Is Go compiled or interpreted?

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Go is a compiled language – it easily and quickly complies to machine code. The compiler, similar to an interpreter, converts human-readable code into computer-readable code.
However, the difference between interpreted and compiled languages is that interpreted languages use an intermediary program – the interpreter, to convert programs into machine code for the processors to execute.
By contrast, for compiled language, the conversion into machine code is direct. The direct conversion makes compiled programming languages more efficient and faster than the interpreted languages.

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Additionally, the developers usually have more control over the hardware in terms of CPU usage and memory management. The resulting binary from compiled languages like go is extremely small.
Programs are just sets of instructions that either send requests over the internet or add two numbers.

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Go has two embedders: self-sufficient executables, meaning you do not require any supplementary library or different runtime types to execute it on a server.
So, what’s Go?

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Golang, aka Go, is a product of Google, which first appeared in 2009, with the first version being released in 2012. It’s an open-source language under a BSD-style license. The name Go stands for both the programming language name and the toolset name.
This general-purpose programming language comes with its programming idioms, which makes it fun and productive to code. Beyond that, it offers a comprehensive standard library with all core packages needed to build network-based and web programs.
The basic syntax of Go is pretty much similar to the C programming language family. The natively compiled language is also statistically typed, concurrent, and garbage-collected. The convenience of garbage collection, the power of runtime reflection alongside the quick compilation gives Go the feel of a dynamically typed, interpreted programming language.
Like other languages, this complied language massively employs the command line use and is statically typed.

Is Go compiled or interpreted


Golang is a lightweight, open-source procedural language that is incredibly easy to use. Developers can use Go to create simple, efficient, and reliable software. 

Golang is a unique programming language considering it packs the three most admired features in a programming language. It is easy to code in Go, and its efficient execution and code compilation. A combination of these cap[abilities is what makes Golang an extraordinary scripting language. 

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The developers of Golang addressed problems encountered when programming for scalable and large servers and software systems. Ideally, Golang offers the following solutions:

  • Speed compilation and execution 
  • Code readability and documentation boost 
  • Eliminating the need of using different language subsets for a single project 
  • Providing a rigorously consistent programming language 
  • Allowing easy versioning of the programs 
  • Compatibility with multiple programming languages 
  • Easier and quicker dependencies maintenance 

So, what makes Golang so unique?

Easy to Learn- Golang’s syntax is similar to the C language, making it easy to learn, especially for developers with knowledge in Java and C languages. Besides, the syntax has a minimalistic feature set while the core language has few simple features.

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Multithreading and Concurrency – Go supports concurrency and a multithreading environment efficiently. Thus, creating such programs is much easier in Golang than in Python since GO features a lightweight thread goroutines concept managed by Go runtime. Besides, the growable segment stacks allow the use of more memory only when necessary. 

Standard Library – It features numerous packages and functions, effective for working with primitive types. You can easily handle I/O, manipulate raw bytes, encoding, decoding, network utility functions, parsing, debugging, etc.

Networking – the presence of premium quality parsing libraries, which are easy to plug into other libraries, makes it easy to create network applications such as writing HTTP servers or TCP production levels. 

Tools – there is a massive variety and quantity of tools for developers in Golang, considering it’s an open-source language. It is easy to refactor codes, generate codes, memory outlines, point out unreliable codes, etc.

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Is Erlang interpreted or compiled?

Erlang is a compiled general-purpose language and runtime environment. The Erlang code is compiled into BEAM bytecode ahead of time. However, the modules can be loaded dynamically or on a start-up. This depends on whether it was started in an interactive mode or embedded. So, if you plan to build a release, compiling it ahead of time can make the entire process flawless. 

The Erlang Virtual Machine only runs compiled code. However, you can interpret the Erlang language using the Erlang interpreter, which is implemented by the module erl_eval. This interpreter is part of the standard Erlang/OTP distribution, and the Erlang shell uses it to interpret all expressions entered. 

The Erlang ecosystem supports fault tolerance, distribution, and concurrency. This open-source programming language features an extensive collection of libraries – Open Telecom Platform (OTP). The library offers developers massive flexibility; they can compile ASN.1, provide a WWW server, and anything in between. The projects using Erlang typically use Erlang/OTP – the language and the libraries. OTP is open source too.

Erlang is a reliable, distributed, and real-time concurrent system. That makes a suitable application for telecommunication systems like converting protocols, internet application servers like HTTP server/WAP Stack, telecommunication applications like unified messaging, database applications. Erlang is efficient at solving a wide range of problems because its creation fits in that domain perfectly. 


It has a simple yet powerful model for fault tolerance and error containment. Besides, Erlang apps feature thousands/hundreds of lightweight processes, and switching between them is a magnitude cheaper than in C programs. 

Besides, writing distributed programs is easy. The distribution mechanism in Erlang is transparent, meaning that programs are aware that they are being distributed. Another impressive feature is that the runtime environment allows the running of codes on any architecture. Again, it allows the updating of a running code without interrupting the program. 

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Is Python compiled or interpreted?

Python is an interpreted, high-level programming language that is garbage collected and dynamically typed. Though an interpreted language, the compilation is still a step within Python. Ideally, the Python Code (.py file) is usually first compiled into a bytecode stored in a .pyc or .pyo format.

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Unlike C/C++, the source code is not translated into machine code; instead, the code is translated into bytecode, a low-level set of instructions that an interpreter can execute. 

What is an interpreted language? 

An interpreted language is usually executed either as bytecode or as source code via a dedicated virtual machine. Simply put, executing a program means reading the source code one line at a time and then accomplishing what it says. 

Python’s source code is much simpler, and it closely resembles the CPU instructions. However, they are not executed by the CPU but by a particular software virtual machine. Note that they are austere CPU execution environments but not virtual machines that emulate the entire operating system. 

Compiling a python code into bytecode is fully implicit. The process doesn’t require invoking a compiler but merely running a .py file, and Python will compile the file appropriately. 

This differs from other languages like Java, requiring running a java compiler to convert the source code into a compiled files. Thus, Python is described as interpreted while Java is compiled. However, both languages compile to bytecode before executing the bytecode with a virtual machine software. 

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Python features an interactive prompt, a feature absent in compiled languages. Ideally, you can immediately execute the python statements after immediately. The process involves compiling the source code into bytecode before execution. It’s clear; Python lacks an explicit compile step, a feature that makes people call the Python executable – Python interpreter.

Go vs. Rust

Go and Rust are popular options when it comes to programming. Though they have similarities, these programming languages differ explicitly on numerous grounds. For instance, Go strongly focuses on the scalability of small services and developing Web APIs. While scaling smaller services is possible with Rust, Rust works much better when dealing with massive data and CPU-intensive operations, like executing algorithms.

Rust has been in operation since 2010 and is aimed to offer better performance, security, modularity, and improved parallelism. Its significant advantages include:

  • Better run speeds
  • Allows fine-grain features like rich patterns, and novel embeddings, and syntax extensions. 
  • Zero-cost abstraction
  • Interoperable with FFI, C, etc.  
  • Runtime behavior is highly predictable 
  • It saves debugging and crashing time.

Also, it comes with some disadvantages, including:

  • A steeper learning curve 
  • Slower compilation than Go
  • Much slower than C-languages 

Go coding language is a language developed to solve organizational developments while designing software infrastructure. Its creation was to meet robustness, garbage collection, concurrency, dependency management, etc. The entire Go design is well thought, which makes it so popular. 

Its advantages include:

  • Incredible compilation speed 
  • Simple code 
  • Pragmatic, concise, and effective 
  • Concurrency favoring and flexible 
  • Strong C language interoperability

Disadvantages include:

  • Low immutability 
  • Values simplicity over performance 
  • Low generics 
  • Not a system language.

How do the two programming languages compare?

Performance: both languages have a design to run at near C language speed. However, Go makes tasks automatic; thus, sacrificing runtime speed for convenience. So, Rust has a better performance than Go. 

Concurrency: both languages support concurrency. Go uses goroutines to run requests as a subprocess. This offloads tasks to all CPU cores; thus, maximizing efficiency. By contrast, Rust uses native async/await syntax to support concurrency, making Go better at this. 

Memory Management/safety: Rust uses the compile-time ownership method through Zero cost abstractions. Any unsafe Rust program can pass a compilation stage. In Go, all safety issues are handled automatically during Run time. 

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Go vs. Python

The differences between Go and Python are pretty clear, and they serve different purposes. Go is a trendy scripting language for building server-side commands, while Python is popular among data scientists. 

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If you want to run the software, Go is the language to use as it runs at speeds similar to that of C++ and Java. However, if you want to generate shareable and highly readable codes, Python is the right choice. That explains the large community around Python. 

Here is the analysis of their features. 


C++ and Java have unreadable codes and Go, and Python wanted to improve the readability by making few changes such as:

  • Eliminating colons at the end of lines 
  • Using brackets and parenthesis 

Removing these two features makes the code highly readable. 

Error handling

Go lacks error handling properties; thus, it’s for individuals who already understand coding. Note that Go is easy to read and type, conferring much simplicity to it, but this comes at the expense of higher chances of errors. So, developers spent a lot of time debugging codes. 

By contrast, Python has IDEs, which help spot errors while writing codes. 


Go is faster than Python because it was created for speed. Go is even faster than Java, which is faster than Python. So, if you need a program to load software quickly, then choose Go. 


Pythons larger community around it, meaning it has built a massive amount of support to cater for types of users and materials. Therefore, you’ll get a vast range of libraries alongside how-to’s and tutorials. Therefore, with Python, starting from scratch is highly unlikely. 

Go lacks such support. All scripts you write on your own.


The typical workflow in Python is sharing an executable python code with the Jupyter notebooks. Jupyter Notebooks alongside Google Colab notebooks let Python users read and execute code in a very fun, interactive, reading and writing way.

In Go, this can be very difficult.

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How fast is Go?

Go programming language is incredibly fast. Its peed can only be compared to the speed of C++ and Java. When compared to Python, Go is about 40 times faster than Python. 

But what makes Go that fast?

Go utilizes compilations, which alongside efficient garbage collectors and statistic types, making it significantly faster. It’s worth noting that go has an efficient memory management mechanism – instead of references, it has pointers. This removes a lot of baggage, making faster than interpreted, dynamic programming languages. 

By now, you know that Go is compiled to machine language, a feature that makes it faster than interpreted languages. The fascinating thing is that Go programs compile very fast, giving rise to a very small binary file. If you compile APIs, it takes a matter of seconds and generates an executable file. 

Did you know that it takes an average of 4 seconds for Go to compile? These fast Compile times are a significant productivity boost for developers seeking speedy languages. 

Unlike C++ and C, Go already has the necessary pieces to make codding easier. Though garbage collection typically makes coding a bit slow, Go developers majored on optimization to make the process much faster than others. 

Garbage collectors are to blame for the slow speed of programming languages, including Java and C#. However, the use of garbage collectors is to be memory-safe. In turn, garbage collector tries to:

  • Not to allow many clever casts and pointer arithmetic 
  • Leverage SIMD instructions via assembler 
  • Find a way for the compiler to carry out floating-point optimization, which can change results 

The speed of Go is attributed to its impressive software design alongside acceptable development practices. However, speed compilation depends on numerous factors. Languages like Pascal uses a single-pass compiler. The compiler is optimized. Turbo Pascal, for instance, was created in a hand-optimized assembler resulting in a faster compiler. 

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Code in Go

Go uses a high-level syntax, just like similar scripting languages. Its minimalistic syntax, perfect concurrency handling alongside many tools for designing native binaries makes it a popular scripting language. 

There are different versions of Go, but if you need better features, use the latest versions. 

Go Code organization

Programs in Go are in packages, i.e., an assembly of source codes within a similar directory. The source files are systemized together. 

A source file has variables, constants, functions, and types, which other files can access it provided they are within a similar package. 

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A repository has at least a module, i.e., related packages that are usually released at the same time. 

There is at least one module in a repository, and each module represents a group of related packages, usually released at the same time. But there is only one module in the Go repository and is situated at the repository root. 

The Go code is under workspaces – a directory hierarchy:

  • src – has Go source files (packages)
  • pkg – has package objects
  • bin -has executables

The tools in Go create the source packages and installs the ensuing binaries in pkg and bin directories. 

It’s not a must to publish a code in the remote repository prior to building it. You can define a module locally without being in any repository. Nonetheless, organizing your code is an excellent habit. The path of each module acts as a vital prefix path for associated packages, and it is an indicator of the point of download of Go commands.  

The first step to compiling and running a program is to select a path for the module and creating go.mod, a file declaring it.

The source file’s first statement should be a package name, and the executable commands should use the package main. Now, generate a file within the directory having the Go code. You can construct and install the program within Go tools.

Go commands welcomes paths that are comparative to the working directory. Again, they default to the within the latest working directory package if there is no other path. 

Golan tutorial

Go is an exciting programming language with impressive capabilities. Undoubtedly, learning Go opens the door to new opportunities for developing software. Go is pretty straightforward. The significant steps in learning Go involve:

Go installation – download it from the official Go website

  • Writing simple “Hello, world” code.
  • Using the go command to run the code.
  • Using the Go package discovery tool to locate packages to use in your code.
  • Call functions of the external module.

Go Programs

A Go program vary in length. They can have a little as three lines or millions of lines written into text files with “.go” extension – for instance, hello.go. Various text editors allow writing Go programs, but the most common ones are vi, notepad, Epsilon, Brief, EMACS, and vim.

The local environment is made up of the text editor, i.e., where you type your programs and the Go compiler. The compiler turns the source code into machine language for the CPU to execute the program. 

Before anything, ensure that you get the right version of Go for your OS– Windows, UNIX/Linux/Mac OS X.

Hello World with Go

A Golang program consists of Package Declaration, Import Packages, Variables, Functions, Statements & Expressions, and Comments.

To write a code, open a command prompt and cd in the home directory. It appears slightly different in Windows and Mac.

Windows – cd %HOMEPATH%

Mac – cd

Creating a hello directory, use the commands: 

mkdir hello

cd hello

Tracking dependencies – It involves initializing a new module. Basically, your code imports packages from a different module. Here, a go.mod file will list the specific modules and versions. The file stays in your source code repository. 

How do you create a go.mod file? Run the go mod init command, and give it the name of the module your code will be in.

Create a hello.go file in your text editor – this is where you’ll write your code.

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Golang has evolved from a simple language to one of the most potent and popular options powering cloud-based projects. Currently, the latest version is go 1.16, which arrived six months after the Go 1.15. The latest version comes with exceptional capabilities – for example, it supports 64-bit ARM architecture on macOS and NetBSD.

Google employees led by Rob Pike developed Golang, but it isn’t strictly limited to Google projects. Instead, Go is a community-led open-source program, meaning its leadership is determined by strong opinions on its direction. 

Go’s architecture is simple, making the language easy to learn and pretty much straightforward working with. Besides, other developers can easily read the Codes written in Golang. 

Golang’s feature set isn’t rich compared to programming languages like C++. However, its syntax heavily borrows from that of C, making it easy to learn for developers who have dealt C before. Most of Go’s features, including functional programming properties concurrency, are many similar languages like Erlang. 

Again, Go is much similar to Java when it comes to building cross-platform apps. That implies that with Golang, you can quickly implement a code that can run on any platform – a feature that makes it a bit similar to Python.  

According to the Go documentation, the developers describe it as a fast compiled language that is statistically typed and feels like a dynamically typed language. That means that Go programs compile much faster (ideally second) regardless of their size. 

Therefore, Go is an easy-to-use option for many developers for various reasons. For example, Go is a convenient language as it satisfies many programming needs. Goroutines, for example, allow concurrency alongside threadlike behaviors. Again, the standard library packages have inbuilt capabilities to tackle different programming needs. Besides, it has automatic memory management abilities, just like Python.

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Luis Gillman
Luis Gillman

Hi, I Am Luis Gillman CA (SA), ACMA
I am a Chartered Accountant (SA) and CIMA (SA) and author of Due Diligence: A strategic and Financial Approach.

The book was published by Lexis Nexis on 2001. In 2010, I wrote the second edition. Much of this website is derived from these two books.

In addition I have published an article entitled the Link Between Due Diligence and Valautions.

Disclaimer: Whilst every effort has been made to ensure that the information published on this website is accurate, the author and owners of this website take no responsibility  for any loss or damage suffered as a result of relience upon the information contained therein.  Furthermore the bulk of the information is derived from information in 2018 and use therefore is at your on risk. In addition you should consult professional advice if required.