KotlinConf 2017

Kotlin boasts to be the new, pragmatic language that will boost our productivity. Not only on Android, but on all popular platforms! Is it just a hype? Is it too good to be true? Or is it really that good? Let’s find out on the debut conference of Kotlin, held early November in the beautiful city of San Francisco.

In the morning developers from all over the world gathered at Pier 27 to witness the first Kotlin conference. After grabbing our tickets, we headed to the opening talk given by the developers of the language themselves. The lead language designer, Andrey Breslav, showed us how it is possible to build a language that support multiple platforms: Kotlin itself is merely a syntax that is compiled to platform-specific language. For Android it gets compiled to JVM bytecode, for the browser it gets compiled to JavaScript and for iOS it gets compiled to native binaries.

Wait, iOS? Yes! The engineers at JetBrains are working hard to make Kotlin fully available on iOS! In fact there are already two Kotlin apps available for Android and iOS. Even better; they share the same codebase. Be sure to check it out on their Github page.

Not only the client side is well supported this great new language. Thanks to the interoperability with the JVM, Java based server technologies automagically gain the power of Kotlin. In Josh Long’s live demo, we learned how simple it is to build a Spring server based on Kotlin.

So web front-end, mobile and even server-side applications can be developed through Kotlin. Is there more? Yes there is! The CEO of Gradle, Hans Dockter, showed how Gradle benefits of Kotlin. To me, Gradle is a black box that starts when I click the build button and ends when it deploys an app on my device. Thanks to the Kotlin plugin, this box gets opened by supplying a DSL that enables code hint and documentation for Gradle.

Conclusion: Kotlin is here to stay. It is based on languages and features developers already know and like and it is rapidly evolving to a language we can use on many platforms. The community is enthusiastic and two magnificent tech companies, JetBrains and Google, are pushing the language to a scale no other language has ever been.

Many thanks to Elements for offering the opportunity attend the conference, all the way in San Francisco!

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Originally published at www.elements.nl on November 30, 2017.