Go Survey Revelations
Written by Janet Swift   
Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Go programmers prefer Go to all other languages- well they would, wouldn't they! However there is much more of interest in this year's survey.

These are key findings of the 2017 Go User Survey which was conducted during November and December. There were over six thousand respondents, over 70% more than the 2016 survey.

Whereas in 2016 more respondents programmed in Go outside of work compared to at work (62% versus 66%), in 2017 the tables were turned with 67% using Go for work purposes and 63% using it outside work. Note that these results indicate that many programmers use Go both inside and outside work and that over half of them use another language at work:goinoutside

Go is a young language - it recently turned 8 but had been an in-house experiment at Google for the first couple of years - so it's not surprising that only 13% of respondents have used it for more than 4 years. However, as last year only 9% claimed 4+ years, this represents a significant increase in Go experience. 


Using Go on a daily basis has also increased from 44% in 2016 to 48% a year later:


The survey looked into what developers were using Go for and the results for 2017 were similar to the previous years except for an increase in its use for API/RPC services which had come in second place in 2016 with only 60% of respondents using it for this purpose while now it comes top being used in this role by 65% of respondents:


So how does Go compare to other languages according to this survey.

In terms of both preference and experience Go comes top in rankings in which respondents were asked to choose five languages:


In all 5728 respondents, out of a total of 6,173 selected Go as one of their choices. 65% of all respondents ranked it #1 in terms of preference, 18% as #2, 6% as #3, 2% and #4 and 1% as #5. If you eliminate cases where there was no response to this question, over 97% of those surveyed placed Go among their top five languages and two thirds of the survey put Go as their top choice of language.

The overall length of the bars shows that Python is the next most popular language among respondents with JavaScript in third place.

In terms of expertise, and after eliminating No response cases, Go  is among top five languages for over 92% of those survey with JavaScript in second place and Python third.



Asked about reasons hindering the use of Go, where three responses were tallied, working on an existing project written in another language came top. Compared to last year there was a decrease in the response "Go isn't appropriate for what I'm working on" but an increase in "Go lacks critical features".


What is clear from this is that external factors are more prevalent than perceived shortcomings in Go and this bodes well for its uptake in future. 

To bolster this, of 5938 reactions to the statement:

I would recommend using Go to others 

85% agreed or strongly agreed and less than 5% disagreed.

For the statement:

I would prefer to use Go for my next new project 

78% agreed or strongly agreed and only 5% disagreed.



More Information

Go 2017 Survey Results


Related Articles

Go 1.10 Adds Automatic Caching

Go At Eight 

Go Language Of The Year With Dart Catching Up 

Go Turns Seven With Lots Of Attention 

A Programmer's Guide To Go



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Last Updated ( Tuesday, 27 February 2018 )