Golang vs. Java compare and contrast two notoriously fast, back-end programming languages that can take your latest software project to the next level.
Java has been around for quite some time, curating its position as a powerhouse in the software industry for back-end development.
But Golang is fairly new, meaning its modern quirks can curb any classic frustrations that developers face with old programming languages.
What Is Go?
Go, often stylized as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled, multi-purpose programming language.
Memory safety, garbage collection, structural typing, and concurrency, are a handful of Go’s greatest assets.
Following? Maybe not. Rather than send you off to Google in a hurried frenzy, take a look at this breakdown of Go’s technical makeup:
Static typing — a programming language characteristic where variable types are explicitly declared, leaving less room for runtime errors
Compiled — refers to any programming language where source code is translated directly into machine code, lending to faster runtimes
Memory safety — a reference to programming languages that have strong protections against bugs and security vulnerabilities
Garbage collection — a function that encourages memory safety by automatically deleting objects from memory that can no longer be referenced
Structural typing — a class of type systems where the language determines if a variable is equivalent to a certain variable type based on context, saving developers the time of naming the equivalency
Concurrency — the ability of a program to perform multiple tasks at once
Now that the technical details are out of the way, you might want to know what the heart of Go really is. But first, you need to know where Go came from.
Golang was designed by Google in late 2007 as a response to older languages that could not handle mass amounts of code, networking, and multi-core processing.
For that reason, Go’s syntax is concise, allowing for readability and usability. Syntactically, Go mirrors C more than any other language.
And Go’s multi-purpose capacity means the language can be used for a variety of applications.
To boot, several elements of the language’s architecture promote its usage in networking and multiprocessing use cases.
In short, Go is designed for people who want to build bigger and better software.
Related reading: Golang vs. RustWhat Is Java?
Java is a class-based, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language.
Its design philosophies centers a write once, run anywhere (WORA) paradigm, along with loose coupling.
Now, here’s what that means in English:
Object-oriented — a programming paradigm where reusable code can be written and manipulated using intuitive objects with accompanying attributes and methods
Class-based — a feature of object-oriented programming (OOP) where objects in a class can inherit traits of the class (e.g. a specific car under the class car inherits a coded behavior for driving)
WORA — an epithet denoting Java is cross-platform; the language can run on any system with a Java Virtual Machine (JVM), including smartcards, TVs, and mobile phones (given Android development)
Loose coupling — an approach to programming where fewer dependencies is the ultimate objective, allowing different program components to work independently without jeopardizing other code
Like most languages, the perks of Java stem from the shortcomings of earlier languages. In 1995, many of the frustrations that ultimately engendered Java came from C.
First, C was decidedly low-level, meaning that communication between human users and the computer machine needed to be lengthy and complex to make an impact.
C also wasn’t particularly portable. Portability here alludes to a language’s multi-platform compatibility.
Because C was not designed to be highly portable, cross-platform use was non-existent and the language was limited to PCs.
Java rose from the ashes of C (although take note that C is still in frequent use). And now it is one of the fastest and most scalable programming languages there is.
Golang vs. Java: Side-by-Side Comparison
Both Go and Java are high-performing server-side languages, that — for one reason or another — have some relationship to C. But which language should you choose for your next project?
Check out this side-by-side comparison to see how Java and Go compare.
In spite of Java’s reputation for being fast, Go surpasses Java in speed for almost every metric.
Java’s lacking in this category is largely because of its virtual machine, which is critical to Java compilation.
In addition, this feature permits Java to run on almost any platform, no doubt a desirable trait.
Still, Go has the advantage here. Fast languages mean easier testing and better user experiences.
Ironically, Go runs so fast because it functions much like C. Running a program means Go compiles your code into machine code before directly executing the program.
Go’s memory management also plays into its speed. With automatic garbage collection, there’s no pause when it comes to dealing with extraneous object references.
In contrast, Java’s memory management is similar but more traditional. Java has memory protections too, but its garbage collection method pails in comparison to Go.
Winner: Go — When comparing Golang vs. Java for speed and performance, Go is in the lead due to its refined features.
Both Java and Golang have treasured features that any developer can appreciate.
Java, for one, is object-oriented, making it a good fit for complex projects.
OOP, by definition, elicits code reusability and maintenance as well as an overall better developer experience.
Through OOP, Java also offers reflection, where code can introspect on itself during runtime as a means of error checking.
Unfortunately, Go isn’t object-oriented so it does not extend inheritance or reflection in the traditional sense, and ultimately this makes Go less flexible than Java.
On the other hand, one of Go’s primary features is garbage collection. Though Java has garbage collection too, it’s not quite as impressive.
Memory safety can be just as important as OOP when it comes to managing large codebases, so Go does have some skin in the game.
Of course, the most outstanding feature of Go is its concurrency.
Goroutines are a feature of Go where functions or methods can run concurrently with other functions and methods.
Java has multithreading capabilities that make for a similar effect, but in Java, this feature is far more primitive than in Go.
Winner: Go — Though Java lends programmers OOP, a fan-favorite, Go is far more robust with its feature-set.
Java is a veteran in comparison to Go. Ergo, it should come as no surprise that Java outdoes Go in terms of popularity.
It’s worth mentioning that Java is tied to Sun Microsystems, a major technology company back in the day.
At this point in time, Java was the most widely used severe-side language there was.
Today, you’re likely to see Java compete with Python for that title, but Java still has a bigger community when Go is its opponent.
In fact, Go doesn’t get much attention at all aside from its small developer community.
It’s a shame because Go has a lot of business prospects. Naturally, Google is using Go. But did you know Uber uses Go for its back-end?
Fortunately, the community Go does have is supportive and passionate, and that is often the case with niche languages that don’t get the credit they deserve.
You can bet Java’s community is likewise supportive and passionate. And there are many upsides to being a popular programming language.
For one, there are more developers to choose from if you need to hire Java developers. Or, once you have Java developers on lock, they can look to the Java community for feedback and advice.
Winner: Java — Java rules the playground in Go vs. Java; it’s age and origins make the language superbly popular.
The syntax of Go is unique, to say the least, but in a good way. The language itself is easy to read and write for English speakers.
But more importantly, there are a total of 25 keywords in the Go language for representing predefined actions and performing internal processes.
Needless to say, Go is easy to work with. Go’s library is also pretty small so sifting through it is a breeze.
And unlike most programming languages, Go’s syntax does away with brackets, parentheses, and those cumbersome colons programmers would often need to put at the end of lines.
To sum things up, Go is an imperative language. It just wants to get things done.
The advantage of this for developers is that using Go is fairly simple. But the downfall is that Go’s lack of complexity means dependency is inevitable.
In turn, Java is a declarative language. There’s more room to be expressive. Using Java requires a developer’s full attention.
But this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Flexibility and loose coupling, for example, are desirable merits of working with a more complicated syntax.
Winner: None — In Go vs. Java for usage, the better language depends on your needs and what suits your project best. There is no clear winner here.
Although both Java and Go are server-side languages, their server-side applications largely differ.
As established, the JVM makes it so that Java can be used anywhere with little to no trouble.
Java is truly a cross-platform language. Go, in contrast, markets itself as a cross-platform language, but if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that there is some nuance to this claim.
For instance, Go compiles code into a binary file for any given platform. But the machine must create a binary file every time you compile code for a single platform.
In this way, Go does have some platform-dependency where Java is otherwise independent.
Compiling the separate binary files for each platform is no doubt time-consuming.
If high portability is your goal, Java is probably your best pick.
As an illustration of Java’s portability, consider that Java is Android’s native language. This means that if you want to build Android apps, knowing Java is step one.
To compare, Go shouldn’t be the first tool in your toolbox for developing a mobile app, but it might still belong somewhere in your tech stack if you want to optimize your back-end.
That said, the concurrency in Go makes it a great option for machine learning, but only as an alternative for Python or Java when necessary.
Winner: Java — In spite of Go’s modern features, Java is still more portable than Go in a number of circumstances.
After running the count in your head, you may have just realized that there’s no objectively better language as far as the side-by-side comparison is concerned.
In reality, this is often the case when comparing programming languages and other technologies.
The most successful businesses find their ideal languages and frameworks, not by comparing them against each other, but by figuring out what their project needs and proceeding accordingly.
With this in mind, if Java is the best fit for your needs, Trio has qualified Java developers, only a click away.
→ Talk to us now to see about hiring Java developers!
However, if you’re looking for a faster and simpler language for your next project, Trio still has Go developers with plenty of experience meeting business needs.
→ Let Trio know what you need and hire Go developers!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Go?
Go, often stylized as Golang, is a statically typed, compiled, multi-purpose programming language.
What is Java?
Java is a class-based, general-purpose, object-oriented programming language.
What are server-side languages used for?
Server-side languages like Go and Java are used for back-end development tasks like database management and building application programming interfaces.
Cordenne Brewster is a tech enthusiast whose ardor is best expressed through the written word. With contributions ranging from software development to scaling, Cordenne provides insights to keep the curious and inquisitive informed, well-read, and on-trend.
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Both Java and C++ are equally renowned when it comes to building modern, industry-leading applications and platforms. Both have existed for decades now, share many similarities in syntax, and support object-oriented programming (OOP). In fact, Java was an extension of the C language, intended to serve a broader audience than C++.
What, then, should you choose for your upcoming projects in 2023? The Java vs. C++ debate largely boils down to what each language is better and worse at. If you’re wrestling with the same choice, we are here to help you. Read on to learn which language best supports your upcoming project.
What Is Java?
Java is one of the most widely used general-purpose, object-oriented programming languages in the world. First released in 1995, Java is at the heart of millions of applications and websites running on data centers, laptops, gaming consoles, supercomputers, cell phones, and more.
Designed with the mantra ‘write once, run anywhere’, Java is platform-independent and as an interpreted language, it can be compiled to run on any machine. As an object-oriented language, Java offers these features:
Inheritance: Objects in a class inherit all the properties of the parent object.
Polymorphism: Functions can be used for more than one purpose.
Abstraction: Essential features can be represented without including background details.
What Is Java Used For?
Java is used to build enterprise applications, mobile applications, embedded applications, websites, games, and much more. Java is useful when creating high-level applications such as:
Internet of Things (IoT) applications
Who Is Using Java?
Some of the biggest companies using Java include Meta, Microsoft, Netflix, Amazon, and Airbnb. These tech giants use Java for its cross-platform compatibility and versatility.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Java?
Like any other language or technology, Java has both advantages and disadvantages. Let’s discuss some of the major ones below.
Java’s most desirable features include its small learning curve, high portability, and modularity.
Because of the intuitive nature of Java’s syntax, it is easy to pick up. Developers find that writing and maintaining code in Java is similarly straightforward.
In addition, Java enables developers to write once and run anywhere (WORA). Java can run on any machine irrespective of the underlying operating system.
This independence is one of the big factors driving Java’s universal appeal.
Being an OOP language, Java organizes the software design around objects instead of functions or logic.
Modular organization makes it easier for developers to write and reuse code across the application, increasing efficiency and stability.
Java isn’t free from certain drawbacks that might act as deal-breakers for you depending on your specific project requirements.
Like many high-level languages, Java supports automatic memory management. While this is an advantage, it also requires a lot of memory to function, making Java fairly slow compared to other languages like C++.
In terms of the graphical user interface (GUI), Java is lacking. There are some frameworks like Swing and JavaFX that can improve the GUI but they still can’t create a complex user interface.
Also, Java does not provide any version backups. This makes it difficult for developers to revert to a previous version of a code. For some developers, this can be a serious drawback.
What Is C++?
C++ is an object-oriented programming language that was developed to add classes to C in 1985. It is used to build applications and websites and works best for low-level applications, native programming, and gaming.
C++ gives programmers more control over system resources and memory as its code closely resembles machine language. However, C++ is not platform-independent and needs to be compiled on every platform before being run.
What Is C++ Used For?
From game development to scientific computing, C++ powers millions of common-use devices. Operating systems, game engines, web browsers, databases, flight software, Google’s search engine, and many other applications are built with C++.
Some more applications of C++ include the following:
Internet of Things (IoT) devices
Virtual Reality (VR)
Who Is Using C++?
Products like Apple’s operating systems, Mozilla Firefox, Adobe Photoshop, Amazon, Youtube, and Spotify have been created partly with C++. C++ is especially useful for creating large enterprise systems that manage large amounts of data and also need to be fast and always online.
What Are The Pros and Cons of C++?
It’s important to dissect the pros and cons of C++ as well before making your choice between Java and C++.
C++ can work natively with machine language, offering the advantage of speed advantages over Java.
With the help of a Standard Template Library (STL), C++ helps developers write code quickly and efficiently. These templates reduce some of the burden during development as developers don’t need to write code from scratch.
Lastly, C++ has been around since 1985 and thus enjoys a mature and vast community of developers. More experienced developers in the community support new and aspiring developers when they hit roadblocks.
C++ isn’t as rigid as Java and enables developers to assign values outside the allocated memory resources. But this can create serious issues down the line in the form of unexpected bugs and crashes.
Garbage collection is needed for removing redundant data from the system’s memory. A It runs automatically in the background in many high-level languages like Java. But C++ doesn’t provide developers with this ability. It forces them to identify unneeded properties and remove them manually.
C++ isn’t platform-independent like Java and needs to be compiled on every operating system you want it to run on. This affects portability and produces additional work and hassle for the developer.
Java Vs. C++: 7 Major Differences
There are many differences between Java and C++, based on their platform dependency, memory management, and use of classes. Here are seven major differences to keep in mind:
Like most high-level programming languages, Java ensures garbage collection for automated memory management.
Whereas in C++, developers need to manage memory manually with the help of designated operators and pointers.
Speed and Performance
As Java’s code needs to first be interpreted during runtime, it isn’t the fastest when it comes to execution speed.
C++ is compiled into binary language or machine language and therefore runs faster than Java.
Class and Filename Relationship
In Java, the strict relationship between the public class name and the file name makes it so that your program won’t compile unless these two are identical.
There is no such restriction in C++.
Compatibility With Other Programming Languages
Being a low-level compiled language, C++ is compatible with the majority of other high-level languages.
Java, on the other hand, is not compatible with other programming languages.
C++ does not support documentation and commenting.
But like most high-level languages, Java supports the ability to include comments and documentation.
As memory management is manual in C++, the same is true for object management.
Developers have to use the ‘new’ and ‘delete’ operators to create and destroy objects respectively.
Java, however, relies on automatic garbage collection to handle objects.
Build and Package Management
What Java offers with its build and package management features makes it far more standardized and easy to use than C++.
In Java, a tool called Maven simplifies how developers build projects and bring external dependencies into an application.
In C++, there is no such standardized package repository. There isn’t even a standardized way to build C++ code into an application; integrate libraries into the build process; or get binary libraries to work,
Java vs. C++: Which One Should You Choose?
You can choose either Java or C++ to create a wide variety of applications. But there still exist use cases where one language shines more than the other.
If your software requires hardware-level manipulation, C++ is the better choice as it closely resembles binary language. C++ is also a common choice for developers when creating games and other applications that prioritize speed.
Java is a high-level language, making it better suited for developing Android applications, web and desktop applications, and server applications. Java is also more popular and versatile than C++ so it’s easier to find a Java developer than a C++ developer.
Overall, C++ can be used to build almost any application, but it’s rarely necessary to use it. Java is usually more than sufficient for almost every project unless you specifically require C++.
Both Java and C++ have their strengths and weaknesses when creating modern, enterprise applications or large, consumer-facing apps.
The choice lies in determining the needs of your project. Java, more often than not, will be enough for the majority of projects.
And if you’re in the market for the best Java developers in the world, you can’t go wrong with Trio.
If you’re tired of lengthy and bloated hiring processes, Trio can streamline the entire process for you and connect you to highly-trained, world-class developers in no time.
You can rest easy and grow your business as Trio also handles all the HR functions like payroll, benefits, and compliance.
5 min read
Although Java has been around for the past quarter of a century, there are new Java development trends emerging every day.
Employing these trends within your next Java project will ensure that you’re staying up to date with the modern consumer.
If you’re ready to see what your business can do with the latest trends in Java technology, stay tuned!
DevOps, or developer operations, is the union of software development and information technology (IT) teams.
While developers are usually concerned with creating, testing, and packaging software, IT staff are tasked with configuring and maintaining software.
DevOps teams are familiar with every part of the application lifecycle. This familiarity ultimately increases the velocity at which teams deliver software.
Your business can benefit from high-quality software and speedy delivery times by incorporating DevOps into your development model.
To get a headstart on this Java trend, look into DevOps tools like Docker and Jenkins.
Just about every developer you meet will know what GitHub is, but few have mastered Git, the command-line version control system that warrants a bit more expertise.
GitHub is its web-based counterpart and is plenty useful. But any developer who can wield Git with some confidence will look like a wizard from afar.
Naturally, Git isn’t exclusively a Java technology, but it’s still worth mentioning if you’re an advocate of lifelong learning in all things software development.
3. Big Data
Back-end engineers are well-acquainted with the concept of data management. But big data requires some extra attention.
Big data refers to large and complex data sets and the methods data engineers must use to deal with them.
It’s quite literally in a league of its own. And few programming languages, like that of Java and Python, can handle the brunt of its weight.
Java technologies and tools like Apache Hadoop, Apache Mahout, andDeeplearning4j suggest that Java is a prime contender for any big data project that might arise.
Related reading: Golang vs. Java
4. Remote Access Solutions
With the COVID-19 pandemic drastically shifting how and where workers get their work done, there’s no better time than the present to make use of Java.
Given Java’s security features and its unique back-end capabilities, enterprise-scale solutions using the Java language fare extremely well.
Building a desktop application providing remote access solutions for work-from-home users is a great way to take advantage of Java technology.
5. Serverless Architecture
Serverless architecture or serverless computing describes an application that runs without you having to manage the infrastructure of a physical server.
Cloud technology has been on top of radars year after year. This year is no different.
Thankfully, this present-day development trend and Java technology go hand-in-hand.
There are numerous tools for cloud development in Java, including Oracle Java Cloud Service, AWS SDK for Java, and Google App Engine.
6. Spring Framework
Spring Framework is a lightweight, easy-to-deploy Java technology that any decent Java developer should already have in their arsenal.
That said, to stay on trend with Java trends, Java developers must constantly seek out the newest updates to old technologies.
With Spring 5, Spring Security 5.0, and Spring Boot 2.0 freshly released into the market, there’s more than enough room for your software development team to expand their skills and knowledge.
7. Artificial Intelligence (AI)
AI-driven applications earn their applause from the sheer potential of the technology.
Artificial intelligence allows businesses to scale by utilizing clever algorithms and nifty automation.
And due to Java’s low maintenance, high portability, and transparency, AI app development with the language is a popular choice among businesses that want optimal results.
8. Mobile/Android Development
Java has been a mainstay in Android development for many years. But as usual, there’s always something new to look forward to in the tech world.
For instance, mobile app developers can now use Java to build applications for wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.
And they can use Java technologies like JUnit, Robot Framework, Selenium, REST-Assured for integration testing.
9. Java 9-17
Last but not least, your business should put stock into learning Java itself.
Though you might have Java developers on your team, Java hasn’t made any dramatic changes to the language since Java 8.
Java 8 is what most Java developers have mastery in. But there’s no harm in learning the small nuances of Java 9, Java 10, and Java 17.
Modules like Jigsaw and Reactive Streams, along with API improvements such as collection factory methods in the language name only a few Java developments to be eager about.
Really, this Java trend is less about staying hip and more about laying the groundwork for unparalleled Java proficiency.
Business growth doesn’t happen in a vacuum. You need to stimulate change by exploring new ideas and creating challenges for the company.
One way to do this in a Java-oriented development environment is to regularly introduce the latest Java technologies and trends to your team.
Java is a versatile and robust language with much to offer. You just need to employ the tools to use it effectively.
Of course, you need the right people too. And if you’re looking for Java developers, you may have just hit two birds with one stone.
Trio is a software agency that’s equipped with experienced highly, qualified Java developers, who are ready and able to help your business thrive.
3 min read