Node.js vs Golang - Which Is Better for Backend Development

While developing a website or web application, most people pay utmost focus to the front-end User Interface. However, it is the Backend that runs the show; it ensures your business logic is executed perfectly and the data is processed in an intended way.

In other words, it is all about writing code to develop libraries, cross-platform applications, and APIs, and working with other non-UI components.

So, selecting a framework or tool to build a scalable and effective backend is critical for your web development process. Fortunately, we have a wide array of modern programming languages and tools to select from to perform the task.
Among the most promising ones are Golang and Node.js, both are considered highly popular and evolving languages, overwhelmingly used by the developer community across the board.

Although both languages are capable and equipped with unique capabilities, sometimes it is difficult to choose the best among the equals.

In this blog, we will explore the unique features and contrasts of both languages, so that you can select the best one for your backend development project.

What is Node.js?

what is nodejs

Node.js is an open-source JavaScript framework that can run on multiple platforms including Mac, Windows, and Linux. Node.js is built on Google Chrome’s innovative V8 JavaScript engine; it offers a rich set of feature libraries that simplifies the overall web application development.

Resource: How to setup a development environment using NodeJS and Docker  - Argon Dashboard

It was initially developed as a platform to run JavaScript code. Today, Node JS supports the development of both frontend and backend along with server-side aspects of web applications, which makes it a revolutionary programming language.

Node.js – Pros and Cons

Check below the advantages and disadvantages of using Node.js.

nodejs pros and cons

Where To Use Node.js?

Node.js is ideal for the development of server-side apps that are supposed to handle a large number of concurrent requests without putting the burden on the node.

Node.js comes with a unique asynchronous architecture that ensures steady connections between the server applications and the clients. If you are planning to build video chat, online messenger, or online games, then Node.js is a perfect option.

Node.js Free and Premium Templates to speed up your development

What is Golang?

what is golang

Golang is a statically typed language created by Google employees Rob Pike, Ken Thompson, and Robert Griesemer.

It is a simple language developed to cater to the requirements as Google management was not satisfied with existing solutions. It is an open-source programming language built using the core principles of C and Python to achieve exceptional performance.

Go language offers features such as structural typing, limited garbage collection, memory safety features, and additional features, to make the writing code process much easier and more efficient.

Golang – Pros and Cons

Check below the advantages and disadvantages of using Golang.

golang pros and cons

Where To Use Golang?

Golang is used to develop apps that require multi-threaded tasks and consume more computing resources. It is a perfect programming language to develop reliable and secure backend applications.

Golang can also be used for writing microservices and APIs, that can seamlessly interact with front-end apps. Golang is ideal for the development of e-commerce apps, online music apps, online cab booking apps, and banking apps.

Node.js vs Golang: Comprehensive Comparison

Both Node.js and Golang are perfect Backend development technologies for building robust and scalable backend apps.

Here we have presented a comprehensive comparison between both web development technologies that will give you a better insight into their functioning in different spaces.

1. Concurrency

Node.js offers concurrency with APIs like clusters, child processes, and worker threads. These APIs guarantee reliable and seamless processing of incoming requests without running into chokepoints.

On the other hand, Golang is known for its unprecedented capability of handling concurrent tasks. We can use GoRoutines, which allows apps to execute multi-threaded functions without consuming too many computing resources.
This gives Golang a leading edge when it comes to handling processing-intense tasks without impacting other functions.

Verdict: Golang is a winner.

2. Performance

Golang has an upper hand when we talk about the raw speed of code compilation. Golang does not require an interpreter and is it directly compiled into the machine code.

Golang offers brilliant performance identical to low-level language like C++. If we talk about the IO operations, both Node.js and Golang clock similar figures. Both feature a full-fledged garbage collector, that ensures code stability and prevents memory leaks.

Node.js is slightly behind Golang on the performance front.
However, the V8 JavaScript engine assures seamless application execution without an interpreter, whereas the enhanced single-threaded Node.js improves the coding efficiency.

Verdict: It is a neck-to-neck fight, though Golang has a slight edge.

3. Community

Node.js enjoys massive support from Node.js Foundation along with Microsoft, Intel, and IBM. By 2020, the Node JS downloads crossed the coveted 1 billion mark.
It shows how prevalent Node.js is and how big the community is constantly supporting its usage.

Golang is trying to match Node.js as far as popularity and community support are concerned. Golang has been starred by more than 85k users on GitHub while Node JS is slightly behind at 77.6k. The opened pull requests for both are also similar.
These numbers reflect that Golang is trying to catch up with Node.js, but it is still far behind on community support.

Verdict: Node.js is way ahead of Golang‍

4. Tools Availability
The availability of ready-to-use programming and productivity tools can decrease the overall app development efforts and time.

Node.js offers approx. 836,000 open-source libraries and tools via NPM. It offers a plethora of tools but choosing the right one could be tough sometimes.

On the other hand, Golang is a new language, and it does not offer a vast number of tools, though it comes with a robust library, that offers adequate functionalities to make programming easier.

Verdict: Node.js wins with a huge margin.

5. Error Handling

Node.js uses a conventional try-catch exception method to perform Error handling. Developers are very aware of this method; it helps them to catch and handle the errors at the runtime.

Golang handles the errors in a different way during runtime and compilation. Runtime error needs explicit handling of error, where a function’s return value is required to be inspected manually.

Whereas the compilation errors are usually syntax-related and could be remediated during the code compilation. Golang is trying to improve its error handling in the forthcoming versions.

Verdict: Node.js has an edge here.

6. Scalability

Golang was built in such a way that it offers seamless scaling capabilities. Golang is an ideal solution for the development of scalable applications by using functions such as goroutines.

On the other hand, Node.js is single-threaded technology, that ensures instructions are executed in a sequence.
Node.js does not support seamless scalability and it is not agile as it should be.

Verdict – Golang is the winner

7. Learning Curve

Golang is a relatively young language with specific processes, concepts, interfaces, pointers, and rules.

It has lesser knowledge resources available online, this forces developers to perform intensive research to understand and have an adequate grasp on it.
Meanwhile, Node.js is based on JavaScript, which is among the most commonly used and popular programming languages in the world.

This makes it very easy for developers to learn Node.js. We have an adequate number of offline and online resources available to help learners and developers.
Node.js also enjoys the availability of a huge JavaScript community that shares assistance and expertise.

Verdict – Node.js is the winner

Golang Vs Node.js - Conclusion

Having made an in-depth comparison, it is overwhelming to determine which is the better backend development language.

Node.js and Golang both are capable in their rights of building different sorts of backend applications. Node.js does wonders while managing numerous asynchronous requests, whereas Golang offers the much-needed computing power to develop a robust backend.

Author Bio

Saurabh Sharma is a Digital Marketing Executive at Arka Softwares, a leading mobile app & web development company. He has 2 years of experience in the Information Technology industry. He spends his time reading about new trends in Digital Marketing and the latest app development technologies.