Discussing Go vs. Python is relevant, especially as so many people are asking which one is better. Both of them are general-purpose programming languages, meaning that they can be used in various development areas.
For instance, machine learning is a possibility for both languages, but Python is hard to beat with its sophisticated frameworks. Web development is an option as well. While Go web programming requires more code than Python, it follows very simple syntax rules to produce easy-to-read code. Another difference is that Python is an interpreted language, while Go is compiled. This feature is one of the criteria for determining which language is faster.
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Definition and use of Python
Python is one of the fastest-growing programming languages around. Python favors simplicity, easy-to-read code and uses these features to attract people who hesitate to learn complicated programming languages. Therefore, developers praise Python for the fact that it makes it really simple to transfer ideas in your mind to actual code.
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One significant feature of Python is that it is an interpreted language. Therefore, Python does not need to be compiled into machine code before execution. However, the interpretation of code usually takes longer, meaning that Python is slower than compiled languages.
Even though Python offers simple syntax, not burdened by semicolons or curly brackets, it is capable of various tasks:
- Machine learning with Python is a highly popular trend. Python functions with many frameworks that provide developers with the resources they need to create their projects. Therefore, fields such as banking or insurance have advanced greatly thanks to Python.
- Data analysts prefer Python as well. Once again, there are many frameworks for conducting data research and improving data visualization in the most efficient way.
- Python is also a strong contender in backend web development due to its sophisticated frameworks (such as Django).
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Introducing the Go language
In the Go vs. Python discussion, Go (or Golang) is a statically-typed programming language designed by Google in 2009. The syntax of this language resembles C but Go is a more secure and beginner-friendly option.
Additionally, Go offers more features than C like automatic garbage collection. However, it does not support inheritance or polymorphism to favor a more simple programming interface. Go is also a compiled language, meaning that it will be faster than interpreted languages like Python.
Why use Go when there are so many older and more mature programming languages? Experts suggest that Go is perfect for beginners due to its simplicity. They can learn about the basic concepts of programming before considering more complex languages. Furthermore, the standard library of Go has a lot to offer without having to use any secondary libraries.
When it comes to Go vs. Python, they both offer simple syntax. Therefore, choosing which one is better becomes more difficult.
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Additionally, specialists refer to Go as multi-paradigm as it supports procedural and object-oriented programming to some extent. However, object-oriented programming with Go functions without such standard processes as inheritance (basing one class/object on another class/object).
Here is a list of examples that might answer the question of why use Go for your projects:
- Go supports concurrency (working on several tasks at the same time) which is highly-appreciated in the cluster computing field and cloud computing. Therefore, Go is often the language for concurrent programs such as web servers.
- Go web programming is also an option. Currently, Go has packages for creating APIs and is easy to set up. Therefore, it is an option for backend web development.
Which is better for web development: Go vs. Python
When it comes to the user community in the comparison of Go vs. Python, Python is definitely winning. Python is more mature, meaning that it has more frameworks equipped with resources for web development. Let’s review some of the general differences between these two languages in terms of using it for web development purposes:
- Go and Python languages advertise themselves as simplicity-oriented. While both of their code is easy-to-read and understand, Go requires more code to perform the same actions as Python.
- Go web programming offers a more smooth debugging process. Since Go is statically-typed, it signals errors at compile time (not at execution). Comparing Go vs. Python, the latter is dynamically-typed, meaning that it checks for bugs at run-time.
- Web development frameworks for Python are very sophisticated and more than a few steps ahead of Go. For instance, Flask and Django will help you produce websites with more resources to help and speed up your work.
- Go has built-in support for web development. Therefore, Go enthusiasts indicate that there is no need to use a framework. However, such a process will require you to write most of the code manually, while Python provides you with the base you need.
Scalability and Performance
When comparing the capabilities of Go and Python for backend web development, it is important to pay attention to performance and scalability criteria.
- Comparing Golang vs. Python in the scalability aspect means we analyze whether these programming languages can multitask by dividing execution into multiple separate flows. Go has a built-in concurrency feature, meaning that it can handle more requests at the same time. Poor concurrency diminishes the power of scalability in Python.
- Python vs. Go in the performance area is a more delicate question. Go is a compiled language and has its roots in C. Therefore, this language is great for the development of performance-sensitive programs. On the other end, we have Python. It is an interpreted language, meaning that it is slower than Go. However, producing code with Python is quicker, while the performance of that code is slower. The opposite situation is with Go: you might need to work on your code longer, but it will be very fast.
Python or Go for machine learning?
You can start creating AI with any language you want. However, it all depends on which language is the best-suited and easiest to manage in terms of teaching machines. Python is the leading language of AI, but Go is often mentioned as one of the alternatives. Python vs. Go battle in the area of machine learning leads to a few conclusions:
- Despite the fact that Golang is faster than Python, it does not offer such a rich support system. Python has many frameworks, specifically designed for using machine learning: PyTorch, Scikit-Learn, Keras, TensorFlow, and many more.
- Specialists indicate that one of the reasons people are attracted to Golang is its performance. However, you won’t find much support for machine learning with Go. There are some projects, but they are not as advanced as the army of Python’s frameworks.
A short conclusion would be that Python is not defeated by Golang in terms of machine learning. For that to happen, Go needs to have more frameworks specifically-designed for this purpose since using raw code can seem too time-consuming. Unless you are curious and want to experiment.
It is difficult to draw conclusions in Go vs. Python discussion because comparing a mature language with a relatively young one does not seem fair.
Python is the leading language not only in machine learning, data analysis, but web development as well. Remember to check out our guide to Python on DataCamp here. Golang has only been around for a decade, and it has not built a strong ecosystem or community yet.
One clear advantage of Go is its speed. While Python bows down to Go in terms of code execution, Go admits defeat in the production speed.
Overall, choosing Go means that you are looking at the future since Go was concluded to be the 13th most popular programming language in 2021. Meanwhile, Python proudly occupies the 3rd place on this list, but it took 25 years for Python to get there. For the first 10 years of existence, Python was not popular. It only started to attract attention in 2001. Therefore, the world is wide open for Golang as well.
In terms of salary, Go vs. Python argument is won by Go. It is a more profitable language to learn since Go programmers are already the third highest-paid developers (making $80k per year). In the meantime, Python developers make $64k per year. Lastly, it is up to you to decide which language sounds more suitable for you.