Language from Jet Brains, the maker of the world’s best IDEs–Kotlin


Kotlin is a new programming language from Jet Brains, the maker of the world’s best IDEs. Kotlin compiles to JVM byte code or JavaScript. It is not a language you will write a kernel in. It is of greatest interest to people who work with Java today, although it could appeal to all programmers who use a garbage collected run time, including people who currently use Scala, Go, Python, Ruby and JavaScript.

Beyond Android, I think Kotlin is highly suitable for enterprise Java shops. If you spend all day working on big Java code bases at even bigger companies, you should investigate Kotlin because:

  • It has strong commercial support from an established company. Jet Brains is committed to the project, has a large and highly competent team working on it, has a stable business model and is even converting parts of their own flagship product to use it. Kotlin is unlikely to be abandoned any time soon.
  • Adopting Kotlin is low risk: it can be trialed in a small part of your code base by one or two enthusiastic team members without disrupting the rest of your project: Kotlin classes export a Java API that looks identical to that of regular Java code.
  • Because Kotlin focuses on readable syntax, code reviews are not a problem: they can still be done by team members who aren’t familiar with the language.
  • It targets Java 6, so you can use it even if your deployment makes upgrading to a newer JVM difficult.

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