What Is Unmarshalling In Golang

Go Programming

Unmarshalling in Go is a crucial concept for anyone working with data serialization. Personally, I find it to be a fascinating process that allows us to decode data from a specific format, such as JSON or XML, into Go data structures. Let’s delve deeper into the intricacies of unmarshalling in Golang.

Understanding Unmarshalling

When we talk about unmarshalling in Golang, we are referring to the process of converting the serialized data into a native Go data structure. This is the inverse operation of marshalling, which involves converting native Go data structures into a serialized format.

Unmarshalling is commonly used when we receive data from an external source, such as an API response in JSON format, and we need to work with it in our Go application. By unmarshalling the data, we can convert it into a format that is more convenient for us to manipulate and use within our code.

One of the core packages in Golang for unmarshalling is the encoding/json package. This package provides functionalities to encode and decode JSON data, making it an essential tool for working with JSON in Golang.

The Unmarshalling Process

When unmarshalling data in Golang, we typically begin by defining a Go data structure that corresponds to the structure of the serialized data. This could be a struct with fields that mirror the keys and values present in the JSON or XML data. Once we have our data structure defined, we can then use the unmarshalling functions provided by the encoding packages to convert the serialized data into our Go data structure.

For example, if we have a JSON response from an API endpoint, we can define a struct that represents the expected structure of the JSON data. Then, we can use the json.Unmarshal function to decode the JSON into an instance of our defined Go struct.

Personal Touch: My Experience

When I first encountered unmarshalling in Golang, I was amazed by the elegance of the process. Being able to seamlessly convert external data into native Go types opened up a world of possibilities for building robust and flexible applications. It allowed me to effortlessly work with JSON data from APIs and efficiently integrate it into my Go projects.

Best Practices

As with any process, there are best practices to keep in mind when working with unmarshalling in Golang. It’s crucial to ensure that the structure of the Go data type aligns with the structure of the serialized data to prevent any unexpected errors during unmarshalling. Additionally, error handling is paramount when unmarshalling data, as it allows us to gracefully handle any issues that may arise during the decoding process.


Unmarshalling in Golang is a fundamental concept that empowers developers to seamlessly work with serialized data. Whether it’s decoding JSON responses from APIs or processing XML data, unmarshalling plays a key role in building robust and efficient Golang applications.