A 101 Guide to Hiring Go Developers

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Yuliia Podorozhko
Market Researcher

Golang or Go is a trendy choice for developing large-scale enterprise platforms, artificial intelligence (AI) powered web applications and cloud services. The TIOBE index (a ranking of programming languages) ranks Golang as one of the world's most popular

MadAppGang also uses this language in projects that require performance, security, scalability, and quick implementation. One of our latest projects, Evergen, is built with Go. Since it was a large energy-sector project, we had to expand our team and hire Golang developers. 

With this post, we want to share our knowledge to help you hire a Go expert. We’re covering where to search for these specialists, what skills are in demand, how to conduct a job interview and more. 

But before we begin, let's see why Golang is such a desirable language and what benefits it offers.

What is Go?

Go is a simple, reliable, and efficient programming language designed by Google. Since Go was presented to the public in 2009, its popularity has grown exponentially. This relatively new programming language became one of the top five fastest-growing languages in twelve years, according to the 2021 Developer Ecosystem Survey. 

Initially created to replace popular server-side languages, such as Java and C++ for network and infrastructure, Golang still remains a tool for infrastructure projects (Docker, Kubernetes, and many others). However, this language is also a good fit for many other purposes:

  • Lightweight microservices
  • Command-line tools
  • Backend
  • Cloud and server-side applications
  • DevOps and site reliability automation, and more 

Source: JetBrains

Go can successfully replace Python, PHP and Java for most tasks. Moreover, it offers many benefits that make this language stand out from other popular programming languages. For instance, Go is:

  • Multipurpose – Go is compilable across platforms and hardware, which makes it a suitable tool for developing all kinds of modern software.

  • Easy to learn – With only 25 keywords, Go doesn't overwhelm novices with complex syntax or variables. A comprehensive specification and a procedural approach allow developers to contribute real value to the project after just a few weeks of learning the language.

  • Concurrent and scalable – By using goroutines (functions that run independently and simultaneously) Golang is able to handle multiple concurrent processes efficiently and with low memory usage. The result is an app that’s adaptive to increased demand without crashing the system. 

  • Fast – Golang can compile directly to machine code, omitting byte-code. This leads to faster execution, and, thus, development, as all intermediary processes are excluded. Plus, the Go framework has an integrated parallel testing tool that also speeds up the development process.

  • Readable and maintainable – Due to its disciplined syntax, Go code is straightforward  and easy to understand. Even if you change your development team, you can still maintain and update your software with ease. Since Go developers don't need weeks to read someone else's code, you won't have to wait. 

  • Rich in tools – In addition to Go's extensive standard library, there are dozens of editors, integrated development environments (IDEs), and plugins available for Go on GitHub. There are a few cloud-based IDEs that support Golang as well. 

Who are Golang developers and where to find them?

A Golang developer isn't just a professional software engineer who writes code in the Go programming language. Apart from having experience with other programming languages like JavaScript and Python, Golang developers often specialise in DevOps, data science or cloud computing. Usually, these are multifunctional experts able to deal with a tech stack as a whole. 

The number of Golang developers has increased steadily with the growth of Golang and the need for large, speedy platforms. Today, about 1.1 million professional developers use Go as their primary programming language. If, however, we count professionals who mainly use other programming languages but occasionally use Go, the number is closer to 2.7 million.

Go developers’ geography. Source: JetBrains

If you’re a bit familiar with the industry, you probably know that hiring Go specialists is not easy. Even if there are more than a million Go developers, the software development job market is not saturated, so companies struggle to find and hire specialists. 

Based on our experience, we believe that the best way to hire Golang developers is to search for specialists on specialised platforms (Codeable, Clutch, TopTal) or on social networks such as LinkedIn or even Facebook. Job portals and recruiting agencies are still decent choices. But our experience has shown that these methods are less efficient and more time-consuming. 

Growing Go developers within your company is another effective way to get them on your team. As Golang is easy to learn and increasingly popular in the industry, more young developers choose to use it as their first coding language. Companies just need to help these enthusiasts. 

MadAppGang, for example, has a six-month trainee program that helps people kickstart a career in development by learning Golang and then using it on real projects. Upon completion, trainees can join projects as junior developers and contribute to more complex projects while continuing to grow professionally.

Must-have skills for a Golang developer

The skills you need in a Golang developer depend on your project. As a rule of thumb, the ideal Go developer should have experience dealing with version control and documentation and be well-versed in the core concepts and paradigms of Golang

  • Goroutines A goroutine is a function that executes independently, yet simultaneously with other goroutines in an app. A Go developer of any level should know how to make functions run independently.

  • Go channel patterns and frameworks Go channels enable concurrent goroutines to communicate and exchange data synchronously. 

  • Go template An instrument for creating dynamic content and showing customised output (web pages, emails, and so on) to the user.  

  • Godoc commenting A Go framework that comes with a powerful built-in documentation tool, which makes it simple to create user documentation and firmly tie it to a project's code.

  • Versioning tools In addition to Go syntax, templates and more, a Go developer should be familiar with version control systems such as Git. Version control i enables engineers to work individually on a common codebase without conflict and with maximum transparency. 

Gopher, a mascot of Golang developers. Source: GolangBridge

In addition, the perfect candidate for a Golang developer position needs the soft skills that enable them to work and communicate with others in an international (frequently remote) team. Let's name a few essential soft skills for a software engineer:

  • Strong communication skills – This is a key soft skill for specialists in most industries. As a part of the team, developers should be able to detail what they are working on, how it fits into what others are doing, and how any blocks or delays might arise. In addition, if the team is international, English (or another lingua franca) is essential. 

  • Open-mindedness – Creativity is the driving force for businesses. Having a team that is stuck in one place because it won't accept new ideas is the worst bottleneck any business can face.

  • A high level of self-organization and responsibility – This includes good time management skills, and the ability to work independently without failing the team.

  • Critical thinking and problem-solving – Mistakes happen, so it’s important to learn what went wrong and how to resolve the problem. Also, no matter how skilled or experienced a specialist is, they should be open to hearing other opinions from the team.

The process of hiring and onboarding Golang developers

As soon as you find a candidate, you can follow the standard process: studying the candidate's resume, exchanging emails with questions, holding a job interview with a human resource specialist, then holding another interview with the Team Leader, and so on. This can be time-consuming and complex at times. On top of that, it may be difficult for international teams like MadAppGang to set a time for an interview since time zones may not coincide.

At MadAppGang, we simplify the hiring process to save candidates’ and our employees' time. Once we have a candidate, we move on to a one-way video interview. In other words, candidates will have to shoot a short video presenting themselves and answering some questions. Our recruiter sends an email with a link to the questionnaire and all the details: the time, language, and context of the job interview. Candidates only need to follow the link and record a video whenever it is convenient for them.

For an example of job interview questions for Go developers, check our 10 questions and answers to hire Golang developers

hire golang developers questions

After that, the department head meets with suitable candidates. Depending on the interview outcome, the candidate will be sent either a rejection or a job offer. Newcomers are offered a mentor's help, which helps them to integrate into the team as well as deal with the project. Furthermore, we encourage professional development within the team by supplying all the necessary training and courses. Developers who reach the senior level can either pursue a career as Team Leaders or staff engineers.

A cheat code to seamlessly hire Go developers

When you need to hire Golang developers for your projects, there are three ways of doing that.

  • Traditional – You build an in-house development squad, which, by the way, should also include other specialists, like project managers and testers. However, hiring Go developers and other team members takes months and requires significant financial investment at the recruitment stage. In addition, you need to pay office rent and buy equipment (hardware and software), as well as invest in team building—and there’s still no guarantee that the team will work cohesively.

  • Freelance – Hiring freelancers can be a less costly option, but working with a group of specialists who have never worked together before is likely to result in delays and frustration.

  • A cheat code – You can hire an experienced Golang development team such as MadAppGang to get your idea in front of customers. Relying on our company, you don't have to worry about hiring Go developers, training them and getting them acquainted with company policies and processes, building a team, paying for office and so forth. Instead, you can focus on a more important task: getting your product to market fast. Moreover, you'll save money by choosing the cheat code option:

  • No need to pay for the recruitment and hiring services
  • No office bills
  • Lower developer rates as MadAppGang's core team of developers is located in Ukraine. The rate of a Go developer varies greatly based on location, specialists from the USA or Switzerland will always be more expensive than those from Eastern Europe, for example. That doesn't mean developers in Poland and Ukraine are less qualified, though, just that these countries have lower living costs. 

        Golang developer rates by country.

When you want a robust solution built by a team of software engineers, but without the hassle of finding and hiring Golang developers, trust your project to MadAppGang. Explore our expertise in Golang development, and reach out for support with the technicalities. 

Drop us a line with a short description of your project and we'll get back to you shortly.