What programming language is better for your IoT project? The answer to this question is dubious and subjective. There are so many things to consider: your project’s tasks, goals, and needs. Your personal preferences and the availability of skilled developers also play a significant role.
Node.js is perfect for managing networks of sensors, radars, beacons, microsystems and other connected devices. Plus, it does a great job of processing multiple tasks to handle the interaction across all these IoT devices. Developers agree that the advantages of Node.js for IoT software are its ease of use and reasonable memory requirements.
Programmers usually choose Golang for building the communication layer within the IoT system since the concurrency and the ability to run data input and output simultaneously are among the key advantages of Go.
Other not-so-obvious perks of Go include:
- its code analyzing tool GoDoc
- a serious approach to concurrent programming with Data Race Detector
- Maturity. Being relevantly young, Go is quite mature. As for Node.js, it has an LTS (Long Time Support) version as well as the newest version, which has a changing API but a broad community which supports the platform.
- Performance. In real-life conditions of network communication and database interaction, Go and Node.js show similar results.
- Scalability. Golang was created to be scalable, but so was Node.js. After all, it was named Node for a reason.
- Error handling. Opinions differ here. Go uses an error checking mechanism and therefore it’s difficult to detect the cause of an error. Node.js uses a throw and catch principle, common for many languages but it can be quite inconsistent in the end.
- Sync/Async IO. Node.js is famous for its non-blocking IO model that makes it lightweight and efficient in terms of resources. But it also has a lot of drawbacks, including endless callbacks in code and weird stack traces. On the other hand, Go, using its scheduler, encourages developers to use synchronous operations while relying on different tools provided by an OS to improve efficiency and reduce resource blocking.
- Running on devices. With the NPM package manager, Node.js can be effectively used as a programming environment on cable boards like Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black. NPM contains around 80 open-source packages for Arduino controllers, Intel IoT Edison, Raspberry Pi and over 30 packages for various Bluetooth devices and sensors. As for Go, it’s a good choice for boards like Raspberry Pi since it runs a full Linux build. However, low-power IoT devices like Arduino can’t work with Go binary. That’s why the Gobot framework was created. It supports many platforms, Bluetooth LE devices and even the Neurosky neurointerface.