Go for Java Devs — The Basics

Go for Java Devs — The Basics

Go for Java Devs — The Basics. The Go programming language from a Java perspective — part 1. So I decided to outline my thoughts about Go, from the perspective of a long-time Java aficionado. This article, part 1, which goes over the basics of Go, focused mainly on the language’s syntax.

The Go programming language from a Java perspective — part 1

As someone who’s programmed in Java for almost as long as the language has existed, I’ll always consider myself a “Java guy”. Sure, as one of the predominant platforms in the industry, Java is sometimes looked down on today (“It’s verbose!” “It’s slow!” “It’s old!”) But I’m personally excited about the future of the language and the platform.

With that said, it’s important to learn other languages and technologies. So as I’ve been learning the Google Cloud Platform, I’ve also been learning Go. My approach to learning is to skip the tutorials and get straight to designing and building my software. Naturally, this has been slow-going at times, as I often need to pause and look up how to perform various trivial tasks in the language. But after a short period of time, I feel like I have a decent grasp of the language.

So I decided to outline my thoughts about Go, from the perspective of a long-time Java aficionado. As it turns out, I have a lot of thoughts. So I’ve broken the article into three parts:

  • This article, part 1, which goes over the basics of Go, focused mainly on the language’s syntax
  • Part 2, which covers pointers, error handling, and concurrency
  • Part 3, which steps back from the actual nitty-gritty of coding, and discusses compilation, packages and modules, and some advanced functionality that is built into Go core

A few things to get out of the way

Before I get started, let me clarify a few things. As should be obvious by now, I’m far more familiar with Java than I am with Go. So I will be naturally be treating Java as a sort of baseline to which I am comparing Go. This does not imply any superiority of one language over the other. It does, however, mean that I’m likely to miss a few points about Go, or to get a few details wrong. In those cases, I welcome any feedback and corrections; I’m still learning!

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