How to Find and Hire Skilled Go Developers
Go, which is alternatively called Golang, is an open-source programming language developed by Google employees and released in 2009. Go is a statically typed language, meaning that the type associated with every single variable must be known before the source code is compiled. In terms of efficiency and readability, the language combines the traits of C++ and Python. Designed to make complex projects more scalable and the development process more productive, Go is widely used by providers of IT services and in the fintech industry. Monzo, Dropbox, American Express, and Uber are just a few of the world-renowned companies that use Go in their services and apps’ architecture.
For over 12 years, we at Surf have been developing apps for e-shops, fintech, foodtech, and other industries. Along with native and cross-platform technologies we provide Golang development services as well. In the article, we’ll review the benefits of Go, key skills for Go developers and ways to hire a software development team that suits your project.
Why choose Go for development
Easy to learn
Although having slightly different syntax, Go has many similarities with Java and C#, including the same procedural approach, so it is easy to learn for those familiar with these popular programming languages. According to Bitly, one of the companies using Go in its products, developers require only a few weeks to get familiar with Go to start working. On the other hand, many advise against learning Go as the first programming language because it may appear too complex and odd without a previous programming background.
Fast to compile
Because Go was developed to support multi-core processors from the start, it is easier to implement parallel computing with the language. Also, because Go is a statically-typed language that compiles to native machine code, it executes faster than the code written in dynamically-typed languages, such as Java, for example, which compiles into bytecode executed by the virtual machine.
Go supports Goroutines that allow it to run multiple independent functions or methods concurrently. Compared to threads that are used in Java, Goroutines are very lightweight, taking up only 2kB of memory. The solution allows to create complex Go apps with thousands of concurrent processes and still have great performance.
Suitable for various projects
While it is most popular for web development and microservices, Go’s architecture model is suitable for other software development strategies as well. To cater to the needs of different developers, Go supports a wide array of editors and IDEs (Integrated Development Environments), including Visual Studio Code, Sublime Text, GoLand, and Eclipse.
Currently, Go is among the top ten programming languages used by professional developers around the world. Also, it is the fourth most loved language by programmers and the third most popular on GitHub. Taking into consideration the language’s relatively young age, such popularity of Go is quite impressive and is only likely to grow in the future, as it is adopted by more companies and developers.
Where to hire Go developers
Since more companies choose Go as a programming language for their cloud software, server-side programs, or other tasks, the number of Go developers grows as well. There are several main options for hiring experienced Go engineers for your project. Let’s see what are the pros & cons of each of them.
One of the common ways to find developers for a project are such platforms as Hubstaff Talent, TopTal, Fiverr, and others. These international services allow you to connect with talent from all around the world, which makes it easy to find specialists at a competitive rate and with expertise in a particular field. Usually, freelancers do not enjoy the same benefits as full-time employees, such as medical insurance or paid vacations, which makes this option more affordable compared to in-house developers. However, your company will have to set aside resources to assess the freelancer’s skill level, while a common practice of working on several projects at once can affect the code quality.
When hiring software engineers as full-time employees you gain an all-round control of their working process and can demand a maximum involvement in the project, which is important for large scale and complex apps. However, this approach requires a full-fledged HR process within the company, that covers everything from interviewing potential employees to managing bureaucratic aspects. As full-time employees, Go developers will enjoy the same perks and benefits as the rest of your team, which can be pretty expensive, considering the fact that they are one of the most expensive professionals on the software development market. There are not many reasons to hire Golang developers in-house if app development is not your main business and you need them only for a short-term project.
The third option is to entrust your project to a Golang development company. Such providers of development services can handle the entire development process, saving you the trouble of organizing everything from ground zero. Development companies and web development studios usually have rich expertise in various industries and using different tools, which helps find the best solution for your project. For example, for over 12 years Surf has worked with companies in fintech, online shops, food delivery, and other industries, creating solutions with both native and cross-platform technologies. Surf developers employ the best current practices and provide comprehensive documentation for every project so that it can be transferred to an in-house team without much trouble. Along with developers, Surf has professionals for every stage of app development, including analytics, UX-designers, and QA specialists.
Key skills for Go developer
As well as with any other programming language, skills enhanced by Golang development experience are key factors that determine whether a developer fits your project. In terms of experience, a junior developer with the necessary skills can successfully work on general tasks, while senior specialists are more valuable for specific tasks because of their experience in a particular field, such as microservices or frontend, for example. In terms of skills, the essential qualifications of a Go developer must include:
Understanding of Goroutines
To write efficient and concise code in Go, a developer must have a strong understanding of Golang’s key concepts and paradigms. One of the most notable of them is Goroutines — functions that execute independently and simultaneously with others. If one of them gets blocked because of an error or waiting for input, this doesn’t prevent others from being executed, allowing to build stable concurrent apps.
Knowledge of Go channels
Essentially, channels in Go connect the concurrent Goroutines allowing the exchange of values between them. While in other programming languages the data shared across concurrent threads needs to be ‘locked’, which can create memory management issues, channels in Go do not require explicit synchronization between Goroutines. A Go developer must know the difference between buffered and unbuffered types of channels and how to implement them.
Expertise in using templates
Go developers should know how to use Go templates in order to customize the output in the form of email, web page or text. They should be familiar with Go template syntax, control structures, how to parse templates from files, verify, and implement them.
Experience with godoc commenting
Go’s built-in documentation tool, or simply ‘godoc’, provides more capabilities than basic comments used in every programming language. It scans the source code for any comments and then compiles them, forming the package’s documentation in the form of plain text or HTML. This allows other developers to switch between the code and relevant comments in just one click. Go developers should know godoc formatting rules, understand how it parses comments, and be able to write comprehensible and clean comments.
Familiarity with version control
Any developer needs to know how to use versioning tools, such as SVN, Git or Mercurial, to manage codebase changes and be able to recall a specific version at any moment. This allows the whole app development team to work transparently on one codebase without the risks of implementing conflicting changes.
Knowledge of Agile methodology
In contrast to the linear waterfall model, the agile development model means creating an app in short increments or ‘sprints’. At the end of each sprint, the project gets a comprehensive update or configuration. For example, the Surf team uses sprints of 2-4 weeks duration. Today the agile model is the most popular one in app development, so any Go developer needs an understanding and ability to work this way.
Analytical and problem-solving skills
An analytical mindset is crucial when searching for the best solution, analyzing data and interpreting patterns, which all are daily tasks of a Go developer.
Debugging and quality control
Since errors are inevitable in programming, a developer needs to be able to identify what part of the code causes a crash, exception or any other issue and be able to fix it.
Organizational and communication skills
A single developer is an integral part of the whole Go development team and no project can be successful without well-established communication and deadlines. Soft skills are as important as technical knowledge, and these include an ability to effectively track and manage tasks and clearly communicate what they’re working on, any issues arising or improvement suggestions.
Go developer salary
Rates for Go developers are determined by their expertise, previous experience, and what tasks they are going to work on in the project. In the US, Go developers have an annual average salary of $135,000 or an hourly rate of $70. However, these figures highly depend on the developer’s location, and there are plenty of remote talent options at a lower cost.
To sum things up
While not as widespread as Python or C++, the Golang language shows steady growth in popularity thanks to its advanced concurrent Goroutines, simple syntax and great capabilities for various projects. If you’re creating cloud-based or server-side apps, use microservices architecture, or need to scale and expand an existing solution, consider using Golang for these tasks.
Go is a relatively young programming language and there are not as many experienced developers as with other technologies, so it is important to find the professionals with the right expertise. While there is always an option to hire programmers in-house or look for freelancers, both options bear substantial financial and quality risks. With over a decade of expertise creating mobile apps across various industries, Surf can handle every stage of the development process and provide Go development services for your project.