Epic codefest: 7 programming languages in 7 days

We challenged our developers to learn Clojure, Scala, JavaScript, Ruby, Java, Kotlin, and Go in a day. Here's how easy it is to make the switch

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Day five: Go Granny
Developer: Brian Crucitti, "The New Guy"

Google Go was a rather frustrating language to work with, both in terms of documentation and in looking for solutions to problems. "Google" and "Go" are such common words in Internet articles that searching for, say, "Google Go as a server-side language" or "Google Go tutorials" is almost useless. And searching with the two words together in double quotes eliminates many of the articles that refer to the language simply as Go or Golang. Searches using "Golang" eliminated a lot of pertinent articles as well, including quite a bit of Stack Overflow, which refers to the language as "Go."

The home site for Go actually provides a brief tutorial on how to write your own wiki page, which I worked through with plans to refactor it into the back end of my Granny Addressbook application. Unfortunately, the tutorial ended after giving out some code snippets that were not fully explained, leaving me high and dry with no other option than to dive into the documentation to try to find out what exactly was happening in the bits of code I had received.

I think I was expecting something along the lines of the Android developer documentation; what I got was short descriptions and a lot of search-bar use. A search for http.request, an unexplained object that seemed to be very important in the tutorial, resulted in a brief description and some code. This code showed it was a structure made of primitives and other structures. If I actually wanted to know what it did and what I could do with it, I would have to spend time searching out all those underlying structures.

I can see the advantages of using Google Go for certain projects. It is C-like, but not quite as rigid, and the lack of .h files and makefiles is a definite plus. I imagine that anyone skilled in Go could definitely create some amazing programs. There are, however, easier (and more search-friendly) languages that can accomplish the same tasks.

If I had to do this application again with the choice of Go or Java, I would definitely choose Java.

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