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Kotlin for Android App Development: Why Kotlin over Java?

 
Greenhorn
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Why Kotlin?  Android Studio does Java just fine.

I ask this because I truly don't know what Kotlin is and did not google it.  Why would I learn a new language when Java works great in Android Studio?!  Is there something special about Kotlin?
 
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Hi Terry,

Your question boils down to the more general question: why would I use a different programming language?

Obviously, the answer is that it provides benefits to you -- and Kotlin has many benefits compared to Java in terms of language features, code readability, and code quality. I encourage you to take a look at Kotlin if you're interested.

That being said, if you're happy with Java, feel free to stick to it. In the end, you just need a programming language you can work with effectively. IMHO, you can work more effectively with Kotlin though once you're really familiar with it.

- Peter
 
Terry Broman
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Could you expand on you comment about working more effectively?  Convince me I need to learn yet another programming language.
 
Peter Sommerhoff
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Hi Terry,

You don't need to learn a new language ;)

However, you may be better off with it in the long run.

Here's a good high-level overview of what Kotlin offers that Java does not: https://kotlinlang.org/docs/reference/comparison-to-java.html

I also wrote an article a long time ago covering some interesting features: http://petersommerhoff.com/dev/kotlin/kotlin-for-java-devs/

- Peter
 
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Terry Broman wrote:Convince me I need to learn yet another programming language.


The book "The Pragmatic Programmer" encourages developers to grow their skills by setting a goal (p14) to "Learn at least one new language every year. Different languages solve the same problems in different ways. By learning several different approaches, you can help broaden your thinking and avoid getting stuck in a rut. Additionally, learning many languages is far easier now, thanks to the wealth of freely available software on the Internet (see page 267)."

It's a lofty goal. I've tried to pick up new languages as often as I can but it's more like every two years or so. In addition to using Java, Groovy, Scala, and Clojure at work, over the years, I've also learned Go, Rust, Elm, and Kotlin, and a bit of Ruby and SML -- via online courses and tutorials. I highly recommend reading that book and trying to follow its advice (it covers a total of eight goals across pages 14 & 15).
 
With a little knowledge, a cast iron skillet is non-stick and lasts a lifetime.
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