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Java vs Kotlin: What are the differences?

What is Java? A concurrent, class-based, object-oriented, language specifically designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible. Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!.

What is Kotlin? Statically typed Programming Language targeting JVM and JavaScript. Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java.

Java and Kotlin can be primarily classified as "Languages" tools.

"Great libraries" is the primary reason why developers consider Java over the competitors, whereas "Interoperable with Java" was stated as the key factor in picking Kotlin.

Kotlin is an open source tool with 28.3K GitHub stars and 3.28K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Kotlin's open source repository on GitHub.

Airbnb, Uber Technologies, and Spotify are some of the popular companies that use Java, whereas Kotlin is used by Slack, 9GAG, and Rainist. Java has a broader approval, being mentioned in 2399 company stacks & 2723 developers stacks; compared to Kotlin, which is listed in 268 company stacks and 208 developer stacks.

- No public GitHub repository available -

What is Java?

Java is a programming language and computing platform first released by Sun Microsystems in 1995. There are lots of applications and websites that will not work unless you have Java installed, and more are created every day. Java is fast, secure, and reliable. From laptops to datacenters, game consoles to scientific supercomputers, cell phones to the Internet, Java is everywhere!

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is a statically typed programming language for the JVM, Android and the browser, 100% interoperable with Java
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What are some alternatives to Java and Kotlin?
C
Abstract
Abstract builds upon and extends the stable technology of Git to host and manage your work.
Go
Go is expressive, concise, clean, and efficient. Its concurrency mechanisms make it easy to write programs that get the most out of multicore and networked machines, while its novel type system enables flexible and modular program construction. Go compiles quickly to machine code yet has the convenience of garbage collection and the power of run-time reflection. It's a fast, statically typed, compiled language that feels like a dynamically typed, interpreted language.
Python
Python is a general purpose programming language created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is most praised for its elegant syntax and readable code, if you are just beginning your programming career python suits you best.
Scala
Scala is an acronym for “Scalable Language”. This means that Scala grows with you. You can play with it by typing one-line expressions and observing the results. But you can also rely on it for large mission critical systems, as many companies, including Twitter, LinkedIn, or Intel do. To some, Scala feels like a scripting language. Its syntax is concise and low ceremony; its types get out of the way because the compiler can infer them.
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Decisions about Java and Kotlin
Nitzan Shapira
Nitzan Shapira
at Epsagon · | 11 upvotes · 108.1K views
atEpsagonEpsagon
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
GitHub
GitHub
Java
Java
Go
Go
Node.js
Node.js
npm
npm
Serverless
Serverless
Python
Python

At Epsagon, we use hundreds of AWS Lambda functions, most of them are written in Python, and the Serverless Framework to pack and deploy them. One of the issues we've encountered is the difficulty to package external libraries into the Lambda environment using the Serverless Framework. This limitation is probably by design since the external code your Lambda needs can be usually included with a package manager.

In order to overcome this issue, we've developed a tool, which we also published as open-source (see link below), which automatically packs these libraries using a simple npm package and a YAML configuration file. Support for Node.js, Go, and Java will be available soon.

The GitHub respoitory: https://github.com/epsagon/serverless-package-external

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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 16 upvotes · 723.8K views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
Apache Spark
Apache Spark
C#
C#
OpenShift
OpenShift
JavaScript
JavaScript
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
C++
C++
Go
Go
Node.js
Node.js
Java
Java
Python
Python
Jaeger
Jaeger

How Uber developed the open source, end-to-end distributed tracing Jaeger , now a CNCF project:

Distributed tracing is quickly becoming a must-have component in the tools that organizations use to monitor their complex, microservice-based architectures. At Uber, our open source distributed tracing system Jaeger saw large-scale internal adoption throughout 2016, integrated into hundreds of microservices and now recording thousands of traces every second.

Here is the story of how we got here, from investigating off-the-shelf solutions like Zipkin, to why we switched from pull to push architecture, and how distributed tracing will continue to evolve:

https://eng.uber.com/distributed-tracing/

(GitHub Pages : https://www.jaegertracing.io/, GitHub: https://github.com/jaegertracing/jaeger)

Bindings/Operator: Python Java Node.js Go C++ Kubernetes JavaScript OpenShift C# Apache Spark

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Conor Myhrvold
Conor Myhrvold
Tech Brand Mgr, Office of CTO at Uber · | 6 upvotes · 418.8K views
atUber TechnologiesUber Technologies
JavaScript
JavaScript
Java
Java
C
C

Why Uber developed H3, our open source grid system to make geospatial data visualization and exploration easier and more efficient:

We decided to create H3 to combine the benefits of a hexagonal global grid system with a hierarchical indexing system. A global grid system usually requires at least two things: a map projection and a grid laid on top of the map. For map projection, we chose to use gnomonic projections centered on icosahedron faces. This projects from Earth as a sphere to an icosahedron, a twenty-sided platonic solid. The H3 grid is constructed by laying out 122 base cells over the Earth, with ten cells per face. H3 supports sixteen resolutions: https://eng.uber.com/h3/

(GitHub Pages : https://uber.github.io/h3/#/ Written in C w/ bindings in Java & JavaScript )

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StackShare Editors
StackShare Editors
Apache Thrift
Apache Thrift
Kotlin
Kotlin
Presto
Presto
HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
HHVM (HipHop Virtual Machine)
gRPC
gRPC
Kubernetes
Kubernetes
Apache Spark
Apache Spark
Airflow
Airflow
Terraform
Terraform
Hadoop
Hadoop
Swift
Swift
Hack
Hack
Memcached
Memcached
Consul
Consul
Chef
Chef
Prometheus
Prometheus

Since the beginning, Cal Henderson has been the CTO of Slack. Earlier this year, he commented on a Quora question summarizing their current stack.

Apps
  • Web: a mix of JavaScript/ES6 and React.
  • Desktop: And Electron to ship it as a desktop application.
  • Android: a mix of Java and Kotlin.
  • iOS: written in a mix of Objective C and Swift.
Backend
  • The core application and the API written in PHP/Hack that runs on HHVM.
  • The data is stored in MySQL using Vitess.
  • Caching is done using Memcached and MCRouter.
  • The search service takes help from SolrCloud, with various Java services.
  • The messaging system uses WebSockets with many services in Java and Go.
  • Load balancing is done using HAproxy with Consul for configuration.
  • Most services talk to each other over gRPC,
  • Some Thrift and JSON-over-HTTP
  • Voice and video calling service was built in Elixir.
Data warehouse
  • Built using open source tools including Presto, Spark, Airflow, Hadoop and Kafka.
Etc
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Martin Lonkwitz
Martin Lonkwitz
Software engineering at SVA · | 3 upvotes · 14.4K views
Java
Java
C++
C++

Maybe not in everybody focus but I do like programming for @z/OS, @z/Linux and @z/VM with C++ , Java and Assembler . Who else love to dig into control blocks and get a deep dive into system resources to run things in a high valuable way ? And also go all the way up to the application to enlight all the infrastructure features to it ?

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Hampton Catlin
Hampton Catlin
VP of Engineering at Rent The Runway · | 6 upvotes · 8.2K views
atRent the RunwayRent the Runway
Java
Java
Python
Python
Ruby
Ruby

At our company, and I've noticed a lot of other ones... application developers and dev-ops people tend to use Ruby and our statisticians and data scientists love Python . Like most companies, our stack is kind of split that way. Ruby is used as glue in most of our production systems ( Java being the main backend language), and then all of our data scientists and their various pipelines tend towards Python

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Java
Java
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code
JavaScript
JavaScript
TypeScript
TypeScript

I use TypeScript because it is strongly typed superset of JavaScript that provides many benefits. Integration with #IDE like Visual Studio Code is excellent. The main benefit is maintainability. Many error can be caught before code running. Also Angular recommends TypeScript as better alternative to JavaScript . Syntax is very easy to learn especially for people from the Java world.

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SVN (Subversion)
SVN (Subversion)
Git
Git
JSON
JSON
XML
XML
Python
Python
PHP
PHP
Java
Java
Swift
Swift
JavaScript
JavaScript
Linux
Linux
GitHub
GitHub
Visual Studio Code
Visual Studio Code

I use Visual Studio Code because at this time is a mature software and I can do practically everything using it.

  • It's free and open source: The project is hosted on GitHub and it’s free to download, fork, modify and contribute to the project.

  • Multi-platform: You can download binaries for different platforms, included Windows (x64), MacOS and Linux (.rpm and .deb packages)

  • LightWeight: It runs smoothly in different devices. It has an average memory and CPU usage. Starts almost immediately and it’s very stable.

  • Extended language support: Supports by default the majority of the most used languages and syntax like JavaScript, HTML, C#, Swift, Java, PHP, Python and others. Also, VS Code supports different file types associated to projects like .ini, .properties, XML and JSON files.

  • Integrated tools: Includes an integrated terminal, debugger, problem list and console output inspector. The project navigator sidebar is simple and powerful: you can manage your files and folders with ease. The command palette helps you find commands by text. The search widget has a powerful auto-complete feature to search and find your files.

  • Extensible and configurable: There are many extensions available for every language supported, including syntax highlighters, IntelliSense and code completion, and debuggers. There are also extension to manage application configuration and architecture like Docker and Jenkins.

  • Integrated with Git: You can visually manage your project repositories, pull, commit and push your changes, and easy conflict resolution.( there is support for SVN (Subversion) users by plugin)

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Visual Studio
Visual Studio
Java
Java
C#
C#

I use C# because it is incredibly clear and easy to use. The documentation is second to none, being a Microsoft product, and if you just want something that works without exploring a million frameworks and libraries you can pretty much start a C# website and have it running in an hour. C# is basically, in my opinion, a cleaner and easier to use Java. My experience is limited to web design, however. It might come down to personal opinion but I wouldn't even know where to start writing a java back end website but visual studio makes it very easy to write it in C#. If you are new to full stack development I can't recommend Visual Studio enough. It does, however, hide away a lot of abstraction that programmers much more clever than me use to make really interesting websites and server setups. C# will do everything you need to create any website you can imagine, though.

Before I end my rant about how much I love this language I'd like to reiterate how easy it is to figure out problems you encounter. I was stuck on how to store a path string in a database and found the solution by browsing the documentation for 2 minutes, which included examples. Every ASP element is clearly and wonderfully documented.

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Michael Pfaff
Michael Pfaff
CEO at Nucleus Development · | 3 upvotes · 8.2K views
Java
Java
Dart
Dart

I use Dart because it is a fast, modern language with an intuitive package manager and syntax similar to Java, while less verbose (i.e. public by default, _ in front of a variable, class, etc. to be private). Dart has an excellent asynchronous syntax making asynchronous calls such as filesystem interaction or HTTP requests simple and concise.

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C#
C#
Java
Java
JavaScript
JavaScript
ClojureScript
ClojureScript
Clojure
Clojure

I adopted Clojure and ClojureScript because:

  • it's 1 language, multiple platforms.
  • Simple syntax.
  • Designed to avoid unwanted side effects and bugs.
  • Immutable data-structures.
  • Compact code, very expressive.
  • Source code is data.
  • It has super-flexible macro.
  • Has metadata.
  • Interoperability with JavaScript, Java and C#.
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Ganesa Vijayakumar
Ganesa Vijayakumar
Full Stack Coder | Module Lead · | 15 upvotes · 400.6K views
SonarQube
SonarQube
Codacy
Codacy
Docker
Docker
Git
Git
Apache Maven
Apache Maven
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Amazon EC2 Container Service
Microsoft Azure
Microsoft Azure
Amazon Route 53
Amazon Route 53
Elasticsearch
Elasticsearch
Solr
Solr
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Heroku
Heroku
Hibernate
Hibernate
MySQL
MySQL
Node.js
Node.js
Java
Java
Bootstrap
Bootstrap
jQuery Mobile
jQuery Mobile
jQuery UI
jQuery UI
jQuery
jQuery
JavaScript
JavaScript
React Native
React Native
React Router
React Router
React
React

I'm planning to create a web application and also a mobile application to provide a very good shopping experience to the end customers. Shortly, my application will be aggregate the product details from difference sources and giving a clear picture to the user that when and where to buy that product with best in Quality and cost.

I have planned to develop this in many milestones for adding N number of features and I have picked my first part to complete the core part (aggregate the product details from different sources).

As per my work experience and knowledge, I have chosen the followings stacks to this mission.

UI: I would like to develop this application using React, React Router and React Native since I'm a little bit familiar on this and also most importantly these will help on developing both web and mobile apps. In addition, I'm gonna use the stacks JavaScript, jQuery, jQuery UI, jQuery Mobile, Bootstrap wherever required.

Service: I have planned to use Java as the main business layer language as I have 7+ years of experience on this I believe I can do better work using Java than other languages. In addition, I'm thinking to use the stacks Node.js.

Database and ORM: I'm gonna pick MySQL as DB and Hibernate as ORM since I have a piece of good knowledge and also work experience on this combination.

Search Engine: I need to deal with a large amount of product data and it's in-detailed info to provide enough details to end user at the same time I need to focus on the performance area too. so I have decided to use Solr as a search engine for product search and suggestions. In addition, I'm thinking to replace Solr by Elasticsearch once explored/reviewed enough about Elasticsearch.

Host: As of now, my plan to complete the application with decent features first and deploy it in a free hosting environment like Docker and Heroku and then once it is stable then I have planned to use the AWS products Amazon S3, EC2, Amazon RDS and Amazon Route 53. I'm not sure about Microsoft Azure that what is the specialty in it than Heroku and Amazon EC2 Container Service. Anyhow, I will do explore these once again and pick the best suite one for my requirement once I reached this level.

Build and Repositories: I have decided to choose Apache Maven and Git as these are my favorites and also so popular on respectively build and repositories.

Additional Utilities :) - I would like to choose Codacy for code review as their Startup plan will be very helpful to this application. I'm already experienced with Google CheckStyle and SonarQube even I'm looking something on Codacy.

Happy Coding! Suggestions are welcome! :)

Thanks, Ganesa

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Vishwa Bhat
Vishwa Bhat
Fullstack Developer at Sequoia · | 10 upvotes · 4.4K views
atSequoia Consulting GroupSequoia Consulting Group
Java
Java
Go
Go
Node.js
Node.js

Our new backend micro services are primarily written in Node.js and Go and legacy systems are written in Java. For our new stack decision, we aimed to achieve greater developer productivity, low IO latency and good community so we had couple of technologies in hand to choose but finally we concluded to go for Node.js for API layer and Go for CPU/IO intensive tasks. Currently the inter-services communication is happening via REST but soon to be moved to RPC-based communication.

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Praveen Mooli
Praveen Mooli
Technical Leader at Taylor and Francis · | 11 upvotes · 168K views
MongoDB Atlas
MongoDB Atlas
Amazon S3
Amazon S3
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon DynamoDB
Amazon RDS
Amazon RDS
Serverless
Serverless
Docker
Docker
Terraform
Terraform
Travis CI
Travis CI
GitHub
GitHub
RxJS
RxJS
Angular 2
Angular 2
AWS Lambda
AWS Lambda
Amazon SQS
Amazon SQS
Amazon SNS
Amazon SNS
Amazon Kinesis Firehose
Amazon Kinesis Firehose
Amazon Kinesis
Amazon Kinesis
Flask
Flask
Python
Python
ExpressJS
ExpressJS
Node.js
Node.js
Spring Boot
Spring Boot
Java
Java
#Data
#Devops
#Webapps
#Eventsourcingframework
#Microservices
#Backend

We are in the process of building a modern content platform to deliver our content through various channels. We decided to go with Microservices architecture as we wanted scale. Microservice architecture style is an approach to developing an application as a suite of small independently deployable services built around specific business capabilities. You can gain modularity, extensive parallelism and cost-effective scaling by deploying services across many distributed servers. Microservices modularity facilitates independent updates/deployments, and helps to avoid single point of failure, which can help prevent large-scale outages. We also decided to use Event Driven Architecture pattern which is a popular distributed asynchronous architecture pattern used to produce highly scalable applications. The event-driven architecture is made up of highly decoupled, single-purpose event processing components that asynchronously receive and process events.

To build our #Backend capabilities we decided to use the following: 1. #Microservices - Java with Spring Boot , Node.js with ExpressJS and Python with Flask 2. #Eventsourcingframework - Amazon Kinesis , Amazon Kinesis Firehose , Amazon SNS , Amazon SQS, AWS Lambda 3. #Data - Amazon RDS , Amazon DynamoDB , Amazon S3 , MongoDB Atlas

To build #Webapps we decided to use Angular 2 with RxJS

#Devops - GitHub , Travis CI , Terraform , Docker , Serverless

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Visual Studio
Visual Studio
Java
Java
C#
C#

I use C# because of the ease of designing user interfaces compared to Java. Using Visual Studio makes C# a breeze for prototyping and creating apps and I really appreciate how quickly I can turn an idea into reality. I was first introduced to C# in a special topics course and quickly started preferring it over Java. The similarities between the two made the switch easy while the added benefits C# offers made it very worth it.

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Reviews of Java and Kotlin
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How developers use Java and Kotlin
Avatar of Brian Fults
Brian Fults uses JavaJava

Pretty much everything - Java is reasonably fast, reasonably safe, and reasonably expressive. I wouldn't call it the best at any of those things. The real advantage to me is that the virtual machine is ubiquitous and many people can understand it. Since I have the most experience in this language, it's my tool of choice for most projects.

I've also been learning JavaFx so that I can build user interfaces without the web. I've started several single-page-application projects that worked, but felt like workarounds or hacks and would be better-served as self-contained applications.

Avatar of denkbar.io
denkbar.io uses JavaJava

Do I really need to explain? Well to me, the most appealing factor in Java besides the unbelievable community and vast array of available libraries, is just the amount of effort that has been put in the modern JVM. Decades of optimization and improvements have lead to a terrific piece of technology. I admire the people contributed to that.

Avatar of Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt)
Scrayos UG (haftungsbeschränkt) uses JavaJava

Shouldn't surprise anyone, as minecraft is also java-based. Java is used for much more than just the plugins though. JCVortex (our API) is also served with vert.x (Java) and many of our team-internal tools also originated from java or are still java-applications.

Avatar of Web Dreams
Web Dreams uses JavaJava

The most popular language in the world, definitely every programmer would use the Java language at some point. Frankly, I only use java when it’s a must. I find the language to be a little bit tedious when working with it.

Avatar of brenoinojosa
brenoinojosa uses JavaJava

bytelore.com makes extensive use of Java in its applications. We use Java due to its performance, community and the number of other projects built in the language. We have many projects and libraries built in Java.

Avatar of Philtard
Philtard uses KotlinKotlin

Even though still a young language, it feels so at home sitting in the springboot frame and works with vaadin just great. And in itself it has like all the best parts of java, scala, python mixed into one.

Avatar of fileee GmbH
fileee GmbH uses KotlinKotlin

We use Kotlin both in our Android App and increasingly in our polyglot backend services.

Avatar of claudiofus
claudiofus uses KotlinKotlin

Statically typed programming language for modern multiplatform applications.

Avatar of Cirrus Labs
Cirrus Labs uses KotlinKotlin

All 20+ micro-services that power Cirrus CI are written in Kotlin.

Avatar of movix
movix uses KotlinKotlin

Unit tests, backend with Spring Boot

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