The Go Blog

Go Developer Survey 2024 H1 Results

Alice Merrick and Todd Kulesza
9 April 2024


This post shares the results of our most recent Go Developer Survey, conducted in January and February 2024. Along with capturing sentiments and challenges around using Go and Go tooling, our primary focus areas for this survey were about how developers are starting to use Go (or other languages) for AI-related use cases, and particular challenges for those who are learning Go or looking to expand their Go skill set.

We recruited participants from the Go blog and through randomized prompts in the VS Code Go plug-in. This year, with the help of JetBrains, we also included a randomized survey prompt in the GoLand IDE, allowing us to recruit a more representative sample of Go developers. We received a total of 6,224 responses! A huge thank you to all those who contributed to making this possible.


  • Developer sentiment remains high, with 93% of respondents expressing satisfaction with Go over the past year.
  • A majority of respondents (80%) said they trust the Go team to “do what’s best” for developers like themselves when maintaining and evolving the language.
  • Among survey respondents who build AI-powered applications and services, there is a shared sense that Go is a strong platform for running these types of applications in production. For example, a majority of respondents working with AI-powered applications already use Go or would like to migrate to Go for their AI-powered workloads, and the most serious challenges developers encounter are related to the library and documentation ecosystems rather than the core language and runtime. That said, the most commonly documented paths for getting started are currently Python-centric, resulting in many organizations starting AI-powered work in Python before moving to a more production-ready language.
  • The most common kinds of AI-powered services respondents are building include summarization tools, text generation tools, and chatbots. Responses suggest that many of these use cases are internal-facing, such as chatbots trained upon an organization’s internal documentation and intended to answer employee questions. We hypothesize that organizations are intentionally starting with internal use cases to develop in-house expertise with LLMs while avoiding potential public embarrassment when AI-powered agents behave unexpectedly.
  • Lack of time or opportunities was the most commonly cited challenge for respondents to reaching their Go-related learning goals, suggesting that language learning is difficult to prioritize without a specific goal or business case in mind. The next most common challenge was in learning new best practices, concepts, and idioms that are particular to Go when coming from other language ecosystems.


Developer sentiment

Overall satisfaction remains high in the survey with 93% of respondents saying they were somewhat or very satisfied with Go during the last year. This isn’t surprising, considering our audience is those who have voluntarily taken our survey. But even among those who were randomly sampled from both VS Code and GoLand, we still see comparable rates of satisfaction (92%). Although the exact percentages fluctuate slightly from survey to survey, we do not see any statistically significant differences from 2023 H2, when the satisfaction rate was 90%.

Chart of developer satisfaction with Go


This year we introduced a new metric for measuring developer trust. This was an experimental question and its wording may change over time as we learn more about how respondents interpreted it. Because this is the first time we asked this question, we don’t have previous years to give us context for our results. We found that 80% of respondents somewhat or strongly agree that they trust the Go team to do what’s best for users like them. Respondents with 5 or more years of experience with Go tended to agree more (83%) than those with less than 2 years of experience (77%). This could reflect survivorship bias in that those who trust the Go team more are more likely to continue using Go, or may reflect how trust is calibrated over time.

Chart of developer trust with the Go

Community satisfaction

In the last year, almost a third of respondents (32%) said they participated in the Go developer community either online or at in-person events. More experienced Go developers were more likely to have participated in a community event and were more satisfied with community events overall. Although we can’t draw causal conclusions from this data, we did see a positive correlation between community satisfaction and overall satisfaction with Go. It could be that participating in the Go community increases satisfaction through increased social interaction or technical support. In general, we also found that respondents with less experience were less likely to have participated in events in the last year. This may mean they haven’t discovered events or found opportunities yet to be involved.

Chart of participation in
community events Chart of community satisfaction

Biggest challenges

For several years, this survey has asked participants about their biggest challenge when using Go. This has always been in the form of an open text box and has elicited a wide variety of responses. In this cycle we introduced a closed form of the question, where we provided the most common write-in responses from prior years. Respondents were randomly shown either the open or closed forms of the question. The closed form helps us validate how we’ve historically interpreted these responses, while also increasing the number of Go developers we hear from: this year participants who saw the closed form were 2.5x more likely to answer than those who saw the open form. This higher number of responses narrows our margin of error and increases our confidence when interpreting survey results.

In the closed-form, only 8% of respondents selected “Other”, which suggests we captured the majority of common challenges with our response choices. Interestingly, 13% of respondents said they don’t face any challenges using Go. In the open text version of this question, only 2% of respondents gave this response. The top responses in the closed-form were learning how to write Go effectively (15%) and the verbosity of error handling (13%). This matches what we saw in the open-text form, where 11% of responses mentioned learning Go, learning best practices, or issues with documentation as their biggest challenge, and another 11% mentioned error handling.

Chart of closed form
biggest challenges using Go Chart of open text biggest
challenges using Go

Respondents who saw the closed form of the question also received a follow-up open-text question to give them an opportunity to tell us more about their biggest challenge in case they had wanted to provide more nuanced answers, additional challenges, or anything else they felt was important.The most common response mentioned Go’s type system, and often asked specifically for enums, option types, or sum types in Go. Often we did not get much context for these requests, but we suspect this is due to some recent proposals and community discussions related to enums, an increase in folks coming from other language ecosystems where these features are common, or the expectation that these features will reduce writing boilerplate code. One of the more comprehensive comments related to the type system explained as follows:

“These aren’t big challenges, but more conveniences I miss in the language. There’s ways around all of them, but it would be nice not to have to think about it.

Sum types/closed enums can be emulated but its a lot of faff. It’s a very handy feature to have when interacting with APIs that only have a limited set of values for a particular element/field in a response and a value outside of it is an error. It helps with validation and catching issues at the point of entry and can often directly be generated from API specifications like JSON Schema, OpenAPI or heaven forbid XML Schema Definitions.

I don’t mind the error checking verbosity at all, but the nil-checking with pointers gets tedious especially when [I] need to drill into a deeply nested struct of pointer fields. Some form of Optional/Result type or an ability to chase through a chain of pointers and simply get a nil back instead of triggering a runtime panic would be appreciated.”

Chart of
anything else related to biggest challenges using Go

Developer environments

As in previous years, most survey respondents develop with Go on Linux (61%) and macOS (58%) systems. Although the numbers haven’t changed much from year to year, we did see some interesting differences in our self-selected sample. The randomly sampled groups from JetBrains and VS Code were more likely (31% and 33%, respectively) to develop on Windows than the self-selected group (19%). We don’t know exactly why the self-selected group is so different, but we hypothesize that, because they likely encountered the survey from reading the Go Blog, these respondents are some of the most engaged and experienced developers in the community. Their operating system preferences might be reflective of historical priorities of the core development team who typically developed on Linux and macOS. Thankfully we have the random samples from JetBrains and VS Code to provide a more representative view of developer preferences.

Chart of operating systems respondents
use when developing Go software Chart of operating systems respondents
use when developing Go software, split by difference sample sources Chart of
operating systems respondents use when developing Go software, split by
duration of experience

As a followup for the 17% of respondents who develop on WSL, we asked which version they’re using. 93% of respondents who develop on WSL are using version 2, so going forward, the Go team at Microsoft has decided to focus their efforts on WSL2.

Chart of WSL versions usage

Given that two of our sample populations were recruited from within VS Code or GoLand, they are strongly biased towards preferring those editors. To avoid skewing the results, we show the data here from the self-selected group only. Similar to previous years, the most common code editors among Go Developer Survey respondents continue to be VS Code (43%) and GoLand (33%). We don’t see any statistically significant differences from mid-2023, (44% and 31%, respectively).

Chart of code editors respondents
prefer to use with Go

With the prevalence of Go for cloud development and containerized workloads, it’s no surprise that Go developers primarily deploy to Linux environments (93%). We didn’t see any significant changes from last year.

Chart of platforms respondents
deploy Go software to

Go is a popular language for modern cloud-based development, so we typically include survey questions to help us understand which cloud platforms Go developers are using and how satisfied they are with the three most popular platforms: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud. This section was only shown to respondents who said they use Go for their primary job, about 76% of total respondents. 98% of those who saw this question work on Go software that integrates with cloud services. Over half of respondents used AWS (52%), while 27% used GCP for their Go development and deployments. For both AWS and Google Cloud, we don’t see any differences between small or large companies in their likelihood to use either provider. Microsoft Azure is the only cloud provider that is significantly more likely to be used in large organizations (companies with > 1,000 employees) than smaller shops. We didn’t see any significant differences in usage based on the size of the organization for any other cloud providers.

The rates of satisfaction for using Go with AWS and Google Cloud were both 77%. Historically these rates have been about the same. As in previous years, the satisfaction rate for Microsoft Azure was lower (57%).

Chart of cloud platforms
respondents Chart of satisfaction with Go on AWS in the last year Chart of satisfaction with
using Go on Google Cloud in the last year Chart of satisfaction with using
Go on Microsoft Azure in the last year

Resource and Security Priorities

To help prioritize the Go team’s work, we wanted to understand the top resource cost and security concerns for teams using Go. About half of respondents using Go at work reported having at least one resource cost concern in the last year (52%). The engineering costs of writing and maintaining Go services was more common (28%) than concern for the costs of running Go services (10%) or both about equally (12%). We didn’t see any significant differences in resource concerns between small and large organizations. To address concerns about resource costs, the Go team is continuing to optimize Go and enhance profile-guided optimization (PGO).

Chart of cost concerns respondents have had related to their Go usage in the last year

As for security priorities, we asked respondents to tell us up to three of their top concerns. Of those who did have security concerns, overall, the top concern was insecure coding practices (42%), followed by system misconfiguration (29%). Our main takeaway is that respondents are especially interested in tooling to help find and fix potential security issues while they’re writing code. This aligns with what we’ve learned from prior research into how developers find and address security vulnerabilities.

Chart of cost concerns
respondents have had related Go usage in the last year

Performance Tooling

Our goals for this section were to measure how respondents perceive the ease or difficulty of diagnosing performance issues and determine whether this task is more or less difficult depending on their editor or IDE usage. Specifically, we wanted to know if it’s more difficult to diagnose performance issues from the command line, and if we should invest in improving the integration of performance diagnostic tooling within VS Code to make this task easier. In our analyses, we show comparisons between respondents who prefer VS Code or GoLand to highlight what we learned about the experience of using VS Code compared to another common editor.

We first asked a general question about different kinds of tools and techniques respondents use with Go to have some points of comparison. We found that only 40% of respondents use tools to improve code performance or efficiency. We didn’t see any significant differences based on editor or IDE preference, that is, VS Code users and GoLand users were about equally likely to use tools to improve code performance or efficiency.

Chart of different techniques
used for security, quality and performance

Most respondents (73%) told us that identifying and addressing performance issues is at least moderately important. Again, we didn’t see any significant differences here between GoLand and VS Code users in how important they found diagnosing performance issues.

Chart of the importance of
identifying and addressing performance issues

Overall, respondents did not find diagnosing performance issues easy, with 30% reporting it was somewhat or very difficult and 46% saying it was neither easy nor difficult. Contrary to our hypothesis, VS Code users were not more likely to report challenges when diagnosing performance issues vs. other respondents. Those using their command line for diagnosing performance issues, regardless of their preferred editor, also did not report this task as more challenging than those using their IDE. Years of experience was the only significant factor we observed, where less experienced Go developers found it overall more difficult to diagnose performance issues than more experienced Go developers.

Chart of how easy or difficult
respondents found diagnosing performance issues Chart of how easy or difficult
respondents found diagnosing performance issues split by duration of
experience Chart of how easy or difficult respondents found diagnosing performance
issues split by where they use performance diagnostic tools

To answer our original question, most developers found it difficult to diagnose performance issues in Go, regardless of their preferred editor or tooling. This was especially true for developers with less than two years of experience in Go.

We also included a follow-up for respondents who rated diagnosing performance issues as at least slightly important to understand which issues were most important to them. Latency, total memory, and total CPU were the top concerns. There could be several explanations to the significance of these areas. First, they are measurable and easily convertible into business costs. Secondly, total memory and CPU usage represent physical constraints that necessitate hardware upgrades or software optimizations for improvement. Moreover, latency, total memory, and total CPU are more manageable by developers and can impact even straightforward services. In contrast, GC performance and memory allocation may only be relevant in rare cases or for exceptionally heavy workloads. Additionally, latency stands out as the most user-visible metric, as high latency results in slow services and dissatisfied users.

Chart of which performance
issues are the highest concern to respondents

Understanding AI use cases for Go

Our previous survey asked Go developers about their early experiences with generative AI systems. To go a bit deeper this cycle, we asked several AI-related questions to understand how respondents are building AI-powered (more specifically, LLM-powered) services. We found that half of survey respondents (50%) work at organizations that are building or exploring AI-powered services. Of these, just over half (56%) said they were involved with adding AI capabilities to their organization’s services. Our remaining AI-related questions were only shown to this slice of respondents.

Please be cautious about generalizing these participant responses to the overall population of Go developers. Because only about ¼ of survey respondents are working with AI-powered services, we suggest using this data to understand the early adopters in this space, with the caveat that early adopters tend to be a bit different than the majority of people who will eventually adopt a technology. As an example, we expect that this audience is experimenting with more models and SDKs than may be the case a year or two from now, and encountering more challenges related to integrating those services into their existing code base.

Chart of respondents whose org is
currently building or exploring ML/AI based services Chart of respondents who are currently
involved in their orgs AI based development

Among the audience of Go developers working professionally with generative AI (GenAI) systems, a solid majority (81%) reported using OpenAI’s ChatGPT or DALL-E models. A collection of open-source models also saw high adoption, with a majority of respondents (53%) using at least one of Llama, Mistral, or another OSS model. We see some early evidence that larger organizations (1,000+ employees) are a bit less likely to be using OpenAI models (74% vs. 83%) and a bit more likely to be using other proprietary models (22% vs. 11%). We do not, however, see any evidence of differences in adoption of OSS models based on organization size–both smaller companies and larger enterprises show small majorities adopting OSS models (51% and 53%, respectively). Overall we found that a plurality of respondents prefer to use open-source models (47%) with only 19% preferring proprietary models; 37% said they had no preference.

Chart of which generative
AI models respondents' orgs are using Chart of which AI related services and
libraries respondents' orgs are using

The most common kinds of services respondents are building include summarization tools (56%), text generation tools (55%), and chatbots (46%). Open-text responses suggested that many of these use cases are internal-facing, such as chat bots trained upon an organization’s internal documentation and intended to answer employee questions. Respondents raised several concerns about external-facing AI features, most notably due to reliability (e.g., do slight changes in my question lead to very different results?) and accuracy (e.g., are the results trustworthy?) issues. An interesting theme running through these responses was a sense of tension between the risk of not adopting AI tooling at all (and thereby losing a potential competitive advantage should generative AI become necessary in the future), balanced against the risk of negative publicity or violating regulations/laws by using untested AI in high-criticality customer-facing domains.

We found evidence that Go is already being used in the GenAI space, and there appears to be an appetite for more. Roughly ⅓ of respondents who were building AI-powered features told us they were already using Go for a variety of GenAI tasks, including prototyping new features and integrating services with LLMs. These proportions tick up slightly for two areas where we believe Go is a particularly well-suited tool: data pipelines for ML/AI systems (37%) and hosting API endpoints for ML/AI models (41%). In addition to these (likely early) adopters, we found that about ¼ of respondents want to use Go for these types of uses, but are currently blocked by something. We’ll return to these blockers shortly, after exploring why respondents wanted to use Go for these tasks in the first place.

Chart of the kinds of Generative AI
apps respondents work on Chart of the kinds of AI apps
respondents' orgs are currently working on or considering

Reasons for using Go with generative AI systems

To help us understand what benefits developers hope to derive from using Go in their AI/ML services, we asked developers why they feel Go is a good choice for this domain. A clear majority (61%) of respondents mentioned one or more of Go’s core principles or features, such as simplicity, runtime safety, concurrency, or single-binary deployments. One third of respondents cited existing familiarity with Go, including a desire to avoid introducing new languages if they can avoid it. Rounding out the most common responses were various challenges with Python (particularly for running production services) at 14%.

“I think that the robustness, simplicity, performance and native binaries that the language offers make it a far stronger choice for AI workloads.” — Open-source Go developer at a large organization with up to 1 year of experience

“We want to keep our tech stack as homogenous as possible across the organization to make it easier for everybody to develop on all areas. Since we are already writing all our backends in Go, it is of interest to us to be able to write ML model deployments in Go and avoid having to rewrite parts of the stack for logging, monitoring, etc… in a separate language [like] Python.” — Professional Go developer at a mid-sized organization with 5 – 7 years of experience

“Go is better for us at running API servers and background tasks on worker pools. Go’s lower resource usage has allowed us to grow without using more resources. And we have found that Go projects are easier to maintain over time both in code changes and when updating dependencies. We run the models as a separate service written in Python and interact with them in Go.” — Professional Go developer at a large organization with 5 – 7 years of experience

It appears that among Go developers who are interested in ML/AI, there is a shared sense that 1) Go is inherently a good language for this domain (for the reasons articulated above), and 2) there is reluctance to introduce a new language once organizations have already invested in Go (this point reasonably generalizes to any language). Some respondents also expressed frustration with Python for reasons such as type safety, code quality, and challenging deployments.

Chart of respondents'
reasons for why Go is a good choice for their AI related use case

Challenges when using Go with GenAI systems

Respondents were largely unified on what currently prevents them from using Go with AI-powered services: the ecosystem is centered around Python, their favorite libraries/frameworks are all in Python, getting started documentation assumes Python familiarity, and the data scientists or researchers exploring these models are already familiar with Python.

“Python just seems to have all the libraries. PyTorch for example is widely used to run models. If there were frameworks in Go to run these models, we’d much rather be doing that.” — Professional Go developer at a large organization with 2 – 4 years of experience

“Python tools are substantially more mature and usable out of the box, making them a significantly lower cost to implement.” — Professional Go developer at a small organization with 2 – 4 years of experience

“[The] Go world is missing many AI libraries. If I have a LLM PyTorch model, I can’t even serve it (or I’m unaware how to do it). With Python it’s basically a few lines of code.” — Professional Go developer at a small organization with up to 1 year of experience

These findings triangulate well with our observation above that Go developers believe Go should be a great language for building production-ready AI services: only 3% of respondents said that something specific to Go was blocking their path forward, and only 2% cited specific interoperability challenges with Python. In other words, most blockers developers face could be resolved in the module and documentation ecosystem, rather than necessitating core language or runtime changes.

Chart of what is blocking
respondents from using Go with their AI powered apps

We also asked survey participants whether they were already working with Python for GenAI, and if so, whether they’d prefer to use Go. Respondents who said they’d prefer to use Go rather than Python also received a follow-up about what would enable them to use Go with GenAI systems.

A solid majority (62%) of respondents reported already using Python to integrate with generative AI models; of this group, 57% would rather use Go instead. Given that our survey audience are all Go developers, we should expect this to be an approximate upper bound on the proportion of overall developers who are interested in moving from Python to Go for GenAI tasks, given the state of each ecosystem today.

Of the respondents who are already using Python but would prefer to use Go, the vast majority (92%) said that the availability of Go equivalents for Python libraries would enable them to integrate Go with GenAI systems. However, we should be cautious when interpreting this result; the open-text responses and a separate set of contextual interviews with developers working on GenAI services describe a Python-centric ecosystem around GenAI; it’s not only that Go lacks many libraries when compared with the Python ecosystem, but also that the perceived level of investment into Go libraries is lower, documentation and examples are predominantly in Python, and the network of experts working in this area are already comfortable with Python. Experimenting and building proofs-of-concept in Python is almost certain to continue, and the lack of Go variants of Python libraries (for example, pandas) is only the first barrier developers would encounter when trying to port from Python to Go. Libraries and SDKs are necessary, but unlikely by themselves to be sufficient, to build a robust Go ecosystem for production ML/AI applications.

Further, contextual interviews with Go developers building AI-powered services suggest that calling APIs from Go is not a major issue, particularly with hosted models such as GPT-4 or Gemini. Building, evaluating, and hosting custom models is seen as challenging in Go (primarily due to the lack of frameworks and libraries that support this in Python), but interview participants distinguished between hobbyist use cases (e.g., playing around with custom models at home) and business use cases. The hobbyist cases are dominated by Python for all of the reasons enumerated above, but the business use cases are more focused around reliability, accuracy, and performance while calling hosted models. This is an area where Go can shine without building a large ecosystem of ML/AI/data science libraries, though we expect developers will still benefit from documentation, best practice guidance, and examples.

Because the field of GenAI is so novel, best practices are still being identified and tested. Initial contextual interviews with developers have suggested that one of their goals is to be prepared for a future in which GenAI becomes a competitive advantage; by making some investment in this area now, they hope to moderate future risk. They’re also still trying to understand what GenAI systems might be helpful for and what the return on investment (if any) may look like. Due to these unknowns, our early data suggests that organizations (especially outside the tech industry) may be hesitant to make long-term commitments here, and will instead pursue a lean or scrappy approach until either a reliable use case with clear benefits emerges, or their industry peers begin to make large, public investments in this space.

Chart showing high usage of
Python to integrate with gen AI models Chart showing preference to use Go
rather than Python to integrate with gen AI models Chart of what would enable respondents
to use Go where they are currently using Python Chart of biggest challenges for
respondents integrating backend services with gen AI models

Learning challenges

In order to improve the experience of learning Go, we wanted to hear from inexperienced Go developers, as well as those who might have already mastered the basics on what they see as their biggest challenge to meeting their learning goals. We also wanted to hear from developers who might primarily be focused on helping others get started with Go rather than their own learning goals, since they might have some insights on common challenges they see when onboarding developers.

Only 3% of respondents said that they were currently learning the basics of Go. This isn’t too surprising, considering most of our survey respondents have at least a year of experience with Go. Meanwhile, 40% of respondents said that they have already learned the basics but want to learn more advanced topics and another 40% said that they help other developers learn Go. Only 15% said they didn’t have any learning goals related to Go.

Chart of respondents' learning
goals for Go

When we looked at more finely grained time segments of Go experience, we found that 30% of those who’ve been using Go for less than three months say they’re learning the basics of Go, while about two-thirds of them say that they’ve already learned the basics. That’s good evidence that someone can at least feel like they’ve learned the basics of Go in a short amount of time, but it also means we don’t have as much feedback from this group who are at the beginning of their learning journey.

Chart of respondents'
learning goals for Go split by finer units of time

To determine what kinds of learning materials might be most needed in the community, we asked what kind of learning content respondents preferred for topics related to software development. They were able to select multiple options so the numbers here exceed 100%. 87% of respondents said they preferred written content, which was by far the most preferred format. 52% said they preferred video content, and in particular this format was more often preferred by developers with less experience. This could indicate a growing desire for learning content in video format. The less experienced demographic did not prefer written content any less than other groups, however. Providing both written and video formats together has been shown to improve learning outcomes and helps developers with different learning preferences and abilities, which could increase the accessibility of learning content in the Go community.

Chart of respondents'
preferred formats for learning content, split by years of Go experience

We asked respondents who said they had a learning goal related to Go what their biggest challenge was to reaching their goal. This was intentionally left broad enough that someone who was just getting started or who had already mastered the basics could respond to this question. We also wanted to give respondents the opportunity to tell us about a wide range of challenges, not just topics they find difficult.

Overwhelmingly, the most common challenge mentioned was a lack of time or other personal limitations such as focus or motivation to learn or (44%). Although we can’t give respondents more time, we should be mindful when we’re producing learning materials or introducing changes in the ecosystem that users may be operating under significant time constraints. There may also be opportunities for educators to produce resources that are digestible in smaller portions or at a regular cadence to keep learners motivated.

Other than time, the top challenge was learning new concepts, idioms or best practices that are unique to Go (11%). In particular, adapting to a statically typed compiled language from Python or JavaScript and learning how to organize Go code can be particularly challenging. Respondents also asked for more examples (6%), both in documentation and real world applications to learn from. Developers coming from a larger developer community expected to be able to find more existing solutions and examples.

“Moving from a language like Python to a statically typed, compiled language has been challenging, but Go itself hasn’t been. I like to learn through quick feedback, so Python’s REPL was great for that. So now I need to focus on really reading documentation and examples to be able to learn. Some of the documentation for Go is quite sparse and could do with more examples.” — Respondent with less than 3 years of experience with Go.

“My main challenge is the lack of example projects for enterprise-level applications. How to organize a big Go project is something I would like to have more examples as reference. I would like to refactor the current project I am working [on] to a more modular/clean architecture style, and I find it difficult in Go due to lack of examples / a more opinionated ‘folder/package’ reference.” — Respondent with 1–2 years of experience with Go.

“It’s a smaller ecosystem than I am used to so online searches don’t yield as many results to specific issues. The resources that are out there are incredibly helpful and I usually am able to solve issues eventually, it just takes a little longer."— Respondent with less than 3 months of experience with Go.

Chart of biggest
challenges to reaching respondents' learning goals

For respondents whose primary learning goal was to help others get started with Go, we asked what might make it easier for developers to get started with Go. We got a wide range of responses including documentation suggestions, comments on difficult topics (e.g., using pointers or concurrency), as well as requests for adding more familiar features from other languages. For categories that made up less than 2% of responses, we lumped them into “Other” responses. Interestingly, nobody mentioned “more time.” We think this is because lack of time or motivation is most often a challenge when there isn’t an immediate necessity to learn something new related to Go. For those helping others get started with Go, there may be a business reason for doing so, making it easier to prioritize, and hence “lack of time” is not as much of a challenge.

Consistent with the previous results, 16% of those who help others get started with Go told us that new Go developers would benefit from having more realistic examples or project-based exercises to learn from. They also saw the need to help developers coming from other language ecosystems through comparisons between them. Previous research tells us that experience with one programming language can interfere with learning a new one, especially when new concepts and tooling are different from what developers are used to. There are existing resources that aim to address this issue (just try searching for “Golang for [language] developers” for examples), but it could be difficult for new Go developers to search for concepts they don’t have the vocabulary for yet or these kinds of resources might not adequately address specific tasks. In the future we would like to learn more about how and when to present language comparisons to facilitate learning new concepts.

A related need that this group reported was more explanations behind Go’s philosophy and best practices. It could be the case that learning not only what makes Go different but also why would help new Go developers understand new concepts or ways of doing tasks that might be different from their previous experience.

Chart of ideas from
respondents  who help others get started with Go


We ask similar demographic questions during each cycle of this survey so we can understand how comparable the year-over-year results may be. For example, if a majority of respondents reported having less than one year of experience with Go in one survey cycle, it’d be very likely that any other differences in results from prior cycles stem from this major demographic shift. We also use these questions to provide comparisons between groups, such as satisfaction according to how long respondents have been using Go.

This year we introduced some minor changes to how we ask about experience with Go to match the JetBrains developer survey. This allowed us to make comparisons between our survey populations and facilitated data analysis.

Chart of how long respondents have
been working with Go

We saw some differences in experience level depending on how developers discovered our survey. The population who responded to survey notifications in VS Code skewed toward less experience with Go; we suspect this a reflection of VS Code’s popularity with new Go developers, who may not be ready to invest in an IDE license while they’re still learning. With respect to years of Go experience, the respondents randomly selected from GoLand are more similar to our self-selected population who found the survey through the Go Blog. Seeing consistencies between samples such as these allows us to more confidently generalize findings to the rest of the community.

Chart of how long respondents have
been working with Go, split by different sample sources

In addition to years of experience with Go, this year we also measured years of professional coding experience. We were surprised to find that 26% of respondents have 16 or more years of professional coding experience. For comparison, the JetBrains Developer Survey audience from 2023 had a majority of respondents with 3–5 years of professional experience. Having a more experienced demographic could affect differences in responses. For example, we saw significant differences in what kinds of learning content respondents with different levels of experience preferred.

Chart of respondents' years of
professional developer experience

When we looked at our different samples, the self-selected group was even more experienced than the randomly selected groups, with 29% having 16 or more years of professional experience. This suggests that our self-selected group is generally more experienced than our randomly selected groups and can help explain some of the differences we see in this group.

Chart of respondents' years of
professional developer experience

We introduced another demographic question during this cycle on employment status to help us make comparisons with JetBrains’ Developer Survey. We found that 81% of respondents were fully employed, significantly more than 63% on the JetBrains survey. We also found significantly fewer students in our population (4%) compared to 15% on the JetBrains survey. When we look at our individual samples, we see a small but significant difference within our respondents from VS Code, who are slightly less likely to be fully employed and slightly more likely to be students. This makes sense given that VS Code is free.

Chart of respondents' employment

Similar to previous years, the most common use cases for Go were API/RPC services (74%) and command line tools (63%). We’ve heard that Go’s built-in HTTP server and concurrency primitives, ease of cross-compilation, and single-binary deployments make Go a good choice for these kinds of applications.

We also looked for differences based on respondents’ level of experience with Go and organization size. More experienced Go developers reported building a wider variety of applications in Go. This trend was consistent across every category of app or service. We did not find any notable differences in what respondents are building based on their organization size.

Chart of the types of things respondents
are building with Go


We heard from respondents at a variety of different organizations. About 27% worked at large organizations with 1,000 or more employees, 25% were from midsize organizations of 100–1,000 employees, and 43% worked at smaller organizations with less than 100 employees. As in previous years, the most common industry people work in was technology (48%) while the second most common was financial services (13%) .

This is statistically unchanged from the past few Go Developer Surveys—we continue to hear from people in different countries and in organizations of different sizes and industries at consistent rates year after year.

Chart of the different organization
sizes where respondents use Go

Chart of the different industries
where respondents use Go

Chart of countries or regions where
respondents are located


Prior to 2021, we announced the survey primarily through the Go Blog, where it was picked up on various social channels like Twitter, Reddit, or Hacker News. In 2021 we introduced a new way to recruit respondents by using the VS Code Go plugin to randomly select users to be shown a prompt asking if they’d like to participate in the survey. This created a random sample that we used to compare the self-selected respondents from our traditional channels and helped identify potential effects of self-selection bias. For this cycle, our friends at JetBrains generously provided us with an additional random sample by prompting a random subset of GoLand users to take the survey!

64% of survey respondents “self-selected” to take the survey, meaning they found it on the Go blog or other social Go channels. People who don’t follow these channels are less likely to learn about the survey from them, and in some cases, they respond differently than people who do closely follow them. For example, they might be new to the Go community and not yet aware of the Go blog. About 36% of respondents were randomly sampled, meaning they responded to the survey after seeing a prompt in VS Code (25%) or GoLand (11%). Over the period of January 23 – February 13, there was roughly a 10% chance that users would have seen this prompt. By examining how the randomly sampled groups differ from the self-selected responses, as well as from each other, we’re able to more confidently generalize findings to the larger community of Go developers.

Chart of different sources of survey

How to read these results

Throughout this report we use charts of survey responses to provide supporting evidence for our findings. All of these charts use a similar format. The title is the exact question that survey respondents saw. Unless otherwise noted, questions were multiple choice and participants could only select a single response choice; each chart’s subtitle will tell the reader if the question allowed multiple response choices or was an open-ended text box instead of a multiple choice question. For charts of open-ended text responses, a Go team member read and manually categorized all of the responses. Many open-ended questions elicited a wide variety of responses; to keep the chart sizes reasonable, we condensed them to a maximum of the top 10-12 themes, with additional themes all grouped under “Other”. The percentage labels shown in charts are rounded to the nearest integer (e.g., 1.4% and 0.8% will both be displayed as 1%), but the length of each bar and row ordering are based on the unrounded values.

To help readers understand the weight of evidence underlying each finding, we included error bars showing the 95% confidence interval for responses; narrower bars indicate increased confidence. Sometimes two or more responses have overlapping error bars, which means the relative order of those responses is not statistically meaningful (i.e., the responses are effectively tied). The lower right of each chart shows the number of people whose responses are included in the chart, in the form “n = [number of respondents]”. In cases where we found interesting differences in responses between groups, (e.g., years of experience, organization size, or sample source) we showed a color-coded breakdown of the differences.


And that’s it for our semi-annual Go Developer Survey. Many thanks to everyone who shared their thoughts on Go and everyone who contributed to making this survey happen! It means the world to us and truly helps us improve Go.

This year we’re also excited to announce the forthcoming release of this survey’s dataset. We expect to share this anonymized data by the end of April, allowing anyone to slice and dice survey responses as needed to answer their own questions about the Go ecosystem.

Updated 2024-05-03: We unfortunately need to delay the release of this dataset. We’re still working to make this happen, but we don’t expect to be able to share it until the second half of 2024.

— Alice and Todd (on behalf of the Go team at Google)

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