Book review: Get Programming with Go

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Book cover of "Get Programming with Go", by Nathan Youngman and Roger Peppe
Book cover of “Get Programming with Go”, by Nathan Youngman and Roger Peppe

Learning Go (a.k.a as Golang) was one of my personal goals for 2019 and I chose the book “Get Programming with Go”, by Nathan Youngman and Roger Peppe as my learning resource. Even though there are several other resources out there, I chose this book because they state on their website that “[it] introduces you to the powerful Go language without confusing jargon or high-level theory” and I like to have a physical book to reference to when learning a new code language. Go is also my first statically typed language, so I was looking for something that would walk me through from the very basics.

The book is divided in units that tackle one larger topic. Each unit has several lessons and ends with a project where you can apply all concepts learned in that unit. Each lesson also has at least one exercise at the end to help with practicing what you just read.

The book also delivers well in its promise to not use confusing jargon. Each lesson gives just enough information in a very approachable way for you to understand the concept they are explaining. There are plenty of code examples to follow along and the most interesting in my opinion is that you can use the go playground to practice the code for the whole book. No need to struggle with the installation process, which is usually a very frustrating first step to learning a new language…

The exercises and unit projects, for the most part, are fun and interesting to do, but I found some dull exercises where there was more math involved than I would care about. But I find that this is a common theme in the industry: most teaching materials use math to teach programming concepts (think temperature converters, area calculators, speed and time calculations, etc….). I understand that this is an easy way to teach how to manipulate numbers and data structures but I wonder if this is the only way…

Overall I really liked this book and would recommend it for beginners (as in Go as their first programming language) and also for someone with more experience but that likes a structured approach to learning.

As of the time of this writing, Manning (the book’s publisher) offers free online access to its content. One more reason to check this book out. 🙂

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