Hear ye, hear ye

Go is a ‘free time’ programming language, survey shows

Gabriela Motroc

Free time red analog alarm clock image via Shutterstock

Go launched a survey last year and we never heard back from them. Now it’s time for the big unveiling — let’s see how many people use Go at work and how many experiment with it outside of work.

Over 3,500 people participated in Go’s 2016 survey. According to the survey results89 percent said they program in Go at work or outside of work, while 39 percent use it both at home and at work. Less than 30 percent use this programming language only at home, and 23 percent use it only at work.

Go 2016 survey results

Python before Java

Go also ranked highest among respondents’ first choices in both expertise (26 percent) and preference (62 percent). If we forget about Go for a second, the top five first choices for language expertise are the following:

  • Python (18 percent),
  • Java (17 percent),
  • JavaScript (13 percent),
  • C (11 percent),
  • PHP (8 percent)

The top five first choices for language preference are:

  • Python (22 percent),
  • JavaScript (10 percent),
  • C (9 percent),
  • Java (9 percent),
  • Ruby (7 percent)

If we take a look at our technology trends 2017 survey results, we see that Go is in top 10 but did not manage to make it to top 5. As we combined the votes for “very interesting” and “interesting”, it became crystal clear that Java 9 is developers’ sweetheart this year, closely followed by Java 6/7/8.

JAXenter Technology Trends 2017 survey results

Keeping Go users satisfied

Back to Go’s survey results! It seems that users agree that they would recommend Go to others by a ratio of 19:1 and they’d prefer to use this programming language for their next project (14:1). However, it seems that most respondents don’t believe that Go is critical to their company’s success (2.5:1) but that shouldn’t be a tragedy since 66 percent program in Go outside of work.

SEE ALSO: “Go is way less verbose than Java”

When asked what they like most about Go, users mentioned the language’s simplicity, ease of use, concurrency features, and performance. There were a lot of positive aspects mentioned by respondents but we keep going back to the same benefit — that Go is “way less verbose than Java,” as Matt Aimonetti, the co-founder and CTO of Splice, told us last year.

When I started my startup Splice three years ago, I knew that we needed a solid code foundation. I had to deal with bad early stage startup code so many times that I wanted my company to have to deal with a crazy amount of technical debt as we start getting good traction. Go was much simpler to wrap your mind around, the compilation was really fast, deployment was straightforward, it was tested on very large teams and the community was very supportive (as well as well-organized and full of very experienced/smart people). I decided to take a bet on Go since it seemed like the best option at the time. I am very glad I did.

Aimonetti also said that “as a mainstream programming language, Go is probably one of the simplest, the language specs are short, and the feature list is limited (on purpose).”

Back to the survey again. Respondents agreed that Go’s performance meets their needs (57:1 ratio agree versus disagree) and said that they quickly find answers to their questions (20:1) and that they can effectively use its concurrency features (14:1). However, they claimed that they are not able to effectively debug uses of Go’s concurrency features (2.7:1).

No matter the disadvantages, Go remains a great programming language, according to Aimonetti. The co-founder of Splice claimed that even though Go does “less magic for you, that also means greater readability and less surprises/bugs.”

Check out the Go 2016 survey results here.


Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc was editor of and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.

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