Java or Kotlin: Which One Should You Learn In 2021?

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The programming language used for Android app development is one of the main factors that determine whether the project will be a success. 

For most people, Java is an easily available option and widely preferred. But after Kotlin entered the scene, many developers lost their confidence in Java, and moving to the new language seemed like the best option. 

Read on to find out the main differences between Java and Kotlin and which programming language you should learn in 2021. 

Java: pros and cons

Java is a powerful and one of the most popular languages. It works on any device, operating system, and server, and has good security measures. With a great coding base and features like reusability, creating modular applications in Java is easy. And with the use of third-party code, writing code is even easier. It is easy to handle and debug and the safety standards are high quality. 

On the other side, the syntax of Java is more difficult to grasp especially when compared to C++ or Python. There could also be issues with API design in Android and since the development is mainly test-driven, there is a higher probability for errors and bugs. Java is also slower in comparison to other languages and requires a bigger part of the memory. 

Some of the main projects built with Java are Google, Instagram, Uber, Spotify Netflix, and Airbnb. 

Kotlin: pros and cons 

Kotlin was launched by JetBrains in 2016. Today it is an official language for Android app development. Development with Kotlin takes very little time for compilation, and since it is very lightweight, apps do not take a lot of space. Also, the code written in Kotlin is smaller in size, which means it has fewer bugs, and debugging is faster. Another plus of Kotlin is that it is very secure against NullPointerException and can incorporate coroutines and interoperability with JavaScript. 

As for the cons of Kotlin, the main one is that it is still not well established, meaning that the community is smaller compared to other more popular programming languages. And its steeper learning curve means that switching can be difficult because of the language’s strict syntax. 

Some of the main projects developed with Kotlin include Pinterest, Trello, Kickstarter, Evernote, and Shadowsocks. 

Java or Kotlin – which one is better

The competition between the two programming languages is becoming bigger and since they both have their advantages and disadvantages, it is hard to say which one is better. But since the user base and community behind Java is so much bigger, it is probably not going to be replaced in the near future. 

But since Kotlin is very lightweight and clean, it is definitely worth learning it. You can start with Kotlin without having any knowledge of Java and take advantage of having less code to maintain, fewer bugs, and more productivity. And since it is more Android focused that Java, it can help solve specific problems to Android development.