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Kotlin VS Java

In the battle of programming languages, two contenders stand out in the arena of industrial strength object-oriented development. It’s Kotlin VS Java right now, duking it out for the title much like Switzerland vs. France in the recent European Cup.

Java has long been considered the best, and it’s clear why: it’s everywhere and everyone praises it. But since Kotlin has arrived on the scene, this notion has been significantly challenged. In fact, especially when it comes to Android app development – many developers are starting to lean towards Kotlin.

So will the underdog win against the world champion? Which language should you pick for your business needs?

Let’s have a look at the facts.

Kotlin vs Java
Credits: SHORE teams' partner Polarising

What is Kotlin?

According to the official developer’s website, Kotlin is “a modern programming language that makes developers happier.” And once you really get familiar with the language Kotlin, you’ll understand why.

Kotlin is a cross-platform, statically typed, general-purpose programming language with type inference. Designed by JetBrains, it is often called “the alternative to Java,” and sets itself apart by its versatility. Kotlin was created to be fully interoperable with Java, and compatible with the JVM. Yet its key strength lies in also compiling to JavaScript and native code.

This means the Kotlin language can be used for anything from server side to frontend web app development. But it is also useful for multiplatform mobile coding. In fact in May of 2019 Google announced Kotlin as its preferred language for Android development. Let’s look at why other big tech companies like Evernote, Coursera and Spring implement this for software development.

What is Java?

Java is a popular high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language, designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Developed by Oracle with the principle of ‘write once, run anywhere’, once compiled Java code can be run on any platform which supports the language. This has made it very useful for application developers through the years, especially for client-server web applications.

Since its release in 1995 Java has received continuous updates to improve stability and security. It is originally the native language used by Android, enabling applications to communicate with the OS and directly use the hardware. Java allows you to develop nearly any kind of program and supports nearly any platform (Linux, OS X, Windows).

Find out why small and medium sized companies are following the example of tech giants like Netflix, Google and Uber by implementing Java.


Kotlin VS Java

It’s only natural for business owners to consider comparing Kotlin vs Java. After all, they are so alike it seems almost intentional. And as confirmed by the development team behind it: Kotlin is designed to be  a “better language” than Java, but still be fully interoperable with Java code, allowing companies to make a gradual migration from Java to Kotlin.

When comparing Kotlin vs Java we see both are:

  1. object-oriented programming languages
  2. named after islands (although Java may be taken from the coffee)
  3. useful for developing industrial strength applications
  4. popular for server side scripting
  5. open source and free
Now let’s dive into the key differences in the battle of Kotlin vs Java:


  • faster to compile
  • lightweight (less code)
  • new official language of Android
  • increased functionality (JavaScript, React native)
  •  supports Java frameworks and libraries
  • less popular means fewer developers


  •  multiplatform, works nearly anywhere 
  • robust coding
  • ready-to-use third party code available
  •  impossible to corrupt memory or data with Java instructions
  • compiling, deploying and debugging is simple
  • popularity and wide use means more developers

At SHORE teams, our goal is to help you find the absolute best developers and development teams through our vetted partners. Every partner has gone through an extensive onboarding process in which we’ve checked upon online reviews, testimonials, gathered loads of information about their development processes, technology stacks and specialisms, etcetera. 

If you want to expand your team with Kotlin or Java developers soon, look no further!

With our global pool of 15,000+ technical talents, we‘re able to provide you with the best Nearshore- and Offshore solutions for your scaling needs. We’ll function as a your point of contact during the whole process, meaning we’ll connect you with the right candidates and advise your during the decision-making process when needed.

Haven’t decided yet between Kotlin vs Java? 

Contact us today and our experts will provide you with detailed advice!

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