Kotlin vs Python: What is the Difference?

Kotlin vs Python: What is the Difference?


Learning Kotlin will help you with programming skills. Kotlin is used for small applications that are not process intensive. Python is a popular language for large scale enterprises, machine learning and complex work. Both Kotlin and Python should be used based on the used case you are working with. Let us learn, how to select one. 

What is Python?

Python currently is one of the most popular programming languages. It was first released in 1991 and created by Guido Van Rossum. Python is known as a high-level programming language. This means that it may use natural language elements, be easier to use, and even automate computing systems in order to make developing a program easier. Python is also an interpreted language meaning that it will directly execute the code that is written. This separates it from compiled languages, such as Java, which need to be translated by the computer into a language it can understand using a compiler. The design philosophy behind Python was to create a language that emphasized code readability. Finally, Python is open source, meaning that it is free to use for everyone.

What is Python used for?

The number one reason python is widely used is because of its applications in machine learning. Since python is stable, flexible, and simple it is perfect for machine learning and artificial intelligence projects. This makes it a widely used language among data scientists. It is also used for data analytics. This is another developing field that currently utilizes Python programming. Python is used in this field because of its speed at carrying out repetitive tasks. Python is also a general-purpose coding language so it can be used to code all kinds of applications. This includes video games, audio files, and even websites. Some famous websites developed in Python include Instagram, Google, and even Spotify. Another field Python is beginning to emerge in is finance. Here it is used because of its efficiency when handling quantitative and qualitative analysis on big data. It can be used to see current price trends and make predictions based on that data. As you can see there are many applications for this popular programming language.

What is Kotlin?

Kotlin is also an open-source programming language that was developed by JetBrains and released in 2016, making it much newer than Python. It is known as a statistically typed programming language, and it works across multiple platforms. This simply means that it will know all the variable types written in the code at compile time instead of run time. Kotlin also is fully integrated with Java, even relying on the Java class library for its own standard library. It is this way because it was first developed to be part of the JVM library, but soon became its own language. Much like Java it is also object oriented. Kotlin is built in a way that allows developers to write the least amount of code and still accomplish its objective. It also has no runtime overhead which means most of the work will be done during compilation. Now, Kotlin is the preferred programming language for Android developers.

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What is Kotlin used for?

As mentioned earlier, Kotlin is mainly used when developing android applications. It is used here because it allows developers to write safe, concise, and expressive code. Even Android Studio, the official android application development program, supports Kotlin fully. Kotlin can also be used for back-end web development. Since Kotlin integrates well with Java, an application coded in Java can be slowly transitioned to Kotlin. Companies like Google and Amazon have already begun replacing Java code with Kotlin on the server side because it scales much better than Java. Because of this ability to scale well Kotlin is also being used in data science. Data Scientists can use all the Java libraries they are familiar with while writing the code in Kotlin for more efficiency. Jupyter and Zeppelin, which are both commonly used by Data Scientists for data visualization, have Kotlin support built into them. Finally, Kotlin can also be used in front end development because it is compatible with JavaScript.

Differences between Kotlin and Python

Both languages are very popular today, but they have some key differences as highlighted below:

  • Kotlin is compiled while Python is interpreted. A compiled language converts written code into machine code so it can be executed. An interpreted language executes instructions directly from the code without compiling them into a machine language.
  • Python is a high-level language while Kotlin is an object oriented statistically typed language. A high-level language may use everyday language and generally be easier to use and learn. A statistically typed language means that the code will know all the variable types during compile time. This makes Python an easier language to learn over Kotlin.
  • Python supports Adobe Flash while Kotlin does not. Adobe Flash is a software application that aids in the development of animations, web applications, mobile applications, and games.
  • Kotlin code is very similar to Java, while Python code more resembles Ruby. Ruby and Python both focused on having code that was easy to read and write. Kotlin resembles Java because it was originally meant to be part of the JVM (Java Virtual Machine) library.
  • Both Kotlin and Python are used as backend code, however in the mobile field Kotlin is superior. This is because Kotlin is backed by Google, and it can compile quickly.
  • Python has no support for unsafe code while Kotlin has built-in fail-safe mechanisms for unsafe code, such as null pointer exceptions. In general, Kotlin is less error prone because the code is written in a very concise manner.
  • Kotlin has Maven support while Python does not. Maven is a tool used for Java projects, therefore is also supported.

Also Read: How do you enable better programming culture in teams?

Kotlin vs Python which is better?

After reading through the article, you may be wondering which programming language is better. Or maybe you may already know one of the languages and wondering if the other is worth learning too. Python is great language that is easy to learn that has extensive support through third party libraries. Kotlin, while more difficult to learn, is necessary when tackling large projects that demand a statistically typed language such as Android applications. So, at the end of the day, each language is good in their own way. Python is much better than Kotlin in the field of Data Science, while Kotlin surpasses it in the field of mobile applications.

Source: YouTube

Also Read: 50 AI Terms You Should Know

Security features Kotlin vs Python

Kotlin and Python are two powerful, open-source languages widely used in software development, each having a unique set of security features, performance characteristics, and advanced features. Python, a dynamic language, is renowned for its simplicity and development speed, making it a popular choice for a wide range of applications, including web development, data analysis, machine learning, and more. Its vast ecosystem of libraries and support for low-level modules, such as operating system interfaces, contribute to its flexibility and functionality. However, as a dynamically typed language, Python checks the type compatibility of objects at runtime, which can potentially introduce runtime errors and security vulnerabilities if not managed carefully.

On the other hand, Kotlin, developed by JetBrains, is increasingly becoming the go-to language for mobile development, particularly Android. Kotlin’s built-in null safety support can prevent null reference errors, which are common sources of application crashes, enhancing application security. Unlike Python, Kotlin is a statically-typed programming language, which means it checks type compatibility at compile time, reducing the error rate during runtime. Kotlin supports both object-oriented and functional programming paradigms, and its ability to interoperate with Java has led to a rapid growth of its library ecosystem. These features, along with its performance optimization for real-time applications and support for complex tasks, make Kotlin an attractive option for developers seeking an additional language for secure, efficient, and cross-platform development.

Conclusion Kotlin vs Python

In conclusion if you are new to programming you would have a much easier time learning Python over Kotlin. However, Kotlin is still a very useful programming language to learn as it is currently becoming valuable in the market today. Learning Kotlin will help you with programming skills.

Kotlin and Python, each with its unique strengths, cater to a variety of programming tasks and applications, making the choice between them often dependent on the specific project requirements. Kotlin, for instance, is an object-oriented programming language with a concise syntax, making it ideal for Android development. Its combination of object-oriented and functional programming features provides developers with a robust and flexible tool for mobile app development. Kotlin’s statically-typed nature contributes to a robust app performance, with fewer runtime errors and potential crashes.

Python, on the other hand, is a high-level, interpreted programming language known for its simplicity and readability. Its verbose syntax and dynamic nature make Python a preferred language for beginners and for applications that require rapid prototyping. The language excels in server-side web development, data analysis, AI, and machine learning, largely due to its vast array of third-party modules. Python’s dynamic typing allows for greater flexibility in coding, although at the cost of potential runtime errors.

Both Kotlin and Python are powerful and versatile languages. Kotlin, with its focus on Android and Enterprise applications, offers a compelling choice for mobile and large-scale application development. Python, with its broader range of applications and strong community development, is a proven choice for backend and client-side development, as well as for scripting and automation tasks. Ultimately, the decision between Kotlin and Python should be driven by the specific requirements of the project and the expertise of the development team.


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