best golang books this year [learn beginner and intermediate go now]

17 Best Golang Books in 2021 [Learn Beginner and Intermediate Go NOW]

What is Golang?

Golang is a compiled, open source programming language created by Google. It makes building software more efficient, reliable and simple. Its syntax is similar to the C programming language.

Some companies that use Golang include:

And many more.

Is Golang hard to learn?

Go is generally considered an easier language to learn for beginners. It was specifically designed that way by Google developers.

If you want to learn Golang, books and courses are two great ways to get started.

Is Golang the same as Go?

Yes, Golang is the same as Go. While Go is technically the correct name, Golang is also used because of its domain name which is golang.org. Also Golang can be useful to quickly clarify exactly what “Go” you’re referring to.

This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation if you buy something. Read my disclosure for more details.

TLDR: Best Golang Books


🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Go Programming Language


💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Head First Go


💸 Best Value 💸
Introducing Go: Build Reliable, Scalable Programs

Best Golang Books for Beginners

1. The Go Programming Language

The Go Programming Language is the overall best Golang book on our list today.

↘️ Ideal for: developers with some prior programming experience in any language
↘️
Topics covered:
Golang fundamentals

The Go Programming Language by authors Alan A. A. Donovan and Brian W. Kernighan is the go-to book to learn Golang. That’s because you’ll learn how to solve real-world Golang problems by writing clear and idiomatic Go. You’ll discover:

  • Golang basics
  • structural elements
  • methods and interfaces
  • concurrency
  • low-level features

With hundreds of practical examples, you’ll explore Golang in its entirety up to and including its applications. After each chapter, you’ll work on a series of exercises.

➡️ The Go Programming Language is the authoritative resource on Golang programming.

What Golang developers are saying about The Go Programming Language book:

… Strongly recommend for people with no Go experience.

Dustin Pfannenstiel, Golang developer

🔥 Geena’s Hot Take

We may have mentioned it one or five times that The Go Programming Language is the go-to resource to learn Golang programming.

It’s true. We mean it.

Check out the almost 900 (and counting) reviews on Amazon. This book is the real deal.

If you want to learn Golang and have a little bit of programming experience, The Go Programming Language is the book that will get you there.


🏁 If you prefer interactive coding challenges, check out the course An Introduction to Programming in Go on Educative.io.

2. Head First Go

Head First Go is one of the best Golang books for beginners.

↘️ Ideal for: Golang newbies, programming newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Golang fundamentals

Head First Go is a brain-friendly guide to teach you all things Golang. Instead of walls of text, you’ll find a blend of illustrations, notes, hands-on examples and explanations of:

  • syntax basics
  • functions
  • packages
  • encapsulation
  • automated testing

And much, much more.

By the end of the book, you should have entry-level Golang skills.

➡️ With Head First Go, you’ll use scientifically proven methods to learn Golang and make the information stick.

Just a sampling of the stimulating learning environment in Head First Go

🏁 Kick back and relax with videos on Golang with the course Go Language Overview on Treehouse.

3. Introducing Go: Build Reliable, Scalable Programs

Introducing Go provides the most bang for your buck in today’s list of best Golang books. 🤑

↘️ Ideal for: beginners familiar with programming basics
↘️
Topics covered: Go basics, complex types, library

Introducing Go by Caleb Doxsey provides a general introduction to Golang programming. With step-by-step instructions and hands-on exercises, you’ll learn the core features of Go. With digestible chapters, you’ll discover:

  • Golang basics like data types and variables
  • complex types like functions and interfaces
  • Go’s core library
  • how to run programs concurrently

And beyond.

➡️ Introducing Go is a short (100-ish pages) introduction to basic Golang concepts.

What Go developers are saying about Introducing Go:

Good, short introduction to the basics of the Go programming language. Concise and easy to read, it clarified key nuances quickly…

Denise, Golang Developer


🏁 Dive into the deep end of Golang with the Programming with Google Go Specialization on Coursera.

4. Learning Go: An Idiomatic Approach to Real-World Go Programming

↘️ Ideal for: programming newbies
↘️
Topics covered: design patterns, Go features

Learning Go is a practical guide containing proven design patterns used by experienced Go developers. In addition, you’ll discover:

  • setting up your Go developer environment
  • how and when to use reflection, unsafe, and cgo
  • which Go features to use and when

After learning how to write idiomatic code, you’ll design a project in Go.

➡️ Learning Go teaches you Golang fundamentals while explaining the theory behind them.


🏁 Dig into more Golang videos with the course Code School: On Track with Golang on Pluralsight.

5. Hands-On Go Programming

Hands-on Go Programming is one of the best Golang books for both beginner and advanced concepts in Go.

↘️ Ideal for: new and experienced Go developers with basic programming experience
↘️
Topics covered: Go fundamentals and advanced concepts

As the title suggests, Hands-On Go Programming is a hands-on guide to learning beginner and advanced concepts in Golang. You’ll start with the basics such as:

  • data types
  • constants
  • variables
  • operators

Then you’ll move onto more advanced concepts like:

  • interfaces
  • pointers
  • concurrency
  • error handling

And more.

➡️ By the end of Hands-On Go Programming, you should be able to build your own programs using Golang.


6. Black Hat Go: Go Programming For Hackers and Pentesters

Black Hat Go is one of the best Golang books on the always magnificent No Starch Press.

↘️ Ideal for: Hackers and Pentesters
↘️
Topics covered: the darker side of Go

Black Hat Go explores the dark side of Golang development. Geared towards hackers and pentesters, you’ll find scripts that will enable you to:

  • test your systems
  • build and automate tools
  • improve your offensive security skillset

And beyond.

After gaining a basic overview of Go’s syntax, you’ll explore common problems that pentesters encounter like packet sniffing and exploit development.

➡️ With Black Hat Go, you’ll learn how to build tools in Go that you can use for your security projects.

What Golang developers are saying about Black Hat Go:

The practices in the book are great. You learn Go by doing, and are encouraged to experiment…

Timothy J. Bolton, Golang Developer


7. Go For Beginners: A Genius Guide to Go Programing

↘️ Ideal for: Golang newbies, new and experienced developers
↘️
Topics covered: foundations of Golang

Go for Beginners is for both new and experienced developers who want to take their skills to the next level with this modern programming language.

After learning the pros and cons of Go, you’ll get into the fundamentals:

  • functions
  • data types
  • constants
  • variables

Then you’ll learn about methods, interfaces and beyond.

By the end of Go for Beginners, you’ll have the foundation necessary to start coding in Go.

➡️ Go for Beginners is one of the best Golang books for absolute beginners.


8. Get Programming with Go

↘️ Ideal for: Go newbies with some programming experience
↘️
Topics covered: Go concepts, projects

Get Programming with Go is a hands-on guide to learning Golang. With 32 rapid-fire lessons, you’ll work on 7 capstone projects that cover:

  • types
  • collections
  • state and behavior
  • concurrency

And more.

➡️ Get Programming with Go uses hands-on lessons to teach you just the basics of Golang programming.


9. Go Programming in Easy Steps

Go Programming in Easy Steps is one of the best Golang books for programming newbies.

↘️ Ideal for: programming newbies
↘️
Topics covered: Golang fundamentals



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🚨 THIS BOOK IS EXTREMELY NEWBIE-FRIENDLY.

Go Programming in Easy Steps is geared towards newbies with no prior programming experience. In this easy-to-follow guide, you’ll learn how to create your own computer programs by learning about:

  • data structures
  • control flow
  • creating reusable blocks of code

And beyond.

➡️ With color-coded step-by-step examples and screenshots, you’ll be creating your own computer programs using Golang in no time.



Best Intermediate Golang Books

10. Mastering Go

Mastering Go is one of the best Golang books for experienced Golang developers.

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Golang programmers
↘️
Topics covered: concurrency, data structures

Mastering Go teaches you how to take your Golang skills to the next level. In addition to learning how to use Go in production, you’ll:

  • write high-performant concurrent code
  • manipulate data structures
  • develop reusable packages
  • become familiar with generics

And much, much more.

➡️ Mastering Go is for Golang developers striving for expertise in the latest and greatest in Go development.

Programming languages that influenced Go in the book Mastering Go

11. Hands-On Software Engineering with Golang

↘️ Ideal for: developers with experience in Go and networking principles
↘️
Topics covered: software development lifecycle, build a project from scratch

Hands-On Software Engineering with Golang is a hands-on guide to understanding the software development lifecycle and the role of a software engineer. You’ll also:

  • create APIs using gRPC
  • manage package dependencies
  • develop a graph processing system
  • deploy Go services on Kubernetes

And more.

➡️ With Hands-On Software Engineering with Golang, you’ll build an end-to-end project from scratch and learn how to scale it.


12. Go in Action

↘️ Ideal for: developers proficient in another language such as Java, Ruby, Python, C#, or C++
↘️
Topics covered: Go’s type system, data structures, testing and benchmarking

Go in Action is an accelerated introduction to Go. You’ll start with the fundamentals of Golang and quickly build on more advanced concepts. While writing real-world applications like websites and network servers, you’ll learn about:

  • language specification and implementation
  • testing and benchmarking
  • data structures
  • Go’s type system

And more.

➡️ With Go in Action, you’ll gain plenty of hands-on experience while speedily leveling up your Golang skills.

BONUS: That Manning book cover though!


Best Specialized Golang Books

13. Network Programming with Go

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Go developers
↘️
Topics covered: network programming

CALLING ALL I.T. DEPARTMENTS! Network Programming with Go is another banger by “the finest in geek entertainment,” No Starch Press.

In this book, you’ll learn how to write network software with Golang that’s:

  • clean
  • secure
  • readable
  • production-ready

First you’ll learn about networking and traffic routing. Then you’ll write programs that use TCP, UDP, and Unix sockets to communicate. Finally, you’ll build applications that interact with servers using network protocols like HTTP.

➡️ Network Programming shows you how to utilize Go’s concurrency, library and rapid compiling.


14. Distributed Services with Go

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Golang developers
↘️
Topics covered: distributed services

Distributed Services with Go is another quality release by one of our favorite publishers The Pragmatic Programmers.

It was written to help “Gophers” learn how to build distributed systems. You’ll build upon your beginner-level experience with Go while learning about:

  • storage handling
  • networking a client and server
  • distributing server instances
  • deployment
  • testing

And more.

➡️ In addition to creating your own distributed services, you’ll learn how to contribute to open source projects with Distributed Services with Go.

What Golang developers are saying about Distributed Services with Go:

… The source code is presented 100% complete and without error…

Golang Developer


15. Concurrency in Go

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Go developers
↘️
Topics covered: concurrency

Concurrency is a difficult topic but luckily, we have Concurrency in Go. Using step-by-step processes, you’ll incorporate concurrency into your systems using patterns and best practices. You’ll also learn:

  • the differences between concurrency and parallelism
  • how to use Go to correctly implement concurrency
  • how Go’s runtime holds everything together

And beyond.

➡️ Concurrency in Go focuses exclusively on the challenges and solutions of concurrency using Golang.


16. Build Systems With Go: Everything a Gopher Must Know

↘️ Ideal for: experienced Go developers
↘️
Topics covered: Go fundamentals, building systems

Build Systems with Go takes your existing Golang skills and accelerates them to include:

  • concurrency
  • HTTP
  • modules and documentation
  • structs, methods and interfaces
  • templates

And much, much more.

Then you’ll learn how to build systems by discovering:

  • protocol buffers
  • relational databases
  • Kafka
  • logging with Zerolog

And beyond.

➡️ Build Systems with Go has over 200 runnable examples where you’ll learn how to build systems using Golang.


Best Golang Books: Conclusion

Today we looked at the best Golang books including:

🔥 Best Overall 🔥
The Go Programming Language


💥 Best for Newbies 💥
Head First Go


💸 Best Value 💸
Introducing Go: Build Reliable, Scalable Programs

So whether you need top of the line resources or are on a strict budget, we think these are the best Golang books for just about any developer.


Golang developers are also reading:


  1. What are the best Golang books?

    Overall, we think the best Golang book is The Go Programming Language by Alan A. A. Donovan and Brian W. Kernighan. For beginners, we liked Head First Go: A Brain-Friendly Guide by Jay McGavren. And for value, we chose Introducing Go: Build Reliable, Scalable Programs by Caleb Doxsey.

  2. What are the best Golang courses?

    Some of the best Golang courses we could find includes An Introduction to Programming in Go on Educative.io. We also liked Go Language Overview on Treehouse. Coursera has the Specialization called Programming with Google Go. And Pluralsight has the video-based course Code School: On Track with Golang.

  3. What is Golang?

    Golang is a compiled, open source programming language created by Google. It makes building software more efficient, reliable and simple. Its syntax is similar to the C programming language. Some companies that use Golang include Uber, Twitch, Dailymotion, Dropbox and SoundCloud.

  4. Is Golang hard to learn?

    Go is generally considered an easier language to learn for beginners. It was specifically designed that way by Google developers. If you want to learn Golang, books and courses are two great ways to get started. In today's post we're looking at tons of resources to learn Golang.

  5. Is Golang the same as Go?

    Yes, Golang is the same as Go. While Go is technically the right name, Golang is also used because of its domain name which is golang.org. Also Golang can be useful to quickly clarify exactly what “Go” you're referring to. If you want to learn more about Go, or Golang, read today's post which contains plenty of books and courses.