Writing elegant Golang

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Full disclosure, I did’t start using Golang actively till recent months, even though I have always claimed to know it and put it in the language section on my resume(naively & shamelessly). But there is definietly a huge difference between knowing some common syntaxes and understanding the language in engineering level completely.

Last week, while I was having a conversation with one of my friends who started using Golang because of his PhD thesis, I realized we both shared same learning experience(Though definitely not the most efficient learning curve):

  1. started a huge list of online tutorials;
  2. proceeded to spend money on books;
  3. gave up the first two & just started development;
  4. found bugs couldn’t understand, solved with online forumn, and went back to learning materials;

One thing we both 100% agreed on: practice, practice, practice. More precisely, practicing by building something yourself. I have always believed the best way to learn programming language is a quick project that adopts most common features and has a progressive learning curve.

personal notes on writing concise & elegant Golang

  1. gofmt, goimports, golangci-lint, etc.
  2. Standard Go Project Layout:
    • do NOT contain /src: especially for those Java developers who is used to its design pattern;
    • /internal modules cannot be used by external parties;
  3. do NOT use init for initialization, like in rpc, DB, or Redis, because init will be anonymously executed, initializing the resource connection. Every time we declare an init() function, Go will load and tun it prior to anything else in that package;

At the init stage. Best make some simple conditional/judging statements, like using flag: True/False to determine the status of the parameters;

// main.go
package main

import (

var name string

func init() {
    name = "anonymous"

func main() {
    fmt.Printf("My name is %s", name)

Instead, it is better to use Client + NewClient for initializing connection.

  1. Testing. Use frameworks like (GoMock)[https://blog.codecentric.de/en/2017/08/gomock-tutorial/], httpMonky, monkey and (GoMock)[https://github.com/golang/mock] for testing;

  2. Optimization:

    • Instead of fmt.Sprintf, use strconv;
    • Use sync.Poolto re-use previously allocated objects and re-duce the work of the garbage collector;
    • avoid using structures containing pointers as key for large maps
      • For example, if you have a structure: map[string]int, the garbage collection has to check every string since it contains pointers;





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