Luke Evers

How Go has influenced me as a programmer

Posted on 24 May 2014

I've been a web developer longer than anything else, even when I didn't know it. Back when MySpace was still a thing I was writing HTML and CSS even though I had no clue what I was doing. I never thought that I could make websites or web applications for a living--I didn't even know what a web application was. I just wanted to be a musician, and if I could make my MySpace page look nice that was good enough for me.

Back in high school I took two different programming classes my junior year for no apparent reason. I had once searched online "how to write video games," and similar others, but every 15 year old kid has also done that before. I wasn't really sold on the idea of programming yet. In school we started with C++ in one class and Java in the other. That's when it all started.

Towards the end of high school I was introduced to Go from a friend. The syntax was much different from what I was used to, and it proposed a challenge to me at first, but any good programmer needs to learn that syntax is not scary.

Syntax is not scary

There were fewer gophers at this time, although I'm sure if I looked on freenode or elsewhere I could have found a bunch. My friends and I learned from each other, and from the community online. The amount of explanations and documentation has been wonderful. I feel like I've never been a big contributor because I haven't written anything in Go that is noteworthy, but I want that to change.

There are a lot of gophers in the world now, and we have all written a lot. Most of my Go projects are more of a learning experience than something I expect people to use every day; a lot of what I write has been done before. They generally never get completed because I realize that I'm doing something the wrong way. When I find out the correct way to do something, I try it out and then once I understand it I move on from my failed attempt at a project and take what I learned from it.

Go has taught me that it's okay if you're unsure of the best way to do things at first; you'll get there eventually. Not only that, of course. Learning Go has opened me up to other languages and thought processes that come with each language.

Even if Go is not your primary language, I think that every programmer should try it out. The worst that can happen is you don't like the language, and you move on learning what you have learned.

The Go language and community has helped me learn more than I ever have before over the past few years, and I hope that won't ever change.

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