Building a custom mobile app has become a norm among businesses today thanks to the increase in number of smartphone users over the years. If the statistics are to be believed, there are over 3.5 billion smartphone users in the world at present.
When you think of building an app for your business, you either approach your in-house development team or hire a developer or development company. Usually, the latter is preferred for the cost-effectiveness and other factors. And when you decide to hire a mobile app developer, the next dilemma is how to hire them. There are plenty of things to consider while hiring a mobile app developer, the primary one being “what kind of developer you need.” This involves the platform and programming language they specialize in and whether they would be able to meet your business requirements.
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Speaking of programming languages, Kotlin is one of the most in-demand programming languages at present. Kotlin app development has seen immense expansion in the recent years and as a result, there has been an increase in demand for Kotlin app developers.
Before we go into the tips for hiring a Kotlin app development company – which this blog is pretty much about, let us know more about Kotlin and why it is popular among mobile app developers.
What is Kotlin
Kotlin is an open-source, statically typed, cross-platform programming language that has been designed to work in conjunction with Java. It runs on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM) with which it integrates object-oriented and functional programming capabilities. Kotlin can be used as an alternative to Java for Android app development. The programming language mainly focuses on interoperability, transparency, security and tools.
Kotlin was released in 2011 by JetBrains – a company that is known to sell integrated development environments (IDEs) for programming languages. Kotlin soon became developers’ favourite and has already replaced Java in many software development projects.
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What is Kotlin used for?
Initially, Kotlin was a programming language specifically for Android development. But soon, it became popular among Java app developers and has since been used to build different kinds of applications.
- Android app development
Kotlin was exclusively used for Android development in the beginning for the fact that developers could write more expressive, efficient and safer code using the programming language.
Majority of businesses have a mobile app for their clients today since most people access the internet using their mobile devices. According to reports, about 70% of Android applications out of 1000 in Google Play Store use Kotlin. This means that even if Kotlin was being used specifically for Android app development, it would still be in demand like it is now.
- Back-end web development
Java has always been the go-to programming language for back-end web development. However, Kotlin has found its way into server-side web development recently as developers find it easier to work with.
Kotlin involves modern features that allow developers to create quickly scalable applications on commodity hardware. Also, Kotlin being interoperable with Java allows developers to migrate an app to Kotlin one file at a time while the rest of the app continues to use Java.
Spring is one of the most popular Java frame works used for back-end web development. Kotlin also works with Spring as well as other frameworks – this means developers can continue to work with the framework without actually changing anything they are used to. Tech giants, like Google and Amazon have already switched to Kotlin for some of their server-side development. According to reports, developers have used Kotlin for backend development of 47% of the websites available today.
- Full-stack web development
Like we mentioned earlier, Kotlin is used for back-end web development, mostly as an alternative to Java which has been used for the same purpose since it came into being. But that is not all. Kotlin can also be used for front-end development using Kotlin/JS.
- Data science
Java is the preferred programming language of Data Scientists to crunch numbers, identify trends, and make predictions. So, we can undoubtedly say that they would adopt Kotlin in data science as well.
Data Scientists can write code in Kotlin while using the standard Java libraries that they use for Java projects. The two popular data science tools, Jupyter and Zeppelin, used by Data Scientists for exploratory research and data visualization, also support Kotlin.
- Cross-platform development
The recently released software development kit – Kotlin Multi-platform Mobile can be used to build cross-platform mobile apps. It allows developers to maintain a shared codebase, thereby sharing the logic of Android and iOS apps. Developers can compile apps that run across Android and iOS platforms using single Kotlin code base.
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What makes Kotlin popular among mobile app developers?
What are the advantages that Kotlin offer over other programming languages, making it a favourite of developers? Let us find out.
Kotlin is an open-source programming language and has been undergoing constant updates. Also, when you hire a Kotlin app development company, the added advantage is the Kotlin community.
Developers are always expected to create apps in a timely and efficient manner. Balancing the two is not an easy task considering how the processes of debugging, trouble shooting and rewriting codes are time consuming.
Kotlin is an easy-to-learn programming language and it also allows developers to efficiently write codes. It lessens the code length by 20% compared to Java. The Kotlin compiler analyses the written code and completes the remaining code. This means developers no longer have to spend long hours to create apps and it also increases productivity. Another benefit is that the syntax is intuitive in Kotlin and the code can be tested in a shorter amount of time.
Kotlin is interoperable with Java. This makes it easier for developers to run their Java codes on Kotlin and vice versa. They just have to add class of Java on the Kotlin project they are working on.
The 100% interoperability feature of Kotlin makes it easy for developers to quicken the pace of writing code without any issues. This makes the development process a lot easier. Kotlin uses the Java library and tools and also provides backward compatibility for Java versions 6 and 7.
- Extension functions
Developers can make use of the extension functions in Kotlin to add extra features to the existing apps without having to inherit any data classes. This allows them to easily release updates within a shorter amount of time.
- Default parameters
The default parameters of Kotlin are of great use when developers pass arguments by name instead of index. This helps developers who have to write long codes with a function that has plenty of optional parameters.
- Null safety
Null safety is one of the best benefits offered by Kotlin. Null pointers or null references in code are a developer’s nightmare. Kotlin helps save developers from making this costly mistake by eliminating the null references or null errors. Developers usually have to use null reference exception while accessing it when they work with Java. However, Kotlin removes the null pointer exception directly, thus improving the data consistency.
- Smart cast function
Smart cast function of Kotlin reduces the speed of an app, while improving the performance. It identifies the type of function and performs the necessary operations that have been coded for a specific type. This helps improve the overall efficiency of an application. .
By improving the performance of an app, the smart cast function helps the developers save lots of time and reduces the app’s time to market.
The frameworks of Kotlin keep apps safe from misconfigurations and device crashes, which are usually the result of typical programming errors. With Java, certain types of errors are bound to recur. This allows developers to build a robust app using Kotlin. Hire Kotlin developers to help you build secure and stable apps.
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Hiring a Kotlin app development company
Now we come to the main topic – hiring a Kotlin app development company.
Most businesses prefer hiring an app development company over a developer mainly because when you hire a company, you get a development team with roles that are necessary for your project – project manager, designers, developers,testers and so on. If you choose to hire people in each of these roles separately, it would cost you more and your app development project would go over budget.
So, what all are the things you must consider while hiring a Kotlin app development company? The most important factor is the skills, followed by experience, cost, and types of arrangements.
Technical skills are a must have for any developer. Before hiring a Kotlin app development team, ensure that they have the following technical skills.
Expert Knowledge in Kotlin and Java
When you hire a Kotlin app developer, it is expected of them to have knowledge in Kotlin. But the knowledge in Java is also required since Kotlin is mostly used with Java and because most Kotlin development projects also involve Java. According to JetBrains, 86% of the developers who use Kotlin also use Java on a regular basis. Also, most Kotlin developers were Java developers before. They switched to Kotlin because of its extra features like native support for optional and lesser code that make thing easier and also help achieve the same results as Java.
Well-versed in XML
Web and Android development depend a lot on XML markup language which helps support the layout of an app or website and also in parsing data from the database orserver. Therefore, it is necessary for Kotlin app developers to be familiar with XML and know how Kotlin is related to XML. Otherwise, all your efforts in finding a development team will go down the drain.
Experienced in SQL and Linux
Expertise in SQL and Linux is a must-have skill for Kotlin developers to work on website backend. It is better if you hire developers who are well-experienced in AWS, REST, and Apache Kafka. You can also go to your in-house team or a software consultant to know what more tools are necessary.
Knowledge of Android Studio and other Android tools
If you are hiring Kotlin app developers to build an Android mobile app, look for someone who has deep knowledge about the development environment and tools. The primary development environment they must be familiar with is Android Studio apart from other useful environments like Toolbar and Firebase. In terms of tools, the developers should be familiar with Espresso – the tool for automated testing and the like.
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When you hire Kotlin app development developers/development company based on skills, it does not mean just the technical skills. You have to collaborate with the development team to get the best outcomes that align with your business needs. Also, you should be able to communicate with them and vice versa regarding the changes and improvements until you receive the expected results. Therefore, the following soft skills are necessary for Kotlin app developers to ensure good team work.
Up to date
It is necessary for your app to match the latest trends to stay ahead in the competition. If you have noticed, users mostly prefer apps that undergo constant improvisation in terms of designs and features that are currently trending. Therefore, the developer you hire must be someone who always keeps an eye on the latest design and functionality trends to come up with innovative and creative apps.
Considers user’s POV
The ultimate goal of any business is customer satisfaction. Most end-users of an app need not be tech savvy. So a user-friendly interface and features are usually what work for them. Therefore, when you hire a Kotlin app developer, make sure that they are capable of building apps by considering the end users’ point of view.
Time management and adaptability
A development team’s job does not end with creating codes. They are also responsible for providing technical support especially for back-end developers, planning and developing new functionalities and features, testing applications, and much more. And sometimes, even after doing everything perfectly, some issues or errors might arise. Kotlin developers must be able to adapt to the situation quickly and fix the issues as soon as possible.
Apart from the skills, you must also consider whether the development team you are hiring suits your business needs – this helps to make the development process more effective. You can do that in the following ways.
• You will be looking for developers with industry experience and it would be great if they could bring in the experience and knowledge while working on your project.
• Kotlin developers with prior experience in creating products like yours would be a great fit as they can use the experience and knowledge from their previous work in your project.
• It is easier to work with a team that shares similar values as your organization. It would help in easier collaboration, interaction and team work.
If you are looking for a mobile app development company that provides to-notch Kotlin app development services, we – at Redbytes Software are ready to help you. Redbytes Software has been in the development industry for over 13 years and has over 350 projects to our credit – thanks to our skilled and experienced development team.
We have so far served businesses – from startups to Fortune 500 companies, delivering the best business solutions to them that aligned with their requirements. We provide a variety of development services, Kotlin app development being one of them. Our Kotlin app development services include Kotlin custom app development, app migration to Kotlin, Kotlin enterprise apps, maintenance and support and more.
It is necessary to hire a team of dedicated developers to build Kotlin apps. After all, you cannot risk your money, time and efforts to end up with an app with errors leading to lesser productivity and your organization’s reputation at stake. You can hire our developers who are well-versed in Kotlin and other programming languages and are capable of working across all popular platforms and will be with you through the development process and beyond. If you would like to hire us to build your dream Kotlin app, do get in touch with us.