
The open-source format of Node.js and Go means that whole communities are engaged in improving these languages, fixing bugs, and creating new proposals. Node.js has a large and vibrant open-source community. The Node.js Foundation works toward enabling widespread adoption of Node.js. To date, the framework has reached 1 billion downloads and 56,000 stars on GitHub.
While the Go community is much smaller, it keeps growing every year. Google’s support is a substantial factor for many migrating to Go. GopherCon, which is held annually, gathers Go developers from across the world to discuss new opportunities and changes that can be incorporated in Go. This conference had resulted in many developers interested in contributing to the Go projects.
While Node.js uses the traditional catch error technique (where errors are caught immediately when they occur), Go separates run-time and compilation-time errors. In simple words, error handling Go is about checking explicit errors with the code written. This results in better consistency and results. In Node JS, the same task can be inconsistent at times. However, it offers better and clear error handling, owing to its common throw-catch handling technique.
Over the years, software delivery and deployment have changed dramatically. The backend depends on the characteristics that the application needs to possess. While Golang is perfect for microservices and enterprise-scale projects which handles high load, Node.js offers a variety of ready-made solutions that can reduce software development time in the long-run.