Golang Versus C#

Golang (or Go) and C# are both popular programming languages that software developers can leverage to build enterprise-scale solutions. Both platforms have similar features, but they implement them in different ways. If you consider their capabilities, such as native-code compilation, managing garbage collection, and their runtime performance, both languages offer the same benefits. However, each language has its strength when it comes to the solution you want to build.

Go is the younger of the two languages. Built by Google as a successor to C (not C#), it is an ideal platform for building underlying services that need support for high concurrency. C# is the older of the two languages. Launched by Microsoft in 2001, you can leverage it to create any application, be it a desktop, web, mobile, or cloud-native app. As both platforms offer a similar range of capabilities, choosing the correct one for your project comes down to your requirements. Nevertheless, there may be scenarios where either language is a good candidate. In those circumstances, understanding the strengths and weaknesses of either platform can help you make the appropriate decision.

Similarities

Both Go and C# provide features that align with most software development requirements. There are several similarities between these two languages that make them ideal candidates for most enterprise service solutions. Both platforms leverage a compiler to create native code and provide multi-platform support. They also have a robust garbage collection mechanism and support modular programming architectures that call upon modules and assemblies.

Go and C# also accommodate object-oriented principles and offer extensibility with a robust collection of base class libraries. They give the developers the ability to implement asynchronous execution, and their respective runtimes have similar performance thresholds. Although both programming languages offer several similarities, there are distinct differences in how each implements its various features.

Compiling Code

Go and C# both compile written text into machine code. Golang compiles its code into native binaries that are bound to the operating system. C#, on the other hand, compiles its code to cross-platform binaries. If you want to run these C# compiled binaries, you need the .NET Core Runtime.

Error Handling

When it comes to error handling, C# uses the classic try, catch, finally pattern. Go, on the other hand, has two options depending on the type of failure. Software developers can code for explicit error passing in Go by returning an error type as their function’s last return value. This coding technique works well for graceful errors. However, if you need to write code for an ungraceful exception, you would need to leverage the defer, panic, and recover control flow.

Code Syntax and Design Patterns

Both Go and C# derive their coding syntax from C. However, when comparing Go and C# code, Go is far simpler to read and write, with many developers likening it to Python. C#, due to its maturity and broad scope of solution applicability, has more features than Go and will take longer to master.

The same applies to the design patterns for each programming language. Both languages support the Model-View-Controller (MVC) and RESTful API pattern. However, C# also provides MVVM, Domain-Driven Design, and many others needed to develop apps one would not necessarily build in Go.

Graphical User Interface

One of Go and C#’s primary differences is the support for a native Graphical User Interface (GUI) library. Go is well suited for software developers that want to build services and other infrastructure-related software components. You could also use it to create single-page apps as it does provide the standard User Interface (UI) elements. However, Go does not have a GUI library of its own. If you want to develop an app with a GUI using Go, you would need to connect a library to your application as it does not provide a native solution. C# has a native GUI solution that comes as part of .NET.

Unit Testing

Testing is a crucial component of any software development process. Although there are several types of tests, such as load, regression, and user acceptance testing, unit testing is vital in the quality assurance chain. It confirms the validity of an individual unit of source code with its associated control data and environmental procedures. As it forms the cornerstone of program testing by ensuring that the written code is fit for its purpose, every programming language needs to offer this capability.

Both Go and C# have unit testing capabilities. However, Go provides an embedded testing environment that makes it much more manageable. It has built-in support for unit testing. C# also provides unit testing capabilities. However, it is more of a process to get your unit testing configured and processed when you compare it to Go.

Documentation

Although many people avoid it, documentation is an integral part of any development project. It ensures system maintainability, tracks all aspects of the solution, and provides the foundation for skill and knowledge transfer. Go automates the creation of documentation with its godoc feature. This service automatically parses Go source code and any associated comments and produces documentation in plain text or an HTML page.

C# also provides automated documentation capabilities. However, the implementation of this feature is not as straightforward as it is in Go. With C#, you can document your code with XML comments. The C# compiler then generates an XML document derived from your comments at compile time.

Golang versus C# — Which is the better one to use?

Both C# and Go have their benefits and drawbacks. The question of which one to use comes down to what you need your solution to accomplish. You also need to consider the application’s operating environment.

If your solution needs to integrate with other C# solutions, then writing it in Go may not be ideal unless there is a strategic intent to move onto that technology platform. Depending on the type of application you are writing, Go may limit what you can do with the platform natively. Go is well suited to building solutions for networking, big data, and cloud infrastructure. You can also use C# to create all those services as well as GUI-based endpoint applications.

Ultimately, the decision on which one to use comes down to your solution architecture, the final operating environment, and the availability of resources to build your application.

Upstack is the best platform to hire expert golang developers and veteran C# developers.

Originally published at upstack.co on April 22, 2021, by Chris Lazari.

--

--

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store