An introduction to mobile development for Android: which languages to begin with? The 2nd Part
July 2, 2020
The next stage is Kotlin. Kotlin is as compatible with Java as possible, and therefore the process of learning it will be much easier and faster for you.
The Kotlin language is considered young. Although it has been around since 2011, it wasn’t until May 2019 that Google announced it a priority programming language for the Android platform. And given that it is Google that is developing Android, after this event, the popularity of Kotlin among developers is growing rapidly. Following the trends, many employers are also starting to demand knowledge of Kotlin.
In addition to being recognized by Google, Kotlin’s popularity in mobile development is due to its usability. The language is fully compatible with Java. In principle, you can even write half of the project in one language and then switch to another. The transition does not lose access to existing code, libraries, and the Android SDK.
Kotlin code is much shorter and more expressive than Java code. Everything that can be written in Java in 4-5 lines will fit into one in Kotlin. Sometimes developers want to speed up and not be as verbose as with Java.
Learning Kotlin is easy
Kotlin can be called a “sweet” addition to Java, they are really similar in many ways. Therefore, those who are already familiar with the basic language itself will need a maximum of 1–2 weeks to learn Kotlin. At the same time, you do not need to immediately use all the features of the language, you can start writing in the “Java-style” and, gradually learning new things, introduce it into your code.
So, for starters, the developers of the JetBrains language themselves advise you to turn to the official resources about Kotlin. They have libraries of materials for beginners, as well as detailed descriptions of the history of the language and the specifics of structures.
How to combine
If you know the basics of Java and already write applications in it, albeit the simplest ones, you do not need to follow the same path to learn Kotlin. You are familiar with common constructs, variables, and data types. You can start writing code very similar to Java, and then add more and more features from it as you learn Kotlin.
All in all, we offer a clear and versatile way to enter the realm of Android mobile development. The first step is learning Java with its long but traditional and understandable syntactic constructs. And after mastering them, you can start “sugar” Kotlin. This procedure will be comfortable for you.
Knowing the two most popular mobile development languages - Java and Kotlin – will give you an edge over other Android developers. As already mentioned, more and more employers are looking for developers with knowledge of Kotlin, and since knowledge of Kotlin is impossible without Java, you will only be in the black. In any case, you should learn how to write mobile applications in different languages in order to ultimately choose the one that you and your future team will like.
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