20 Helpful Golang techniques for Better Code

20 Helpful Golang techniques for Better Code


Go, commonly referred to as Golang, stands as a formidable and adaptable programming language that has garnered significant acclaim for its straightforwardness, efficiency, and resilience. Within this article, we will explore 20 insightful Golang techniques essential for any developer to grasp. These tricks not only highlight the language’s potential but also illustrate how to extract maximum value from it.

20 Helpful Golang techniques

Zero Value Initialization

Instead of manually setting a variable to its zero value, we can initialize it directly:

var i int     // 0
var s string  // ""
var m map[string]int // nil

This reduces boilerplate code.

Short Variable Declarations

Use := syntax for declaring and initializing local variables:

count := len(items)

More concise than full var declarations.

Multi-Value Returns

Go functions can return multiple values easily:

func sumAndProduct(a, b int) (int, int) {
  return a+b, a*b

Clean way to return multiple results.

Named Result Parameters

Go supports named return values that document purpose:

func sumAndProduct(a, b int) (sum int, product int) {
  sum = a + b
  product = a * b

Makes return values clear.

For Loops with Range

Iterating maps and arrays with for range:

for key, value := range items {
  // ...

Concise way to loop with indexes/values.

Select Statement

select allows channel operations to wait on multiple channels:

select {
case x := <-ch1:
  // ...
case y := <-ch2:
  // ...
  // no value ready  

Powerful construct for channel handling.

Type Switches

Switch on types using type switch syntax:

switch x.(type) {
case int: 
  // x is int
case string:
  // x is string
  // ...

Flexible way to branch on types.

Defer Statement

defer schedules a function call to run after surrounding function returns:

func main() {
  file := openFile("file.txt")
  defer file.Close()
  // File will close at end  

Great for cleanup tasks.

Panic and Recover

panic and recover provide a way to handle unexpected errors:

func readFile(path string) {
  f, err := os.Open(path)
  if err != nil {
  // ...

func main() {
  defer func() {
    if r := recover(); r != nil {
      log.Error("Recovered from panic: %v", r)

Flexible error handling mechanism.

Blank Identifier

Use _ blank identifier to ignore values:

for _, v := range data {
  // Ignore indexes

Clean way to discard unused variables.

Format Strings

Go has built-in string formatting like Python:

name := "John"
fmt.Printf("Hello %s", name) // Hello John

Concise way to interpolate values.

String Functions

Useful String functions:

strings.Contains(s, "go") // true
strings.Join(a, "-") // join array a with "-"

No need to load separate packages.

Random Number Generation

Native random number generation:

rand.Int() // int
rand.Float64() // float64
rand.Perm(5) // random permutation of 0..4

Generates common types of random data.

JSON Handling

First-class JSON support:

data, _ := json.Marshal(v) // encode
json.Unmarshal(data, &v) // decode

Makes JSON serialization and parsing trivial.

Time and Date Handling

Work with time zones, formatting, parsing:

t := time.Now()
t.Format("Jan 2 2006") // format date

loc, _ := time.LoadLocation("Europe/Paris")
t.In(loc) // convert location

Robust time operations.

Command-Line Flags

Built-in flag package for command line apps:

flag.Bool("verbose", false, "verbose output")

Simple flag parsing without effort.

Environment Variables

Read environment variables easily:

os.Getenv("KEY") // returns env var

No need for external packages.

Testing and Benchmarks

Unit testing and benchmarking built-in with testing package:

func TestFoo(t *testing.T) {
  // unit test

func BenchmarkBar(b *testing.B) {
  // benchmark 

Write tests and benchmarks alongside code.

Embedded Structs

Reuse existing structs by embedding them:

type User struct {
  Name string

type Employee struct {
  User // embedded
  Title string

Inherit fields and methods effortlessly.

First Class Functions

Assign and pass around functions like any other value:

func foo() {
  // ...

var f = foo
f() // call foo

Supports functional-style code.

Incorporating these 20 valuable techniques into your Go code can lead to cleaner, more idiomatic programming. The language boasts an array of exceptional attributes that enhance productivity and fortify code robustness.


Go is designed with many helpful language features and tricks to improve developer productivity. The language syntax and standard library enable writing concise, readable code. Key highlights like multiple return values, type switches, defer statements, embedded structs and first-class functions facilitate common programming tasks. Built-in testing, benchmarking, JSON handling and other capabilities also minimize dependencies. This article covered 20 useful Go language tips and techniques, but there are even more to explore. Overall, mastering these Go programming patterns and idioms will help you produce robust and maintanable software. With practice, you can leverage Go’s expressiveness and power to their full potential.

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