This article is more of a reflection what the community thinks rather than my own opinion. I am not experienced enough to tell you if you should start with Java or Kotlin, but I can search for the answer. For this, I tried to filter for unbiased opinions. If someone tells you that Kotlin is the way to go while he is trying to sell you his new Kotlin book or course, it makes sense to keep that in the back of your head. First introduced in , Kotlin is compared to Java a relatively new language. In , version 1. Kotlin is not meant to replace Java on Android, but rather to coexist alongside of it, so you can do everything with Kotlin that you can do with Java and vice-versa.
Google is not planning to drop Java. If you want to see a full comparison between Kotlin and Java, click here. As you can see in the screenshot below, in some parts of the Android documentation, Kotlin is now the default tab for code examples, degrading Java to the alternative selection.
According to this StackOverflow survey , Kotlin is the 2nd most loved language in You will have a lot of fun and appreciate the more concise code and increased productivity. More and more apps will be written in Kotlin, which means that a lot of Android jobs will require Kotlin skills. You can use it without adding any plugins, and you get proper code-completion, syntax highlighting, debugging and refactoring tools, and other features, like a Java-to-Kotlin code converter that helps you get started.
However, while pretty much everyone agrees that Kotlin is the better language, most people even big Kotlin fans recommend to still start with Java as a beginner. For one, there are much more Java tutorials out there than Kotlin tutorials and almost every solution for Android problems on pages like StackOverflow from the last years have been written in Java. Most of the documentation is in Java as well and if you start with Kotlin right away, this can make the learning process very difficult and confusing.
Understanding the syntax of a language is one thing, but to actually build apps you have to learn how to use the different framework and library APIs. You have to learn what classes you have to use and which methods you have to call in the different phases of your app. And for this you need practice and a lot of examples you can refer to.
Knowing the syntax of a language is actually secondary. And most Kotlin tutorials at the moment even compare Kotlin to Java occasionally to point out its advantages, which makes the learning process even more confusing.
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This might change over the next years, but we are not there yet. Java is not going to be obsolete, even on Android.
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The answer with the most upvotes comes from Zhuinden, who himself uses Kotlin extensively:. Java becomes even more important if you might decide to work in a field outside of Android later. In the enterprise world, Java is still the most important and widespread language and that is not going to change anytime soon. A lot of the existing code in big companies is written in Java. Getting a whole team to adopt a new language is challenging and rewriting working code usually not worth the investment. As a programmer, you spend most of the time fixing and extending already existing systems rather than writing completely new software from scratch, which is why there are disproportionately more job postings for Java than for Kotlin developers.
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I just ran a quick search on indeed. The bottom line is: Even though Kotlin is the new big thing, it is reasonable to start with Java and then learn Kotlin later on. Java is still more widespread and it is hard to find a job with only Kotlin skills right now. Java is robust, battle-tested and easy to learn. Once you have some experience with Java, learning Kotlin as an additional language will be pretty easy. As someone who has spent a lot of time learning Java himself, I am aware that it is important to stay open to new experiences.
Learning new things is what makes programming so exciting. Till now, an insane number of applications have been developed to aid the user in different tasks. Three Paths to choose. What are its possible use-cases? If you are focusing only on building the application for the users of a single platform, then I would suggest developing using the technologies native to that platform only. Those applications requiring much hardware access would have to built individually for each platform. But if your mobile application is more of an interface for users for non-hardware dependent tasks, then you can use the cross-platform development tools for improving efficiency.
Create a virtual device (emulator)
This will definitely help in reducing your total development time in creating applications for each platform. We have two types of tools for developing cross-platform applications: Hybrid Applications and Native Applications. Here we would focus on developing applications for each mobile operating systems individually using their own native tools. Hence it speaks volume of how Android users dominate the entire market share and thus most developers focus their technology for this platform. Android OS, being an open source OS by Google add as one of the prominent factors for the development in this platform.
I can hear your reservations about starting a career into a field which has innovations almost on a daily basis. So why get into android programming? Android has been around for 10 years. The framework and methodologies have expanded and bloomed over that time into a very huge framework that needs to be understood at least on some level by anyone willing to work with the system.
The fact that the experiential application platform is filled with innovation ensures that no two days as an Android developer are the same. The aim of this guide is to provide you a systematic approach to building skills necessary for you to become the first-class citizen in android developer fraternity and command a premium for your skills to earn the income and enjoy social recognition. In the first part, we focused on the mobile app development scenario and why you should learn android development.
In this part, we are going to focus on key parts which would act as checkpoints in our journey to become a rockstar app developer. Java has been the cornerstone of Android development ever since Android was launched, but last year Google named Kotlin as the official language for Android applications.
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It has developed a huge number of practitioners for the language. While there also exist some customers who still insist on working in Java, a huge majority is thinking forwards and migrating either all code or all new code to Kotlin only. This is a very big advantage for a new developer like you because it means that the people who have been around for the last 10 years no longer have a huge head start.
There were some brave early adopters but a huge portion of Android developers have been working in Kotlin only for a year or so. Yeah, you read that right. This video will help you get an overall understanding of Kotlin. This step is all about learning the context. Now onto why you should learn Java when it is not even the official language for android app development anymore?
So, if you know Java then it would be of great help for you to understand what the Java code is doing without you plugging the code into the Java to Kotlin Converter. I would recommend developing a learning of Java from Head First Java book. Get this book from here. There are numerous books available for Android development, my personal favorite which I would recommend is Android Programming: The Big Nerd Ranch Guidebook to start with.
Developing Android Apps
You can use this book as a practical Android development guide as it provides really good code samples with clear and precise explanations of the key concepts. I would also recommend Head First Android Development. Though this book seems to be bit outdated, it explains the key concepts in a very interesting way.
I would also like to suggest that do not just read the books like you read any novel. This is the only way to learn Android and become an effective Android developer — By building apps. In the subsequent articles, we will explore the various online courses which could help you practice Android Development and also become a certified Android developer, the various tricks and practices which you should incorporate while writing code, how to integrate various libraries and APIs to make your program multifunctional and much more.
In the previous part, we focused on the basics of Android app development, in this part we are going to dive deeper and learn about the tutorials and books recommended for learning android development.