Should Web Developers Know Kotlin

Should Web Developers Know Kotlin?

Learning Kotlin for web development is not a must, there are many other frontends, and server-side programming languages that you can use in place of Kotlin. These programming languages include Python, PHP, Javascript, Golang, Java, Ruby, Scala, C#, etc.

Kotlin was designed by JetBrains for modern multiplatform applications. It was announced in 2011 and released in 2016, it has since grown in popularity and usage, with Google announcing in 2019 that Kotlin will be the preferred language for android app development. Kotlin can also compile to native code and Javascript.

According to a Stack overflow survey of 2021, Kotlin is used by 8.32% of professional developers. Kotlin is slowly gaining popularity among developers. The same survey reported that 61.55% of professional developers loved it versus 38.45% of developers who dreaded it.

Kotlin is an open-source, cross-platform, statically typed, general-purpose programming language. It is designed to interoperate fully with Java, meaning that libraries written in Java can be called or referenced directly in Kotlin code and libraries written in Kotlin can be referenced in Java. This provides a lot of advantages and features for both Kotlin and Java developers.

Kotlin is used to make mobile apps, server-side applications, web frontend, Data science, and more. Kotlin helps developers to build many types of scalable, and robust applications, it is concise, readable, and easy to learn, it is much easier than Java, and if you have worked with Java before, you find Kotlin very easy to work with.

Kotlin can be used for both fronted (Kotlin/JS) and server-side (Kotlin/JVM) web applications, it is used by many companies such as Google, Atlassian, JetBrains, DoorDash, Novatec, Adobe, AWS, Shazam, Corda, N26, OLX, Flux, Expedia, and many others. It can be seen that Kotlin is loved, trusted, and used by a lot of big companies and businesses.

Even though Kotlin’s popularity is growing and many companies and websites are adopting it, there are many other alternatives that you can use for frontend and server-side programming, meaning, that learning Kotlin for web development is completely optional.

WHAT ARE ALTERNATIVES TO KOTLIN FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT

There are many frontend and server-side programming languages and frameworks that you can use as alternatives to Kotlin. Here are some of the popular ones:

PHP

PHP is the most popular server-side programming language, it powers more websites on the internet than the rest of the server-side programming languages put together.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “PHP is used by 77.5% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” PHP website usage has been decreasing over the years, but it will take more than 25 years to decrease to 50% at the rate at which it is decreasing.

To make your development process easy, quick, and well structured, you can use PHP frameworks such as Laravel, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Slim, Zend, Phalcon, CakePHP, and many others.

PHP is used by many popular platforms and websites such as WordPress, Drupal, Wikipedia, Facebook, Slack, Etsy, Tumblr, MailChimp, etc. PHP is simple to work with and it is a great alternative to Kotlin.

NODE.JS

Node.js is an open-source Javascript runtime environment that runs on the V8 Engine. It is cross-platform and is used to run Javascript outside of the web browser. Node.js is used by web developers for server scripting.

It is commonly used in the Javascript stack such as the MERN (MongoDB, Express.js, React, Node) and MEAN (MongoDB, Express, Angular, Node) Stack. To make it easy to work with Node.js, frameworks such as Express.js, Sails.js, Koa.js, etc. are popularly used.

You can use Node.js as an alternative to Kotlin, especially if you like working with Javascript.

PYTHON

Python has an easy-to-understand syntax that makes it easy to write code. Getting started with Python is much easier than with Kotlin. Python is used a lot by web developers for backend development. According to a 2021 Stack Overflow survey, Python is the third most used programming language by professional developers.

Python Django is one of the most popular web development frameworks, it was used to build part of the Instagram backend. Other python web frameworks that can be used in place of the Kotlin include Flask, FastAPI, CherryPy, Falcon, etc.

JAVASCRIPT FRAMEWORKS

Instead of using Kotlin in the frontend of your web application, you can use more popular frontend frameworks and libraries such as React, Angular, Vue, or Svelte. These frameworks are much easy to work with than Kotlin.

JAVA

You can also use Java as an alternative to Kotlin for server-side programming. Java is used by many websites, especially in the enterprise world. Java can also interoperate with Kotlin, you use Kotlin libraries in Java and vice versa. You can learn more about how Java is used in Web Development in our article DO YOU NEED JAVA FOR WEB DEVELOPMENT.

GOLANG

Go is an open-source programming language supported by Google, Go is used in web development to power fast and scalable web applications. It is a good alternative to Kotlin. Some of the companies using Go are shown in the image below.

companies using go

RUBY

Since its invention in 1995 by Yukihiro “Matz” Matsumoto of Japan, Ruby has grown in popularity and usage to become the third most widely used server-side programming language after PHP and ASP.NET.

According to statistics from w3techs.com, “Ruby is used by 5.9% of all the websites whose server-side programming language we know.” Ruby usage for making websites has been decreasing over the years, but it is still one of the popular choices for many companies and startups.

Ruby is much easier to work with than Kotlin, its syntax is simple, elegant, and English-like, similar to that of Python. Getting started with Ruby and Ruby on Rails for web development is very easy and you will serve a lot of development time by using this language and its framework.

The popular online E-commerce store builder Shopify was written in Ruby (Ruby on Rails). Other popular websites using Ruby include Twitter, Github, Basecamp, Airbnb, Dribbble, Hulu, Kickstarter, Zendesk, Fiverr, SoundCloud, and many others.

There are many other alternatives to Kotlin that I have not listed here. The availability and usage of many other powerful frontends and server-side programming languages and frameworks show that you can work on web development projects without using Kotlin.

CONCLUSION

It can be seen that even though Kotlin is popular and widely used by a lot of web developers and companies, learning Kotlin for web development is completely optional, you can do without Kotlin. There are other frontends and server-side programming languages and frameworks that you can use.

If you want to make a website but you do not want to write any server-side or frontend code, you can use Website builders like WordPress, Shopify, Wix, Squarespace, etc. to do all the heavy lifting for you. You can make powerful websites without writing any line of code.