Google plots future of Go, the programming language used in tech's best-paid jobs

The Go team at Google describe how the team is working toward meeting its original ambitions for the language.

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Google has mapped out its next steps in realizing its ambitions for the Go programming language.

Go was highlighted as the programming language associated with the highest-paid roles in the Dice 2019 Tech Salary Report, perhaps little surprise given that key open-source tools that help orchestrate operations in modern datacenters are based on Go, including the container deployment platform Docker and Google's Kubernetes container management software.

This week Robert Griesemer, part of the Go team at Google, described how the team is still working towards meeting its original goals for the language.

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"The goals we have for Go today are the same as in 2007: to make software development scale," he writes in a blog post.

"The three biggest hurdles on this path to improved scalability for Go are package and version management, better error handling support, and generics."

Package and version management is being addressed by the language's improved module support, he says, and now the team behind Go is focused on better error-handling support and generics, he added, highlighting the draft designs published at GopherCon last year.

For error-handling, the team had proposed a new built-in Go error-checking function, try.

The team is also making progress on generics, he says, and their work will be set out in the speech "Generics in Go" at this year's GopherCon.

In the near-term, the Go team is gearing up to begin development work on Go 1.14. Features in the 1.14 release will include the try error-check function, a change to allow overlapping interfaces, throwing a warning for string(int) conversions, and adopting crypto principles.

Go 1.13 will launch in August, although plans for the release have changed, with general Unicode identifiers being dropped and work on binary integer literals being "expanded significantly", to include "a comprehensive overhaul and modernization of Go's number literal syntax".

The continued association between Go and well-paid developer roles could be due to demand outstripping supply, thanks to the relatively smaller pool of Go programmers.

While the total number of jobs that demand Go skills may be low compared to an enterprise and mobile mainstay like Java, Go was cited as the most in-demand programming language by employers in Hired's 2019 State of Software Engineers report.

If you're interested in finding out whether you're cut out for life as a software developer, check out TechRepublic's guide, or if you're already a developer read these tips to being more productive.

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