26 February 2018
This post summarizes the result of our 2017 user survey along with commentary and insights. It also draws key comparisons between the results of the 2016 and 2017 survey.
This year we had 6,173 survey respondents, 70% more than the 3,595 we had in the Go 2016 User Survey. In addition, it also had a slightly higher completion rate (84% → 87%) and a higher response rate to most of the questions. We believe that survey length is the main cause of this improvement as the 2017 survey was shortened in response to feedback that the 2016 survey was too long.
We are grateful to everyone who provided their feedback through the survey to help shape the future of Go.
For the first time, more survey respondents say they are paid to write Go than say they write it outside work. This indicates a significant shift in Go's user base and in its acceptance by companies for professional software development.
The areas people who responded to the survey work in is mostly consistent with last year, however, mobile and desktop applications have fallen significantly.
Another important shift: the #1 use of Go is now writing API/RPC services (65%, up 5% over 2016), taking over the top spot from writing CLI tools in Go (63%). Both take full advantage of Go's distinguishing features and are key elements of modern cloud computing. As more companies adopt Go, we expect these two uses of Go to continue to thrive.
Most of the metrics reaffirm things we have learned in prior years. Go programmers still overwhelmingly prefer Go. As more time passes Go users are deepening their experience in Go. While Go has increased its lead among Go developers, the order of language rankings remains quite consistent with last year.
In nearly every question around the usage and perception of Go, Go has demonstrated improvement over our prior survey. Users are happier using Go, and a greater percentage prefer using Go for their next project.
When asked about the biggest challenges to their own personal use of Go, users clearly conveyed that lack of dependency management and lack of generics were their two biggest issues, consistent with 2016. In 2017 we laid a foundation to be able to address these issues. We improved our proposal and development process with the addition of Experience Reports which is enabling the project to gather and obtain feedback critical to making these significant changes. We also made sigificant changes under the hood in how Go obtains, and builds packages. This is foundational work essential to addressing our dependency management needs.
These two issues will continue to be a major focus of the project through 2018.
In this section we asked two new questions. Both center around what developers are doing with Go in a more granular way than we've previously asked. We hope this data will provide insights for the Go project and ecosystem.
Since last year there has been an increase of the percentage of people who identified "Go lacks critical features" as the reason they don't use Go more and a decreased percentage who identified "Go not being an appropriate fit". Other than these changes, the list remains consistent with last year.
Reading the data: This question asked how strongly the respondent agreed or disagreed with the statement. The responses for each statement are displayed as sections of a single bar, from “strongly disagree” in deep red on the left end to “strongly agree” in deep blue on the right end. The bars use the same scale as the rest of the graphs, so they can (and do, especially later in the survey) vary in overall length due to lack of responses.
The ratio after the text compares the number of respondents who agreed (including “somewhat agree” and “strongly agree”) to those who disagreed (including “somewhat disagree” and “strongly disagree”). For example, the ratio of respondents agreeing that they would recommend Go to respondents disagreeing was 19 to 1. The second ratio (within the brackets) is simply a weighted ratio with each somewhat = 1, agree/disagree = 2, and strongly = 4.
Reading the data: This question asked for write-in responses. The bars above show the fraction of surveys mentioning common words or phrases. Only words or phrases that appeared in 20 or more surveys are listed, and meaningless common words or phrases like “the” or “to be” are omitted. The displayed results do overlap: for example, the 402 responses that mentioned “management” do include the 266 listed separately that mentioned “dependency management” and the 79 listed separately that mentioned “package management.” However, nearly or completely redundant shorter entries are omitted: there are not twenty or more surveys that listed “dependency” without mentioning “dependency management,” so there is no separate entry for “dependency.”
Development and deployment
We asked programmers which operating systems they develop Go on; the ratios of their responses remain consistent with last year. 64% of respondents say they use Linux, 49% use MacOS, and 18% use Windows, with multiple choices allowed.
Continuing its explosive growth, VSCode is now the most popular editor among Gophers. IntelliJ/GoLand also saw significant increase in usage. These largely came at the expense of Atom and Submlime Text which saw relative usage drops. This question had a 6% higher response rate from last year.
Survey respondents demonstrated significantly higher satisfaction with Go support in their editors over 2016 with the ratio of satisfied to dissatisfied doubling (9:1 → 18:1). Thank you to everyone who worked on Go editor support for all your hard work.
Go deployment is roughly evenly split between privately managed servers and hosted cloud servers. For Go applications, Google Cloud services saw significant increase over 2016. For Non-Go applications, AWS Lambda saw the largest increase in use.
We asked how strongly people agreed or disagreed with various statements about Go. All questions are repeated from last year with the addition of one new question which we introduced to add further clarifaction around how users are able to both find and use Go libraries.
All responses either indicated a small improvement or are comparable to 2016.
As in 2016, the most commonly requested missing library for Go is one for writing GUIs though the demand is not as pronounced as last year. No other missing library registered a significant number of responses.
The primary sources for finding answers to Go questions are the Go web site, Stack Overflow, and reading source code directly. Stack Overflow showed a small increase from usage over last year.
The primary sources for Go news are still the Go blog, Reddit’s /r/golang and Twitter; like last year, there may be some bias here since these are also how the survey was announced.
The Go Project
59% of respondents expressed interest in contributing in some way to the Go community and projects, up from 55% last year. Respondents also indicated that they felt much more welcome to contribute than in 2016. Unfortunately, respondents indicated only a very tiny improvement in understanding how to contribute. We will be actively working with the community and its leaders to make this a more accessible process.
Respondents showed an increase in agreement that they are confident in the leadership of the Go project (9:1 → 11:1). They also showed a small increase in agreement that the project leadership understands their needs (2.6:1 → 2.8:1) and in agreement that they feel comfortable approaching project leadership with questions and feedback (2.2:1 → 2.4:1). While improvements were made, this continues to be an area of focus for the project and its leadership going forward. We will continue to work to improve our understanding of user needs and approachability.
We tried some new ways to engage with users in 2017 and while progress was made, we are still working on making these solutions scalable for our growing community.
At the end of the survey, we asked some demographic questions.
The country distribution of responses is largely similar to last year with minor fluctuations. Like last year, the distribution of countries is similar to the visits to golang.org, though some Asian countries remain under-represented in the survey.
Perhaps the most significant improvement over 2016 came from the question which asked to what degree do respondents agreed with the statement, "I feel welcome in the Go community". Last year the agreement to disagreement ratio was 15:1. In 2017 this ratio nearly doubled to 25:1.
An important part of a community is making everyone feel welcome, especially people from under-represented demographics. We asked an optional question about identification across a few underrepresented groups. We had a 4% increase in response rate over last year. The percentage of each underrepresented group increased over 2016, some quite significantly.
Like last year, we took the results of the statement “I feel welcome in the Go community” and broke them down by responses to the various underrepresented categories. Like the whole, most of the respondents who identified as underrepresented also felt significantly more welcome in the Go community than in 2016. Respondents who identified as a woman showed the most significant improvement with an increase of over 400% in the ratio of agree:disagree to this statement (3:1 → 13:1). People who identified as ethnically or racially underrepresented had an increase of over 250% (7:1 → 18:1). Like last year, those who identified as not underrepresented still had a much higher percentage of agreement to this statement than those identifying from underrepresented groups.
We are encouraged by this progress and hope that the momentum continues.
The final question on the survey was just for fun: what’s your favorite Go
keyword? Perhaps unsurprisingly, the most popular response was
go, followed by
select, unchanged from last year.
Finally, on behalf of the entire Go project, we are grateful for everyone who has contributed to our project, whether by being a part of our great community, by taking this survey or by taking an interest in Go.
16 February 2018
Happy Friday, happy weekend! Today the Go team is happy to announce the release of Go 1.10. You can get it from the download page.
See the Go 1.10 release notes for all the details.
The most exciting part of this release for many people will probably
be that the
go tool now does
automatic caching of build & test results.
Of course, one of the hundreds of smaller changes may be your favorite.
To celebrate the release, Go User Groups around the world are holding release parties. See if there's one in your area, or feel free to organize one!
Thanks to everyone who contributed to this release and everyone who helped test the Go 1.10 betas and release candidates to ensure a perfect, bug-free final release. However, if you do notice any bugs or unexpected changes not noted in the release notes, be sure to file a bug.
Enjoy the weekend, and enjoy the new release!
P.S. Many of this year's Go conferences are accepting talk proposals this month. We always love to see new speakers and encourage you to think about proposing a talk. For more information, see golang.org/wiki/NewSpeakers.
22 January 2018
We are thrilled to announce that the content on golang.org is now available in mainland China through the name https://golang.google.cn. The growing Go developer community in China can now directly access official documentation, technical articles, and binaries.
The Go community in China is bigger than ever. In 2015, Robert Griesemer visited Shanghai to attend GopherChina, the first Go conference in the country. In the years since, it has become one of the largest Go conferences in the world with over 1200 attendees at their 2017 event. Over the same period, one of the most popular community-built Go forums saw their traffic increase threefold and the number of participants in Go-specific groups on social platforms like WeChat and QQ has grown to over 11,000 people.
We’re excited to provide even more resources for Go developers in China to supplement the excellent material already available to them, but this is just the beginning. We’ll be focusing on making Go more accessible to non-English speakers in 2018, so keep watching this space.
16 November 2017
The Go project wants to hear from you (again)!
Last year we conducted the first ever Go user survey. Thanks to all of you, it was an overwhelming success with over 3500 responses. The survey provided key insights and helped us better plan and prioritize.
We invite you to participate in the 2017 Go User Survey.
The Go User Survey
Who: If you currently use Go, have used Go in the past, or have any interest in the language, please help by sharing your feedback to improve Go for you and your fellow Gophers.
Where: Please take this 15-minute survey by Friday December 8th: 2017 Go User Survey
The survey is anonymous and confidential.
Why: The Go project leadership depends on your feedback to guide the future of the Go project. Your responses will help to understand what's going well and what's not, as well as help us prioritize improvements for the Go language, libraries and tools.
A few weeks after the survey closes, we will publish the anonymous aggregate results to the Go blog. See the 2016 Go user survey results to learn what insights were gained from last year's survey.
Spread the word!
Please help us spread the word by sharing this post on your social network feeds, at meetups, around your office and in other communities.
10 November 2017
Today we celebrate 8 years since Go was released as an open source project. During Go’s 4th anniversary, Andrew finished the post with “Here's to four more years!”. Now that we have reached that milestone, I cannot help but reflect on how much the project and ecosystem has grown since then. In our post 4 years ago we included a chart demonstrating Go's rising popularity on Google Trends with the search term "golang". Today, we’re including an updated chart. In this relative scale of popularity, what was 100 four years ago is now a mere 17. Go’s popularity has increased exponentially over the last 8 years and continues to grow.
Developers love Go
In Stack Overflow's 2017 developer survey , Go was the only language that was both on the top 5 most loved and top 5 most wanted languages. People who use Go, love it, and the people who aren’t using Go, want to be.
Go: The language of Cloud Infrastructure
In 2014, analyst Donnie Berkholz called Go the emerging language of cloud infrastructure. By 2017, Go has emerged as the language of cloud infrastructure. Today, every single cloud company has critical components of their cloud infrastructure implemented in Go including Google Cloud, AWS, Microsoft Azure, Digital Ocean, Heroku and many others. Go is a key part of cloud companies like Alibaba, Cloudflare, and Dropbox. Go is a critical part of open infrastructure including Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, Openshift, NATS, Docker, Istio, Etcd, Consul, Juju and many more. Companies are increasingly choosing Go to build cloud infrastructure solutions.
Go’s Great Community
It may be hard to imagine that only four years ago the Go community was transitioning from online-only to include in-person community with its first conference. Now the Go community has had over 30 conferences all around the world with hundreds of presentations and tens of thousands of attendees. There are hundreds of Go meetups meeting monthly covering much of the globe. Wherever you live, you are likely to find a Go meetup nearby.
Two different organizations have been established to help with inclusivity in the Go community, Go Bridge and Women Who Go; the latter has grown to over 25 chapters. Both have been instrumental in offering free trainings. In 2017 alone over 50 scholarships to conferences have been given through efforts of Go Bridge and Women Who Go.
This year we had two significant firsts for the Go project. We had our first contributor summit where people from across the Go community came together to discuss the needs and future of the Go project. Shortly after, we had the first Go contributor workshop where hundreds of people came to make their first Go contribution.
Photo by Sameer Ajmani
Go’s impact on open source
Go has become a major force in the world of open source powering some of the most popular projects and enabling innovations across many industries. Find thousands of additional applications and libraries at awesome-go. Here are just a handful of the most popular:
- Moby (formerly Docker) is a tool for packaging and running applications in lightweight containers. Its creator Solomon Hykes cited Go's standard library, concurrency primitives, and ease of deployment as key factors, and said "To put it simply, if Docker had not been written in Go, it would not have been as successful."
- Kubernetes is a system for automating deployment, scaling and management of containerized applications. Initially designed by Google and used in the Google cloud, Kubernetes now is a critical part of every major cloud offering.
- Hugo is now the most popular open-source static website engine. With its amazing speed and flexibility, Hugo makes building websites fun again. According to w3techs, Hugo now has nearly 3x the usage of Jekyll, the former leader.
- Prometheus is an open source monitoring solution and time series database that powers metrics and alerting designed to be the system you go to during an outage to allow you to quickly diagnose problems.
- Grafana is an open source, feature-rich metrics dashboard and graph editor for Graphite, Elasticsearch, OpenTSDB, Prometheus and InfluxDB.
- Lantern delivers fast, reliable and secure access to blocked websites and apps.
- Syncthing is an open-source cross platform peer-to-peer continuous file synchronization application
- Keybase is a new and free security app for mobile phones and computers. Think of it as an open source Dropbox & Slack with end-to-end encryption public-key cryptography.
- Fzf is an interactive Unix filter for command-line that can be used with any list; files, command history, processes, hostnames, bookmarks, git commits, etc. Fzf supports Unix, macOS and has beta support for Windows. It also can operate as a vim plugin.
Many of these authors have said that their projects would not exist without Go. Some like Kubernetes and Docker created entirely new solutions. Others like Hugo, Syncthing and Fzf created more refined experiences where many solutions already existed. The popularity of these applications alone is proof that Go is a ideal language for a broad set of use cases.
This is the eighth time we have had the pleasure of writing a birthday blog post for Go and we continue to be overwhelmed by and grateful for the enthusiasm and support of the Go community.
Since Go was first open sourced we have had 10 releases of the language, libraries and tooling with more than 1680 contributors making over 50,000 commits to the project's 34 repositories; More than double the number of contributors and nearly double the number of commits from only two years ago. This year we announced that we have begun planning Go 2, our first major revision of the language and tooling.
The Go team would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the project, whether you participate by contributing changes, reporting bugs, sharing your expertise in design discussions, writing blog posts or books, running events, attending or speaking at events, helping others learn or improve, open sourcing Go packages you wrote, contributing artwork, introducing Go to someone, or being part of the Go community. Without you, Go would not be as complete, useful, or successful as it is today.
Thank you, and here’s to eight more years!
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