Golang vs Node

Golang vs Node.js Comparison: Performance, Scalability, and More

Estimated read time: 7 minutes

Looking for a Golang vs Node.js comparison including performance, scalability, and other details? 

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If you’re developing a web application, you might have heard of Node.JS and Golang (also known as “Go”). Both are gaining popularity, but in very different ways, and for very different reasons. They are part of a movement away from traditional server-side languages such as PHP and Java.

Let’s draw a Golang vs Node.js comparison.

Comparison Chart: Golang vs Node.js

This Golang vs Node.js comparison chart can help you understand how these two programming languages stack up against each other at a glance with respect to certain important factors.

  Node.JS Go
Raw performance Poor compared to Go Excellent
Real-life performance Good in most applications Excellent
Concurrency / Parallel Programming Tools Not good for large scale concurrent applications Excellent concurrent programming capabilities
Scalability Difficult for very large scale applications Excellent
Tools for developers Exceptional Far behind Node.JS
Learning curve Very easy for most web developers Intuitive, but you still need to learn a new language
Best practices and conventions A lot of Javascript code is written badly, and conventions aren’t up to date Go encourages writing great, scalable code
Community  Massive! Isn’t going anywhere anytime soon  Small (but growing quickly)
Finding Developers Ridiculously easy – you probably are one or have hired one before Difficult

Golang vs Node.js – A detailed Comparison

Raw Performance

Node.JS performance can be either great or terrible, depending on who you ask, and what application you are working on. It runs on Javascript, which is an interpreted language. This means that raw performance and computation can never be as fast as a compiled language like Go.

On the other hand, Go, an open-source programming language is built for raw performance. Google decided to design the language purely out of frustration with the current programming languages’ poor performance. And they’ve clearly succeeded. Go outperforms the Javascript Node.JS hands down.

Real-life performance

It’s tempting to look at raw performance data and assume Go is the one to go with. But in many situations, it simply doesn’t matter.

For example, connecting to your database is often the bottleneck for your server performance. When this is the case, Node and Go perform at similar speeds.

Concurrency and Scalability

This is where Go really shines. The reason the guys at Google, Docker, and Dropbox use Go is that they have very large applications that need things to be done in parallel.

Go has a completely different approach to concurrent programming than other languages. It manages threads with things called ‘goroutines’ that handle communication in parallel very effectively. This means concurrent tasks that normally get very complicated, can be done simply and intuitively with Go.

Take a look at these survey results from Go.org.

results of a survey about Go's features

Node JS scalability is less elegant. Executing javascript code in traditional concurrent programming is done with event callbacks. This can get messy quickly. However, there are people working on this problem with things like JS promises, that will do the job in most cases.

Tools for Developers and Community

Javascript is one of the most popular and well-established programming languages in the world. After all, that’s why Node.JS is so attractive in the first place. There are so many tools for every possible application. Libraries, platforms, examples, tutorials, etc.

If you need something done, you can find a package, library, or tool for it.

Go does have some nice libraries and packages to use, but it doesn’t look like it will catch up with Node.JS anytime soon. As a developer, you’ll be doing a lot more of the programming groundwork.

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The Node.JS community is awesome and far bigger than Go’s. It’s safe to say that Node.JS isn’t going anywhere soon.

Learning Curve

Learning Node.JS is easy for web development. Even if you haven’t done much Javascript, there are so many great resources to learn for free online. And, Node.JS event loop makes concurrent server programming quite easy.

Deciding to use Go will mean you have to learn an entirely new language and probably use Javascript on the front end. This is worth it for larger organizations that can afford the investment, and need the performance gains. But, if you’re not developing something like this, you might want to stick with what’s easy.

Best Practices and Conventions

Javascript is notorious for bad code and poor developer practices. This could be because

  • A lot of Javascript developers are self-taught
  • A “that will do” attitude
  • Scalability issues with callbacks (see callback hell)

This can be a problem for developers and those that hire developers. It’s hard to break old habits, and it’s hard to find developers with good habits.

Go fundamentally encourages good programming practices. Google designed it so that large teams could work on large projects effectively and easily. As you are programming, Go seems to guide you into making smart choices as a developer.

Finding Developers

Great Javascript developers – and even Node.JS specialists – are easy to find (and therefore cheaper!). You’ll easily be able to find good agencies with huge experience to help you with your project, at a good price.

However, if you want to build a great product, it’s crucial to hire Node.JS developers who are experts in their field.

Go is much newer and has a tiny fraction of the developers. This means you probably don’t have a Go expert floating around your office. Moreover, finding a skilled developer will be more difficult and expensive.

However, in the long run, the time invested in a highly elegant, scalable tool for your back-end might just pay off.

Convincing Your Team

The popularity of Node.JS means most developers won’t need much convincing to use it. According to the Go 2021 Survey, they found that developers were overwhelmingly happy with the ease of use and performance of Go, but found it difficult to convince others of the same.

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This is an important factor. If you are the one suggesting using a whole new idea to your team, you’ll be responsible if things don’t work out!

Golang vs Node.js – What to choose for your next project?

Which programming language you should go for from Glonag and Node.js for your next software development project depends on several factors. Some of these include:

  • Type of project
  • Budget
  • Your current skill level (or developers)
  • The size you intend to scale to in the future
  • Many more

Any skilled development team will know what languages and development tools to use for a given project. The important thing is to define your requirements well. There are no silver bullets in software development. Every choice you make is a trade-off that will have advantages or consequences!

A reputed software development agency, like DevTeam.Space with experience in developing and deploying multiple market-competitive software products can help you in partnering with field-expert software developers and choosing the right programming languages, tools, etc.

You can get in touch by sending your initial app development project specifications via this form and one of our account managers will reach out to you with further assistance. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Golang vs Node.js

1. How does Golang compare with Node.js on performance, scalability, productivity, etc.?

The Go vs Node comparison is as follows:
Performance: Both Golang and Node.js deliver good performance, however, Golang offers higher performance.
Scalability: Both Node.js and Golang help developers code scalable apps, however, Golang does better in this regard.
Tools and frameworks: There are many open-source tools and frameworks for Node.js, which enhance the productivity of developers. Golang has fewer tools and frameworks.
Developer support: The Node.js developer community is large and it provides excellent support. The Golang community is smaller.

2. Is Golang faster than Node.js for web app development?

Golang uses many strengths of C and C++, moreover, it’s lightweight. It is considered a popular programming language choice for backend development with efficient error handling. It certainly runs faster than Node.js. JS has to be first converted to machine code. However, the slight difference in their performance doesn’t make an impact in the real life. Both Golang and Node.js offer robust performance.

3. Is Node.js worth learning now?

Node.js is a very popular JavaScript-based cross-platform runtime environment. At first, it was only meant to execute javascript code, however, today many developers use it to develop scalable and performant web apps. There’s a great repository of open-source tools and frameworks for Node.js. It’s certainly worth learning for backend web development.


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