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Thinking Kotlin? Here Are Top 8 Reasons To Switch To Kotlin

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As one of the most-loved programming languages outranking even established languages such as Python and JavaScript, Kotlin is fast replacing these two languages and getting adopted across the board by even people who may have only used Scala, Go or Ruby.  The fact that it is open-source and of superior quality is what makes it the stuff tech stack of top-notch companies such as Netflix, Lyft and Pinterest are made of.

If you too have been looking out for reasons to switch to Kotlin, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we will take you through the top 8 reasons to switch to Kotlin and show you why it is already included in the learning skillsets of coders:

  1. Kotlin is in demand

If the observation of ITJobsWatch is anything to go by, then we will find that in the last six months the number of jobs requiring Kotlin skills have jumped 345 places in their ranking of all IT roles. This involved around 20% of jobs listings that were only looking for Kotlin in combination with skills like AWS and Spring.

To add to this, a survey by the Realm Report declared that 2019 would be “the year of Kotlin” as per its demand among global mobile developers. The study also finds that 20% of the apps that used to be built in Java are now being built in Kotlin. Its rising popularity is also reflected in the growing call for developers with Kotlin skills in companies.  According to Glassdoor, major companies now ask for Kotlin experience as an essential skill requirement for candidates looking to land android developer jobs.

  1. Kotlin Syntax

A major reason why Kotlin continues to top the demand chart is its easy-to-read-syntax – a far cry from ghastly looking syntax born in within the stiff walls of academia. 

Programmers who are quite familiar with OOP domain are likely to find syntax Kotlin familiar and comprehensible.

Kotlin’s variable declarations is val, unlike java’s var.

Have a look at the basic syntax of Kotlin, in the following snippet below:

class Foo {

    val b: String = “b”     // val is unmodifiable

    var i: Int = 0          // var is modifiable

    fun hello() {

        val str = “Hello”

        print(“$str World”)

    }

    fun sum(x: Int, y: Int): Int {

        return x + y

    }

    fun maxOf(a: Float, b: Float) = if (a > b) a else b

}

Syntax for Streams streamlined as follow:

If we want to filter a List in Kotlin, we can do this in one line of code only:

List<String> newList = oldList.filter(s -> s.startsWith(“a”));

In contrast, the same command in Java looks comparatively more complex and lengthier to code:

List<String> newList = oldList.stream()

    .filter( s -> s.startsWith(“a”) )

    .collect(Collectors.toList());

  1. Kotlin is faster

Kotlin is an inherently compact language. It can swiftly solve several common development problems within a few lines of code.

 For example, to filter a list we can use a lambda expression as the one given below:

val positiveNumbers = list.filter { it > 0}

And for a singleton, we can simply create an object with:

object ThisIsASingleton {

 Val companyName: String = “JetBrains”

}

Katlin doesn’t affect the readability of the code by adding concise and powerful abstraction. 

This means you can write code quickly, saving up on precious time.

  1. Interoperable with Java 

It’s a huge benefit that Kotlin is 100% an interoperable language with Java, so apps that are already built in Java can be seamlessly migrated to Kotlin easily. That is precisely why there is no need to completely stop using Java—we can use both! 

Without a complete rewrite to Kotlin, we can add functionality to existing classes (even Java classes) by using Extension functions.

  1. Kotlin helps improve the quality of the app

To decrease the number of bugs and system failures, Kotlin enhances the quality of apps through “safety” features that have been designed.

It has a strong null-safety system in which variables can’t be null by default, so at compile-time, we can catch more errors.

  1. Recommended by Google for Android development

An official announcement in Google for Kotlin at Google I/O in May 2017, states: 

“Kotlin is a brilliantly designed and mature language that we believe will make Android development faster and more fun … Many, many developers have told us they love the Kotlin language. The Android community has spoken and we listened.”

Then just a year later, Google told the audience at I/O 2018: 

“35% of pro developers are using Kotlin … more and more Android development is going to Kotlin and we’re committed for the long term.”

Clearly, Kotlin seems to be one of Google’s top commitments as well as can be seen in the manner Android Studio 3.0 fully supports Kotlin development.

The ease of use is further indicated in that developers can convert between Java and Kotlin code without having to learn a new tool. It can easily be performed by a simple button click within Android Studio.

  1. Learning Kotlin

There are vast resources available to instantly learn the basic syntax and more advanced topics in Kotlin.

We can start by studying the language reference and practising some Kotlin Koans that is an interactive exercise intended to help developers to grow easily with Kotlin. 

Other resources for teaching the basics of Kotlin abound – there is a program developed in partnership with Google. You can sign up for the Kotlin Bootcamp for Programmers.  To add to this list, the Kotlin Slack channel is especially active and is repeatedly recommended by new Kotlin developers and a team that is eagerly ready to help whenever new learners counter an issue.

What’s more, there is even a community known as Kotlin developer community, it is an excellent resource to expand one’s knowledge in Kotlin and growing swiftly as a modern-day developer. 

Learning Kotlin has a plethora of benefits waiting for developers – such as easier, less to code debugging, increment in the pace of apps and productivity. So the benefits of learning Kotlin are very compelling – both in the professional and business space. 

  1. IDE Support

To get started with Kotlin, we have several options but IntelliJ is highly recommended. It comes bundled with Kotlin. It has many features that demonstrate the advantages of having the same people design language and IDE, both.

Conclusion

Despite having been created by JetBrains in 2011, Kotlin has found massive and consistent growth year-on-year in just less than a decade. Adopted by Square in 2015, and then by Android as its official language, Kotlin has gone on to find its place among students and others in the developers community. Android apps, backend/serverside applications and SDK/libraries are flooded with the use of Kotlin, a Pusher report says. Suffices to say that it is not only versatile, but easily accepted and integrated into Java. So if you have been wanting to make the switch for some time, now would be the right time to do so.

And if you’ve already made the switch to Kotlin, let us know your experience of the same. Do you use it in production, and are you satisfied with its result? Drop a comment below.

References:

 

6 Reasons Why Developers Should Learn Kotlin

https://medium.cobeisfresh.com/5-reasons-why-google-supporting-the-kotlin-programming-language-for-android-is-the-best-news-ever-e4c84be05382

https://www.techrepublic.com/article/why-kotlin-is-exploding-in-popularity-among-young-developers/

About Author: Johnny Morgan Technical writer with a keen interest in new technology and innovation areas. He focuses on web architecture, web technologies, Java/J2EE, open source, WebRTC, big data and CRM.He is also associated with Aegis Infoways which offers Python Developers Services in India .

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