Developer favorites & language growth

Go Developer Survey 2019: 79% of Go devs need generics

Sarah Schlothauer
© Shutterstock / Pavluntic

It isn’t just the allure of the cuddly blue mascot that makes Golang a great programming language. The Go Developer Survey 2019 Results have been released and it shows that despite some hurdles, Go is loved in the enterprise.

The Go Developer Survey 2019 Results have been released, providing some insights into the programming language, how devs use it, what challenges they face, and their demographics.

Over 10,000 people answered the survey, sharing their favorite aspects of the language, experiences, and most-used tech.

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Go-ing up

Tracking Go’s growth via annual surveys shows an upward trend in usage. Go is no longer limited to hobbyist programming anymore. This year, 72% of respondents said they use Go at work.

This self-reported growth is also reflected in the number of pull requests on GitHub. The first quarter of 2020 saw a rise of +0.978% in language usage on GitHub.

A majority of people claim that Go is critical for their companies. From the survey results blog post:

Large majorities of respondents agreed that Go is working well for their teams (86%) and that they’d prefer to use it for their next project (89%). We also found that over half of respondents (59%) believe Go is critical to the success of their companies.

Tools of the trade

Let’s take a look at the most popular technologies devs use alongside Go.

Top editors

  1. VS Code (41%)
  2. GoLand/IntelliJ (34%)
  3. Vim (14%)

It is worth noting that GoLand saw a big increase in usage (from 24% to 34%). Will it continue this positive trend and outpace VS Code next year?

Top operating systems

Same as last year, most devs primarily use Linux systems, followed closely by macOS, or a combination of the two. Windows was much less popular, with just 6% of respondents claiming that they only use Windows.

  1. Linux (66%)
  2. macOS (53%)
  3. Windows (20%)

Top cloud providers

When building cloud services with Go, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure are all gaining popularity and trending upwards. AWS and self-owned servers are now nearly tied with one another.

  1. Self-owned servers (44%)
  2. Amazon Web Services (42%)
  3. Google Cloud Platform (24%)


When asked about the biggest challenges facing devs, 15% of respondents said the language’s infamous lack of generics is their largest hurdle. 79% said generics needs to be available in Go.


Generics are a critical missing feature. Source.

12% reported that working with modules/package management is the most challenging aspect.

Tooling is a challenging aspect for many Golang devs. 11% reported that tooling does not work well in their environment and 10% said that tooling is difficult to learn.

While many devs want to use Go more often, but they are unable to. 25% said that the language lacks critical features; 18% said it lacks libraries.

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Developers ❤ Go

Despite some of the language’s shortcomings and challenges, overall developers have a high opinion of Go.

It isn’t just the allure of the cuddly blue mascot that makes it a great programming language. According to the study, “Overall, respondents were positive about using Go at work, regardless of industry sector.”

A robust and helpful community and a large ecosystem are some of the reasons for its success. 88% said that when they have a problem, it is easy to quickly find an answer to their questions.

75% said that they feel welcome in the Go community. With the number of Go meetups, digital conferences, and Women who Go events, there’s no shortage of ways to get involved with the ever-growing community.

Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer

All Posts by Sarah Schlothauer

Sarah Schlothauer is the editor for She received her Bachelor's degree from Monmouth University, West Long Branch, New Jersey. She currently lives in Frankfurt, Germany with her husband and cat where she enjoys reading, writing, and medieval reenactment. She is also the editor for Conditio Humana, an online magazine about ethics, AI, and technology.

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