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Node.js vs. Go

Choosing the best technology for back-end development 

Node.js vs. Go

Have you ever wondered what to choose for back-end web development: Node.js or Go? The very process of web development involves two parts. One part which a user can see, and the other part which remains unseen. That is why this part that can’t be seen is known as “back-end”. 

There are many technologies that can be used for back-end development. For example, Go and Node.js are among those technologies. Both technologies are relatively new, though they managed to gain significant popularity over the years. There are different reasons for this. 

In this article, you will find out the essence of both Node.js and Go. Also, we will try to explain the main benefits of using each of the technologies as well as indicate their main drawbacks. This way, you may decide the winner between Node.js and Go for yourself. 

What exactly is Node.js?


Node.js is an open-source run-time environment which came out in 2009. This open source server framework can run on many platforms. They include Mac OS X, Windows, Linx, and Unix. Besides, Node.js is built on Google Chrome’s Javascript Engine. This platform uses JavaScript on the server and is believed to be simple for web development. 

Due to the fact Node.js has gained significant popularity over the last couple of years, it also obtained many users. Among them are eBay, General Electric, Microsoft, PayPal, Wikipins, Yahoo!, Uber, and many others. In addition, the number of companies that decide to use Node.js in their projects is increasing each year

There are many ways in which Node.js can be used. Some of the areas in which this technology might be applied are I/O bound Applications, Data Streaming Applications, Data Intensive Real-time Applications (DIRT), JSON APIs based Applications, and Single Page Applications. Yet, Node.js may be ineffective in dealing with CPU intensive applications. 

Features of Node.js

Node.js has a couple of features which make it stand out among other technologies. The main are the following:

  • Fast. Node.js is believed to be fast in code execution. This is primarily connected to its linkage to Google Chrome’s V8 JavaScript Engine. 
  • Absence of buffering. The apps written in Node.js are known for never buffering any data. Instead, Node.js apps output the data in chunks. 
  • License. The main feature of Node.js is that it came out under the MIT license.
  • Asynchronous. APIs of Node.js are non-blocking. In other words, the server does not have to wait for an API to return data. 

What is Go?


As the official website for this programming language suggests “Go is an open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software.” Also, this language was released relatively new. According to Tutorialspoint, “Go language is a programming language initially developed at Google in the year 2007 by Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson.” 

This programming language is used in many Google’s production systems. The main significance of Go is that it is praised for its advanced performance for networking. In addition, it has a number of other advantages which make this programming language outstanding among others. Probably, that is why Business Insider called Go “the hottest programming language of 2016.” 

On the whole, many developers prefer choosing this particular programming language since it is known for its high security, high speed, and high modularity as well. Moreover, many programmers suggest that Go is very similar to C in terms of syntax. Yet, Google’s Go can safely use memory as well as provide static typing along with concurrency. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Node.js and Go

Despite the fact, both Node.js and Go are popular technologies, they are unique and thus have both advantages and disadvantages over one another. Let’s look at the main differences between them. 

Advantages of Using Node.js

To begin with, there are many advantages of Node.j which explains why programmers love working with this technology. So, the main advantages of Node.js are the following: 

  • Flexibility. In Node.js, one node is affected, when you decide to make any change. However, in other runtime environments, you would have to make changes all the way back to the core programming.
  • High Performance. In Node.js, code runs very quickly since it runs on Google’s V8 JavaScript engine. Consequently, Node.js developers can work on the project quickly and efficiently. 
  • Easy to Master. Node.js is easy to learn. This might be explained by the fact it is based on JavaScript. So, developers can learn this language with ease. 
  • Fast development process. It is possible for developers to unify one particular language (JavaScript) both for front development and back development. This way, the development process will be much faster.  

Disadvantages of Using Node.js

Even if Node.js has a number of solid advantages, it is important to consider its drawbacks. Some of them include: 

  • The absence of a single correct approach to frameworks. Usually, Express is widely used in Node. js, though its main drawback is that it is poorly supported. Yet, in Ruby or Java, developers do not face any problem in opting for the right framework. P.S. There are some new frameworks that have relatively recently gained popularity in Node.js. They are Next.js and Nest.js. 
  • The lack of development of tooling. Node.js modules are stable, though there are some tools in the npm registry which do not function properly. In addition, the registry fails to offer tools based on their quality.  
  • Lack of experienced Node programmers. There are many developers programming in JavaScript. Yet, there is also a lack of computer programmers and mobile app developers who have real expertise in back-end and databases.

Advantages of Using Go

Go, along with Node.js became relatively widely used because of its perks. Some of them are:

  • Faster execution. Go is a relatively simple programming language to learn. So, developers can quickly master this language or understand someone else’s code. 
  • Comprehensive tools. Unlike many other programming languages, Go has tools which support development. In fact, Go includes a set of comprehensive tools which enhance the process of coding.  
  • Active developer community. Because Go is easy to learn, a growing number of developers decide to master this programming language. Consequently, the availability of so many Go developers leads to the increase of the support available for any problem which might occur during the development process.  

Disadvantages of Using Go

The main drawbacks of Go are:

  • Lack of frameworks. Go significantly falls behind Python, Ruby on Rails, and PHP. This is primarily caused by the number of frameworks which go with Go. 
  • Absence of GUI Library. Go does not have native support for GUI libraries. Because of this, app development companies have to link a library to their app manually, which is an obvious disadvantage. 
  • Syntax libraries. Despite the fact Go possesses some fresh libraries, it significantly falls behind. Many programming languages already offer much more than that and thus attract more users. 

What To Choose

Considering the main features of Node.js and Go, it is necessary to compare those two technologies and thus decide which one is better. So, let’s examine them more closely and mark the winner in certain categories.

  1. Backend in web application development

Go works much faster, though it is significantly complicated when it comes to the development process. Node.js, in turn, is characterized by the availability of many developers who use this technology as well as a fast development process. 

Winner – Node.js

  1. Scripting language for DevOps

Go is considered top of mind for DevOps professionals since it works very fast. Node.js can be easily supported by small teams of developers using Java Script rather than relying on DevOps.

Winner – Go

  1. Microservices

Again, Go is faster and thus it should be used for a particular component which requires such a peculiarity. Node.js is well supported and suitable for the component which does not consider the performance that much. 

Winner – both Node.js and Go

Wrap Up

To wrap up, Node.js and Go are two technologies which can be used for backend development simultaneously. Despite the fact they are relatively new, many developers prefer mastering either Node.js or Go or both because they have a number of advantages and thus enhance the development process. That is why those technologies are very popular nowadays. 

On the whole, Node.js and Go are primarily used because they work without any unnecessary effort. They can be used for apps of various sizes and needs. Keenethics has a lot of experience working with various technologies. So, don’t hesitate to contact us if you need help with your projects.

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