Golang vs Node.js – When to Use What?

by sagacity

The backend of any application is the essence of the product, governing its functionality. Companies can add lucrative designs and popular visual elements, but a scalable and powerful backend serves the primary purpose by implementing the required business logic.

There are many popular languages used to form the backend of any application. Two of the most commonly used ones are – Golang and Node.js. Both of them are relatively newer languages with very distinct functionalities. For companies starting with backend development without using standard server-side languages (PHP, Java), here is a detailed comparison of Golang and Node.js to assess when to use what.



Golang, or Go, is a multi-paradigm, procedural, open-source programming language developed by Google to handle its large network servers. Golang is derived from the efficiency and syntax of C and focuses on offering simplicity, security, and speed. It was created in 2007.

Golang works with the most used operating systems such as Windows, macOS, Linux, etc. It is also one of the leading technologies for networking applications, microservices, and cloud interfaces.

Golang is the first choice to develop cloud-native applications, distributed networked services, stand-alone tools, and implementations with scalable databases.

Some of the most reputed companies trust Golang

  • Google
  • Dailymotion
  • SoundCloud
  • Dropbox
  • Uber
  • Twitch
  • SendGrid

Some of the prominent Golang frameworks include:

  • Buffalo
  • Martini
  • Revel
  • Echo
  • Iris
  • Beego
  • Gin



Operating on a single-threaded event-based loop to make all executions non-blocking, Node.js is an open-source runtime environment based on the JavaScript engine of Google Chrome’s V8. It was introduced in 2009.

Node.js is also supported by common operating systems like Windows, macOS, Linux, and Unix. It is also convenient for programmers to script both the server-side and client-side with the same language. Node.js also has access to open-source JavaScript libraries that can simplify the web application development process.

Node.js is a popular choice for projects that run JavaScript on both the backend and frontend, such as data streaming applications, command-line applications, embedded systems, automation, microservices, or single-page apps.

Some of the most reputed companies trust Node.js

  • NASA
  • LinkedIn
  • PayPal
  • Uber
  • Netflix
  • Trello
  • Walmart
  • eBay
  • Medium

Some of the prominent Node.js frameworks are:

  • Nest.js
  • Adonis.js
  • Total.js
  • Derby.js
  • Meteor.js
  • Sails.js
  • Koa.js
  • Express.js


A Detailed Comparison Between Golang and Node.js

The key difference between Golang and Node.js is that Golang is a programming language, but Node.js is a run-time environment for JavaScript, thus being more versatile. So, when we delve deeper into a detailed comparison between Golang and Node.js, it is also a contrast between Golang and JavaScript (with JS add-ons).

  • Performance: Performance significantly impacts the response and loading time of any application. Since Golang was developed to achieve performance, it definitely offers better performance and computation capabilities.
  • Web Development: For large-scale backend web development, Golang offers more flexibility and reliability for developing web servers. But for smaller projects and frontend code bundles development, Node.js is the better choice.
  • Scalability and Concurrency: js uses a single-threaded mechanism that executes instructions in a particular order. Golang, on the other hand, is a lightweight thread using go-routines that can run multiple programs at once. Golang thus proves to be a better choice in concurrency and scalability with its efficient parallelization process.
  • Error Handling: js implements the traditional and commonly-used throw-catch error handling mechanism. It displays all errors to be corrected before further processing. Meanwhile, Golang implements explicit error checking and handles compile-time and run-time errors differently. Developers are also working on other error handling functions in Golang that can reduce development time. Ultimately, error handling is quite competent in both Golang and Node.js, and the choice depends on personal preference.
  • Community Support: As an old open-source programming language, JavaScript boasts of a large community across the globe. With active members, PayPal, Microsoft, Groupon, SAP, etc. Node.js enjoys strong support from them. Meanwhile, the Golang community is full of young enthusiasts and experts who are helping the platform evolve further.
  • Difficulty Level: Golang is a complete language with a steep learning curve and requires the developers to get familiarized with its rules, interfaces, processes, and concepts from scratch. JavaScript is already one of the most widely used coding languages, and so, the difficulty level is comparatively lower.
  • Development Tools: As a relatively newer language, Golang has fewer development tools than Node.js. Golang lacks in providing front-end support, whereas Node.js can help build a very attractive front-end. Node.js also has a broad range of frameworks, libraries, and tools that enable programmers to develop all kinds of applications. Additionally, it also has an event-based framework with microservices architecture. All these features make Node.js the better choice, yet Golang also offers robust tools like Go Run, GoMetaLiner, Godoc, and Gofmit.


When to Use What?

While both Golang and Node.js have their own set of pros and cons, they can be very helpful when companies leverage their benefits.

Following are some helpful decision-making factors about when to use Golang vs. Node.js:

  • Since Node.js uses JavaScript for both the frontend and backend development with adequate tools and frameworks, choose Node.js if you want only one language. Golang does not have a GUI library and uses third-party libraries.
  • js, trusted by the likes of Netflix, performs better for data streaming services.
  • For highly scalable and performant applications, Golang is certainly the first choice.
  • Golang can eliminate various common programming errors, reducing the application security vulnerability. It also has a robust garbage collection capability along with great memory management. So, Golang is the first choice when it comes to getting the best security services.
  • Golang also offers adequate tools and support to get a streamlined set of development, static code analysis, testing, review, and deployment processes.


To Sum Up

With distinct advantages and few limitations, we have presented comparison and best-case scenarios to use both Golang and Node.js. It is upon the companies to analyze their requirements carefully before choosing between the two.

For companies looking forward to their digital transformation, Sagacity has innovative proven solutions and a committed technical team to handle next-gen application development and to answer any further queries about Golang and Node.js.


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