Despite only being around for 13 years, Kotlin has made quite a splash. Attracting large companies to adopt it as their primary programming language, getting Google on side to crown it the official Android app language and taking on the established giants such as Java.
That’s why it’s no surprise that an increasing number of companies are making the move to Kotlin for their development needs. But is it a passing trend or will we see more companies making the move?
What makes Kotlin so great?
When it comes to Android app development there’s no doubting that Kotlin is the golden child. It’s easy to use, reduces errors, and has a huge community of support so it’s easy to understand why it’s had such a boost in popularity. (If you want to dig deeper into Kotlin’s functionality check out our previous blog.)
What’s clear is that Kotlin has firmly established itself as the language of choice for Android app development, and is starting to spread its wings even further.
Who’s made the switch already?
A whole myriad of companies have already made the switch, with Google explaining their support for Kotlin is because it’s more efficient, produces safer code and is 100% interoperable with Java. Not only that but back in May 2017 it announced Kotlin as the official Android development app.
Since then multinational companies such as Netflix, Uber, Twitter, Pinterest and Trello have all switched to Kotlin. At the end of 2022 it was announced that Meta is moving its Android apps away from Java to Kotlin. Their move isn’t a small one, with thousands of developers and a multi-year effort to convert their apps. The scale of Meta is a milestone for Kotlin and could be the start of even more companies choosing to shift allegiances.
Why switch and what are the alternatives?
With the rise of mobile first technology it’s no surprise that many businesses are prioritising mobile and app development. Kickstarter and Uber migrated to Kotlin for that very reason.
The second reason why bigger companies are deflecting to Kotlin is for its flexibility. Both Evernote and Trello cited its adaptability and flexibility as primary reasons for switching to Kotlin for their development needs.
Its scalability, stability, security and overall performance often trump Java and are a real draw for many when evaluating their programming languages.
For the most part when evaluating which language to use, it comes down to Kotlin vs Java. Both are strong contenders and both have their advantages and disadvantages. But there’s a definite shift away from Java with more businesses embracing the flexible, speedy nature of Kotlin.
Let’s take a look at why that might be.
A highly established programming language, Java has history. It works on pretty much any device, operating system and server as well as JVM. It’s packed with features, experience and ways of working that just make sense.
● It’s open source
● It’s community driven
● It’s easy to learn
● It’s statically typed
● It’s object-orientated
● It supports functional programming
And that’s just some of its advantages. But for some that’s no longer enough.
Compared to Kotlin, Java’s coding is lengthy. What Kotlin can do in a line of code might take a paragraph in Java. The succinct nature of Kotlin, and the knock-on benefits of being more productive and quicker are definite draws compared to sticking with Java.
What’s more Kotlin’s null safety requires you to explicitly define whether a variable can be null. Preventing “the Billion dollar mistake”. You never can be too careful.
Will Kotlin replace Java? Never say never but it’s highly unlikely. There will always be those that prefer the breadth of Java, particularly when it comes to general-purpose programming where Java is still ahead of Kotlin.
What’s the future for Kotlin?
Any change in technology isn’t a decision taken lightly by a business. Switching programming language has to have clear business benefits and make life easier. Since Google’s partnership with Kotlin in 2017 it’s obvious that Kotlin has a strong future, and it’s got the backing to grow even further.
The future is bright for Kotlin, with such influential backing and a strong developer community, this agile language is sure to attract more users and challenge Java for its top programming language crown.
Are you ready to empower your development team with Kotlin? Unlock productivity, code maintainability, and scalability by adopting Kotlin as your go-to programming language. By embracing Kotlin early on, you position your company at the forefront of technology, attracting top talent and demonstrating your commitment to innovation. Speak to our Kotlin experts today about starting your digital transformation
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