Are you a developer wondering what and how to add to your skillset in 2023? Then, let us introduce you to Kotlin. This programming language has quickly risen to become one of the most popular ones and is widely used in the development of Android applications. Last year, it was ranked 12th on the PYPL chart, with a market share of 1.57%. JetBrains created Kotlin in 2011 and it has been approved by Google as a first-class programming language for Android app development.
In this article, we will explore the reasons why you should consider learning Kotlin in 2023.
What is Kotlin?
Developed by JetBrains in 2011, it is an object-oriented and functional programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It was designed to address some of the limitations of Java and has quickly gained popularity among developers due to its clean syntax, interoperability with Java, and versatility.
Why do people love Kotlin?
In 2021, around 5 million people used Kotlin. With its focus on meeting the needs of actual developers, it has always been and will continue to be a modern language in the field. It is increasingly being used in many emerging industries, such as data science, education, server-side, cloud, and mobile development. But why? Here are the reasons why developers love using Kotlin:
- Easy to learn
- Concise and readable
- Support of various IDEs and SDK tools
- Stable and compact codebase
- Career prospects
Easy to Learn
One of the biggest advantages is that it is easy to learn. The language has a simple and intuitive syntax that makes it easy for developers to pick up and start using. Additionally, it comes with a vast library of resources and support from the developer community, making it easy for developers to find the resources they need to learn and master the language.
Concise and Readable
Kotlin places a strong emphasis on readability, which is much appreciated in the industry whether it is for web or mobile app development. For developers, it provides a vast toolbox from which you can choose to write expressive code.
With such a rich list of available features, it is impossible to list them all. However, here are some of the most notable qualities that make it so unique:
- Expression functions
- Extension functions
- Infix functions
- Data classes
- When expressions
- Operator overloading
Support of Various IDEs and SDK Tools
Kotlin is compatible with various integrated development environments (IDEs) and software development kits (SDKs). This makes it easy for developers to integrate the language into their existing workflows and tools seamlessly. They can actually use popular IDEs like Android Studio, Eclipse, and IntelliJ IDEA, among others.
Stable and Compact Codebase
Kotlin is known for its stable and compact codebase. The language’s design encourages developers to write concise and readable code, which makes it easier to maintain and modify over time. Additionally, it comes with robust error handling and null safety features that help developers avoid common programming errors.
Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, which means that developers can easily use them both in the same codebase. This interoperability allows developers to use the language to write new code and seamlessly integrate it with existing Java code.
Yes, that’s correct. A multiplatform language, which means that developers can use it to write code for various platforms, including Android, iOS, and the web. This multi-platform capability enables developers to write and share code between different platforms, reducing the amount of time and effort required to build apps for multiple platforms.
Finally, learning Kotlin can also improve your career prospects as a developer. With its increasing popularity and the demand for developers who can use it, adding such a rare and in-demand beast to your skillset can help you stand out in a crowded job market. Additionally, companies are beginning to spend money on Kotlin training for their employees, which is only positive news.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using Kotlin
While Kotlin has many advantages, it is not without its drawbacks.
One of its disadvantages is that it may not be the best choice for developing iOS applications, although it can be adapted for use on iOS platforms. Additionally, since it is a relatively new language, finding experienced developers proficient enough to work with it can be challenging.
Despite these limitations, the language offers numerous benefits that make it a worthwhile investment for developers. Numerous companies, like Google, have successfully used it in their projects, demonstrating its versatility and effectiveness in real-world scenarios:
Pinterest has already implemented it in new features of their Android app. Basecamp is another great example since 100% of the code for their Android app has been written in Kotlin. And let’s not forget Trello, whose production code includes some elements of the language as well.
- More concise and safer than Java, making it faster and easier to write code.
- Interoperable with Java, which means that developers can use existing Java code in Kotlin projects.
- Supports both object-oriented and functional programming paradigms.
- Excellent support for various IDEs and SDKs, making it easy to use.
- Multiplatform capability, making it a very versatile language.
- Not particularly suitable for developing iOS applications, although it can be adapted.
- A relatively new language, which means that there may be a shortage of developers who are proficient in it.
- Approaches visibility modifiers differently than Java and does not support package-private.
Is There a Future for Kotlin?
The reasons mentioned above make Kotlin a valuable addition to any developer’s skill set. In 2023, it remains one of the most promising programming languages, and its popularity is expected to grow even further. Here are some of the main points proving that the language has a bright future ahead.
Firstly, its multi-platform capability is a significant advantage for developers who work on various fronts. With Kotlin multiplatform, developers can write codes once and run them on multiple platforms, including Android, iOS, Web, and Desktop. This feature significantly reduces development time and costs, making the language a favorite for many developers.
Secondly, it is an object-oriented and functional programming language, which makes it highly versatile. Developers can use it to write both structured and object-oriented code, which is an excellent advantage when working on large projects.
Thirdly, it is designed to work seamlessly with Java. It can compile and run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), making it an excellent choice for developers who want to migrate their existing Java projects to Kotlin. Also, thanks to its highly interoperable nature with Java, developers are allowed to use Java libraries and frameworks in their Kotlin projects.
Finally, one of the main contributors to that bright future is a vibrant community of developers who are continually updating the language and its libraries. This community provides resources, support, and tools that make development easy and enjoyable.
In conclusion, if you are considering learning a new programming language in 2023, Kotlin is an excellent choice. With its easy-to-learn syntax, multi-platform capability, and compatibility with Java, it is as versatile as they come and can be used in a wide range of applications. Whether you are developing Android apps or working on multi-platform projects, it is considered the most reliable by experts in the industry.
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