Kotlin was formed as an idea in 2011 at JetBrains - who famously created IntelliJ IDE which later became the basis for Android apps. By this time, Java was popular and in use, but the engineers at JetBrains wanted to create an alternative language that filled in the gaps of limitations that Java had. However, this new language had to 100% be compatible with Java. They attempted to create a Java-compatible language called Scala but it was too slow to be used effectively, so they created their own language. The first released version was in 2016.
Kotlin is an open-source statically-typed programming language that supports both object-oriented and functional programming. It has replaced Java in many projects where it was more appropriate to use. Kotlin is mainly used in Android development and the official Android IDE supports it completely. It is also used in back-end web development, full-stack web development, data science, and multi-platform mobile development.
Here are some of the ways that Kotlin can be used by companies:
Android app development: Kotlin is a popular choice for Android app development, as it is fully compatible with the Android platform and offers several advantages over Java, such as null safety and better type inference. Many companies have adopted Kotlin for their Android app development, including Google, Pinterest, and Square.
Server-side development: Kotlin can also be used for server-side development, either as a replacement for Java or alongside it. Kotlin has good interoperability with Java, and it has several web frameworks, such as Ktor and Spring Boot, that make it easy to build web applications and APIs.
Desktop application development: Kotlin can be used to build desktop applications, such as tools or utilities, using the JavaFX library or other UI frameworks. Kotlin has good support for functional programming, which can make it easier to write concise and maintainable desktop applications.
Game development: Kotlin can be used to build games, either for the JVM or for other platforms, such as Android or iOS. Kotlin has several game development libraries, such as KTX and LibGDX, that can help developers build games more efficiently.
Machine learning: Kotlin is also being used in machine learning projects, thanks to libraries like KotlinDL and Koma, which provide support for neural networks and numerical computing.
Java has been around for more than two decades so it is very widely used, but the good thing for Kotlin which runs on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) is that it is interpolable with Java. Every library, framework, or tool that works with Java will work with Kotlin, expanding the resources further. Now that the two are compared, Kotlin is more concise than Java, it is easier to maintain, easier to read, and easier to apply changes to when needed. Other reasons developers and businesses may choose Kotlin include the strong community, no runtime overhead, safety when developing, and more!