Functions: Putting the Fun in Fundamentals

Functions are a fundamental building block of Go programming. They allow you to group a set of instructions together and give them a name, making them reusable and modular. In Go, functions are defined using the keyword func followed by the function name, a list of parameters, and then the function body.

func functionName(param1 type1, param2 type2) returnType {
    // function body
    return value

Calling Functions

If you don’t use your function, which is referred to as calling a function, then you aren’t actually getting the value or benefit of creating functions. To call a function in Go you follow this syntax:

func add(a int, b int) int {
    return a + b

fmt.Println(add(8, 10)) // this will print 18 to the terminal

Multiple Return Types

In Go, it is also possible to return multiple values from a function. This can be done by listing the return typesseparated by commas:

func multipleReturns() (int, string) {
    return 42, "Hi, there"

Calling this function uses a different style than previously mentioned. In order to call this function, you can use the “multiple assignment” feature of Go to assign the returned values to separate variables:

a, b := multipleReturns()
fmt.Println(a) // prints 42
fmt.Println(b) // prints Hi, there

Naming Multiple Returns

You can give names to the return values. This makes it a bit more readable and easier to understand the purpose of each returned value. Here’s an example:

func namedReturns() (a int, b string) {
    a = 42
    b = "Hi, there"

You can call this function in the same way as before, but now you can use the named return values instead of the order of the returned values.

x, y := namedReturns()
fmt.Println(x) // prints 42
fmt.Println(y) // prints Hi, there

Play Around

I urge you to play around with creating your own functions. See if you can create a function that returns multple values where one of the values is an error. You might have to look up the error data type on the official docs for Go. We will cover the error data types and others soon.


Go functions are a powerful tool for writing modular and reusable code. The ability to return multiple values and give them names makes it easy to write and understand the code.