Node.js Vs. Golang – Find Out the Best for Backend Development?

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As entrepreneurs, managers, or decision-makers, we understand that web applications and websites are more than just front-end user interfaces. There is no doubt that real things take place behind the scenes. Considering this, a solid back end is essential. To make it right, selecting the optimal tools for server-side development is crucial.

We understand that selecting the right tech stack for back-end development can be challenging. There are a lot of factors to consider, including scalability, performance, availability of skilled developers, learning curve, data management, and many others.

There are two major programming languages used in back-end development: Node.js and Golang. Node.js uses JavaScript to support the back end, whereas Google Go, or Golang is syntactically like C and has gained popularity among back-end developers following its adoption by top companies like Google, Uber, Twitch, and Dropbox.

It’s no secret that Node.js and Golang frameworks have gained popularity, but which is the best choice for back-end development? What makes both programming languages different? Let’s begin to find the answer by starting from the basics.

What You Need to Know About the Node.js Framework?

Introduced in 2009, Node.js is an open-source, server-side runtime environment that runs JavaScript as standalone applications using Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript engine. Node.js extends JavaScript’s capabilities beyond web browsers, making it the perfect tool for developing server-side web applications. It supports cross-platform functionality, including Windows, Mac, Linux, and Unix.

The original purpose of Node.js was to execute JavaScript code. Through its evolution, it has now become possible for front-end and back-end developers to build a complete application, thereby making it one of the most revolutionary languages for web app development.Further read: Comparison Between Blazor And Angular In 2023

Its non-blocking I/O architecture and rich libraries allow developers to create lightweight, fast, and highly scalable applications.

Pros

  • Scalability
  • Ease of learning
  • High performance
  • Extended community and support
  • Caching
  • Full stack JavaScript

Cons

  • Unstable API
  • Performance bottlenecks in heavy computations
  • Lack of extensive library support

How Does the Golang Framework Work?

The Go language was developed by Rob Pike, Robert Griesemer, and Ken Thompson at Google and is an open-source, statically typed, multipurpose programming language.

Golang comes with the performance and security benefits of C/C++ combined with the speed of Python. The Go programming language is straightforward, flexible, and intuitive, making it easy for programmers to write maintainable and readable code.

Similarly, to Node js, Golang is also a cross-platform language. It’s a structurally robust & efficient concurrent programming language; best known for its garbage collection, memory safety, and dynamic interfaces.

A key characteristic of Golang is its speed and efficiency. The Go programming language can be directly compiled into machine code. Unlike some scripting languages, Golang doesn’t require an interpreter, making it suitable for computationally intensive tasks.

Pros 

  • Scalability
  • Ease of learning
  • High performance
  • Garbage collection & memory safety
  • Dynamic interfaces

Cons 

  • Lack of extensive library support
  • Lack of extensive community
  • Lack of generic functions
  • Code reusability is challenging

Golang vs Node: A Comparative Analysis

When it comes to developing technologies, both Node.js and Golang have their strengths and weaknesses. The following are the factors to consider for selecting the right technology for back-end development.

Make Better Decisions by Considering These Factors

Performance

As Google grew dissatisfied with existing programming languages, it introduced Golang. Since Golang has C and C++ roots, it is fast and lightweight. As a result, it is more efficient than Node JS.

The Golang programming language does not require an interpreter and is compiled directly into machine code. In this manner, Golang is on par with low-level languages like C++ in terms of performance. 

When it comes to IO operations, Golang is on par with Node.js. Enhanced single threaded Node.js boosts performance, while the V8 JavaScript engine eliminates the need for an interpreter to run the application.

Error Handling

Errors in Node.js are handled at runtime using the try-catch exception, a commonly used error-handling technique. Error handling in Golang differs from other programming languages, as it demands explicit error checking in its code.

Learning Curve

There is no doubt that JavaScript is a widely used programming language. Regardless of JavaScript proficiency, anyone can learn Node JS. The mature nature of JavaScript makes it possible for newbies to gain experience and seek support from a large JavaScript community.

The Go programming language consists of specific rules, concepts, and interfaces. Due to the limited resources available online, developers must conduct intensive research to acquire thorough knowledge.

Ease Of Scaling & Concurrency

Due to its scalability and concurrency, Golang is ideal for large software projects that need to handle many concurrent requests. Goroutines effectively reduce RAM usage and computational resource consumption for multi-threaded applications. As a result, Golang is a better option for handling processing-intensive tasks without compromising on other aspects.

Node.JS does not allow users to run their functions simultaneously. Due to Node.js’s single-threaded nature and its use of the event-call back mechanism, linear execution is required, so concurrency is not feasible.

Availability of Development Tools

While Golang provides decent libraries and packages, it offers fewer tools than NodeJS. Although Golang has a limited number of tools, each of them is designed to help programmers. Ready-to-use programming and productivity tools can simplify the development process.

With NodeJS, developers have access to a diverse range of tools, frameworks, and libraries to build any kind of application.

Community & Access to Qualified Developers

There is no doubt that NodeJS is one of the most popular programming languages among developers. There is a much greater availability of Node.js experts for various types of development projects.

In terms of popularity and community support, Golang is trying to catch up with Node.js, however, there is still a gap in community support.

In most cases, the best approach is to consult a Node.js development company or other service providers, especially if the technologies do not directly relate to the business’s core objectives.

Node.js Vs Golang: Which Companies Use Them?

As technology evolves at an accelerated rate, businesses adopt new technologies to improve performance and quality. In case the internal team does not have the required skill set, we can also take help from software development services

Here’s what top companies are using for backend development:

Node.js

  • GoDaddy
  • Netflix
  • LinkedIn
  • PayPal
  • NASA
  • Trello
  • Walmart
  • eBay

Golang

  • BBC
  • Uber
  • Medium
  • Basecamp
  • Intel
  • Google
  • Docker
  • Heroku
  • Twitch
  • Dropbox

The Conclusion

Node.js and Golang can develop different kinds of backend applications, so it is difficult to determine which is better. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Node.js programming language excels at handling multiple asynchronous requests, whereas Golang can handle computationally intensive tasks. We need to select the one that suits our requirements the best.

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