I’ve Caught the Kotlin Bug…

Although my primary development language of recent years has been Java I have been itching to get to a more modern language.  Yes, Oracle made lots of good strides with Java 8 but they are still falling woefully behind.  As a former heavy .NET developer the open sourcing of C# and making it truly cross platform was my original go-to choice.  You can see that in articles I wrote here and contributions I made to Sharpen to get it working under Java 8, with the new date types etc.  Throughout my experiments with C# I refused to go back to Windows, and sadly while there have been great strides the bottom line is that Linux is a third rate supported platform compared to Windows and the not quite so poorly treated macOS.  But what alternative do I have?  The answer came with the increased news coverage, dare I say hype, around Kotlin.  This was a language I looked at notionally before but now I did a deep dive and I have to say I am really liking it.

I intend to do a whole Java vs. Kotlin vs. C# article eventually but at this point I’ve done little piker projects to prove I can do everything I need in it: build a command line tool, built a Spring Boot REST service app, etc.  I had some very good initial experiences through those exercises.  From there I decided to try it on a small greenfield real world project, and my experiences were even better still.  The language feels as modern an C# but with a level of conciseness that even it lacks.  I’m already using capabilities in Kotlin like Extension Methods that were exactly what was directing me towards C# in the first place, but because it is a JVM language I don’t have to abandon my favorite libraries and frameworks.

Before I jump in with both feet I still need to do some more experimentation though.  I want to make sure that I have real IDE support beyond IntelliJ.  I want to look at some performance values.  Lastly I want someone familiar with Java to try to pick it up to see if the transition is as easy as I thought it was.  However this is the most excited I’ve been about a new language in a long time, so I’m hoping for some very positive motion on those fronts.

Picture of Me (Hank)


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