Node.js vs Golang: Faring the Best Backend Technology for Web Development

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Trust your instincts to know which backend technology will prevail while channelizing its fears into inclusive development!

Startup companies are often troubled to select their choicest programming language. When it comes to Web application development services, they often have to consider various project requirements before choosing a perfect backend technology. These can be as such:

  • Checking out the problem domain
  • Checking the business use of that programming language
  • Type of application that is to be built
  • The target audience will cater
  • The popularity of the language
  • Support community and ecosystems that will influence the decision process

Furthermore, a sound knowledge of frameworks, servers, and programming languages is important in selecting the right backend technology. An alternative to this is – the cost of web development goes up if the skills required are not readily available or are in high demand.  Everything considered, a clear vision on how to utilize the technology for achieving business goals is an essential part of selecting a programming language for developing a web application.

Besides these, the choice of backend programming language is also a matter of choice. If there are 10 different programming languages on a platter, it is very important to understand the social popularity, community size, and job openings. None of them are complete enough. So it is a matter of choice, whatever the development team likes the most. As the most popular choices for web application development, Ruby, Python, Java and Application Server are the prominent ones. Node.JS and Golang (Go) are soon bucking up.

Camel has wrapped in around 900 lines of code and it takes as many as 2 million dependencies. Node.js is good, and web app developers have enough reasons to stick with it, but sometimes, there is a dithery situation, where one is made to question their own choices!

Here’s a list of examples, notes, definitions and comparisons that work a lot better keeping a view the requirements for the next web development project, expectations from developers and skills in hand. Lots of short back and forth answers that are pretty light and insightful. Plus questions that focus the conversation on something that can easily be shared as the thoughts flow. Peruse this report at your leisure!

Why should one stop at the next “Node”?

node

There has been prevailing apprehensiveness regarding node.js development services within the web development community recently. Is node.js still applicable in a high performance, networked application environment?

Why have several high-profile corporate examples switched towards Go? Do they experience performance increases with this move? Amongst the many, Dropbox and Docker are examples of a prevalent few.

On that note, Node.js still enjoys a wider audience, many number of modules and also has speed and concurrency.

Node.js By Definition

Node.js is a runtime environment for executing JavaScript for backend development. Contrastingly Go is a programming language for backend development. Node.js creates an environment to run JavaScript on server-side, while Go is suitable for writing the executable code on server-side.

Node.js is one of the most suitable languages to build cross-platform applications, a streamlined JavaScript runtime environment that is built on JavaScript engine. Node.js makes use of an event-driven, non-blocking I/O to enable low latency and high throughput, thus making it substantially lightweight and efficient.

Node.js can be used to build both server as well as desktop applications – as it is written in c/c++, contains a large number of open-source libraries in the package within its package ecosystem (NPM), it can as well handle asynchronous JavaScript code to handle many activities.

But web developers need to beware of their fury while working with node.js. There are these few things that node.js development services must discontinue and look for an alternative, just in case they are going for their next cross-platform development project:

  • Stop using semicolons
  • Stop using callbacks
  • Stop using comma-first style
  • Stop using * for versions
  • Stop using GET and POST for everything
  • Stop using console.log for debugging
  • Stop limiting your connections with default maxSockets value

Winning Streak for Node.js

  • Performance and scalability in terms of callbacks, cluster modules, load balancing, database operations – are all easy with node.js
  • A combination of microservices and node.js gives better performance, less code, and efficient deployment.
  • Node Package Manager (npm) adds to the security of the enterprise applications
  • js promises long-term support. Every major release of Node.js will be actively maintained for 18 months from the date it enters Long Term Support (LTS) and will then go into Maintenance mode for another 12 months.
  • Platforms like Electron and NW.js enables building cross-platform desktop applications with Node.js. Some of the code from the web apps can be used in desktop versions for macOS, Windows, and Linux.

Related post: Hiring a Skilled and Experienced Nodejs Developer is Easy; Determine Cost Factors!

Why should we “Go”?

Go is an open source programming language created by Google. It is a combination of C and Python programming language, is an improvement over existing programming languages and reveals increasing popularity amongst the web development community. It is static, structural, readable, strong and an effective way of handling concurrent programming. Go is preferred for its good standard library, garbage collection handling, and dynamic interfaces. Though not a good choice for web development, Go is still a great choice for real-time application development, networking applications, cloud-based interfaces, and micro-services.

Comparison: Node.js vs Golang

Comparison

Node.js

Golang

PerformanceNode.js is a derivative of JavaScript and is thus quite slower than most of the compiled versions. But it is substantially good with its performance.As compared to Node.js, Go wins in case of memory bounded tasks as it is based on C language.
ConcurrencyNode.js makes use of event-callback mechanism and is single threaded. Therefore, concurrency cannot be achieved with Node.js.Golang makes use of goroutines and lightweight thread communication mechanism to achieve concurrency.
ScalabilityThe parallel process cannot be achieved via Node.js for large projects as it uses an event callback mechanism. Goroutines helps in to handle parallel threads very effectively.
Development ToolsMany libraries, frameworks, and tools are available with Node.js.Go comes with decent packages and libraries but comparatively less number of tools are available.
Error HandlingThrow-catch exceptions are available for Error Handling.Go comes with its own explicit error handling mechanism.
Learning CurveEasy learning curve as many online as well as offline resources is available for naïve as well as experienced node.js programmers.Go is relatively new and does not contain as many learning resources as compared to Node.js.
Developers availabilityMany people have propelled themselves into Node.js development as it is soon going to become de-facto programming language for cross-platform app development.Go has to still convince development community.

 Reasoned Judgement: Golang vs Node

JavaScript is ubiquitous in modern web applications. All the related frameworks and libraries have branched out from it for creating interactive and modern interfaces since last few years. Never before had it deployed any backend platform that could compete well with other long-established languages. Exceptionally enough Node.js has been embraced equally well by both enterprises and startups!

Some think that it can potentially replace Java (for good). Companies like Walmart, NASA, Intel and Twitter have been successfully using the platform in their operations and most other are thinking over to rewrite their existing codes to Node.js. Moreover, almost all Fortune 500 companies use it.

It is difficult to fix some inherent flaws with JavaScript within Node.js, without actually breaking the backward compatibility.

Although Golang has improved some of the misgivings of the languages like poor dependency management, complex type systems, dexterous memory management, lack of parallel computation support and lack of multi-core support, it also reduces the amount of code typing needed by being more expressive than C or C++. It eases out writing robust code for networked applications without sacrificing performance and scalability. It enables the compiler to inspect the code beforehand as opposed to dynamic JS compiler during runtime.

JS language features cannot be implemented as they are; but they have to be simply patched on, as an add-on syntax within node.js applications. Node.js still has large community support and such small pitfalls cannot scare away the inherent qualities of the language.

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About Author
Neeti Kotia

Neeti Kotia

Neeti got her master's degree in software engineering in 2009 and has been working since for software companies of all sizes as a technical writer. What started as a high school passion has now been converted into a serious profession. She has a special knack of learning from all verticals and imbibing the extracts into her writing. She enjoys learning technical aspects of writing from her tasks where her experience and understanding are most impactful.

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