Golang has become one of the most in-demand programming languages for building robust and scalable backend systems. With its growing popularity and wide adoption, the need for skilled Golang developers has also increased significantly.
This comprehensive guide will walk you through the key steps and requirements to start and build a successful career as a Golang developer in 2023.
What is Golang and Why Learn It?
Golang (or Go) is an open source programming language developed by Google in 2007. It combines the ease of development of dynamic languages like Python with the performance and efficiency of compiled languages like C/C++.
Here are some of the key advantages of Golang:
- Simple and Easy to Learn: Golang has a simple and tidy syntax that is easy to learn even for beginners with no prior coding experience.
- Fast Compile Times: Golang compiles extremely fast compared to other languages. This improves developer productivity.
- Built-in Concurrency: Golang has built-in support for concurrency using goroutines and channels. This makes it easy to write concurrent programs.
- Cross-Platform: Golang can compile code for multiple platforms like Windows, Mac, Linux etc. This makes deployment easy.
- Mature Ecosystem: Golang has a thriving open source ecosystem with a vast array of libraries and frameworks for different use cases.
- Scalable: Golang is designed with scalability in mind. Golang based systems and applications can easily scale from just a few requests to millions of requests per second.
- Backed by Google: Being created by Google gives Golang credibility. Google itself uses Golang for many of its critical production systems.
For these reasons, Golang has seen massive adoption among software companies and developers. Mastering Golang opens up many exciting job opportunities.
Golang Developer Roles and Responsibilities
As a Golang developer, you will be responsible for building, testing, deploying and maintaining software applications and services using Golang.
Some typical responsibilities include:
- Write clean, maintainable and efficient Golang code to implement software features and business logic.
- Build reusable libraries and frameworks for common functionalities.
- Develop robust and scalable backend systems and APIs using Golang.
- Design database schemas and implement database access code and ORM integrations.
- Implement security best practices for authentication, authorization and data encryption.
- Write unit tests, integration tests and end-to-end tests for the applications.
- Profile and optimize code for maximum performance.
- Participate in code reviews, troubleshooting and debugging of issues.
- Collaborate with cross-functional teams including designers, frontend developers etc.
- Contribute to documentation of APIs, architecture etc.
- Automate builds, testing and deployments using CI/CD pipelines.
- Monitor application metrics and logs after deployments.
- Keep up to date with latest Golang releases, best practices and the ecosystem.
A bachelor’s degree in Computer Science, Software Engineering or related field is the typical educational requirement for Golang developer roles.
Some key subjects you should study are:
- Programming Fundamentals
- Data Structures and Algorithms
- Database Systems
- Operating Systems
- Computer Networks
- Software Engineering Principles
Having a strong foundation in these core computer science topics will help you succeed as a Golang developer.
Hands-on development experience through internships and side projects is also highly valued.
Essential Skills for Golang Developers
Here are some of the must-have technical and soft skills for Golang developers:
Golang Coding Skills
- In-depth knowledge of the Golang programming language including syntax, standard libraries and tools.
- Proficiency with concurrency constructs like goroutines and channels.
- Experience with web frameworks like Gin, Revel for building web services.
- Knowledge of REST API design and development.
- Understanding NoSQL databases like MongoDB and using ORM tools.
- Ability to write unit, integration and end-to-end tests.
- Experience with code versioning tools like Git.
- Knowledge of Go package management using tools like dep, modules etc.
2. Software Engineering Skills
- Strong programming fundamentals and object oriented design experience.
- Writing reusable, maintainable and well-documented code.
- Domain Driven Design and data modeling skills.
- Understanding of design patterns like MVC, Observer, Factory etc.
- Experience with DevOps tools like Docker, Kubernetes.
- Knowledge of Microservices Architecture and API gateway patterns.
3. Soft Skills
- Strong communication skills – both verbal and written.
- Analytical and problem solving skills.
- Ability to quickly learn and master new technologies.
- Attention to detail and debugging skills.
- Self-motivated and passionate about coding.
- Team player with collaboration skills.
This combination of Golang coding expertise, software engineering skills and critical soft skills will set you up for a successful Golang developer career.
Learn Golang – Steps and Resources
Here is a step-by-step process to start learning Golang:
Step 1: Learn Go Language Basics
Start with going through the official Golang tour. This will teach you the basics of the language including syntax, data types, functions, pointers, structs etc.
Next, go through the “Effective Go” guides. These contain best practices for writing idiomatic Golang code.
Step 2: Build Some Simple Programs
Apply what you learned to implement some simple programs that utilize various Golang concepts like functions, structs, interfaces, goroutines etc.
Examples: File I/O, CLI tools, Web Server, Simple database program.
Step 3: Understand Concurrency in Golang
Concurrency is a key strength of Golang. Read extensively about Goroutines and Channels which enable easy concurrent programs.
Learn how to use wait groups for synchronization. Understand mutex locking for shared data access between goroutines.
Step 4: Learn Standard Library and Tools
The Golang standard library and tools contain very useful packages like:
- net/http – HTTP client and server implementation
- encoding/json – JSON serialization
- testing – Unit testing framework
- fmt – Formatting utilities
- flag – CLI argument parsing
- pprof – Performance profiling
Get familiar with using these standard packages in your projects.
Step 5: Build Web Services
Use the net/http package to build web servers and APIs. Start with simple JSON based CRUD APIs and then move to more complex REST APIs with authentication, middleware, routing etc.
Popular Go web frameworks like Gin, Revel can help accelerate development.
Step 6: Connect to Database
Learn to integrate database access into your Golang applications. Use the database/sql package for connecting to SQL databases like MySQL, Postgres etc.
For NoSQL databases like MongoDB, use ODMS like mgo. Write code to perform CRUD operations on databases.
Step 7: Containerize Applications
Use Docker to containerize your Golang applications. This will teach you how to build optimised Docker images for Go apps and run them in containers.
Take it further by running Go microservices in Kubernetes for production grade deployment.
Step 8: Write Tests
Writing good tests is critical for Go developers. Leverage the built-in testing package to write unit tests, integration tests etc.
Use practices like test driven development to drive the design of your application code.
Step 9: Contribute to Open Source
- Find Go open source projects on Github or Gitlab that interest you.
- Read their code to understand implementation details and architecture.
- Make improvements by fixing bugs, adding new features etc and make pull requests.
- This will improve your Golang skills and also build your portfolio.
Step 10: Build and Deploy Real World Projects
- Use your Golang skills to build real world web applications, services, tools etc.
- Deploy them to cloud platforms like AWS, Google Cloud.
- Managing the entire lifecycle of a project will solidify your knowledge.
- Share your code on Github. This will demonstrate your skills to employers.
Following this approach of structured learning and project based learning will help you gain professional level Golang skills for a developer career.
Get Golang Developer Certifications
Getting recognised Golang certifications can validate your skills and also improve your career prospects. Here are some popular certifications to consider:
- Golang Programming Certification by HackerRank – Assesses your knowledge of Go language fundamentals and proficiency in problem solving.
- Associate Go Developer Certification by Brice – Covers Golang concepts, tools, REST APIs and database programming.
- Golang Developer Professional Certificate by eduCBA – Extensive program covering Golang Web Services, Concurrency, Testing etc.
- IBM Certified Application Developer – Golang v1 – Tests your hands-on skills in building and deploying Go applications.
- Getting Started with Google Kubernetes Engine – Learn Go based Kubernetes development and get certified by Google.
These industry recognized certifications will enhance your resume and improve job prospects.
Golang Developer Salary and Job Prospects
Golang is among the highest paying software languages for developers. Here are some key highlights about Go developer salaries and job opportunities:
- Average Annual Salary for Golang Developers in the US is $140,000. Entry level salaries start from $95,000.
- India – ₹800K to ₹1.8M per year for 2-5 years of experience.
- Singapore – SGD 70K to SGD 120K
- UK – £55K to £90K on average.
- Top companies hiring Golang developers – Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Uber, Twilio, Coinbase etc.
- Strong demand for backend systems, cloud-native and Kubernetes skills. Remote jobs also widely available.
- Domains like FinTech, Cybersecurity, Gaming are leveraging Golang for their tech stack.
Given the growth and adoption of Golang in the industry, the future outlook for Golang developer careers is very promising. There is high demand for Golang skills which also leads to lucrative salaries.
Read For More Knowledge
Here we have listed some of the best books you can read to improve and gain more knowledge to become a successful Go Developer.
- Build Web Applications With Go – gain knowledge of Web development using Go
- An introduction to Go programing – A must read book if you are new to Go language.
Practice Makes You Perfect
If you read books then sure you can learn Go language and gain more knowledge but what about practice and learning. Yes You can learn by doing Go excercise.
Gophercises is a free course where you can learn more about Go programming language by doing Go exercises.
Summing Up: How To Become a Golang Developer
Here is a quick summary of the roadmap to become a Golang developer:
- Learn core CS fundamentals during your bachelor’s degree. Get internship experience.
- Master Golang language – syntax, concurrency features, testing, tools etc.
- Build projects and contribute to open source to gain experience.
- Develop expertise in web services, databases, containers, and cloud architecture.
- Earn recognized certifications in Golang and Kubernetes.
- Create a strong resume and portfolio of work.
- Apply for Golang developer roles at product and service companies.
- Keep learning in areas like Machine Learning, Blockchain etc. to stay relevant.
Golang offers an exciting career path with top technology companies hiring Go developers in large numbers. With some consistent learning and development of expertise in building scalable systems, you can have a rewarding career as a Golang developer.