Encouraging New Golang Developers

I’m cross posting a reply I made on reddit today, encouraging a junior developer to learn Go, because I wanted to hold onto the reply.  I find this is a cyclic conversation with junior developers and we need to be better as a community in encouraging development at all levels (even for our senior IT folks), and particularly of under-represented populations in IT.

There’s no particular problem about being a junior PHP developer that would make learning Go difficult. Don’t try to learn Go as PHP, learn Go as Go and you’ll be fine.

It’s hard to tell what is going on in someones mind but when I see this kind of question asked by junior developers it’s often some version of questioning if they can handle the complexity or anxiety over percieved relative difficulties of languages. So through my career I’ve heard a lot of “I’m only a [Python|Ruby|php|perl] developer, I’ve always been intimidated by [Java|C++|C#|and now Go], do you think I can learn it”. IF this is the case than I strongly encourage you to learn it. There’s no magic to any language, it’s just time and some endurance to get unstuck when you do, and you will.

When people say software engineering is hard, I think it’s percieved incorrectly. It’s not that it’s complex (which it is), but that it’s very difficult to live with the pressure of that compexity over long periods of time. Nobody realizes everything they need to about Software Engineering all at once, it takes dedication and time. Go is no different.

So if any of that applies then all I can say is keep with it and don’t be daunted by your perception of Go. If you stay with it to get past some of the new conceptual models in comparison to PHP, I think you’ll find it surprisingly easy.

In your specific case I think Go will be a great language to learn in addition to PHP in that it will introduce you to more core language theory concepts. Also you’ll have a go to language for when PHP is too slow, or not an appropriate fit.

Anyway, best of luck and I hope you pursue it and find it a good experience