Java vs Kotlin – the legend and the upstart

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According to the Tiobe Index for January 2019, Java, C, and Python remain the most popular programming languages in the world.

Other popular languages include C++ and Visual Basic, all ranked highly on the index.

While Python gained popularity significantly over the past year, Java remains the most popular language.

It has dominated the rankings for years, and still shows high year-over-year growth, meaning it is not going anywhere for now.

There are multiple reasons for the extended popularity of this programming language, from its ease of use and capability to its widespread adoption and development.

Powerful and widely adopted

Many developers learn Java as one of their first programming languages, with its relatively simple syntax making for easier reading and understanding of functionality.

The language is also object-oriented and has a useful API which provides a lot of easy-to-use features.

While these make for a powerful and accessible programming language, the popularity of Java is the direct result of its adoption across platforms and its community investment.

Oracle has made Java available for free to all developers, and this has cultivated a strong community which produces a large collection of open-source libraries.

Perhaps most importantly, Java can run independently on the Java Virtual Machine – making it ideal for web programming and cross-platform applications.

Java developers can create applications for desktops, mobile, online platforms, and more, thanks to the language’s versatility.

The programming language currently has a variety of uses, and is used to build everything from Google docs to mobile games. Most commonly it is a tool to make small application models for use in web environments like ecommerce websites or financial trading platforms.

A number of useful software platforms are also created using Java, including Netbeans, Eclipse, and IntelliJ.

While it can be used to build impressive video games like Minecraft, it can also be used in an embedded environment as any system only needs 130KB of RAM to use Java technology.

The versatile programming language has also become the default for scientific applications.

The programming language is taught at universities and various other educational institutions worldwide, and is also available as a course from massive online open course (MOOC) platforms, including UdemyEdX, and Coursera.


Java is not without its competitors though, even though they do not appear in the top 10 rankings for popularity of programming languages.

While it does not appear on the top 10 list, Tiobe predicts that the programming language Kotlin will enter the top 20 list this year due to its rapidly-growing popularity.

Kotlin is designed to fully integrate with Java and the Java Virtual Machine, but offers more concise syntax and the option to compile to JavaScript.

It also fixes a number of issues which Java suffers from. For example, its null reference is controlled by the type system, arrays in Kotlin are invariant, it has proper function types, and does not have checked exceptions.

Google also officially supports Kotlin for mobile development on Android, and the language is included as an alternative to Java in Android Studio.

Kotlin is currently ranked at 31 on the Tiobe Index, but it is expected to soar up the rankings over time.

However, it still has a long way to go before it takes on Java for the title of most popular programming language in the world.

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