Go, also called Golang, is a Google-supported open-source programming language that is used by developers to perform a wide range of scalable tasks. It can be used for web development, gaming, network programming, data science, and graphical user interface (GUI) development. This general-purpose language is compatible with several operating systems and IDEs.
A Go IDE allows you to properly channel your software development creativity. The best Go IDE for you will depend on how familiar you are with the language, the type of project you’re working on, and the development tools you need. In this article, we’ll look at how to choose the right IDE, as well as the best offline and online Go IDEs out there.
What Is an IDE?
An integrated development environment (IDE) is a code management software that uses a GUI to help make programming more efficient. A typical IDE contains tools such as a source code editor, libraries, a compiler, debugger, build automation, code completion, and version control. An IDE also provides a way for developers to collaborate while working on software.
A cross-platform Go IDE supports multiple operating systems. It can also provide advanced features such as syntax checking, dead code detection, code analysis, code refactoring, code navigation, and a special Go debugging package.
What Is the Difference Between an IDE and a Code Editor?
Programmers use a code editor to review and correct errors in a source code, while an IDE is used during software application development. The many tools added into the IDE make programming much more efficient.
A code editor can come in the form of a single software program plugin, or it can be part of an IDE or web browser. On the other hand, a Go IDE combines an array of plugins in a single framework and uses module definition to simplify the development process. An advanced code editor is often built into an IDE.
How to Choose the Best IDE for Go Development
Choosing the right IDE for your Golang project is an important part of the software development process, especially if you don’t have much programming experience. To make sure you select the integrated development environment that matches your approach to development, consider the factors below.
Consider the Type of Go Project You’re Working On
This is easily the most important aspect of your IDE decision. Golang is a general-purpose programming language used in many areas of the tech industry. It can be used for large-scale projects in software development, data science, and security. If you’re working on a large-scale Go project, you need to pick an IDE that has tools that can support collaborative development.
Assess the Features Contained in the Go IDE
When choosing an IDE, consider which features, packages, and libraries will be critical to the successful completion of your project, whether you’re working on a command-line app, API, or web service. Before getting started, you should find out if you can install additional plugins for editing the IDE because it’s unlikely that an IDE will come with all of the features you need.
As a beginner, you should pick a Go IDE that contains important features such as version control, code hinting, build automation, testing, debugging, and code editing.
Consider Ease of Use
Choose an IDE with a simple user interface. You want to be able to easily find the tools and plugins you need. Also, consider the speed of the software and its debugging efficiency, and pick an IDE that is not prone to crashing.
With older IDE versions, you might experience performance issues such as prolonged loading or saving time, so go for one that is regularly updated. Ensure the Go IDE you choose is compatible with your operating system.
Think About the Cost of the Go IDE
This is more important if you’re working on a project independently and have to fund it yourself. If that’s the case, you should look for an open-source IDE that comes with many features so you don’t have to spend extra on plugins. However, using a free IDE means the features will be limited and you may have to deal with software performance issues.
The 5 Best Go IDE
There are many IDEs out there, but not all of them support the Go language. As a beginner, you might be confused as to which one is ideal for your Go-based project. So, below we have compiled a list of IDEs to help you make the right choice as you get started.
What Makes GoLand a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- You can configure the Go functions to suit your needs.
- It offers code assistance, including code generation and refactoring.
- It offers a unique code editing experience.
Visual Studio Code
Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code is a cross-platform IDE that can be used on all popular operating systems. This free, open-source software offers useful integrations such as Git, tools such as IntelliSense, and testing, debugging, and code navigation tools. It’s good for programmers of all levels.
What Makes Visual Studio Code a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- You can learn more about Go programming through the vscode-go repo.
- The IntelliSense auto-completion feature will benefit newbies.
- The Go language server will scan, test, and diagnose workspace errors.
Using the GoClipse plugin, you can add Go development tools to your Eclipse workspace. This free, open-source IDE offers a functional and scalable development environment for all kinds of projects. If you want to install the GoClipse package, visit the Eclipse Marketplace.
What Makes Eclipse a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- You can use the configuration file to customize your project workspace.
- You’ll gain access to Go templates and learning resources on GitHub.
- This plugin can run on Linux/GTK, Windows, and macOS.
LiteIDE is an open-source Go IDE that runs on major systems such as Linux, macOS, and Windows. This development platform is easy to use as it comes with configurable build commands, system environment management, a MIME type-based system, plugin aid, a debugger, and auto-completion features.
What Makes LiteIDE a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- The user interface is easy to navigate.
- You have access to free Go source codes.
- It comes with a host of Golang support features.
ActiveState’s Komodo IDE for Go provides web development support for projects that also use languages and platforms like Python, Perl, and Node.js. This platform makes it easy to review code through version control and unit testing. Plus, it has an intelligent editor that makes it easy to write programs quickly.
What Makes Komodo a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- You can customize the interface and advanced editor with themes.
- It offers code collaboration features to aid team development.
- It supports multiple Go plugins.
The 5 Best Go Online IDE
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of setting up a programming environment, you can use a cloud-based IDE instead to save time. Below are five of the best online Go IDEs for your consideration.
CodeAnyWhere is a cloud-based development environment that provides tools for developers to learn, code, build, and deploy Go projects efficiently. This IDE can be used on a corporate or individual level for $3.60 to $24 a month. Some of CodeAnyWhere’s features include a code editor, command terminals, and test runtimes.
What Makes CodeAnyWhere a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- The Go editor comes with smart editing attributes.
- You can build a Go cloud container to host your application.
- You can use the online command line to debug, compile, and review your code.
Replit is an affordable and easy-to-use cross-platform IDE. It provides users with the tools they need to write and compile code with ease and to share and distribute functional programs. There are several pricing plans for this development environment. The starter pack is free but comes with very limited features, and the hacker and development team packages start at $7 a month.
What Makes Replit a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- Replit offers easy web hosting.
- You will have access to real-time Go team development tools.
- Replit provides learning features for developers so you can improve your Go skills.
Coding Rooms offers a comprehensive web-based Go IDE for free to Go programming students and teachers. This development platform comes with features that allow developers to compile, run, and debug a program safely from a web browser. You can also collaborate with your team easily through the live classroom feature.
What Makes Coding Rooms a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- You have access to Go courses, a workspace, and assignments.
- You have access to live client support.
- The program comes with access to Jupyter Notebook, Visual Studio Code integrations, and Go templates.
JDoodle Online Golang IDE
JDoodle is a simple but functional development platform that supports Go development. The integration tools make it easy to compile, run, and distribute a program. JDoodle also offers an API service so you can build and test your web server applications. Plus, you can share your source code with any platform.
What Makes JDoodle a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- The user interface is easy to navigate.
- It offers access to learning resources.
- It includes debugging features to help you resolve issues in your code.
AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based IDE that provides a Go sample so you can run your Go source code on the platform. However, to run a Go sample on the IDE, you must have a Cloud9 account that’s connected to an Ubuntu server or Amazon Linux.
What Makes AWS Cloud9 a Good Choice for Go Beginners?
- The platform is beginner-friendly and comes with learning resources.
- AWS provides bug fixes and security updates to protect your data.
- Signing up also gives you access to other useful AWS services.
Can the Best IDE for Go Help Me Break into Tech?
Yes, finding the best Go IDE can help you prepare for a career in web or software development. Aside from creating functional Go projects with an IDE, you can also learn Golang programming skills from the resources and full stack technologies these platforms provide.
Having a working knowledge of Go and a well-structured software development portfolio can help you land a high-paying job in the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, software developers have a median annual salary of $110,140.
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Knowing your way around a Go IDE is also an advantage because many companies rely on this collaborative environment to create their software development projects. Not knowing how to use one would put you at a disadvantage, since 76 percent of software developers use an IDE.
Go IDE FAQ
The Go language was created to be used in systems programming and backend development, but its functions have expanded to include cloud and web-based app development. Its efficiency allows Go to be used to program large-scale systems using command line features. This high-performing language can be used for artificial intelligence, cyber security, and game development projects.
Go was invented by Robert Griesemer, Ken Thompson, and Rob Pike at Google as an assembly language for managing system infrastructure. It was made public in 2012. The language came with a statically typed code structure and had object-oriented features like the C programming language.
The answer depends on why you want to learn either of the languages, as they were created for different development purposes. On one hand, Rust is used for systems programming, particularly for building operating systems, engines, files systems, and web browser tools. On the other hand, Go is used for software application development.
Go is a compiled programming language. To be able to use a Go source code in developing a useful application, you have to compile the readable code into a machine code before you can run, test, and distribute the program. Golang comes with efficient compiling features and supports several popular operating systems and servers.
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