Skip to content

Pre Work

Trevor Rosen edited this page Mar 5, 2019 · 11 revisions

This page describes the work you'll need to do to be ready for the workshop.

1. Install Git

We will be working with Git and GitHub in this workshop. If you haven't installed Git please do so:



(macOS comes with Git pre-installed, but it's a good practice to control the installation so you can upgrade later if you wish)

  • $> brew install git


  • $> sudo apt update
  • $> sudo apt-get install git

Install Go

You need the Go compiler and CLI tools so you can build/test/analyze Go programs. Follow the instructions below to get everything installed for your platform.



  • $> brew install go


  • $> sudo apt update
  • $> sudo apt-get install golang-1.11-go

2. Setup $GOPATH

One of the great strengths of is the go CLI tool, which you’ll use to manage source, build binaries, etc. The go tool expects a $GOPATH env var to be set to a directory path where the Go workspace will live.

That directory contains src, bin, and pkg directories. For now just know that all Go source goes into src, organized by domain. The go get command takes care of this

If the env var isn’t set, the tool will install will automatically set/use $HOME/go on Linux or %USERPROFILE%\go. If you want it somewhere else, create the directory and then add src,bin, and pkg subdirectories manually. Your $GOPATH must have these subdirectories to function correctly.

Don't forget to add $GOPATH to your environment permanently. For POSIX sysems, this is what I use

3. Check your installation and start the Tour

Confirm that your install is working by installing the interactive Go tour.

$> go get
$> gotour

Proceed to complete the first lesson. It gives a good overview of how Go works and will let you feel comfortable starting to read source code.

4. Install Postman

We will be using Postman to send POST payloads to the web server we build. Please install it by going to Any tool that can send HTTP requests w/ JSON bodies is fine.

5. Choose an Editor

You can edit Go code however you wish, but at a minimum you'll want something that runs formatting and import checking on save and that allows you to jump into function definitions whether in your code or code imported from elsewhere. For all editors, you'll want to have goimports installed: go get

GoLand (recommended)

The only full-featured IDE available for Go is GoLand from JetBrains Thankfully, it's very good. If you're familiar with IntelliJ, PyCharm, CLion, or any of the other IntelliJ products, you'll be right at home with this editor. Please note that while this solution is not free, you can install a 30-day free trial


Microsoft's free VSCode editor is quite popular in the Go community. It bears a superficial resemblence to VisualStudio and is not an IDE, but the Go packages are very good. After installing VSCode, make sure to install the vscode-go package. (VSCode download, vscode-go GitHub page)

Vim (macvim, gvim, neovim)

If you're a Vim user, you can install vim-go. Make sure to setup goimports to work with it as an on-save functionality. Use the setting referenced in that link and set it to goimports after install.

6. goimports on save

goimports is a very useful tool that will auto format your code to the gofmt specification and will also save you tons of time by helping you manipulate your imports automatically. As you'll learn, Go doesn't have arguments over "proper" formatting -- proper Go format is officially the output of the gofmt tool. goimports offers a superset of gofmt's functionality.

Install with go get


Go into the preferences and set up a new File Watcher using goimports.


  • Set go.formatTool "goimports"
  • Set go.formatOnSave: true


Follow instructions from the goimports project, linked above.

You can’t perform that action at this time.