What is Kotlin? |Introducing features as a development language!

There are over 200 programming languages ​​in the world, but only a handful are in daily use. Speaking of typical ones, Java is C language, and recently Python and Go are gaining popularity. Among them, do you know the relatively new programming language “Kotlin”?

In May 2017, at the Google I/O (annual conference for developers), Google officially announced that it would support Kotlin as an Android application development language, and attracted a lot of attention. Furthermore, according to the annual income ranking by programming language 2018 announced by the job search engine ” Standby ” , Kotlin is ranked 4th with an average annual income of 5.75 million yen, which is on par with Python. Although the number of job openings is small, it is a programming language that is expected to be in high demand in the future.

In this article, we will introduce the outline and features of Kotlin. If you are interested in Kotlin as a new programming language to learn, please refer to it.

Table of contents

  1. What is Kotlin?
  2. Differences between Kotlin and Scala
  3. Is Kotlin strong for adoption?

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a new programming language that appeared in 2011, after Go, developed by Google. The feature is “a statically typed object-oriented language that runs on the JVM”. The JVM is the Java Virtual Machine, and is the essential platform for running Java programs.

Java is a programming language that was born in 1995 and has a history of about 25 years, and is still the most used in the world. However, since the language used is gradually becoming obsolete, there is a drawback that programs tend to be verbose and it is difficult to ensure safety. Languages ​​will emerge that work and are compatible with Java. By the way, such a programming language is called “JVM language”.

Kotlin is a kind of so-called JVM language. Like Java, it is an object-oriented language, so you create parts such as classes and combine them to create a program. It is also different from Scala (Scala: Annual Income Ranking 2018 2nd), which boasts high popularity as a JVM language, and has its own characteristics.

By the way, the etymology of Kotlin is the territory of the Russian Federation “Kotlin Island” located in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland. Kotlin is originally a Finnish word that means “kettle”, and the Kotlin logo is also a kettle.

Differences between Kotlin and Scala

According to the FAQ page on the Kotlin official site, developer JetBrains has set the following design goals for Kotlin:

  • Compatibility with Java
  • Safer than Java
  • More complete than Java
  • Simpler than Scala

You can see that Scala, which is the same JVM language, is used as a benchmark. So what exactly is the difference between Kotlin and Scala?

First, Kotlin is an object-oriented language, while Scala is a functional programming language. A functional programming language is a language that builds functions to create programs. A representative functional programming language has “Haskell”, but Scala is a good combination of object-oriented language and functional programming language.

Both Kotlin and Scala are gaining popularity as Java alternatives because they can be written more concisely than Java and run on the JVM. However, only Kotlin is guaranteed to be compatible with Java. In other words, Kotlin is superior if you want to create simpler and more secure programs while maintaining compatibility in environments that have traditionally used Java.

Kotlin aims to evolve Java and extend its benefits, while Scala aims to become a new programming language that surpasses Java. Even if the JVM language is the same, the concept is different in the first place, so it is necessary to select the appropriate programming language according to the scene.

What can you build with Kotlin?

An example of what can be created with Kotlin is an Android application. The Android official site recommends character development in Kotlin. Major Japanese companies using Kotlin are Yahoo! (Android version of Yahoo! News app, GYAO!, etc.), LINE (Android version of LINE app, LINE LIVE app), CyberAgent (Abema, etc.), Retty, Kotlin is also used in Android apps such as Tokubai. Overseas companies such as Evernote and Netflix use Kotlin.

In addition to Android applications, there are also cases where it is used for web application development and server-side development. Compared to Java’s versatility, it still falls short of that, but it’s steadily evolving, so it can be said that it’s a programming language with a high future potential.

Is Kotlin strong for adoption?

According to the Annual Income Ranking by Programming Language 2018, the number of jobs for Kotlin is just under 1,000, which is about one-tenth compared to Python and Ruby, which boast an overwhelming number of job offers. However, there is not much difference from Go and Scala, which are gaining popularity, and the average annual income is higher than Java, so it is a programming language with a very high future.

Kotlin will continue to evolve in the future, and when the time comes to replace Java, Kotlin will explode in popularity. language. It is also recommended for programming language beginners because the learning cost is lower than in Scala.

It is a well-known fact that Android apps and web applications are in high demand, and Kotlin is good at creating them and has high compatibility with Java. Why not take this opportunity to start learning Kotlin?

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