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Cover image for Why JetBrains create Kotlin? The Inside story of Kotlin creation.

Why JetBrains create Kotlin? The Inside story of Kotlin creation.

jay_tillu profile image Jay Tillu😎 ・3 min read

You can find millions of apps running on the play store which are developed in java. As Oracle says Java is Everywhere. You want to work on mobile app development java is there, for server-side development java is there, for console base application java is there, for web development java is there, So the question arises why we need Kotlin? So let’s go to back days when it all started.

Kotlin: Not the Product but Problem Solution…


Although JetBrains officially released Kotlin in 2016, the language faces a really long development process. Kotlin first appeared in 2011. When IDE Emperor first announced the project Kotlin to the world. Although Kotlin is widely used today JetBrains didn’t make Kotlin for sell. Instead, they made it solve their own development problems.

More than 70 percent of our products were built with Java, says Hadi Hariri, Vice President of developer advocacy at JetBrains, and most of the rest were written in Microsoft’s C#. Although Java was very powerful but using java means writing a lot of boiler-plate code. Which eventually becomes hard to write, read and maintain. For even the simplest code needs to declare full classes and objects and all that, which becomes a big headache for JetBrains developers. They just want to get rid of extra repetitive work.

The JetBrains teams really wanted to use a more modern language, but they still had many applications written in Java that would need to be maintained. It just doesn’t make any sense to rewrite all the Java products to C# or in any other language. So what they needed was a language that was compatible with Java, so they can keep all the old code as it is and can start creating new features in a new language.

They also tried some existing options like Scala, Groovy and Clojure. Scala was best from all of them but the main drawback was, it was not fast and as simple as, for which JetBrains developers look around.

So the team decided to create their own language with all the features they wanted. While creating a Kotlin JetBrains team strongly focus on three main things:

  1. Fast (at least as fast as Java).
  2. 100% Interoperability with Java.
  3. Concise and expressive code.

Instead of keeping the project internal, JetBrains open-sourced the project in 2012 under Apache open source license. JetBrains doesn’t profit directly from Kotlin’s use among developers, but the company hopes to make money from their future Kotlin-supporting core products.

In 2017 Google IO, Google announced Kotlin as an officially supported language for Android. Since then humongous popularity of Kotlin increases day by day. Kotlin is also used on browsers and through Kotlin Native in the future, we can create cross-platform native apps also.

So the future with Kotlin will shapes amazingly, just check it out and give it a try if you haven’t yet.

Please check every day for new posts on Kotlin and other programming topics. Till then Keep Coding, Keep Loving.

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Jay Tillu😎

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