Golang vs Java: Choosing the Right Language

Apoorv Gehlot
10 min readOct 27, 2023

Today, every business needs a software application, from startups to large-scale firms; if you want to run the business in the most efficient way, you must get it listed online. The race doesn’t end here, but what matters is how simple and faster you can create that software application — the right way to lead the competition.

Choosing the effective tools that best go for your software is not as easy as you might think. It’s a big challenge for developers! The technology you choose will not only affect the development process but also the application’s performance, scalability, security, and maintenance costs.

You must decide the best language for your business by figuring out what your actual project needs are.

Two of the most popular languages used these days for modern software development are Go (Golang) and Java. They are similar in many aspects but undoubtedly have many differences as well. So, before choosing the best one for your project, it is a must to know about the languages from the start.

This blog will give you a deep understanding of Golang vs. Java- the actual difference based on features, similarities, and more. Let’s dive in.

  • Go excels in terms of simplicity, low memory usage, and speed, making it a great choice for microservices and applications with stringent performance requirements.
  • Java, with its vast ecosystem and mature libraries, is a strong contender for enterprise-level backend development but may require more memory resources.
  • For smaller-scale web projects, startups, or applications that prioritize speed and simplicity, Go may be the better choice. Its efficiency, built-in concurrency, and scalability make it suitable for modern web development. While, Java’s stability and performance can provide a strong foundation for your web applications, even as they grow and evolve.

What is Golang?

Golang, or Go, is a recent open-source procedural-compiled programming language developed by Google. Simple language to know, understand, and use. Recently, it has gained popularity in software development because of its flexibility, speed, and reliability.

Yes, it’s super-fast, which means your programs can run faster and more efficiently. Whether you’re building a web server, mobile app, or even some fancy data processing tools, Go can handle it with speed and grace.

It has a bunch of built-in tools and libraries that make writing code easier for developers, meaning you can speed up your projects without having to reinvent the wheel.

The language is easy to read and write both for beginners as well as experienced programmers. It’s like having a friendly conversation with your computer!

Golang is also really good at handling multiple tasks at the same time, which every modern responsive software demands.

A powerful, fast, and user-friendly programming language that is perfect for a wide range of applications. Whether you’re an experienced developer or just starting out, Go can help you bring your ideas to life easily and efficiently. So, if you’re looking for a programming language that’s fun to use and gets the job done, try Go!

What is Java?

While Golang is relatively new, Java has been a powerful tool for software development for a long time- since 1995, when it was invented at Sun Microsystems. It is flexible and the most used programming language that will help your software developers create all sorts of computer programs, whether it’s a small smartphone app or any big corporate system.

Programming in Java is not that tricky as it has various libraries built on top of it, making it easy to find already written codes for a specific purpose.

The unique characteristic of Java coming out these days is its “Write Once, Run Anywhere” capability. This means that you can write your Java code on one type of computer, and it can magically work on lots of different types of computers without needing to change it. It’s like speaking a universal computer language!

Known for being reliable and secure, Java is a popular choice.

Whether you’re building a game, a website, or even a piece of software that helps run a big company, hire Java developer who can help you get the job done. Facebook, Amazon, Twitter, and LinkedIn are some outgrown examples built on Java.

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Golang Vs Java: The Comparison

Now, let’s dive into the actual comparison between Go (Golang) and Java, the two most popular programming languages, highlighting their key features.

Language Design

Go (Golang): Go is known for its simplicity and minimal design. The language was developed with the goal of reducing the complexity of programming. It has a shorter syntax and fewer language features, allowing for cleaner and more maintainable code.

Java: Java is a mature language with rich features. It is known for its complex typing and object-oriented nature, which can make code very organized but can also require a lot of boilerplate code.

Concurrency

Go (Golang): Go shines simultaneously with its Goroutines and channels. Goroutines are short strings that make it easier to write concurrent code. Channels simplify communication between goroutines and make concurrency management safer and easier.

Java: Java supports concurrency through its threading model, but managing threads can be cumbersome and error-prone. Java also provides libraries to support concurrent programming.

Performance

Go (Golang): Go is known for its incredible performance, thanks to its efficient runtime and garbage collection. It is compiled into native machine code, making it a strong choice for performance-critical applications.

Java: Java provides good performance but relies on a virtual machine (JVM), which can introduce some overhead. However, JVM optimization has come a long way, and Java still performs well.

Memory Consumption

Go (Golang): Go is known for its memory efficiency. It has a small footprint, making it ideally suited for applications with limited memory resources. If memory optimization is a major concern, Go might be the best bet. Go includes automatic memory management with a garbage collector, making memory management easier for developers.

Java: Java, although generally more efficient, can consume more memory due to overhead on the JVM. Java also has garbage collection, but it offers more control over memory management for those developers who need it.

Speed

Go (Golang): Go typically exhibits faster startup times compared to Java. Where fast response is important, such as for projects with serverless or command line tools, this feature is essential.

Java: Due to JVM initialization, Java can have slightly longer startup times.

Compilation

Go (Golang): Go compiles on a single binary, simplifying deployment. This can be useful for microservices and containerized applications.

Java: Java compiles to the bytecode running on the JVM, requiring the JVM to execute. This can lead to challenging deployment situations.

Microservices

Go (Golang): Go’s simplicity and built-in support for concurrency (goroutines and channels) make it an excellent choice for microservices that have to handle multiple concurrent requests.

Java: Java, with its mature ecosystem and library, can also be used effectively for microservices, especially in larger projects where existing Java codebases can be used.

Dealing with Errors

Go (Golang): Go uses a simple error handling model with return values, making it easy to find and deal with errors in code. This approach encourages developers to address errors explicitly.

Java: Java uses exceptions for error handling, which can sometimes result in highly unpredictable code. While exceptions provide more structured error handling, they can also present challenges.

Choosing between Go and Java depends on what are your project’s specific needs and the preferences of your development team. Go excels in terms of simplicity, performance, and concurrency, making it ideally suited for modern, cloud-native applications. Java, on the other hand, offers a mature ecosystem and is a strong choice for enterprise software and android app development.

Both languages have their own strengths and can be valuable tools in the right context. Further, if you need any help regarding which one can perfectly go with your project, you can reach out for our enterprise solutions development.

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Here’s a comparison of Go (Golang) vs Java

Golang vs Java: The Similarities

While Go (Golang) and Java have quite some differences, they also have many similarities too that make them valuable programming languages in their own right. Here are some of the key similarities between the two.

Strong Typing

Both Go and Java are statically written languages, which means variable types are specifically declared at compile-time. This will not only help you catch type-related errors early in the development process but also improves code reliability.

Strong Custom Libraries

Both languages have powerful standard libraries that will provide you with important functions for different projects. The extensive Java standard library is known for its breadth, while the Go standard library focuses on simplicity and efficiency.

Simultaneous Support

Both Go and Java will provide you with consistent support. Go goroutines and methods facilitate concurrent programming, while Java offers multithreading capabilities, but with a potentially slow learning curve.

Platform Independence

Go and Java both prioritize platform independence. Java achieves this through the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), which lets Java code run across platforms. While Go compiles native machine code for each target platform, making it work seamlessly across systems.

Garbage Collection

Both languages have garbage collectors, which will automatically manage memory allocation and deallocation. This will help your developers manage memory in the easiest way possible, reducing the risk of memory leaks.

Security

Both languages prioritize secure programming simultaneously. Go goroutines and channels help deal with common concurrency issues, while Java provides matching methods and locks for thread safety.

Accessibility

Go and Java both promote portability. Go’s simplicity and ease of compilation make it ideally suited for building portable executables. Java’s “Write Once, Run Anywhere” principle allows Java code to run across platforms without any modification.

Multi-purpose Features

Both languages are versatile and can be used for a wide range of applications. You can use Go and Java to build web applications, microservices, command-line tools, and more.

Open Source

Go and Java are open-source languages with active development communities. This open nature encourages collaboration, innovation and continuous improvement.

Go and Java share many special features that make them attractive options for software development. Understanding their similarities and differences can help you make the right choice when choosing the right language for your specific project needs.

Further, if you need any help in development, you can also go for staff augmentation services to get the best solution.

Also Read- Python vs Java: Making the Right Choice for Your Project

Which Is Best for Web Development — Golang or Java?

Go can be a great choice for small web projects, startups, or applications that prioritize speed and simplicity. Its efficiency, built-in concurrency, and scalability make it suitable for modern network development.

On the other hand, if you are working on a large enterprise application or have an existing Java code base, Java’s mature ecosystem and features that any leading Java development company provides with can be very attractive.

Ultimately, the “best” choice depends on the specific needs of your project and your team’s familiarity with the language and associated tools and systems. Prefer considering your business needs, team expertise, and long-term goals when making decisions.

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Why Choose Matellio for Your Next Project?

When it comes to selecting a partner for your software development, our track record and commitment to excellence set us apart. With a dedicated team of skilled developers, a history of successful projects, and a customer-centric approach, we will transform your ideas into high-quality software solutions.

We believe in open communication, transparency and client collaboration ensuring that your vision remains at the forefront of every step of the development process. Whether you’re looking for web and mobile app development, custom software solutions, or digital transformation services, our expertise spans a wide range of technologies and industries.

Working with us means you can trust your journey leading to innovation and success in the ever-improving world of software development. Your goals are our goals, and together we can turn your ideas into reality. Choose Matellio for your next project and get the product of your choice.

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Apoorv Gehlot

Founder & Board Member at Matellio — Technology enthusiast with enterprise solution design & development expertise