How To Circumvent Golang Lack Of Generics

Go Programming

As a Go developer, I’ve often encountered situations where the lack of generics in the language has posed a challenge. While Go’s simplicity and efficiency are commendable, it can be frustrating when working with data structures and algorithms that require generic types.

The Problem with Generics in Go

Go’s lack of support for generics means that developers often have to resort to writing boilerplate code for different types, leading to code duplication and decreased maintainability. The absence of generics also makes it difficult to write flexible and reusable code for a wide range of data types.

Using Interface{} for Generic Types

One common approach to circumventing the lack of generics in Go is to use the interface{} type. While this allows us to work with values of any type, it comes with the downside of losing type safety and requiring runtime type assertions.

Code Generation with go generate

Another technique is to leverage code generation using the go generate tool. By defining generic-like functions and types in a separate file and then using templates and code generation, we can achieve similar functionality to generics.

Third-Party Libraries and Frameworks

Several third-party libraries and frameworks have emerged within the Go ecosystem to address the lack of generics. These solutions provide workarounds and abstractions that simulate generic behavior, offering a degree of flexibility for working with different data types.


While the absence of generics in Go can be a hurdle, there are various strategies and tools available to work around this limitation. Whether it’s through leveraging interface{}, utilizing code generation, or adopting third-party libraries, Go developers have options for dealing with the lack of generics and can continue to write efficient and effective code.