Unveiled by JetBrains in 2010, Kotlin is a general purpose, statically-typed programming language that runs on the Java virtual machine (JVM) that has been open source since 2012.
Because it runs on JVM, Kotlin developers can take full advantage of Java libraries and easily convert Kotlin code into Java, and Java into Kotlin.
At Google's I/O 2017 conference, it announced its support for Kotlin, meaning Java, C++ and Kotlin fully support the Android platform.
This was great news for existing Kotlin developers as it meant that their favourite programming language could now develop exciting Android apps, and move away from niggling issues they had previously had with Java and C++.
But it's even better news for devs looking to learn a new language or aspiring developers just starting out.
Why should I learn Kotlin?
For those of you wanting to get into Android development, Kotlin is a no-brainer. It is 100 percent interoperable with Java and is a fantastic language to learn.
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And because Kotlin has experienced numerous stages of development, you'll find fewer bugs and issues with it compared to other languages.
What's great about Kotlin is that it truly is a powerhouse, but equally, really easy to use. In fact, IDE plugin is super smooth and lets you use most of the programs that you can use in Java.
And because it perfectly integrates with Android Studio, you'll be able to get cracking almost immediately.
One thing that is really important to developers is the community. An online community houses reams of useful documentation, tutorials and provides a great space for chatting and troubleshooting with other developers.
How much do Kotlin developers get paid?
We shouldn't be orientated by money...however, Kotlin developers can take home a pretty healthy salary in the UK.
A Kotlin developer in the UK earns on average £65,000 per year, according to tech jobs tracking site IT Jobs Watch.
Interestingly, demand for Kotlin developers has grown hugely recently, with the number of permanent jobs advertised in the UK in the past six months increasing 1284 percent compared with the same period in 2017.
Kotlin jobs advertised jumped from 25 to 346, and while the latter is still comparatively small, it highlights a fast growing programming language.
With the official recognition from Google, this number should continue to increase.
How do I learn Kotlin?
If you're just curious about Kotlin as a career path, you should try it out, rather than taking the plunge.
Online video classes are great for developers just wanting to dip their toes in, and of course aspiring devs with little technical ability.
Sites like Udemy provide online courses that don't cost the earth and should give you a 'taster', many for under £50. Take a look at their Kotlin courses here.
Specifically, we like these courses from Udemy:
- Kotlin for Android: Beginner to Advanced
- Kotlin for Beginners: Learn Programming With Kotlin
- The Complete Android Kotlin Developer Course
Pluralsight also offers some great online courses for devs to get stuck into. We like:
Udacity also provides some excellent (and free) courses for Kotlin, including this one.
Or you could try some of the great tutorials from Kotlin.org.
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