Kotlin is a statically-typed, cross-platform, general-purpose programming language with type inference. This language is designed to interoperate with Java. Kotlin was first introduced in July 2011 by JetBrains, and in February 2012, JetBrains open-sourced this language. This language is very similar to Java and the JVM version of Kotlin’s library depends on the Java Class Library. The feature of type-inference allows its syntax to be much shorter than Java.
An interesting thing to note is that, On 7 May 2019, Google made Kotlin its preferred language for Android app developers. So, know Google has two preferred languages for Android App Developers i.e Java and Kotlin. Kotlin doesn’t mainly compete with Java, it runs side by side along with Java and can be used anywhere Java is used today. Today, many developers prefer Kotlin over Java for Android App Development including me. Today I will tell interesting things about Kotlin and most importantly how to learn Kotlin and where to learn Kotlin for better understanding and fast-paced learning.
Principles and Goals of Kotlin
Kotlin aims to be a readable, safe, interoperable, and pragmatic programming language, Confused? Okay, let me define each term and give you a summary of what each one meant.
- Readability: Readability is supported by features like data classes, infix functions, and, type inference. These features allow writing concise codes.
- Safety: Safety aims to prevent common software bugs. It is aided by many language features like nullable type which prevents null pointer exceptions.
- Pragmatism: Pragmatism is very crucial as Kotlin is for large-scale enterprise software development. Even JetBrains use it themselves to develop their own IDEs.
- Interoperability: Interoperability with Java is a major achievement of Kotlin and Java provides a necessary base for its widespread adoption in the JVM world. This allows Kotlin to work with Java side by side.
Kotlin follows the S.O.L.I.D Principles, The Full-Form of S.O.L.I.D is:
- S – Single Responsibility Principle
- O – Open-Closed Principle
- L – Liskov substitution Principle
- I– Interface segregation Principle
- D – Dependency Inversion Principle
What can you do with Kotlin:
Kotlin language has many interesting usages and comes handy in various fields. This language is quite similar to Java, so it can also handle tasks that Java could also do. So, let’s see some interesting wide usage of Kotlin in the programming world:
- Android App Development: Kotlin is the best in class language for Android app development. You can see some major apps running in the market which was made on Kotlin, like Zomato, Pinterest, Uber, etc.
- Server-Side Development: As we all know Kotlin is 100% compatible with JVM, So you can use any existing frameworks like Spring, JSF, Boot as well as Kotlin’s specific framework Ktor for server-side development.
- Desktop Development: Again as we all know Kotlin is compatible with JVM which means it can use Java UI frameworks such as JavaFX, Swing, or other as well as its specific framework like TornadoFx for Desktop Development.
Why choose Kotlin over other languages:
Kotlin comes with some exciting features which make it special if we compare it with other old languages. Lets see what Kotlin has to offer, what are its potentials, and what makes this new language so special that it seeks attentions of many developers:
- Concise: Kotlin requires much fewer codes for any specific task as compared to other languages.
- Null Safety: One of the greatest features of Kotlin is that it is a null safety language, which means it aims to eliminate the NullPointerException from the code.
- Smart Cast: Kotlin explicitly typecast immutable values and then inserts those values in its safe cast without writing manually.
- Interoperable: Kotlin can be used by Java and can easily call the Java code in a natural way.
- Compilation Time: Kotlin has much better compilation time and performance
- Extension Function: Kotlin has the support of extension functions and extension properties, which means it helps to increase the functionality of classes automatically.
- Tool-Friendly: Kotlin programs can be build using the command line as well as Java IDEs.
How to learn Kotlin in 2020:
1. Books and E-Books
There is a lot of Java language learning books available in the market which will guide you to learn Kotlin from beginners to advance. Reading books and practicing or implementing the lessons on the Java IDE will have much impact on your learning pace. There are also many E-Books which you can find online in the form of PDFs. Some E-books can be found free of cost and can be the best solution for starting as a beginner. Reading books will provide you theoretical knowledge and implementing the things learned on IDE will polish your knowledge and skills. Kotlin is somewhat similar to java so, if you are familiar with java then you need less effort in learning Kotlin. Some of those informational books are:
2. Tutorials from Websites and apps
In today’s Era Online education has become a prime source of information gaining element. There are many website and applications in the market which will help your easy understanding of the programming languages and help you to practice the coding by providing various types of materials and elements. One of the major factors to consider these websites is that it will maintain the flow of knowledge and teach you the topics sequentially. Interesting thing is that these sources are free of cost. The most important thing to mention that these websites and apps are absolutely free to use and learn. They provide in-depth knowledge of the language. Some of the top websites and apps are:
3. Online Video Lectures
Learning from graphical things has been considered far superior to the things which are just written. Seeing and learning from videos is the best way to learn any programming languages. Nowadays websites like Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity provide courses that are of superior quality and give assignments and checks the work progress regularly to maintain consistency in the flow of learning. The videos provided by them are sequential and will help you to learn python rhythmically. Some courses can also be downloaded and can also be consumed whenever you want to revise your knowledge. These contents are so rich with the knowledge that you won’t regret gaining information from these videos and assignments. I would recommend going for any one of the following courses to get a brief idea and usage of Kotlin. Some of the beneficial courses of Udemy, Coursera, and Udacity are:
- Kotlin for Beginners: Learn Programming With Kotlin
- The Complete Android Kotlin Developer Course
- The Complete Android Oreo Developer Course – Build 23 Apps!
- Kotlin for Android: Beginner to Advanced
- Kotlin for Java Developers
- The Complete Kotlin Developer Course
- Complete Kotlin development masterclass
- Kotlin for Android & Java Developers: Clean Code on Android
As I have mentioned all the ways how to learn Kotlin and where to get started. Do you agree with me? Please leave a comment. Hope you like the content and the information shared by me. If you find this post knowledgeable and learned something new and interesting today then please share this post with your friends and family members and help the Optimistic Coder to spread informational contents. Thank You.