Kotlin - A Beginner’s Guide

Published on:
March 1, 2024

Kotlin, one of the most popular new programming languages, is being prioritized by some of the world's top corporations. Since its inception in 2016, this open-source language has swiftly established itself as a major pillar in the future of development.

Kotlin, used by over 60% of Android developers, has swiftly established itself as a popular mobile programming language. So, what exactly is Kotlin?

In this MarsDevs article, let’s dig into what Kotlin is all about and why developers love it!

So, let’s get started!

Kotlin: A Definition

Kotlin: A Definition

Like a spiced-up Java, Kotlin is intended to strike the same notes as the traditional programming language while resolving all of the problems and restrictions that render it unfit for the future. At a time when efficiency is becoming increasingly crucial to global entrepreneurs, Kotlin elevates the coding experience. 

Kotlin is an open-source, statistically typed programming language that can run on any platform, including Android, JVM, JavaScript, and Native. Its unique selling point, derived from Java, is its simplicity and safety. It is also completely interoperable with Java; all Java frameworks and libraries are compatible with Kotlin, allowing the two to coexist.

Kotlin supports both object-oriented and functional techniques, making it extremely versatile. Functional programming capabilities include higher-order functions, function types, and lambdas.

As the official site puts it, “Kotlin has always been and continues to be a modern language in the industry, addressing the real needs of real developers. It is increasingly adopted in many trending fields, including mobile, web, server-side and cloud development, data science, and education.”

Kotlin vs Java

Kotlin vs Java

Kotlin accomplishes almost everything Java does, but better. It is lightweight, clearer, and simpler than Java, especially when creating data classes and callbacks. It's also safer, having inherent null safety as a key feature. 

The one evident advantage of Java over Kotlin is that it is more extensively used, with most Android documentation examples written in Java. So, for total novices, learning Java may be a smoother path. However, that is not dependent on Java being superior and hence is not a strong rationale in the long term.

Despite the desire to put them against one another, Kotlin and Java compile to bytecode, allowing them to be used together in the same project. It is why many experts feel they can coexist, at least for now.

Why is Kotlin preferred?

Lead Developer Dmitry Jemerov created Kotlin when he needed help locating the features he needed in Java. Scala, another language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), came close to his ideal, but it took too long to compile.

Jemerov envisioned a language that included all the characteristics of more recent programming languages, ran on the JVM, and compiled as quickly as Java. So, he developed his language, Kotlin.

Kotlin was created as an alternative to Java for the Android operating system. In 2019, eight years after its debut, Google agreed with Jemerov and most Android developers and proclaimed that Kotlin was the ideal language for Android app development.

Here are a few reasons why developers choose Kotlin over Java:

  • Kotlin is brief, which saves you time from creating boilerplate code in Java.
  • A script is required to convert a Java file to a Kotlin one.
  • Kotlin has no runtime overhead. Adding features to a language might result in increased overhead, which reduces efficiency. Not so for Kotlin.
  • Kotlin has a sizable community. If you need help, you may locate other developers to assist you on coding forums and social media platforms.
  • Kotlin simplifies asynchronous programming. Making network and database calls asynchronously in Java is cumbersome and uncomfortable. Kotlin's coroutines make asynchronous programming simple and fast.
  • Kotlin handles null values. A null in Java can break a program if you haven’t prepared for it. To avoid these issues, Kotlin allows you to add a simple operator to variables that may be null.
  • Kotlin is cross-platform. Kotlin can run anywhere Java runs, so you can use it to develop cross-platform programs.
  • It's simple to transition to Kotlin. Kotlin is entirely compatible with Java, so you don't have to update all your code simultaneously. You may gradually transition from an app to Kotlin.

Why Learn Kotlin?

Why Learn Kotlin?

Some will argue that Kotlin is yet to be an essential programming language. Thus, learning it today is unnecessary. Still, the direction in which progress is headed is correct. Kotlin will take precedence over Java. The good news is that if you already know Java, you'll find learning Kotlin easy.

But why should you learn it?

Modern Language

Kotlin is a new programming language that combines the finest features of imperative, object-oriented, and functional programming. It is general-purpose and multi-paradigm, with conciseness and safety among its fundamental qualities.
As developers say, “I love Kotlin because it is clean, logical, safe, fast, modern, flexible, intuitive, versatile, and sits on the shoulder of the Java giant.”

Easy to Learn

Kotlin's syntax is simple for novices but provides deep, powerful capabilities for expert programmers. It allows students to build on their existing programming knowledge. It is straightforward to understand for individuals with a Java or Python background. Kotlin's syntax is very simple to learn for iOS developers because it is built on current principles that they are already familiar with.

Great Materials

The official blog site writes, ”There is a lot of up-to-date material available to help you learn Kotlin. One of our favorite resources for learning Kotlin from scratch is “Atomic Kotlin.” Readers can see their progress while solving the tasks checked automatically within IntelliJ IDEA.”


Because Kotlin is a multiplatform language, it can now be executed on almost any device, including PCs and Macs, as well as native code. You may also save time creating and maintaining the same code for those platforms by sharing Kotlin code between them.

In addition to being the official language for Android development, Kotlin is a well-established technology for developing cross-platform mobile applications. It overcomes the drawbacks of previous popular techniques, allowing you to construct mobile apps with native performance and UIs while fully sharing the business logic.

Where is Kotlin Used?

Where is Kotlin Used?

Kotlin is widely used in the IT industry these days. It is an excellent choice for professionals in the following fields:

  • Android Development - Kotlin is currently the recommended language for Android development, and it is completely integrated into Android Studio. 
  • Develop Server-Side Apps - You can use Kotlin to create server-side apps, web services, and microservices with frameworks like Spring Boot and Ktor.
  • Multiplatform Apps - Kotlin supports JVM, Android, JavaScript, and Native, allowing you to construct multiplatform programs.
  • Highly Scalable Systems - Kotlin's qualities, such as null safety, immutability, and conciseness, make it an excellent candidate for highly scalable applications.
  • Reactive Applications - Kotlin strongly supports reactive programming using libraries such as RxKotlin and flow.
  • Polyglot Projects - Kotlin integrates easily with Java, allowing you to add Kotlin files to Java projects and vice versa. So, it's ideal for multilingual projects.

What’s new with Kotlin?

The Kotlin 2.0.0-Beta3 release is out! It focuses on the stability of the new Kotlin K2 compiler, which has been in Beta for all targets since v 1.9.20. There are additional changes to the Gradle build tool. 

The most recent versions of IntelliJ IDEA and Android Studio provide Kotlin plugins that support 2.0.0-Beta 3. You do not need to update the Kotlin plugin in your IDE. All you need to do is update your build scripts to use Kotlin 2.0.0-Beta3.

The JetBrains team is continuing to work on stabilizing the new Kotlin K2 compiler. The new Kotlin K2 compiler will significantly enhance performance, accelerate the development of new language features, unify all platforms supported by Kotlin, and provide a better architecture for multiplatform applications.


Kotlin is on track to become even more important in software development. As more developers and businesses use Kotlin, the ecosystem surrounding this strong language continues to improve and expand, giving up new possibilities and opportunities. 

Understanding how Kotlin works and the skills required to use it will allow you to maximize the potential of this flexible language and set your projects up for success. Are you looking to learn more about Kotlin? We can help! Contact us at MarsDevs, and we would be happy to help you.


  1. What is Kotlin & why use it?

Kotlin is a contemporary statically typed programming language utilized by more than 60% of professional Android developers. It improves productivity, developer happiness, and code safety.

  1. Is Kotlin the same as Java?

Java and Kotlin are two different languages. They have certain commonalities, such as common use cases (e.g., Android development), but they have distinct features and syntaxes.

  1. Why use Kotlin in Android?

Kotlin allows developers to write fewer lines of code, making Android application development faster and easier. Additionally, Kotlin's syntax is clearer, making it easier for developers to comprehend their code and what others write.

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