Java vs Go

Golang vs. Java: Which is better for development?

In the ongoing battle of the programming languages, today we’re taking a look at Golang vs. Java and which is better for your particular project.

Golang, or “Go” as it is commonly referred to, is a programming language that originated at Google back in 2009. It is the language behind eBay, Uber, Dropbox, SpaceX, and of course, Google itself. In a survey published on the Go Blog, 67% of respondents reported using Golang for their development projects.

Java debuted way back in 1995 and has been the dominant player in programming languages for two decades. It is the official language used for creating Android apps. Java runs on all platforms and its motto from the beginning has been “write once, run anywhere.”

So, what are the main differences between Go vs Java when it comes to creating web applications? Let’s take a look.

Golang advantages

Simplicity

Golang is popular among developers because of its simple design. Go promotes clear, readable code while at the same time ensuring safe and reliable execution. With Java, you'll need additional resources to achieve these kinds of objectives, whereas with Go, they’re built right in.

Scalability

Applications written in Go are highly scalable. For this reason, it is a good fit for highly complicated websites and solutions. Go is quickly becoming the preferred language for developing cloud applications.

Easy to learn

Go has incredibly simple and straightforward design, which allows new team members to start building production software faster. Applications written in Go follow single design and coding style, allowing developers to catch-up with the new project much faster. Go can get your solution to market faster than if you choose to develop in Java.

Better QA and security

Golang is also better for the QA process as it includes a built-in error checking feature. Java has a long history of struggles with bugs and security issues.

Java advantages

Compatibility

Once compiled, Java applications can run on many different types of operating systems, making it platform-independent. This is convenient if you develop software for mobile applications or embedded systems. With Go you'll have to compile your code for each platform that you want to use.

Works well with others

Because Java has been around for such a long time, there are many options available for working with the language, including IntelliJ, Eclipse, Ant and Maven. As a result, there are more libraries available for Java than there are for Go.

Object-oriented

Java is an object-oriented language, making it better for creating big, modular programs with reusable code. At the same time, Go has no class inheritance, which makes its object-oriented model slightly different. Because of this, Go is usually used in microservice architectures while Java is more commonly used in monolithic applications.

Stability

There’s a lot to be said about the experience. Since it’s been around for such a long time, Java language is more predictable and stable than its younger counterpart.

Popularity and Experience

Java has an engaged user base and more highly-qualified developers to choose from as far as development teams. Hiring a Java expert will be a much less expensive option than hiring a Go expert.

When it comes to choosing Java vs. Go for your project, your current development team will be able to tell you which is better based on the requirements of the solution you are developing.

The general consensus is that Go is better for building decoupled, complicated cloud solutions and getting your product to market faster.

In a survey published on the Go Blog, the consensus was: “The #1 use of Go is now writing API/RPC services (65%, up 5% over 2016), taking over the top spot from writing CLI tools in Go (63%). Both take full advantage of Go's distinguishing features and are key elements of modern cloud computing. As more companies adopt Go, we expect these two uses of Go to continue to thrive.

Java, on the other hand, works best for monolithic applications that have clear requirements and a longer timeline.

Consider the platform your solution will run on, how much (and how soon) it will need to scale and your overall development budget. Once you answer those questions, you’ll have a good idea as to whether Go or Java is the right fit for you.

Whether you decide on using Golang or Java for your project, we can help. We have developers that are highly skilled in both languages.