Insights Into Where Go Is Going
Written by Janet Swift   
Friday, 12 March 2021

Results of the 2020 Go User Survey show a high level of satisfaction among users of the language as well as revealing that it is largely used in a work context and what it is mainly used for.

The Go Survey was inaugurated in 2016 and its fifth edition, was conducted during October/November 2020 and attracted 9,648 participants, about 10% fewer than the previous year which had a bumper turnout of 10,975. In order to identify trends the Go blog report by Alice Merrick includes data from previous surveys. Note that the number of respondents varies from question to question.

The distribution of respondent's organization sizes and industries remained about the same from 2019 to 2020. Approaching half (46%) of respondents worked in the Technology sector with the next largest being Financial Services (12%). Almost a quarter worked in organizations with between 100 and 999 employees with 20-99 employees being the next largest group. Only 6% worked alone and 5% didn't work full-time. While 83% of the survey had coded professionally for more the 2 years, almost half had been using Go for less than two years, although in 2020 there were fewer respondents who had been using Go for less than a year than previously:

gotime

A new question was included in the survey to discover how quickly developers felt they became productive in Go. Almost three quarters of respondents felt productive in 3 months or less:

goprod

The proportion of respondents who program in Go at work continued to increase in 2020, while the number programming in another language declined slightly. 

gowork

Looking at what Go is being used for, building API/RPC services (74%) and CLIs (65%) are the most prevalent most common uses of Go. Surprisingly, web services returning HTML is the 4th most common use case and this is due to non-work related use and  a greater proportion of the least common uses (desktop/GUI apps, games, and mobile apps) are being written outside of work:

gocontexts

Turning to satisfaction,  for the first time the survey asked about overall satisfaction using Go and 92% of respondents said they were very or somewhat satisfied using Go during the past year.

gosatif

Another new question asked how satisfied respondents were for each use case. CLIs had the highest satisfaction, with 85% of respondents saying they were very, moderately or slightly satisfied using Go for CLIs. On the whole common uses for Go tended to have higher satisfaction scores while the least common, non-work uses, desktop/GUI apps, games, and mobile apps, had the lowest.gosatisfaction

A final finding worth noting is that two-thirds of respondents considered Go to be critical to their company's success and an overwhelming 91% would choose to use Go for their next project. This has to be a vote of confidence for this language.

gosurveysq

 

More Information

Go 2020 Survey Results

 

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Last Updated ( Friday, 12 March 2021 )