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Java vs Kotlin vs Scala- Which one should you choose?

In this article of Java vs Kotlin vs Scala, we will 3 main languages that uses JVM(Java virtual machine). JVM is an engine that provides runtime environment to drive the Java Code or applications. It converts Java bytecode into machines language. These 3 languages are Java, Kotlin and Scala. Now, in Github programming language survey, all of these programming languages are included in top 20.

Java programming language

Java is one of leading programming languages used in software industry. Github programming language survey rank Java as #2 programming language, only after Python.

Java has found use in multiple applications like Web application, Machine Learning, Mobile application, Enterprise software and many more.

Find complete list of Java application here:

Source: Github

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Top Companies using Java

  • Airbnb.
  • Uber.
  • Netflix.
  • Spotify.
  • Instagram.
  • Google.
  • Pinterest.
  • Amazon

Kotlin programming language

Kotlin is an object oriented programming language, developed by JetBrains in 2010. This open source language connects object-oriented programming features like Extension Function, Range Expressions, Smart Casts, and Companion Object, etc. Kotlin grew in popularity when Android Studio, which is official IDE for Android development, allowed app development in both Java and Kotlin. This language grew in popularity on Android due to its perfect compatibility with Java 6, which is the present version of Java on Android. It main features include seamless interoperability with Java, like calling Java code. Due to features like in-built null safety features, it has become a popular programming language for app development.

Kotlin is #12 popular programming language according to Github programming index

Companies using Kotlin programming language

Companies using Kotlin include Gradle, Uber, Atlassian, Evernote, Corda, Pinterest, Coursera and Pivotal, etc.

Source: Google Android

Popular Kotlin frameworks

There are lots of Kotlin frameworks which are helping in its popularity. Popular among those are Spek, Kanary, Klaxon, Query, Kotlin NoSQL, Kotlin-Core.

Pros and Cons of Using Kotlin

Pros Cons
Write expressible, concise, and efficient code Extra Runtime Size
It provides all the features of the functional and object-oriented paradigm Initial Readability of Code
Java and Kotlin codes are inter-convertible, which makes this language succeed Java efficiently Lack of proper function types (SAM Conversions), raw types and invariant array
Kotlin code looks similar to Java and behaves like C/C++, which makes it endure all the features of object-oriented It does not support pattern matching

Scala programming language

Scala comes from Scalable, which mean this programming language is designed for large scale infrastructure for functional programming.

Scala programming language has some common features with the Kotlin like higher-order functions, conciseness of code, FP functionality with an OOP style, and it offer interoperability with Java programming language. In term of Google searches, Scala and Kotlin are almost comparable.

Source- Google Trends. Scala in Red and Kotlin in Blue.

Scala is #16 popular programming language according to Github programming index

Pros and Cons of Using Scala

Pros Cons
Full Support for Macros, Pattern Matching, and Higher-Kindred Types Less Efficient in the Management of Null Safety
Operator Overloading Slow Compilation
Write Once, Run Everywhere Challenges in binary compilation
Bigger Community Support

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Applications of Scala programming langauge

Top companies using Scala

  1. Twitter
  2. Foursquare
  3. LinkedIn
  4. Tumblr
  5. Netflix
  6. Airbnb
  7. Sony
  8. Uber
  9. Apple
  10. The Guardian

Scala is used by popular frameworks like Spark, Akka and Play. Scala is being used in Big Data and mobile app development.

Scala programming language for Big Data

Apache Spark is written using Scala, and Scala programming gives additional benefits in performance in Big Data. Scala programming language work smoothly with Hadoop which is Java based.

Top Machine Learning libraries of Scala

  1. Breeze
  2. Saddle
  3. Scalalab
  4. Epic
  5. Breeze-vis
  6. Vegas
  7. Smile
  8. scala
  9. Summing Bird
  10. PredictionIO
  11. Akka
  12. Spray
  13. Slick

Java vs Kotlin vs Scala – What should you choose

When choosing a programming language, number of opportunities and payment scale should be a major criteria for any candidate.

Java jobs vs Scala Jobs vs Kotlin Jobs

There is vast difference in number of jobs being offered for Java programing, Scala programming and Kotlin programming.

Indeed Stackoverflow LinkedIn(US) LinkedIn(India)
Java 66290 1021 118737 44591
Scala 6458 65 11863 2539
Kotlin 1869 41 3342 1100

Source: Data taken from respective websites as on Jan 2020

As you can see, Java programming language still leads in number of jobs by 10:1 with Scala and 40:1 with respect to Kotlin.

Java salary vs Scala salary vs Kotlin salary

Source: Indeed

Programing language Salary range of developer
Java $92,000 – $105,00
Scala $94,000 – $120,000
Kotlin $95,000 – $110,000

Source: Indeed

Java searches vs Kotlin searches vs Scala searches

Google Trends suggest a massive gap in searches between Java and other 2 programming languages.

Source- Google Trends


As we can conclude from article, Java is still very popular programming language, offering largest number of jobs among 3 programming languages. Its rank on Github programming language index also highlights its importance.  Scala and Kotlin are relatively new languages and are still evolving. With code interoperability they do offer mix of benefits with Java, and do have good future in coming time.

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