How Fast Is Kotlin

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As a developer who is always on the lookout for new programming languages, I couldn’t help but be intrigued by Kotlin. With its promise of being a modern, concise, and safe language, I was eager to explore its performance capabilities.

Before diving into the details, let me first provide some context. Kotlin is a statically typed programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). It was developed by JetBrains, the creators of IntelliJ IDEA, with the goal of improving upon Java and making it more enjoyable to write code.

One of the aspects that caught my attention about Kotlin was its claim of being as fast as Java. Naturally, I had my doubts. After all, Java has been around for decades and has a proven track record of performance. But I decided to give Kotlin the benefit of the doubt and put it to the test.

To compare the performance of Kotlin and Java, I created a simple benchmarking program that calculates the sum of a large number of integers. I wrote the same program in both languages and ran them on the same machine to eliminate any hardware differences.

The first thing I noticed was how similar the syntax of Kotlin and Java is. This made it easy for me to port the Java code to Kotlin. In fact, Kotlin’s interoperability with Java is one of its key strengths, allowing developers to seamlessly use existing Java code and libraries.

Running the benchmarking program multiple times, I found that the performance of Kotlin was indeed on par with Java. Both languages executed the calculations with almost identical execution times. This was surprising to me, considering that Kotlin is a higher-level language with additional features compared to Java.

Upon further investigation, I discovered that Kotlin achieves its speed by compiling down to bytecode that is very similar to Java’s. This means that the JVM can optimize Kotlin code in a similar way it does with Java code, resulting in comparable performance.

But speed is not the only factor to consider when evaluating the performance of a programming language. Kotlin also shines in terms of developer productivity and code maintainability. Its concise syntax, null safety, and functional programming features allow developers to write clean and robust code.

Another aspect that impressed me was the seamless integration of Kotlin with existing Java code and libraries. I was able to easily call Java code from Kotlin, and vice versa, without any compatibility issues. This makes Kotlin a great choice for projects that require interoperability with Java.

In conclusion, I can confidently say that Kotlin lives up to its promise of being fast. Its performance is on par with Java, while also providing additional benefits such as improved developer productivity and code maintainability. Whether you’re a Java developer looking for something new or a beginner starting out in the world of programming, Kotlin is definitely worth considering.