Kotlin: A modern and expressive programming language for everyone

Kotlin: A modern and expressive programming language for everyone

Are you a high school or college student with a passion for programming? Are you looking to learn a modern and expressive language yet easy to grasp and utilize? Kotlin is the perfect choice for you! While it has been around for a decade, its popularity skyrocketed in 2017, especially after being declared the preferred language for Android development in 2019. Kotlin, a robust and innovative language, is undoubtedly making waves in the developer world, and it is high time you ride this wave!

Kotlin, developed by the global software company JetBrains (along with open-source contributors), is a highly efficient and readable programming language. It can be described as 'the language developed by developers for developers', as it truly reflects the practical needs and preferences of the programming community. Kotlin is used in a variety of applications, including Android app, web, desktop, and server-side development.

With Kotlin Multiplatform technology, developers can write and maintain the same code for different platforms while retaining the flexibility and benefits of native programming. This approach reduces development time and decreases the number of bugs.

Kotlin Multiplatform applications can operate on various operating systems, such as iOS, Android, macOS, Windows, Linux, watchOS, and others. Many of the world's leading companies, including Philips, Netflix, 9GAG, Leroy Merlin, and VMWare, trust Kotlin Multiplatform in production.

Kotlin is fully interoperable with Java, meaning you write code that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) and interops with Java code. At the same time, Kotlin offers several new and unique features that make coding a more enjoyable and less frustrating experience. Kotlin stands out for its multiplatform capabilities, meaning you're not limited to the JVM – your Kotlin code can also be transpiled to JavaScript and compiled into native code. Therefore, you can use Kotlin to develop software for various platforms including Android, iOS, Windows, Linux, and the web, all with the same language. This makes Kotlin an incredibly versatile tool in the modern programming landscape.

One of Kotlin's key features is its support for null safety. In Java, null values can cause many headaches for developers, as they can lead to runtime errors and crashes if not appropriately handled.

In Kotlin, nullability is integrated into the type system, which helps shift the responsibility of handling null values from engineers to the programming language itself.

Kotlin introduces several features that make it much easier to work with null values, including a safe call operator (?) that allows you to safely access properties and methods of objects that might be null, and a not-null assertion operator (!!) that lets you explicitly declare when a variable is not null. This can help you write more reliable and robust code, with fewer errors and bugs.

Another key feature of Kotlin is its support for functional programming. Kotlin provides aconcise and expressive syntax for working with functions, including support for lambdas, higher-order functions, and function types. This can help you write more concise and expressive code, with fewer lines of code and less boilerplate.

But perhaps the most impressive thing about Kotlin is how easy it is to pick up and use, even if you're new to programming. Kotlin's syntax is designed to be intuitive and easy to read, focusing on reducing cognitive load and making code easier to understand. The language also includes features that make writing clean and maintainable code effortless, including support for data classes, extension functions, and type inferences.

Here are some code samples to show the beauty and brevity of Kotlin code:

Hello World

The code to print "Hello, World!" to the console is simple and easy to read. Unlike some other programming languages, Kotlin does not require a lot of boilerplate code to accomplish simple tasks like this.

fun main() { // define a function named "main"

    println("Hello, World!") // print the message "Hello, World!" to the console


Nullable Variables

Kotlin makes it easy to work with null values using the "?" operator. This helps avoid null reference errors that can cause crashes in other programming languages.

var name: String? = null // declare a variable named "name" of type String, which can also be null

name = "Kotlin" // assign the value "Kotlin" to the variable "name"

Extension Functions

Kotlin allows developers to add new functionality to existing classes using extension functions. This can make code more readable and easier to maintain, as it keeps related code in one place.

fun String.printMessage() { // define an extension function named "printMessage" that extends the String class

    println(this) // print the value of the string instance to the console


val message = "Hello, Kotlin!"

message.printMessage() // call the extension function "printMessage" on the variable "message"

List Processing

Kotlin's standard library includes several functions that simplify working with collections like lists. The filter function, used in the example, is a powerful tool for processing lists and selecting specific elements.

val numbers = listOf(1, 2, 3, 4, 5) // create a list of numbers

val evenNumbers = numbers.filter { it % 2 == 0 } // create a new list with only even numbers using the filter function

println(evenNumbers) // print the new list of even numbers to the console


Unleashing Kotlin's Potential and Your Programming Future

In short, Kotlin is a modern and expressive programming language perfect for anyone who wants to write clean, reliable, and maintainable code (for more information about Kotlin, please, visit kotlinlang.org). Whether you're a beginner or an experienced programmer, Kotlin has something to offer, with features that can help you write better code and enjoy programming more. So why not give Kotlin a try today?

To take your first steps in Kotlin and maximize its potential, consider enrolling in the Software, Data and Technology bachelor’s program. In the first year of studies, the CHOICE module "Development in JVM Languages" introduces students to Kotlin. Throughout this course, students will acquire practical skills in applying Kotlin to solve real-world software development challenges. Topics covered include data types, variables, and control flow, as well as functions, object-oriented programming, exception handling, collections and generics, lambdas, and higher-order functions.

For those who prefer self-study, a curated collection of Kotlin learning materials is readily available at JetBrains Academy. Dive into the world of Kotlin today ‒ your programming future awaits.


About the BSc Software, Data and Technology (SDT) program at Constructor University

The BSc Software, Data and Technology (SDT) program, designed by Constructor University in collaboration with JetBrains, equips high-achieving students with the latest insights in Software Development, Data Analysis, and Machine Learning. With strong foundational knowledge in mathematics and programming, students gain practical skills from industry professionals, ensuring success in the rapidly changing IT landscape. The program fosters a supportive community and offers opportunities for recognition through programming competitions, preparing talents to excel in various industries with the most in-demand skills.

Learn more about the program