One of the frequently asked questions among Android developers for the usage of Kotlin during conferences is “What’s the best practices to incorporate this platform to any available Android app?”
When you are introducing Kotlin in a team with a handful of staff, learning a new language is a complex endeavor. Below is a guide to help you understand the successful patterns in understanding Kotlin while identifying potential solutions to current challenges in the projects being handled by the bigger teams (part 2).
Seek management to use Kotlin
As you gain some expertise with Kotlin, you may consider is the right tool for your team. However how can convince your top management or stakeholders about embracing Kotlin. They might not even have preference over data classes, smart casts or extension performance. Addressing this issue is dependent on your specific company’s situation. Here are some suggested talking points with data when supporting your claims.
Better team productivity with Kotlin. Present data that shows a comparison of the average code lines per file between Kotlin and Java. It’s quite easy to figure out code reduction lines of 25% and above. Less code to write translates to less code to evaluate and keep. This enables the team to create new features quicker. Also, tracking your team when developing a Kotlin feature is faster as compared to a similar Java feature.
Kotlin boosts app functionality. The null-safety feature of Kotlin is popular. However, there are many other safety features to assist you to prevent the complete code defect categories. One Pinterest concept is to spot your defect rate in every app module when migrating them from Java to Kotlin. Identifying the defect rate decreasing. View how Pinterest discuss this through the Android Developer Story video. Current research can support this claim.
Kotlin will never put your team down. Happy clients who use Kotlin is difficult to quantify. However, you can look for ways to show why your team is excited about your management. According to the 2018 StackOverflow survey, Kotlin is the second most preferred programming language.
Many Android developers are increasingly shifting toward Kotlin’s usage. About 26% of the top 1000 Android applications on Play are starting to use Kotlin. Pinterest, Twitter, WeChat, and American Express are some of the popular hitters. Even Redmonk considers Kotlin the second fastest increasing mobile programming language. Also, Dice has cited that several Kotlin jobs have soared in recent years.
Once you have hands-on experience in integrating Kotlin to your app, below are some tips to use Kotlin into your daily Android development.
Both Kotlin and Android Kotlin style guides create a solid foundation when doing Kotlin code formatting. Above these, it’s essential to develop conventions and idioms that fit your team best.
One approach to implement unified Kotlin style is to optimize the settings of the Android Studio’s code style. Another option is employing a linter. In the case of Sunflower and Plaid projects, the ktlint is used for creating code styles. Ktlint offers necessary style defaults that ensure standard Kotlin style guides that can are customizable based on your team’s specific demands.
Use sparingly as needed
It’s handy to go overboard using Kotlin syntactic sugar. This wraps statements when applied, enabled, used, and other best language features. Basically, readability is more favored over reducing code lines. In Plaid, for instance, an apply block is determined to have at least two lines. Check what applies best for your team and add it to your style guide.
Identify case studies and existing projects
Several resources provide sample projects showing Googlers have begun migrating to Kotlin. Also, there are some corporate case studies that have combined Kotlin to their recent projects.
Letting Android developers try a new language
Using Google I/O, using different methods for developers have been used to embrace Kotlin through Andrey Breslav, Kotlin’s lead language creator. As observed, the best process is to let your team use Kotlin and see if it works well for your needs. If the disadvantages outweigh the advantages, Kotlin can be ignored.
Ease of learning Kotlin
Most developers select Kotlin right away for its best features. Qualified Java developers can employ similar tools when used in both Java and Kotlin. Ruby and Python developers can identify the same language features using Kotlin like method chaining. Google is best to use in backing up Kotlin when used in Android development. Aside from using Kotlin for Android apps, its concepts can also be applied to Java-based projects, including server-side programming.