Go vs C: Why Consider Go Instead of C?

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Go, also known as Golang, is a programming language developed by Google in 2009. It was designed to be a high-performance language that is easy to both use and maintain.

C was created by Dennis Ritchie as a general-purpose programming language and has been used in operating systems, drivers and other application software for decades.

In this article, we will discuss some of the reasons why someone might switch from Go to C, and compare the two languages in terms of their features, performance, and usability.

Go vs C programming - Avatao blogpost

Comparing Key Aspects of Go vs C

Here are a few aspects we used to compare the two programming languages and see the outcome of Golang vs C:

Concurrency

One of the biggest advantages of Go is its built-in support for concurrency, including Go concurrency patterns. Concurrency allows multiple tasks to be executed simultaneously, which can greatly improve the performance of a program. Go’s concurrency model is based on goroutines, which are lightweight threads that are easy to create and manage. This makes it easy to write concurrent programs in Go and allows developers to take full advantage of multi-core processors. C, on the other hand, does not have built-in support for concurrency, making it more difficult to write concurrent programs. Instead, C programmers must rely on third-party libraries or implement concurrency manually using threads and locks.

Memory safety

As opposed to C, Go is a memory-safe language, which means it automatically manages memory allocation and deallocation. This can greatly reduce the risk of memory-related errors such as buffer overflows and memory leaks. As for the Go garbage collection, it also has a built-in garbage collector that automatically frees up memory that is no longer in use, further simplifying memory management. C, on the other hand, requires manual memory management, which can lead to errors if not done correctly, causing some of the most notorious security issues in C code such as buffer overflow. While C does allow manual memory management, this can lead to more complex and error-prone code.

Simplicity

Go is designed to be a simple and easy-to-use language to increase the productivity of developers. It has a small number of keywords, a minimalistic standard library, and a clear syntax. This makes it easy to learn and use even for beginners. Go’s simplicity also makes it a great choice for writing large-scale, maintainable codebases. C has a steeper learning curve and can be more difficult to learn and use. C’s syntax and standard library are more complex, and it can be harder to write maintainable code in C.

Go vs C Speed – Achieving High Performance

When comparing Go vs C speed, despite its simplicity, Go is considered a fast language. It was designed to be efficient, with a focus on performance. Go programs can be just as fast as C programs, and in some cases even faster. Goland speed and Golang performance is great, as its built-in support for concurrency and memory safety also make it easier to write high-performance code. C code is known for its raw performance, but it requires more manual optimization and a deeper understanding of the underlying hardware.

Community and ecosystem

Go has a large and active community, and there are many open-source libraries and tools available. This makes it easy to find help and resources when working with Go. C also has a large community, but it is more fragmented and there are fewer resources available for C programmers. Nonetheless, C has been around for a long time and the community has accumulated plenty of best practices.

Cross-compilation

Go has built-in cross-compilation, meaning that you can build a binary for a different architecture with a single command. This makes it easy to deploy Go programs on multiple platforms and architectures. C also supports cross-compilation, but it typically requires more manual configuration and setup.

Error handling

Go has a built-in error handling mechanism that makes it easy to handle and mitigate errors throughout a program. C, on the other hand, does not have built-in error handling and requires programmers to manually check for and handle errors.

Golang vs C programming - Avatao blogpost

The Outcome of Go vs C

Looking at who triumphs from Golang vs C we have to look at the facts:

Go is a powerful, efficient, modern, language that has many advantages over C. Its built-in support for concurrency, memory safety, garbage collection, simplicity, and cross-compilation make it a great choice for developers. Golang performance is comparable to C and it can be a great choice for many types of projects. Go’s error handling mechanism also makes it easier to write robust and maintainable code.

C is a more established language with a long history of use and a large community. It is known for its raw performance, and is widely used in system-level programming and embedded systems. C’s manual memory management and lack of built-in concurrency support can make it challenging to write concurrent and memory-safe code and opens the door to possible security bugs. C does, however, allow for more fine-grained control over the hardware, which is why it is often used in embedded programming.

In the, the choice between Go vs C depends on the specific needs of the project and the experience of the developer. Go is a great choice for projects that require concurrency, memory safety, and ease of use, while C is a great choice for projects that require raw performance and low-level control over the hardware. Both languages have their own strengths and weaknesses, and both have a large and active community so switching from Go to C is really up to what you prefer.

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