Tips, Tricks and Gotchas

Tips and tricks for small places. How to write efficient embedded code and avoid common mistakes.

Ensure Concurrency

TinyGo code runs on a single core, in a single thread (think GOMAXPROCS=1). Since scheduling in TinyGo is cooperative, a goroutine that never does IO or other blocking calls (f.ex. time.Sleep()) will lock the single available thread only for itself and never allow other goroutines to execute. In such cases, you can use runtime.Gosched() as a workaround.

package main

import (

func main() {

    var ops uint64 = 0
    for i := 0; i < 50; i++ {
        go func() {
            for {
                atomic.AddUint64(&ops, 1)


    opsFinal := atomic.LoadUint64(&ops)
    fmt.Println("ops:", opsFinal)

Save Memory

Use the fact slices are descriptors of array segments to save memory and avoid unnecessary allocations. Allocate once an array of maximum size you ever need and slice it in your methods to the required sizes as you go.

type MyType struct {
    // ...other fields
    buf [6]byte

func (t *MyType) SomeMethod() {
    tmpBuf := t.buf[:2] // this method needs a buffer of size 2
    // ... use the buffer

You may even find yourself having two or more slices pointing at diferent regions of the same array simultaneously, if you are careful.

buf1 := t.buf[:2]
buf2 := t.buf[2:6]

For more recipes on how to avoid or minimize allocations while working with slices, please see additional tricks section of slice tricks page.

Familiarize yourself with heap allocation concept and use it to your advantage.

Last modified January 29, 2022: tips and tricks (4d6b1c2)