Go vs Javascript. What to write IoT projects

Which programming language is better for your IoT project? The answer to this question is ambiguous and subjective. There are several aspects to consider when considering this issue: objectives, goals and needs of your project. An important role is also played by your personal preferences, availability and capabilities of qualified developers.

There is an opinion that Golang , developed by Google , may ultimately force JavaScript (or, better, Node.js) out of the realm of IoT applications. Is a gopher true to win this battle? Let's take a closer look at both Golang and JS, their advantages and disadvantages for IoT solutions.


Programming languages ​​come and go, but it seems that JavaScript will remain for a long time. Originally hated by developers, today this top programming language is widely used on the Internet of Things because of its high resource efficiency. Since the topic of using JavaScript in IoT applications is quite extensive and can include frontend, backend and other development stages, let's narrow it down to Node.js. As you know, JavaScript is a language, and Node.js is a software platform. It allows you to establish flexible interaction with input-output devices through its API, as well as connect the necessary library for solving problems.

Node.js is ideal for managing networks of sensors, radar, beacons, microsystems, and other connected devices. In addition, it does an excellent job of handling several tasks to maintain the interaction between all these IoT devices. The developers agree that the advantages of Node.js for software IoT software are ease of use and reasonable memory requirements.

Leading IoT companies, such as Telefonica, Rightech and Salesforce IoT Cloud, continue to implement Node.js in their projects, so the demand for JavaScript developers in the near future does not seem to fall.


Go is an open source programming language. It is not yet as widely distributed as JavaScript, but it has already managed to capture its own piece of IoT pie. Like most platforms and programming languages, it has resulted from developer dissatisfaction with existing solutions. Go was created to speed up the introduction of new developers into the workflow, so one of its main features is ease of development, use and reading, that is, a low entry threshold for anyone who wants to start developing in an unfamiliar language. This language has a relatively narrow set of functions, although it benefits in parallelism and performance.

Also, its features include:

  • Strong typing, data types are set at the compilation stage, therefore, their inconsistency can be traced before launch;
  • Since the language is stricter in it less bulky structures and, accordingly, it is easier to read;
  • This language is actively used in the development of infrastructure software like Docker, Kubernetes, etc. Knowledge of Go, if necessary, will allow you to further explore these tools;
  • The ecosystem of the language is relatively young, then there is an opportunity to contact technical support for language developers to solve problem issues;

Programmers typically choose Golang to build a communication layer in the IoT system, since parallelism and the ability to simultaneously launch data input / output are among the key benefits of Go. Also this language is great for writing logging and parsing services.

Other not so obvious benefits of Go include:

  • tools: documentation - GoDoc and code analysis - Race Detector;
  • built-in testing tool (if you have ever tried to choose a framework for testing a project in JavaScript, you understand the benefits);
  • serious approach to parallel programming with Data Race Detector ;
  • a unified style guide for everyone that needs to be followed, in contrast to the multitude of tools and paradigms in JavaScript (they are known to paralyze a team when it is time to decide on structure, conventions, testing libraries, etc.)

Compare by individual criteria:

Both JavaScript and Go seem well suited for IoT projects. Therefore, let's compare the functionality of Node.js and Go to determine the winner.

Maturity. Being relatively young, Go is a rather mature language, besides, it was initially positioned as stable and backward compatible. As for Node.js, it has a version of LTS (Long Time Support, long-term support), as well as the latest version, which has a changing API, and an extensive community that supports the platform.

Performance. . In real-world conditions, network interactions and interactions with the Go and Node.js database show equal results.

Parallelism.Here Go definitely wins: it uses light threads - goroutines, and Node.js inherits the JavaScript event-handling mechanism, which has its drawbacks.

Learning curve. Thanks to JavaScript, according to a recent survey, Node.js has become one of the fastest growing development languages. The reason for this is simple learning, extensive documentation and a large open community. Go is also quite easy to learn. The PW Engine survey showed that most developers consider it very intuitive, and this is a big plus if the company needs to introduce new employees into the work process as soon as possible. So, here is a draw too.

Error processing.Here opinions differ. Go uses explicit error checking, as opposed to the implicit try \ catch. Due to this, error checks become larger, but they are clearer, since they are closer to the place of their occurrence and are aimed at identifying problems in a particular place, in the second version of Go they promise to add check \ handle. Node.js uses the try \ catch principle, which is common to many languages ​​and has certain limitations.

Frontend and backend.Go is aimed at developing parallel services, so it is great for the server side. And although Go has frameworks for building web applications such as Beego and gopherjs, it’s much more convenient to create a modern user interface with JavaScript. In addition, based on the fact that JS dominates at the frontend, it is easier to maintain both the backend and the frontend in the same language - JavaScript
The choice of developers. There is no doubt: JavaScript remains at the top because it has long been incorporated into the workflow of developers around the world. Of course, Go entered the top 20 most popular technologies, but, unfortunately, it is still far from JavaScript in terms of popularity.

Sync / Async IO (synchronous / asynchronous I / O).Node.js is famous for its non-blocking I / O model, which makes it easy and efficient in terms of resources. But it also has flaws, such as endless callbacks in the code and strange stack traces. On the other hand, Go, using its scheduler, recommends that developers use synchronous operations, relying on various tools provided by the OS, to increase efficiency and reduce blocking resources.

Work on devices. With the package manager, NPM Node.js can be effectively used as a programming environment on single-board games, such as Raspberry Pi, Iskra Js or BeagleBone Black . NPM contains about 80 open source packages for Arduino, Intel IoT Edison controllers, Raspberry Pi and more than 30 packages for various devices and Bluetooth sensors. As for Go, it fits well with the Raspberry Pi boards, as it launches the complete Linux build. However, low-power IoT devices, such as Arduino, cannot work with the Go binary code. That is why the Gobot framework was created. It supports multiple platforms, Bluetooth LE devices and even the NeuroSky interface.

Libraries. By the number of JavaScript libraries, of course, he still bypasses his opponent, but in certain areas, for example, in mathematics, Go has written more powerful tools for working with complex mathematics and data analysis.


Golang is a compiled multi-threaded programming language that allows you to create entire systems of connected controllers, and work efficiently with databases. JavaScript is ideal for asynchronous operations that require low response times. Now these two languages ​​are far from interchangeable. JavaScript remains the most popular language in the world, including specifically on the Internet of things. He firmly holds his position and is unlikely to give way to Golang in the near future. However, thanks to its innovative and robust approach, Go has very bright prospects to lead the top IoT development technologies.

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