Facilitating the Spread of Knowledge and Innovation in Professional Software Development

Write for InfoQ


Choose your language

InfoQ Homepage News Kotlin 2017 Roundup and 2018 Outlook

Kotlin 2017 Roundup and 2018 Outlook

Leia em Português

This item in japanese


Since the release of Kotlin 1.1 in March 2017 by JetBrains, Kotlin has made huge gains in adoption all around the world. 2017 brought many exciting announcements, and the momentum continues into 2018. InfoQ recently sat down with Hadi Hariri, the team lead for developer advocacy at JetBrains, and discussed Kotlin's wins in 2017, if Kotlin will overtake Java, plans for Kotlin in 2018, and how developers can get involved.

InfoQ: Could you briefly introduce yourself, your role at JetBrains and specifically on the Kotlin project?

Hadi Hariri: I'm the team lead for developer advocacy at JetBrains, and my main involvement in Kotlin is being one of the main advocates for it.  

InfoQ: Can you tell us why Kotlin was created?

Hariri: My colleague, Dmitry, summed it up initially in his blog post, "Why JetBrains needs Kotlin", many years ago and this still holds true today. Dmitry said that first and foremost, it was about our own productivity.

Although we had developed support for several JVM-targeted programming languages, we were still writing all of our IntelliJ-based IDEs almost entirely in Java. The IntelliJ build system was based on Groovy and Gant, some Groovy was also used for tests, there was some JRuby code in RubyMine, and that was it. We wanted to become more productive by switching to a more expressive language. At the same time, we couldn't accept compromises in terms of either Java interoperability or compilation speed.

InfoQ: The year 2017 saw a lot of exciting news for Kotlin. Can you give us a recap of some of the more memorable headlines?

Hariri: The biggest events I'd say were the announcement at Google I/O of official support for Kotlin on Android, as well as our first ever KotlinConf, which was a huge success, selling out with over 1,200 attendees.

InfoQ: What are the plans for Kotlin in 2018?

Hariri: We will continue to do what we do. We usually don't make announcements in terms of specific features, but I think one thing that we're going to continue to work on this year is multi-platform support and tooling. In addition, of course, there's also KotlinConf 2018, which we're excited about.

InfoQ: With the speed the Android community has embraced Kotlin, do you see it overtaking Java one day?

Hariri: I'd say in the Android world, it's quite likely. Outside of Android, I'm not sure. But to be honest, overtaking the Java programming language is not the driving factor. We want to create a language that is useful, productive, and people enjoy using. As long as we continue to deliver and count on the feedback of our vibrant growing community, that's what matters.

InfoQ: Thanks for taking time to speak to us today. Is there anything else you would like to share with the InfoQ readers? What is the best way to get involved in the future of Kotlin?

Hariri: We're a very open community. Everything we do is on GitHub and people can contribute, whether it's with code, documentation, or contributing to KEEP (Kotlin Evolution and Enhancement Process). In addition, we have a Slack channel with over 14,000 people, a podcast (Talking Kotlin), and many other resources on where people can learn more and find ways to contribute.

Additional information on Kotlin can be found on the Kotlin website, and further details on Kotlin announcements can be found on InfoQ:

  1. Kotlin 1.2 Introduces Multi-Platform Projects
  2. Fresh Async with Kotlin
  3. Kotlin Is Now a Supported Android Language
  4. Kotlin Lead Language Designer Andrey Breslav on Android Support, Language Features and Future Plans

Readers can also keep up to date with all Java-related news by visiting the InfoQ Java homepage.

Rate this Article