Java vs Kotlin

In this post, we will learn the difference between Java and Kotlin in detail. This is a frequently asked
question in Java interviews for beginners. Let's dive into it.

Java: Developed by Sun Microsystems (now owned by Oracle), Java is a class-based, object-oriented programming language. It's known for its "write once, run anywhere" principle. Java has been a mainstay of enterprise application development for several decades. 

Kotlin: Released by JetBrains in 2011, Kotlin is a statically-typed, modern programming language that runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM). In 2017, Google announced Kotlin as an official language for Android development.

Java vs Kotlin: The Comparison

Parameter Java Kotlin
Null Safety Java does not have built-in null safety support. Null references often lead to Null Pointer Exceptions, one of the most common runtime errors in Java. Kotlin has built-in null safety support. It distinguishes nullable types and non-nullable types, reducing the risk of Null Pointer Exceptions.
Coroutines Java does not natively support coroutines. Asynchronous programming can be complex and verbose. Kotlin natively supports coroutines. They simplify asynchronous programming, making the code easier to read and write.
Syntax Verbosity Java has a verbose syntax. This means more code lines for accomplishing a task, leading to possible code redundancy. Kotlin has a more concise syntax, meaning you can do more with fewer lines of code. This makes the code more readable and maintainable.
Extension Functions Java does not support extension functions. To add new functionality, you must create a new class that inherits from an existing class. Kotlin supports extension functions, allowing you to extend a class with new functionality without having to inherit from the class.
CheckedExceptions Java has checked exceptions, which forces the developer to catch or declare the exception. This sometimes leads to empty catch blocks with unhandled exceptions. Kotlin does not have checked exceptions, resulting in less boilerplate code and more developer productivity.
Default Arguments and Named Parameters Java does not support default arguments or named parameters, leading to a higher number of overloaded methods. Kotlin supports both default arguments and named parameters, which can reduce the number of method overloads.
Community Support Java has a large, mature community. It has a vast amount of resources, libraries, and frameworks. Kotlin is newer and has a smaller community compared to Java. However, the community is growing rapidly, especially among Android developers.


While Java has a longer history and a vast ecosystem, Kotlin offers many modern features that make the language more expressive, safer, and more enjoyable to use. Kotlin's syntax is more concise, it provides null safety, and it's officially supported by Google for Android development. However, your choice between the two should depend on the project requirements, team expertise, and the specific use case.