Go vs Spring Boot: What are the differences?
Go: An open source programming language that makes it easy to build simple, reliable, and efficient software. Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language; Spring Boot: Create Spring-powered, production-grade applications and services with absolute minimum fuss. Spring Boot makes it easy to create stand-alone, production-grade Spring based Applications that you can "just run". We take an opinionated view of the Spring platform and third-party libraries so you can get started with minimum fuss. Most Spring Boot applications need very little Spring configuration.
Go can be classified as a tool in the "Languages" category, while Spring Boot is grouped under "Frameworks (Full Stack)".
"High-performance", "Simple, minimal syntax" and "Fun to write" are the key factors why developers consider Go; whereas "Powerful and handy", "Easy setup" and "Java" are the primary reasons why Spring Boot is favored.
Go and Spring Boot are both open source tools. Go with 60.5K GitHub stars and 8.37K forks on GitHub appears to be more popular than Spring Boot with 39.8K GitHub stars and 25.8K GitHub forks.
According to the StackShare community, Go has a broader approval, being mentioned in 901 company stacks & 606 developers stacks; compared to Spring Boot, which is listed in 333 company stacks and 615 developer stacks.
As for why we didn't pick the other languages, most of it comes down to "personal preference" and historically grown code bases, but let's do some post-hoc deduction:
Go is a practical choice, reasonably easy to learn, but until we find performance issues with our NodeJS stack, there is simply no reason to switch. The benefits of using NodeJS so far outweigh those of picking Go. This might change in the future.
PHP is a language we're still using in big parts of our system, and are still sometimes writing new code in. Modern PHP has fixed some of its issues, and probably has the fastest development cycle time, but it suffers around modelling complex asynchronous tasks, and (on a personal note) lack of support for writing in a functional style.
We don't use Python, Elixir or Ruby, mostly because of personal preference and for historic reasons.
Rust, though I personally love and use it in my projects, would require us to specifically hire for that, as the learning curve is quite steep. Its web ecosystem is OK by now (see https://www.arewewebyet.org/), but in my opinion, it is still no where near that of the other web languages. In other words, we are not willing to pay the price for playing this innovation card.
Haskell, as with Rust, I personally adore, but is simply too esoteric for us. There are problem domains where it shines, ours is not one of them.
With Python + Django it was so much faster to create a typical website like this. Using Go would take to long to launch the initial version. For example, Python could handle complex data type with less line of code. Django also has many built-in libraries and a huge ecosystem of libraries that can be easily used to build a feature.
Starting a new company in 2020, with a whole new stack, is a really interesting opportunity for me to look back over the last 20 years of my career with web software and make the right decision for my company.
And, I went with the most radical decision– which is to ignore "sexy" / "hype" technologies almost entirely, and go back to a stack that I first used over 15 years ago.
For my purposes, we are building a video streaming platform, where I wanted rapid customer-facing feature development, high testability, simple scaling, and ease of hiring great, experienced talent. To be clear, our web platform is NOT responsible for handling the actual bits and bytes of the video itself, that's an entirely different stack. It simply needs to manage the business rules and the customers experience of the video content.
I reviewed a lot of different technologies, but none of them seemed to fit the bill as well as Rails did! The hype train had long left the station with Rails, and the community is a little more sparse than it was previously. And, to be honest, Ruby was the language that was easiest for developers, but I find that most languages out there have adopted many of it's innovations for ease of use – or at least corrected their own.
Even with all of that, Rails still seems like the best framework for developing web applications that are no more complex than they need to be. And that's key to me, because it's very easy to go use React and Redux and GraphQL and a whole host of AWS Lamba's to power my blog... but you simply don't actually NEED that.
There are two choices I made in our stack that were new for me personally, and very different than what I would have chosen even 5 years ago.
1) Postgres - I decided to switch from MySql to Postgres for this project. I wanted to use UUID's instead of numeric primary keys, and knew I'd have a couple places where better JSON/object support would be key. Mysql remains far more popular, but almost every developer I respect has switched and preferred Postgres with a strong passion. It's not "sexy" but it's considered "better".
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