Go Time – Episode #284

Gophers Say! GopherCon EU 2023

Elena + Björn vs Alice + Mohammed

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Our award winning worthy survey game show is back, this time Mat Ryer hosts it live on stage at GopherCon Europe 2023!

Elena Grahovac joins forces with Björn Rabenstein to battle it out with Alice Merrick & Mohammed S. Al Sahaf. Let’s see who can better guess what the GopherCon Europe gophers had to say!



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1 00:00 It's Go Time!
2 00:32 The rules
3 01:59 Mohammed Sahaf
4 02:32 Alice Merrick
5 03:04 Elena Grahovac
6 03:34 Björn Rabenstein
7 04:09 Round 1
8 07:39 Round 2
9 11:19 Round 3
10 14:23 Round 4
11 18:57 Round 5
12 23:32 Outro


📝 Edit Transcript


Play the audio to listen along while you enjoy the transcript. 🎧

Okay, please welcome to the stage our panelists, our game players. Okay, we’re gonna meet our players… Okay, so we’re gonna play a game called Gophers Say, and I’ll explain the rules very quickly… So we surveyed our GopherCon Europe audience, and this is you lot, and we’ve got loads of answers, so this is really great. We normally only ask for 100, but we got way more than that… So thank you so much for this.

Our players here are going to try and guess the top answers. So in each round, we’re going to ask each team to try and pick the top answer. Whoever gets the highest one takes control of the board; they then get the opportunity to fill in the rest of the answers. If they get one wrong, they lose a life, and they only have three lives in each round. And if they lose all of their lives, the other team has a chance to steal, and they only need to get one of them right to steal all the points. So that’s kind of really exciting when that happens, if that happens. We’ll see.

There is no conferring, team, unless you’re planning a heist and doing the steal; then you’re allowed to confer. But otherwise no conferring; and if you confer, you might lose a life, in the game. Mohammed, perhaps you could give us a little intro, tell us about yourself.

Alright, so I’m a product manager by day. I don’t code during my day job. This is just my hobby on the side… And I’ve been a gopher since 2014. I’m still transitioning into my gopher shape.

Welcome. Great to have you here. Mohammed, everybody. [applause] Alice.

Yeah, I’m Alice. I’m a user experience researcher on the Go team. I’ve been on the Go team for about three years. I’m most famous for creating the cryptocurrency, the gopher coin. Just kidding. I run the Go developer survey. And if you’ve taken the Go developer survey, you may have seen a question that asked you “Given a number of gopher coins, how you would spend them?” That’s me.

Thank you very much. Alice, everybody. [applause] And we also have Elena here.

Hello, hello. So my name is Elena. Just like Mohammed, I’ve been also writing Go since 2014. I’ve worked for FerretDB and a fun fact about me is that in 2014 I was also a podcast co-host, and our podcast was also about Go, but it doesn’t exist anymore, so thanks to Go Time for that opportunity to be on the podcast again.

Pleasure. Yes. Excellent. Elena, everybody. Welcome. [applause] And last but not least, Björn.

Hi. I’m Björn. I work for the company known as the company Mat Ryer works for. That’s the new thing now, right?

No. [laughs] Okay, it’s called Grafana Labs. I have been using Gophers longer, since 2013, more or less… And I mostly did this for doing Prometheus stuff.

Brilliant. Thank you. Björn, everybody. [applause] Okay, let’s get into it. We’re gonna play round one of Gophers Say. Cool. Okay, round one. Okay, so we’re gonna start with Alice. Alice, you get to guess for the first question. The first question is “Which Go keyword do you use the most?” What do you think? What’s your guess?

Geez, I’ve never used a Go keyword…

No, you avoid them, don’t you?

Yeah… Does func qualify? Or var?

Well, remember, it’s not about right or wrong here, it’s about what did the audience say.

Okay, let’s go with func.

Func. Let’s see if it’s on the board. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, it’s on the board, and it’s the top answer. So that means you don’t even get a chance to do this, you’ve taken control of the board… So you’ve got three lives; now we’re just looking for the other answers. Clean up. It’s Mohammed’s turn next.

I’m going to guess var.

Var. Gophers say? [win alert] Yep, definitely there. It was the fifth answer, and it gets you five points. By the way, func got 63 points there, so that’s very cool. Okay, Alice.

Import. Tentative… Gophers say… [fail alert] Nobody imports any packages.

Maybe they’re very secure packages.

Exactly. So you lose a life, unfortunately. And just as a quick aside, in case anyone hasn’t noticed… The sound effects are being played twice. [laughter] Okay, you’ve got two lives left though still, so Mohammed, why don’t you have a go?

[05:47] Package. Oh, surely… Right? Well, let’s see. Gophers say… [fail alert] No one uses package somehow. Definitely not. Okay, so you’ve lost two lives… Alice, find a life. You’ve got three to get.

Main. Main. Okay, let’s see. Gophers say… [fail alert] No, I’m sorry. They definitely don’t do main. Okay, so now you have a chance to steal. So you’re allowed to confer. If you could confer into the microphone, that would be great for the podcast.

I mean, my first two guesses were func and var as well. I would think because the language is called Go, that many people just say go.

I totally agree.

Okay, that’s our guess.

Alright, they’re saying go. Let’s find out if they’re going to steal these points or not. Gophers say… [fail alert] No, I’m afraid not. So let’s see what the answers were. So the top answer was func, with 63 points. The second answer, of course, is if, which would have got you 29 points. In at number three, for; it would have got you 14 points. And the fourth one was return, which would have got you seven points. Var, of course, at number five there, with five points. So well done to Team One, who - you have now 68 points. [applause]

Yeah, some interesting runners up here… Type, defer, test and string, were others that were mentioned there. So it’s interesting, not all of these are Go keywords, but as I said, you’re not trying to get the right answer, you’re trying to get into the minds of these people. Okay, let’s go on to round two. This time - Elena we’ll go to you. Let’s have a guess. The question is, “Which Go keyword do you use the least?”

Okay, maybe go is finally here… [laughter]

Okay, you’re saying go. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, it is there. It’s in at number three. And that gets you 13 points. Congrats. Okay, Alice and Mo, you have to have a guess, because you can still get a higher score here and take control of the board. Which Go keyword do you use the least? You’re not allowed to confer now. You’re not stealing. Go on. Mohammed, what do you think?

Init. Gophers say… [fail alert] No, init’s not there. That means, Elena and Björn, you steal the board. It’s time for you to see if you can keep finishing the guessing for “Which Go keyword do you use the least?” What did our audience say? Björn.

I have one thing in mind, I just have to remember…

That’s just Björn’s brain working. It’s clockwork.

Defer. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, it’s in there. People are not deferring. That gets you six points. That was in at number five there. Okay, Elena.

Okay, if we have Go here, then maybe chan, for channels.

Maybe chan for channels? Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, it’s on the board, in at number six. It gets you six lovely points. Six people said that. Björn. He’s crashed. [laughter]

Else. Oh, I love that answer. [win alert] Yes, indeed. At number four. It gets you seven points. This is going well. Elena, what do you think?


Default. Okay, gophers say… [fail alert] No. So you lose a life. But that’s just one life you’ve lost. You have now still two lives, so don’t worry. Björn, which Go keyword do you use the least? What did our audience say?

Continue. Gophers say? [fail alert] No, I’m afraid not. You have one life left, so don’t worry. Elena, what do you think?

[10:03] Break? Gophers say… [fail alert] No, they didn’t say that, and that is your three lives up… So now, team one get to have a go at guessing. And all you have to do is get one of these remaining answers, and you take away all of the points. You’re allowed to confer, because this is a steal.

No, we actually have something…

Yeah. Well, you’re still allowed to confer.

Do you know what [unintelligible 00:10:25.09] says? Go to is harmful? Go to.

Oh, let’s see… You say go to. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, the top answer. [applause] And you steal the board. Okay, brilliant. Now, we did have another – one of the other interesting answers to this question… Somebody just wrote in “The ones that I don’t know that they exist.” But the rest of the board here, we had at number one “go to”. That got you 38 points. “Fall through” at number two, with 21 points. Go at 13. Else got you seven points. Defer gets you six. Chan and switch. Let’s play round three of Gophers Say! [applause]

Okay, the question is “Name one thing that most go devs value highly.” We have six top answers here. Mohammed, I’m a professional, and I know what’s going on, so it’s your turn next to guess. So see if you can get one of the answers. Name one thing that most go devs value highly.

It’s been said a lot… I think its simplicity.

Simplicity. While you say simplicity, Mohammed, gophers say… [win alert] Yes, and it is the top answer. [applause] So you keep control of the board. Alice, you get to now go.


Performance. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes. At number three performance, or speed, and that gets you eight points. By the way, simplicity got 53 points. 53 people said that. Very cool. Okay, Mohammed, what else do go devs value highly?

I don’t know. Guys, what do you value? [laughter]

I mean, you literally did all answer this…

Explicit error returns?

Okay, explicit error returns. Gophers say? [fail alert] No, no one said that, I’m afraid. You lose one point. Alice.


Oh, concurrency. What a good idea. Gophers say –

And it’s not because I heard it in the audience.

[win alert] It’s at number two there. So we’ve got the top three here. We’ve got simplicity at number one, concurrency, performance and speed. But there are three more. Mohammed, can you guess one of them? What do most Go devs value highly?

Standard library.

Ooh. The standard library. Gophers say? [fail alert] I’m afraid we do not value that. Alice.

How about ease of deployment?

Ooh, ease of deployment. Gophers say? [fail alert] I’m afraid not. And I think that’s your three lives, isn’t it? So don’t worry now, so you two get a chance to steal again… Please confer loudly into the microphone. It’s a podcast.

I would think about security…


Portability perhaps…

Yeah, portability or cross-platform support, something…

But I would guess security is more important, right? We just need to guess one. You should take the safest bet.

Right. Interesting.

I guess security is safer than – I mean, security is safe per definition. [laughter]

Okay, let’s try.

Okay, we do security.

Okay. So to steal all these points you’re saying security. Gophers say? [fail alert] No, I’m afraid not.

We’ll never score any points.

[14:01] So that means that team one gets the points, and it’s now team zero, is Elena and Björn. You have zero points I’m afraid. But team one is in the lead with 209 points. [applause]

Okay, we’re gonna go into round four. Well, before we do, I’m gonna just give you a quick overview of the board. So we had simplicity at the top, then concurrency, performance and speed, then compatibility, then stability, and then readability and clarity there as well. Good stuff.

Now, the next round is a slight twist on this… It’s the Unpopular Opinions round. [applause]

Jingle: [14:50]

Yeah, we’ve changed the theme tune to be that… [laughter] Okay, so now you have to try and get the bottom answers. Still on the board, but you’re not looking for the most popular answers, you’re looking for the least popular. And the question is, “Which day of the week do you get the least coding done?” There’s so many negatives in this, it’s amazing. Which day of the week do you get the least coding done? And we’re looking for the unpopular answers. So Alice, you’re gonna have a guest first.


Wednesday. Gophers say? [win alert] Yes, it’s on the board. It’s at the bottom position, which gets you 30 points. That is the best answer. [applause]

So you do keep control of the board again. Yes, sorry, in this one we’re going to alternate here. So we’re going to just keep guessing. There’s no control. Okay, so Björn, take a guess.

Thursday. Gophers say? [fail alert] No. What does that mean? What does that mean? Okay.

How many days of the week are you coding?

I mean, yeah, there’s only six answers here, so… Okay, Mohammed.

There are seven days in a week, and we have six answers in here.

I know.

Okay, so this is like a double double-negative in here?

I know it is… But remember, it has to get five or more points in order to show up on the board. So it’s possible that someone just – they didn’t just say it. No conferring… Okay, Mohammed.

Monday. Gophers say? [win alert] Yes, that’s in position two. 29 people said that, but it means you get 10 points, because it’s quite popular… But still pretty good. Okay, Elena.

Okay, so which days are left…? Maybe Tuesday?

Maybe Tuesday. Gophers say? [win alert] Yes, and that’s in position five. 11 people said it, and that gets you there for 25 points. Pretty cool. Alice.


Saturday. Gophers say? [win alert] Yes. In at number four there, getting you 20 points. 12 people said that, Saturday. Björn. Do you know any more days?

So kind of Thursday was the best answer… It was so good that it wasn’t on the board, right? Okay, now I get it. Okay, what is missing…? [laughter] Okay, I’ll say Friday.

[17:56] Björn, plays a lot of games, and yes, he’s done well here. That is actually the top answer that people said, but in an unpopular round, of course, that just means you get five points. But yes, Fridays is there at the top. Right. Mohammed, can you get this final one?

Well, Sunday is supposed to be a weekend, and – but we get our most coding done on those days. And if it’s the least coding done, then… I’m gonna say Sunday.

Okay, let’s see… Gophers say? [win alert] Yes, that is the third answer there. 24 people said it, getting you 15 points. So let’s see how we’re doing on those points there. Team zero, you’re off the starting line. You’ve got 30 points. But team one, you’re really pushing into the lead here, with 284 points. It’s all to play for… [applause]

Okay, round five. This is where things can really shift. This is for double points, baby… “Ooooh!”, maybe… Yeah, it’s just an option. You don’t have to. Okay, the question is “In a word, summarize your feelings about generative AI.” In a word, summarize your feelings about generative AI. Mohammed, why don’t we go with you first? …see if you can get one of these.

Hyped. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes, six people said that. It’s in position six. That gets you 12 points, because it’s double points. But there’s plenty to beat if you want to get this. Björn, do you want to have a go?

I’m sorry?

Funny. Okay. Gophers say… [win alert] No, I’m afraid it’s quite serious, Björn. It’s not funny. That means team one steals the control of the board. Alice, see if you can guess some more of this.

Pardon? Just a groan?

Okay, did anyone write in just a groan? Gophers say… [fail alert] Okay… Yeah, I don’t know about that, Jerod. I reckon number three was probably quite – what do you think? [win alert] Okay. Yeah, number three is “Meh”, or “Unimpressed.” I think that that’s fair enough. 12 people said that, and that gets you 24 points. Okay, this is going well… Mohammed - in a word, summarize your feelings about generative AI.

Exciting. Gophers say…? [win alert] Yes. Exciting, in at number two there. Interesting or curious. 14 people said that. And that’s earning you 28 points. Alice.


Concern. You think – [win alert] Yes, they did. Concern. Yes. Number five there, scary or concerned. Nine people said that, getting you 18 points. Mohammed, there are two slots left…

Can I have a dictionary, just to check the adjectives on there?

Yeah, yeah, we’ve got loads of time. Of course you can have a dictionary. If it’s close enough, we’re quite generous. Well, I am. In a word, summarize your feelings about generative AI. There’s some more feelings…

We’re looking for the robotic feelings in here.

Yeah. Maybe you should have started there. What are they? Just like a boolean that says true? Come on, Mohammed, I have to press you for an answer.

Fearful. Okay. Gophers say… [fail alert] Yeah, we had “scary” or “concerned”. It would have been grouped into that. One life down. Two lives left. Alice?


Distrust. Gophers say? [fail alert] No. So two lives down. Okay, Mohammed? You’ve run out of feelings, haven’t you, Mohammed? And by that, I mean, you’ve stopped caring. It’s this audience, remember. We asked these people. What words did they type in when we said “In a word, summarize your feelings about generative AI.” I’m gonna have to press you for an answer… Should I time you out?

I’m out of words… Let’s go with this; it basically describes the state I’m in - speechless.

Speechless. Okay, speechless. Gophers say… [fail alert] No, I’m afraid not. And that’s your three lives up. Don’t worry. So now you have a chance to steal, and this is double points, so there’s plenty of points in this.

And we may confer, right?

You may confer. Do so now, please.

I’m tempted to say “useful” and “useless”. Probably split 50/50, or something.

Yeah, I have two options… Either challenging or useful. So because probably those are gophers, if they tried Copilot or other things, then probably they find it useful. So maybe useful.

Okay, then let’s pick useful.

Okay, so this is now to steal the points. We’re saying useful. Gophers say… [win alert] Yes. In at number four, useful or helpful. It gets you 10 points, and we double that to 20. At the top answer - does anyone have an idea? Impressive? Useless? Dangerous? Okay, the top answer was - awesome, or cool. Just literally saying it’s awesome. And 24 people said that; it would have earned you 48 points. Okay, thank you very much… Now we’re gonna go and have a look – we’ll add up all the scores. Team zero, Elena and Björn - you did very well. 132 points. Congratulations! Give it up for them! [applause]

But our winners today of Gophers Say, team one, with 284 points, Mohammed and Alice. Give it up for them! [applause] Yeah, one of the answers that didn’t make it onto the board, didn’t have enough points… One person said that is dangerous, because people don’t use their brains anymore, and tend to take over code from others that they can’t really reason about. That’s a very good point then, a good moral lesson for us all.

Thank you very much for joining us today. What fun, while we played… We’ll see you next time on Go Time. [applause]


Our transcripts are open source on GitHub. Improvements are welcome. 💚

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