The Golang gopher mascot figurine with a ladybird rhinestone decorated computer mouse sitting on a surface that is designed like the Google Chrome browser logo.
The Golang gopher mascot. Image: samthor/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Go forth: How to get to grips with Golang

5 Jan 2023

If your goal is to learn a new programming language in 2023 or if you’re simply out to brush up on your existing skills, check out our guide to Golang.

Golang, also called ‘Go’ for short, is a popular open-source coding language that is relatively easy for beginners to learn.

According to its own website, companies such as Google, Meta, Riot Games, Microsoft, Twitter, Netflix and lots more use Golang. It’s a good skill to have because it is so widely used and is supported by Google.

The language was originally the brainchild of Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike and Ken Thompson, who invented it while working at Google to fill some of the functional gaps left by other languages.

Google uses Go for its vast networks of servers and its own cloud platform. Software developers all over the world rely on it for things such as game development, backend programming, cloud-based programming and making command-line tools.

Overall, it’s versatile and easy to learn. Here’s our pick of the resources out there for getting to grips with Golang.

Golang website

This one is a no-brainer, as it’s the place to both download the packages you’ll need and find out about some of the officially recommended supports and use cases.

You can take a look at some of the recommended packages based on what you think you’ll use Go for. There are examples for DevOps and site reliability engineers, cloud and network and more.

You can also check out the site’s Learn section, which includes documentation, learning resources and even an interactive tour for newbies to try Go out for themselves.

If you really want to get into Go, there’s also a blog, a subreddit called r/golang, conferences and meet-ups.


If you’re the sort of person who likes to learn by watching videos, YouTube is a useful resource to check out.

If you want one epic, seven-hour introductory crash course on Go, watch’s video. If you prefer to break up your learning into more digestible chunks, why not give Golang Café’s YouTube channel a whirl.

Golang Café is a jobs board and resource hub for users. Its YouTube channel has several short videos – between 15 minutes and 30 minutes long – that explain the fundamentals of Golang for beginners and detail intermediate aspects for more advanced learners.

Online short courses

Doing a short online course is a great way to learn tech skills, and there are loads of inexpensive (and free) courses out there for various programming languages.

Search for Golang courses on Udemy, Coursera, Codeacademy, Pluralsight and more and you’ll find something to suit you. The latter two specialise specifically in IT and coding so they might be your best bet.

On Pluralsight, Go Fundamentals by Nigel Poulton is a good course for absolute novices, while Codeacademy’s Learn Go course takes around 10 hours to complete on average.

Have fun with it

As previously mentioned in this piece, Golang is used by game developers. If that’s what you’re planning on using it for, it could be a good idea to explore it with a slightly non-traditional eye.

While this beginners’ course on Udemy is not aimed exclusively at gamers, it does promise to teach the fundamentals of Go in a fun, interactive and hands-on way.

For a relatively small fee, the course offers learners full lifetime access to 254 different short lectures on the online learning platform.

It is taught by a senior software engineer who has worked with big companies such as Uber. You’ll learn problem-solving skills and how to build simple games such as Hangman and Snake.

Another fun way to teach yourself Go programming skills is this build your own card game tutorial from e-learning providers Educative.


Named after the distinctive cute blue cartoon gopher that is Golang’s mascot, Gophercises is a great resource for someone who learns by doing and trying things out for themselves.

The resource is free to sign up to and it offers a lot of interactive programming exercises depending on your experience level. It’s very useful for testing out your Golang knowledge.

With all these resources at your fingertips, there’s nothing stopping you from giving it a ‘Go’. 

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The Golang gopher mascot. Image: samthor/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea joined Silicon Republic in 2021 as Careers reporter, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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