A Comparison of the Programming Language Go and the Runtime Environment Node.js

If contemplating the development of a new application, it can be challenging to decide between Node.js or Golang as the preferred technology. Although both options seem promising, direct comparison between the two is akin to comparing different types of fruit.

Before commencing any project, it’s crucial to have a grasp of the technology we’ll use. To differentiate between a conventional programming language and a runtime environment, let’s compare Golang and Node.js. This comparison will broaden our understanding of the variations between the two technologies.

Comparison with Interpretation

Initially, we will describe the phrase ‘programming language’ and then examine the fundamental disparities between interpreted and compiled languages. This significant contrast makes it impractical to directly compare Go and Node.js.

Before execution, compiled programming languages necessitate compilation, implying they must be processed by a compiler to convert into machine code. A script cannot be created by transforming a C++ program file and subsequently executing it. Instead, it must first be developed into an executable.

An interpreted language’s source code is directly executed. During the execution process, an interpreter functions as an intermediary between the code and the computer by translating the program from a high-level language to machine code. Although it has slower code in comparison to compiled languages, it also offers greater code flexibility, including dynamic typing.

Programming languages that are compiler-based, such as C, C++, C#, and Go, are commonly utilised, whereas the most commonly used programming languages worldwide are interpreter-based languages such as JavaScript and Python.

When developing software, choose between Node.js and Go.

In 2009, Google created Go, which is a compiled programming language meant to be more user-friendly than its forerunners. It was designed with readability and simplicity as core priorities. Its syntax is more comparable to Java (a bytecode-compiled programming language); however, compared to C++, it is more akin to JavaScript.

Node.js is not a typical programming language; instead, it is a runtime environment. This implies that it must be installed on both the developer’s and the target machines to function correctly.

Node.js is an engine that employs JavaScript and TypeScript to execute code in environments other than web browsers. Although designed initially for backend usage, its flexibility enables it for usage in any scenario. For instance, on a local computer, Node.js can be used to create and operate a game coded in JavaScript.

The reason as to why developers have a preference for using JavaScript in applications beyond web browsers is not instantly apparent. Despite this, its prevalence is primarily linked to its user-friendly traits and broad accessibility.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Node.js and Go

It is apparent that Go and Node.js are not very similar. Node.js is merely a platform for executing JavaScript, while Go has been developed as a multipurpose programming language that is beneficial in creating applications or as a backend/server-side alternative.

In that scenario, let’s modify the question: When it comes to producing your backend, should you utilise Go or Node.js with JavaScript?

Ultimately, the optimal selection is dependent on the project’s requirements. If the objective is to achieve a quick execution time or multiple threads of execution are necessary, then Go is the better alternative. Despite Node.js’s efforts to enhance speed, it remains a single-threaded solution.

To be straightforward, raw performance is frequently not a concern. Unless your live product has a demanding computational system, the two alternatives should provide similar speed.

Go is recognised for its scalability, making it an excellent programming language for creating microservices. Its straightforwardness has made it one of the premier alternatives for this objective.

Although not as potent as many other languages, Node.js has numerous benefits, including its significant user base and active development community. In fact, it is even posing a challenge to the popular PHP language. Remember, if you decide to utilise Node.js, you will be working with JavaScript and will have access to a multitude of libraries and packages. Consequently, it is probable that someone has already tackled the issue you are attempting to resolve, while with Go, you may need to experiment more to arrive at a solution.

When comparing Go programming to custom-created furniture, the final product is of exceptional quality and can be customised to match any desired form; however, this necessitates significant effort and expertise. On the other hand, JavaScript is akin to an Ikea product, whereby the programming process is comparatively less complex.

To summarise, the speed of bringing a product to market in a timely manner is a crucial factor. JavaScript is a potent language used by numerous developers, and there are bound to be more experienced JavaScript developers than Golang developers.

Project Examples

It is challenging to contest the suggestion of Golang for projects that are intended for microservices. Several prominent companies such as Google Earth, Dailymotion, Twitch, Dropbox, and numerous others have opted to utilise Go as the central technology for their services, demonstrating its aptness for sizeable projects with multiple components.

Node.js is especially valuable for creating user-facing content, prototyping, and other low-level projects. LinkedIn, Netflix, and PayPal have all employed it for their user interfaces. Before dismissing Node.js, it is worth mentioning that eBay places great emphasis on it for their backend operations.

Choosing any platform over Node.js is challenging since it is the safest alternative. However, Go is a more sophisticated and promising technology; therefore, it is worth contemplating.

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