If you are wondering why a certain programming language called Kotlin is creating such a buzz around town, you’ve come to the right place. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Kotlin, it is a programming language for the Java Virtual Machine and can be used anywhere Java is used (which is everywhere). What makes Kotlin special is that it has one goal – to bring together programming language features that are empirically beneficial for large-scale projects without introducing new concepts. It’s simpler than Java.
In 2017, Google added Kotlin support on Android in addition to Java. Since then, developers around the world have adopted this new language to propel their skillset. One such developer is Prasenjit Banik. Proficient in Android app development, Prasenjit, who works as a Product Support Engineer at Udaan (A B2B trade platform), made his transition from Java to Kotlin in 2018.
Java to Kotlin
Change is inevitable. Change in the 20th century is happening at a faster rate than anyone would have expected. We all have two choices, we can either adapt to the change and move forward or stay in our ways and get left behind. This can be applied to programming languages as well.
When asked about adapting to a new language, Prasenjit said, “It was a smooth transition since the learning curve was not very high. Both Java and Kotlin are quite similar. The core concepts of both the programming languages are the same.”
So what are the differences between these two? “Kotlin is more concise than Java. There are certain segments where Kotlin significantly reduces the amount of boilerplate code.”
Put simply, Kotlin as a programming language increases the level of efficiency and hence productivity for developers.
It is noteworthy that Java and Kotlin are the official languages for the Android mobile platform. A large number of Android devices including tablets and smartphones are developed on Java. That being said, it is a more verbose language than Kotlin, leading to Kotlin’s increasing popularity in mobile app development.
Kotlin’s conciseness has an impact on several development stages. It allows the author to focus on the problem at hand rather than the syntax. “There’s less code. Less code means lesser testing, fewer instances of debugging, and reduced chances of creating more bugs,” says Prasenjit.
“Also”, he says, “since there is less code, it is easier to understand what the code is doing, which makes maintenance less cumbersome”. This is what all developers strive for.
Kotlin features and productivity
There are several features of Kotlin that result in increased productivity due to its conciseness and high readability. According to Prasenjit, these features include lambda expressions, string templates, and extension functions among others. They enable faster development due to less code to write, read, and maintain and fewer errors.
With Kotlin now being one of the most loved languages in the world, it only makes sense that upcoming developers hop onto the bandwagon. We asked Prasenjit if there was a right time to start learning this language. He instantly answered, “As long as the individual learns the basics of java, they can switch to Kotlin because the fundamentals are the same. Kotlin shines when the developer wants to adapt to more of a functional style of programming.”
Therefore, to all the developers reading this, if you haven’t already done so, start learning and using Kotlin now!