Kotlin vs Swift in 2023
If you want to work on web frontend, server-side applications, multiplatform mobile apps, Android applications, and Data Science projects, you should learn Kotlin.
Kotlin is a cross-platform, general-purpose, high-level programming. It is designed to interoperate fully with Java, and the JVM version of Kotlin’s standard library depends on the Java Class Library.
On the other hand, if you want to build applications for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS, you should learn Swift.
Swift is a powerful and intuitive programming language for iOS, iPadOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Although Swift is a general-purpose programming language, it is primarily used for building apps for the Apple ecosystem.
Choosing which programming language to learn can be tricky, there are many factors to consider when learning a new technology or programming language.
Popularity, opportunities, types of projects, salaries, resources, learning curve, etc. are some of the factors that many people consider when choosing to learn a programming language or a framework.
POPULARITY AND OPPORTUNITIES
If you want to learn a programming language or framework solely for its popularity among developers, you should learn Kotlin.
Generally, Kotlin is more popular than Swift. According to a Stack Overflow survey of 2022, Kotlin is the 14th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 9.92% of professional developers.
On the other hand, Swift is the 18th most commonly used programming language, it is used by 5.18% of professional developers.
Further, more developers love Kotlin than Swift. Kotlin is loved by 63.29% of developers versus 36.71% of developers who dreaded it.
Swift on the other hand is loved by 62.88% of developers versus 37.12% of developers who dreaded it.
So, if your choice of which programming language to learn depends on popularity, you should learn Kotlin over Swift.
Another popular criterion that many people use as an incentive to learn a new programming language is salary.
Salaries for developers differ from one company to the other and from one country to the other.
Experience is another factor that comes into play as far as salaries are concerned. The more experience you have with a certain technology or programming language, the more likely you are of getting a higher salary.
Generally, Kotlin developers get higher salaries than Swift developers. Glassdoor reported that in the United States, Kotlin developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a total salary of $98,405 per year.
On the other hand, Swift developers with 1 – 3 years of experience get a total salary of $72,399, about $26,000 lower than Kotlin developers.
So, if the salary is your major incentive for learning a language or framework, you should learn Kotlin over Swift because you are more likely to get a higher salary as a Kotlin developer than as a Swift developer.
Here are some of the jobs you can get as a Kotlin developer.
Some programming languages can be learned more easily than others. Both Swift and Kotlin are beginner-friendly languages and you will not struggle much with learning either of them.
If you have used languages like Java or Scala before, you will find Kotlin very easy to work with.
Kotlin is cross-platform it can work on both windows and macs without much friction. But for Swift, you will need a mac to build apps with Xcode for iOS, macOS, tvOS, iPadOs, and watchOS.
The good news is that there are many helpful resources for both Kotlin and Swift to help you learn the languages.
The Kotlin and Swift communities are very active and helpful, in case you get stuck with something.
FEATURES AND APPLICATIONS
Kotlin is a modern programming language that makes it very easy to write server-side applications and develop Android apps.
In 2017, Google announced that the Kotlin programming language is now its preferred language for Android app developers.
Another great feature of Kotlin is its interoperability with other languages like Java. This makes it easy to call JVM frameworks and libraries in a Kotlin codebase and vice-versa without issues.
As a result, developers can add more functionality to their Kotlin projects seamlessly using Java libraries and frameworks.
Kotlin powers some of the complex applications developed by companies like Google, Atlassian, Corda, Amazon, JetBrains, Pinterest, Under, Netflix, Duolingo, OLX, Evernote, Coursera, Gradle, Spring, and many others.
On the other hand, Swift is the best language to create software for the Apple ecosystems, it has many great features that make development easy and straightforward.
Swift code is safe by design and produces software that runs lightning-fast. Swift helps developers to build applications quickly by taking care of some of the tasks.
For example, memory is automatically managed, and enforcement of exclusive access to memory guards against many programming mistakes.
Another great feature of Swift is its interoperability with other languages like Objective-C. This makes it easy to call Objective-C code in a Swift codebase and vice-versa.
Swift code can co-exist alongside existing Objective-C files in the same project, with full access to Objective-C API.
If you are coming from an Objective-C background, you will not have difficulties working with Swift.
Swift powers many complex applications developed specifically for iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and iPadOS
Once you have evaluated all the factors, you can choose which programming language to learn depending on the factors that are on your side and what you want to build.
If you want a language that can help you work on Android applications, server-side applications, web frontends, and multiplatform mobile applications, you should learn Kotlin over Swift.
If you want to build applications for iOS, tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and iPadOS, you should straight away learn Swift over Kotlin.