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Should you migrate from Java to Kotlin?


Android vs IOS

Whenever we think about Android app development, we immediately think of JavaScript language. Kotlin is the new programming language for Android app development. What are the benefits of Kotlin? Let’s understand why should we migrate from Java to Kotlin?

JavaScript is the most widely used language for Android development. It doesn’t mean that JavaScript is your only option. Kotlin v1.0  - a sophisticated programming language was released on 15th February, 2016 as an alternative to JavaScript for Android app development. Kotlin is developed by JetBrains. In May, 2017 Google in “I/O 2017 Developer conference” announced that it will officially support Kotlin for Android App Development Process.  

Kotlin is becoming popular among developers because of its clear language design and amazing features. Kotlin is the fastest-growing programming language. Kotlin language has many similarities with the JavaScript structure like it is object-oriented and designed to solve similar problems that JavaScript solves. Moreover, using Java code with Kotlin is much easier as Kotlin provides interoperability with it. Learning Kotlin will not be tough for developers already having expertise in JavaScript.

If you have heard many good things about Kotlin and you are thinking about switching to Kotlin instead of Java, then you are in the right place. In this article, we have covered the benefits of Kotlin. According to Udemy, Kotlin learners are increasing rapidly. According to a survey of Udemy, Kotlin has been considered one of the hot tech skill for 2018.

Who is using Kotlin?

Kotlin has been adopted by many prominent apps such as Pinterest, Evernote, Coursera, Uber, Kick starter and Trello. Apart from all these -  Gradle, Corda, Spring by Pivotal, Basecamp 3, Twidere for Twitter, Shadowsocks, Simple calendar, and Square started considering Kotlin rather than JavaScript.

There are some amazing benefits provided by Kotlin which will intrigue you to choose Kotlin over JavaScript:

1 Code maintainability

Kotlin is more concise than JavaScript. Kotlin solves same problems as JavaScript solves but with fewer lines of code. Due to Kotlin - computer engineers can write, read, maintain, and change the code effectively. Kotlin provides many features such as - type interface, data classes, smart casts, null safety, extension functions and properties. Kotlin supports Single Expression Functions which enable implementing one-line methods on a single line of code.

2 Kotlin is safer than Java

Kotlin is a null-safe programming language. Null Pointer Exception is the major problem in the designing of a language. Therefore, Kotlin’s aim was to get rid of all null pointer exceptions. That is why Kotlin started providing Nullable types. Kotlin prevents common programming mistakes by effective design which leads to fewer system failures. Kotlin also helps developers to think about potential problems with their code specifically so that developers can write robust code without any errors. With Kotlin, not only your app will work better, but it will also look better.

3 The codebase shrinks and increases in quality

To reach the deadline of a project, developers often use shortcuts in programming which slow down the future development and also reduces productivity. But with Kotlin, technical debt can be minimized. Because in Kotlin, code base shrinks and quality increases.

4 Great tooling support

Even though you don’t know anything about Kotlin, you can have a Kotlin project setup ready in less than ten minutes. The good point is all of the Android Studio’s IDE features work perfectly in Kotlin. JetBrains also offers Kotlin Android Extensions. You can even mix & match Kotlin and Java code. Once you have set up the Kotlin Plugin for Android Studio, your IDE will not have any problem compiling & running the Kotlin code. You will be able to debug without issues, do refactored codes and use the instant run. Kotlin plugins provide one effective feature to Android Studio that is – “Convert Java file to Kotlin.” While using Kotlin you don’t need to worry about constant support as JetBrains specializes in creating most used IDEs in the world. 

5 Reduced errors and bugs in the code

Fail-fast is a system which reports at its interface any condition that is likely to indicate a failure. Kotlin comes with the fail-fast system. So that bugs can be found at an earlier stage and errors can be reduced easily. Kotlin looks out for bugs and tries to avoid runtime errors. With Kotlin, you will be able to enhance the stability of Android app. It will lead to better user experience (UX).

6 Functional programming with Kotlin

Functional programming helps developers to solve many tasks more easily and accurately. Kotlin provides better support for functional programming. It includes higher-order functions, lambda expressions, operator overloading and lazy evaluation. With Kotlin, performance can be improved through inline function. JavaScript language doesn’t support inline function feature.

7 The Kotlin community

Kotlin is the new modern programming language compared to other old programming languages. That is the reason Kotlin has a smaller community. Although Kotlin Slack Channel support community is highly responsive to give answers of developers’ questions and solve their issues. Kotlin adoption is increasing day by day due to its features. Moreover, many online resources are available such as Stack Overflow questions, online tutorials, and online books to help developers to know more about Kotlin and solve their issues effectively.

8 Easy to learn

Kotlin is nothing but an enhancement to JavaScript. Kotlin is designed to be intuitive and easy to read. There are many online platforms available to learn about Kotlin such as Udemy, Udacity and many other platforms. Udacity offers Kotlin for android developers. And Udemy provides a detailed course of Kotlin for android developers. Businesses are also starting to invest their money, time and efforts to give training of Kotlin to their employees. To keep up with app development trends, developers must have to learn advanced concepts of Kotlin and learn to write effective code in Kotlin. Even many companies have started asking for Kotlin expertise in their job offers. Therefore, if you haven’t considered learning Kotlin then you better start now.

9 Easy maintainability

Kotlin is supported by Android Studio and other SDK tools. Due to the familiar toolkit supported in Kotlin - developers’ productivity has increased. Moreover, Kotlin offers clear and compact database. Therefore, it becomes easier to maintain code and solve issues and errors of code. Besides, you can have Kotlin and Java code existing side by side in the same project and everything will compile perfectly.

Gradually Kotlin is starting to become popular among Android developers. There are other benefits of developing Android apps with Kotlin such as Lambda expressions, unchecked exceptions etc. Moreover, due to Google’s announcement, at present Kotlin is an official language for Android app development.

To keep up with the web development industry, you need to think about introducing Kotlin at your company. A good way to start is to introduce Kotlin in non - business - critical code. So that developers can have enough evaluation time and also gain experience in Kotlin with few test cases.

If you want to start learning Kotlin right away then we suggest you read a book named – Kotlin in Action and The book: Kotlin for Android Developers. These books will teach you to develop an Android app using Kotlin as the main language. There are variety of resources available online to learn more about Kotlin.

Are you excited about learning Kotlin? Start learning Kotline online and get to the next level of modern programming language.

Author Details


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Gaurav Patel

Gaurav Patel is Founder of thirstyDevs InfoTech
thirstyDevs InfoTech is a Web solutions company offering innovative web solutions. Our company focuses on providing the best web solution for our customers.




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