Go vs C++ in 2023
Go is a statically typed, compiled programming language that makes it easy to build secure, scalable systems.
If you are interested in building command line interfaces, cloud & network services, web applications, DevOps, and Site Reliability, you should learn Go.
On the other hand, If you are interested in working on large systems, games, servers, search engines, electronics, etc. you should learn C++.
C++ was designed with an orientation toward system programming and embedded, resource-constrained software and large systems, with performance, efficiency, and flexibility of use as its design highlights.
Comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use for your next project can be tricky, there are many factors to consider in order to choose the right programming language for the job you want to do.
Popularity, opportunities, type of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when comparing programming languages and choosing which one to learn or use.
Here are some of the comparisons and considerations you should make when choosing to learn a new programming language.
POPULARITY AND OPPORTUNITIES
Comparing the popularity of programming languages is not an easy task because each programming language is different.
Although the usage of many programming languages may intersect, different fields and projects may require the use of different programming languages.
Plus, other programming languages have been around for a longer time than others, giving them more time to be tried and tested, so, bear that in mind.
If you want to learn a programming language or framework solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn C++ over Go.
Generally, C++ is more popular than Go. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, C++ is the 10th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 20.17% of professional developers.
On the other hand, Go is the 13th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 11.38% of professional developers according to the same survey.
Although C++ is more popular than Go, it is worth noting that Go is more loved than C++.
As of 2022, Go is loved by 64.58% of developers versus 35.42% of developers who dreaded it. On the other hand, C++ is loved by 48.39% of developers versus 51.61% of developers who dreaded it.
Ultimately, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn C++ over Go.
Another popular criterion that many people use to compare programming languages and as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.
Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.
Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned. The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.
Generally, Go Software Engineers get higher salaries than C++ Software Engineers. Glassdoor reported that in the United States, Go software engineers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $122,744 per year.
On the other hand, C++ software engineers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a base salary of $94,116 per year, about $28,000 lower than Go software engineers.
According to a Stack Overflow survey of top-paying programming languages, Go developers get an average salary of $89,204 per year and C++ developers get an average salary of $68,000 per year.
So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a language or framework, you should learn Go over C++, because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a Go developer than as a C++ developer.
Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others. If you want a programming language that is beginner-friendly and can be used to develop different types of applications, you should learn Go over C++.
Go is easy to learn and work with as well. It is also easy to maintain a Go codebase even when the project is huge.
If you are familiar with systems programming, networks, and database interaction, you will find Go very easy and straightforward.
Contrastingly, C++ is one of the most difficult languages to work with. C++ is not very easy to learn and work with.
C++ concepts that allow developers to allocate and deallocate memory make it even harder to work with the language.
The good news is that there are plenty of helpful resources for both Go and C++ to help you learn the languages. The Go and C++ communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.
FEATURES AND APPLICATIONS
If you plan on working on applications where top-notch performance is critical, both GO and C++ will do the job just right but C++ is still a little more performant than Go.
C++ is a very fast and high-performance language, it is one of the few high-level programming languages in which petaFLOPS computations have been achieved, others being C, Julia, and Fortran.
C++ has many advanced features that make it a popular choice for developing operating systems, compilers, game engines, video games, servers, space probes, desktop applications, telecommunication systems, embedded systems, and many other large applications.
C++ is used by many companies such as Google, Meta, Microsoft, Intel, Adobe, IBM, Epic Games, LinkedIn, NASA, Apple, and many others.
Go is also a highly performant language. Go programs are compiled into native binaries bound to the operating system, this makes Go programs faster and more efficient than most programs written in other languages.
Go has great unique features that make it suitable for building command line interfaces, cloud & network services, DevOps & Site Reliability, etc.
Although its performance cannot be compared to that of C, C++, Fortran, or Julia, Go stills remains a popular choice for applications that require good performance.
Go has features such as built-in concurrency, memory safety, garbage collection, structural typing, and a robust standard library that makes development quick and straightforward.
Go powers some of the complex applications made by companies like Twitter, Uber, Cloudflare, American Express, Capital One, PayPal, Meta, Wild Life, Allegro, Dropbox, Netflix, Trivago, Microsoft, Salesforce, Twitch, Stream, Google, Riot Games, Target, and many others.
Once you have compared the languages and evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn or use depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.
If you want a popular language that enables you to work on large systems, performance-critical applications, AAA video games, search engines, etc. you should learn C++ over Go.
If you are interested in building command line interfaces, cloud & network services, web applications, DevOps, Site Reliability, and potentially get a high salary, you should learn Go over C++.