I just started learning Go. To start playing with it, I've implemented the fast power algorithm:

Any suggestions or criticisms regarding the coding style?

package main

import (

func main() {
    result, ok := fast_power(2, 4)
    if ok != nil {
        fmt.Println("Something went wrong", ok)

func fast_power(n uint32, power int) (uint32, error) {

    if power < 0 && math.Floor(float64(power)) == float64(power) {
        return uint32(math.NaN()), errors.New("Power must be a positive integer or zero")

    if power == 0 {
        return 1, nil

    var factor uint32
    var result uint32

    mul := func(v uint32) {
        if result == 0 {
            result = v
        } else {
            result *= v

    for factor = n; power > 0; power, factor = power>>1, factor*factor {
        if power&1 == 1 {

    return result, nil

If an error type is returned, then the variable you're assigning it to, usually is called err or something similar. An example is shown here.

If instead, a bool type is returned, which is true upon success, then it is called ok. An example is shown here.

You might know that your fast_power function doesn't like getting negative power values, but since I can easily compute 5^(-2), I'm sure there'll be someone who will try to do so with your function. I suggest you document that as well (by means of comments), and not just by throwing an error.


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