July 20–24, 2015
Portland, OR

How to think in Go: Stories from a Perl developer turned Go developer

Daisuke Maki (HDE Inc)
1:40pm–2:20pm Wednesday, 07/22/2015
Foundations Portland 255
Average rating: **...
(2.91, 11 ratings)
Slides:   1-BIN 

Prerequisite Knowledge

Basic programming skills in languages like Perl (PHP/Ruby/Python). Very basic familiarity with what Go is.


I have been using Perl as my main go-to tool for a long time, but as I have started delving into Go for the last couple of years, Go has quickly turned into my new tool of choice. This is not limited to stuff that I would have chosen to implement with Perl, but for almost all other situations where previously I would have opted to use an interpreted language.

Through this journey of shifting to Go, I realized that there were many places where you need to forget how you were approaching code design and implementation when you were using an interpreted language. I fell prey to myself trying to directly translate how I used to program in Perl to Go, and wasted many many weeks on choices that lead me to dead ends.

If you come from a similar background, you really need to switch gears in your brain: to harness the power of Go, you need to Think In Go.

In this talk I intend to show you many of the failures I experienced so you don’t need to get burned by them. Some of the topics will include:

  • Objects vs Go structs, and code reuse
  • Exception handling, or lack thereof
  • Concurrency is still a hard problem, even in Go
  • …and others.

If you come from a Perl (or similar) background, and have just touched Go but just don’t feel like you have full command of the language, I may be able to shed some light.

Photo of Daisuke Maki

Daisuke Maki


Daisuke Maki has been working as a software engineer since around 2000, hacking mainly in Perl, C, and recently in Go. He also has been contributing to the Perl community by running the Japan Perl Association, which runs YAPC::Asia Tokyo. Daisuke was the recipient of the White Camel Award in 2011 for his work organizing YAPC::Asia Tokyo, which in 2014 attracted more than 1,400 attendees. He has lived in Brazil, Portugal, and the USA, and now lives in Tokyo, dividing his time between hacking and raising two toddlers.