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.