Golang Data Types

Basic data types

int  int8  int16  int32  int64
uint uint8 uint16 uint32 uint64 uintptr
byte // same as for uint8
rune // represents a Unicode code point
float32 float64
complex64 complex128


int is a signed integer type that is at least 32 bits in size. It is a distinct type, however, and not an alias for, say, int32

An int is either 32 or 64 bits depending on the platform. So it maybe better to be specific if developing and host machines differ.


Strings are made up of “runes” rather than chars. Rather than having char and wchar for characters and unicode characters, a rune is a “code point” as defined in the Unicode standard. Internally it is  a 32-bit representation.

nihao := "你好"
for index, runeValue := range nihao {
 fmt.Printf("Character %#U Byte position %d\n", runeValue, index)

String to array of runes

runes := []rune(s)

rune array to string

str := string(runes)


A slice consists of a pointer to an array segment, length of the segment and its capacity i.e. the maximum length of the segment.

  • Create
b = make([]T, len(a))
  • Add element
var s []int
s = append(s, 1) //add one element 
s = append(s, 2,3,4) //add multiple
s = append(s, s1…) // append another slice
  • Delete
s[len(s)-1] //remove last element
  • Iterate
for index, value := range s {

  • Two dimensional slices

Slices are one-dimensional. We have to compose it to form two-dimensional arrays.

matrix := make([][]int, row) 
for m := range matrix { 
     matrix[m] = make([]int, col)

When you pass a slice to a function, since it is a pointer to an array you just get a copy of the slice structure. It will still point to the same underlying array segment. So any modifications made to the slice within the function will be seen outside.


However, if you append an element, remember that a new slice is created and elements are copied over so you will lose the elements if this happens within a function so you must return a slice. E.g. append from the stdlib returns a new slice.

Creating and initializing a 2d slice:

graph := [][]int{ 
{0, 4, 0, 0, 0}, 
{4, 0, 8, 0, 0}, 
{0, 8, 0, 7, 0},
{0, 0, 7, 0, 9}, 
{0, 0, 0, 9, 0},  


The built-in map type implements a hash table. Map is also a reference type like slices. Maps, like channels, but unlike slices, are just pointers to runtime types. As you saw above, a map is just a pointer to a runtime.hmap structure. So when we declare a map using var, its value will be nil until initialized using make. Attempts to access a nil map will result in a panic.

  • Create
x := make(map[int]int)

You could initialize a map with values. In that case, you don’t have to use make

colorCodes := map[string]string{ 
"BRONZE":   "E0001B", 
"GOLD":     "A89968",  
"SILVER":   "888B8D", 
  • Add element to a map
x[1] = 10
  • Delete element
delete(x, 1)
  • Find value
val, ok := x[key]
  • Iterating
for key, val:= range x { 
   println("Key:", key, "Value:", val ,"Value:", m[k]) 
  • Size

All operations on a map are in constant time.

You don’t need to use refeences with a map. Map types are reference types like slices.  If you pass a map to a function and add key-value pairs or update values , it will be reflected outside a function. When using maps in concurrent routines, we may need to add locks to ensure data integrity.



struct is a collection of fields.

A struct can have methods defined on it. There are two kinds of methods that can be defined on a  struct, a value receiver and a pointer receiver.

type T struct {
	a int
func (tv  T) Mv(a int) int         { return 0 }  // value receiver
func (tp *T) Mp(f float32) float32 { return 1 }  // pointer receiver

It all comes down which one is better for the problem at hand.

Pass by value or reference


There are boolean constantsrune constantsinteger constantsfloating-point constantscomplex constants, and string constants. Rune, integer, floating-point, and complex constants are collectively called numeric constants.

A constant expression may contain only constant operands and are evaluated at compile time. As such, there is no such thing as array constant in Go. Slices and arrays are always evaluated during runtime. They can only be defined as variables.

Interesting Reads:



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