Kotlin is an open-source programming language developed by JetBrains. Google also crowned Kotlin as the standard IDE for android development. In this tutorial on What is Kotlin, you will learn about Kotlin in detail.
Why Do You Learn the Kotlin Language?
Kotlin is one of the fastest-growing and widely used programming languages. Kotlin brings together the best object-oriented and functional programming features. Software developers across the globe prefer the Kotlin language for various projects. It is a very easy and friendly language as well. It is quite easy to maintain and debug this language, so it is a good language to start with.
Google announced Kotlin language as an official language for developing android applications in May 2017. After the announcement, the jobs for Kotlin increased in large numbers; since then, the job opportunities for Kotlin have doubled every three months as per Dice. The demand for Kotlin is on the rise. Google, Netflix, Pinterest are some of the companies using Kotlin.
What Is Kotlin?
Kotlin is a general-purpose, statically typed programming language developed by Jet Brains. It has both the features of object-oriented programming and functional programming. Kotlin is interoperable with Java which means both languages can share and use the information. Like the java compiler, the Kotlin compiler also generates the byte code, which can run on JVM.
Kotlin is widely used to develop server-side applications, android applications, multiplatform mobile development, and much more. It is a kind of Java with some added features; even the java libraries can also be used in the Kotlin project. Although Java is a really cool language, the developers of Kotlin focused more on simplifying the code and increasing transparency.
History of Kotlin
- The development of the Kotlin language was announced in the year 2011.
- Then in the year 2012, Kotlin’s first web demo was released along with a new logo and became an open-source language.
- In 2014, Kotlinlang.org was released along with some features to increase interoperability with Java and in 2015, it added some new features like companion objects, multiple constructors, etc.
- In 2016, Kotlin 1.0 version was released, which was developed by Jet Brains in Russia. The reason for developing Kotlin language was the developers of Jet Brains were fed up with the repetitive code, so they wanted a much more modern language, but the problem was most of their codes was already written in Java, and switching to some other language would create a bigger headache for them. So the team decided to create a language that is compatible with Java and with all the features they wanted.
Now moving on to features of Kotlin.
Features of Kotlin
There are numerous features of the Kotlin language, some of them are as follows:
- Kotlin language can be used on multiple platforms, which reduces the time spent on writing and maintaining the code on different platforms. It doesn’t depend on the virtual machine on the target platform.
- Kotlin has some modern features like null safety, which is a feature to reduce the problems associated with null references. Features like the Lambda function (anonymous function) and Smart casts (used for tacking conditions inside if expression) are supported by Kotlin.
- In Kotlin language, there are many extensions that allow adding the functionality without inheriting from the class using no decorative pattern. This feature makes the code easy to maintain and read.
- In Kotlin, functions can be passed as parameters to the function, which means the function can act as a variable, and just like the variable, it can also be passed. It is also known as a higher-order function. Its functionality does two things: first, take functions as parameters, and second, return a function.
- Kotlin is compatible with Java, it is fully interoperable with Java, and you can convert the Java file to the Kotlin file with just a script. Also, it works on JVM, and java libraries work fine on Kotlin.
- Kotlin has a data class. A data class is a class that does not perform any operation and only contains a state. The advantage of this class is that it provides self-generated code and avoids the implementation of methods within the class.
Uses of Kotlin
- Web development: Kotlin is used for Web Development purposes; it is compatible with Java and much easier than Java. Also, Kotlin works fine with spring and some other frameworks, which makes it an easy replacement for Java when it comes to web development.
- Data Science: Kotlin is also used in Data Science because of its features like null safety, statically typed, maintainable code, and is a language that runs on JVM, making Kotlin a good choice for working with the data.
- Android development: Kotlin is used for Android Development purposes. After Google announced Kotlin as the first-class language, the users' interest in the Kotlin language elevated to a great extent, which created a large community of android developers going for Kotlin. The language allows the developers to write more expressive and concise code and its interoperability with Java is one of the main attractions to choose this language. With Google's statement, the android developers and app development companies started opting for the Kotlin language.
Now, look at the top Companies using the Kotlin language.
Companies Using the Kotlin Language
- Airbnb, an American company that operates an online marketplace for lodging and homestays to vacation rentals, also uses Kotlin language for their android framework (MvRx) for a seamless experience.
- Google widely uses the Kotlin language; not only have they declared it as first-class programming, but they also use it in their production code. Google also implemented Kotlin in more than 60 applications such as Google Homes, Google Maps, Google Drive, Google Pay, Google Sheets, etc.
- Zomato, India’s largest food delivery company also uses Kotlin for the android app, which has helped them reduce the code lines and made the code a lot more concise.
- The world’s leading streaming service Netflix used the Kotlin language to rebuild their UI player for the android app of Netflix.
- Uber, the American mobility company that provides services like food delivery, ride-hailing, package delivery, couriers, etc., uses Kotlin language because of its popularity for android development and its interoperable nature with Java.
So these were some Companies using the Kotin language.
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In this tutorial on what is Kotlin, you looked at the importance of the Kotlin language. You also explored what Kotlin is, and the history of the Kotlin language. You also learned about the features of the Kotlin language, its uses, and the companies that use the Kotlin language.
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Do you have any questions regarding this tutorial on what is Kotlin? If you do, then put them in the comments section. We’ll help you solve your queries. To learn more about Kotlin, click on the following link: What is Kotlin?