Learning to code or mastering a new programming language can be both challenging and terrifying. Not only are you starting off on a challenging task, but often doing so without a roadmap to serve as a guide. Taking the first steps into this huge universe might seem like a daunting, if not intimidating task.
The question of "how to go about it or where to start?" may pop up. However, the answer is simple! Follow our step-by-step guide to learning Go web programming. We have outlined practical steps and pointers to give a clear understanding of what to learn and focus on to gain high-value Golang developer skills, along with other resources to help fast-track your journey.
This guide offers a path to success for anyone learning or looking to learn Golang web development, including absolute newbies or experienced Golang developers.
Golang, also known as Go, is an open-source language based on the C programming language. It focuses on efficiency, which essentially leads to developing software and applications faster. Since its release, Golang has gained increasing popularity in the tech community, particularly for its features, including a runtime and garbage collection, a simple static type system, dynamic interfaces, and an excellent standard library. This is why so many developers are keen to learn Go web programming.
Go can be used for software development solutions such as a system programming language, a general programming language, or general support. It can handle large server-centric web services, text-processing complexities, and heavy-duty software applications. It is used in various industries and uses cases ranging from building cloud infrastructure to media platforms with high load counts, news outlets, or other on-demand services. Some of the major companies employing the services of Golang developers include Google, Uber, Twitch, Twillo, BBC, Dropbox, etc.
With a background in C or Java, Golang can be relatively easy to learn. But even without relevant programming experience, Golang can be an excellent first language to learn, as it is high in demand. Before learning Go, endeavor to familiarize yourself with the concept of functions in programming, a text editor or IDE (Integrated Development Environment), and some knowledge on the working principle of the command terminal.
Another thing to consider is that, even though Go offers fast execution, it can sometimes be time-consuming for Golang developers to write codes. You may need to write multiple lines of code to accomplish what might be achieved in a few lines with a language like Python. As with deciding which technology to use for a given project, Golang developers also need to consider the pros and cons of using Golang over another language before fully committing to the learning journey to avoid feeling frustrated, especially while encountering blockers.
Based on an individual's familiarity with software development and other learning preferences, there are several ways for Golang developers to get started. Most times, developers may prefer to take courses or read books before kick-starting a new technology. While these steps and techniques may differ for various individuals, here are some practical tips for getting started and setting off on the right foot.
The first and most important thing to do as it helps to streamline the learning process is to take some time to think about the real reasons and why you have decided to learn Golang. Try to find answers to questions like:
● Are you looking to make a big career change?
● Do you want to create the next greatest app?
● What level of expertise do you want to end up with?
● Are you interested in using Golang to develop cloud services and speed up load times on media platforms?
Or perhaps you want to develop the necessary skills to work for a top enterprise or startup. Deciding what initial direction you wish to pursue can help you find the right resources. Identify and write down your Golang programming goals and store them somewhere safe. This will quickly become the basis of your learning journey from a novice to an expert developer.
Once you figure out why you want to code, you can easily adapt to the programming fundamentals. You might want to skip this step if you already have a fair bit of programming experience. If Golang is the first programming language you'll be taking up, it will be helpful to become familiar with some programming basics such as knowledge of data types, variables, keywords, logical and arithmetical operators, conditional statements, loops, functions, etc.
Developers with some programming experience might find it comfortable starting with the Go Tour, available on its official website. This will give a nice quick introduction and enable you to become familiar with the Go syntax. While the tour is great for experienced developers, it may not particularly be the right choice for newbies or developers who are relatively new to programming. Once this tutorial is complete, you can decide whether to take further courses or read books to grow your skills.
Some online courses may allow you to write code in a browser-based code editor, but this is not a best practice to keep up with. Upon completing the tutorial, you will need to start writing code directly into an actual code editor, so it's a good practice to set up your development environment properly.
Consider downloading Golang for your operating system. Ensure to go through the Golang Getting Started Guide for a brief intro to running your first code. If you get blocked or need more help, there are several tutorials you might find helpful in setting up your Golang coding environment.
Once you have a basic working knowledge of Go, you will need to create your own programs and projects. When the installations are complete, and you have got the hang of the Getting Started Guide, try out other small projects, like creating a Golang module or testing your code.
Although this might feel like a long road away, you will be surprised at how fast you progress with consistency once you start learning. Remember, practice makes perfect, and practice is the key to adequately honing your Golang development skills.
Code reference books and courses are great resources that both beginners and experienced developers should utilize. Usually, they contain all the syntax and conventions of a language, allowing you to look things up when you're confused or unsure on how to proceed with your code. Depending on your learning preferences, take courses or read books to build more projects. Some worthy books and courses to consider include:
● Essential Go - A free book about the Go programming language for both beginner and advanced programmers. There are other books to consider like:
○ Go in 24 Hours by George Ornbo
○ Head First Go: A Brain-Friendly Guide by Jay McGavern
○ Get Programming with Go by Nathan Youngman
● The FreeCodeCamp's comprehensive 7-hour dive into Go. It is best tackled in chunks and is an excellent resource for beginners or intermediates who want to recap on different topics.
● Coursera's course on Programming with Google Go Specialization - With this course, you'll get a quick dive into data types, functions, methods, object orientation, and more. You will also learn to implement simple Golang programs and obtain a certificate of completion.
● Codecademy: Learn Go - This beginner-oriented course explains the nitty-gritty of the Go language.
In addition to the courses and books, other online resources are available to help you learn and master Golang.
The Golang website has diverse resources to aid your learning journey, whether as an experienced programmer or a newbie. There's a Go playground to experiment with Golang code in your browser, documentation and tutorials, blog, reference manuals, and many more. All of these are a great source of information for questions you might have as you pick things up. You might also want to check out the Go forum with a flourishing developer community. There are categories to request help, engage in technical discussions, and get information about meetups and conferences.
Golang is easy to learn, and you can start writing programs in just a few days, especially for those coming from a C or Java background. With little or no programming experience, it will take a considerably longer period of time, depending on the developer's consistency and assimilation rate. You will want to continue practicing your skills for several more months if you want to become a professional Golang developer.
However, to get a well-paying job as a Golang developer, make it a habit to learn one thing every single day. People with solid expertise and demonstrable Golang skill earn around $70K+ a year on average. Golang is considered one of the highest paying programming languages, and in the United States, the average salary of a Golang developer is about $140K per year.
Learning to code or learning a new language can be fun, exciting, satisfying, and sometimes overwhelming. When done right, learning to code can provide you with the most valuable life skills. With this in mind, and following the above guide to get you started on your journey, in no time, you would have built your Golang developer resume and be confident enough to apply for jobs. Ensure to check out Turing jobs for full-time, long-term remote software developer roles with high-paying opportunities and career development.
Joy Nwaiwu is a professional content writer with experience developing meaningful, well-articulated content spanning various industry verticals. She is an avid learner and a technology enthusiast with interests ranging from books, environment, and arts.