Getting Started with Go


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Structs and Interfaces

We can use structs to group one of more fields of logical types together. For example we could represent a Point struct as:

type Point struct {
  x int
  y int

Then in order to use it we need to initialize it. There are 3 ways to initialize a struct in Go.

var c Point

This will create a local Point variable that is by default set to zero.

You can also initialize using the shorthand notation:

c := new(Point) // use of new keyword

This allocates memory for all the fields, sets each of them to their zero value and returns a pointer. (*Circle)

If you would like to initialize the fields with a different value you can do it like that:

c := Point{x: 1 , y: 2}

Fields and Methods

Once you have a struct instance you can access its fields using the dot . operator:

fmt.PrintLn(c.x) // 1
c.x = 10
fmt.PrintLn(c.x) // 10

We can enhance the Point struct by defining a method which is a special type of function:

func (c *Point) update(x int, y int) {
  c.x = x
  c.y = y

c := Point{0, 5}
c.update(2, 3)
fmt.PrintLn(c) // {2,3}


Go supports interfaces in a different way that other programming languages like Java do. Like a struct an interface is created using the type keyword, followed by a name and the keyword interface:

type Shape interface {
  area() float64

Now in order to "implement" this interface, a type must implement the interface methods defined. For example:

type Shape interface {
  area() float64

type Square struct {
  x1, y1, x2, y2 float64

func (s *Square) area() float64 {
  l := distance(r.x1, r.y1, r.x2, r.y2) // calculate distance between 2 points
  return l * l

And we can use it like that:

s := Square{0, 0, 5, 5}
fmt.Println(s.area()) // 25

Quiz time

What's the difference between a method and a function?
How can a type implement an interface in Go?
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