Starfish's journey with Kotlin

Starfish's journey with Kotlin

We are proud to announce our sponsorship of KotlinConf’23, which will take place in Amsterdam from April 12 - April 14. As a bronze sponsor, we will be supporting this exciting event. Our developers, Hernâni Cerqueira and Albrecht Röhm, will be representing our and are eager to participate. Jannat, a member of the Starfish marketing team, recently interviewed our developer Hernani Cerquera to gain insight into his perspective on Starfish's journey with Kotlin and his goals for the company at this event. But before we delve into that, let's discuss what Kotlin actually is.

Running on the Java Virtual Machine is the statically typed programming language known as Kotlin (JVM). It is intended to work with Java and is concise, expressive, and interoperable. Null safety, extension functions, coroutines, and other features make Kotlin a strong and effective language for modern software development. Kotlin can be used for server-side development, web development, and other things in addition to Android. The language is productive, safe, and easy to transition to, with a wide recruitment pool. The Kotlin project started in 2010 by JetBrains as a more concise and expressive alternative to Java. Additionally, Kotlin's compatibility with existing Java codebases makes it a valuable language for companies looking to migrate from Java to a more modern language. With this in mind, let's dive into the interview with our developer Hernani Cerquera.

Jannat: Hernani, what do you think is the role of Kotlin in our technology company?

Hernani: “Kotlin is at the core of a lot of the products we develop and maintain. It is a versatile and powerful tool that we are proud to use in our work.”

Jannat: How do we see our role in Kotlin’s ecosystem and how does Starfish contribute to the Kotlin’s community?

Hernani: “We’re still mostly “active users” with the occasional bug report and rare pull request to iron up some of the tech we use, mostly as an individual contribution basis.” We do hope to grow into “active contributors” though.

Jannat: How do you think Starfish implements Kotlin in its software development and why is it important for us?

Hernani: “There are some code bases where it's all Kotlin and Kotlin first frameworks, but we also have projects where Kotlin is slowly replacing Java. It's also a really productive language, and has a wide recruitment pool if you consider anyone that has been near the JVM. It's very safe and easy to transition to Kotlin and then grow into different paradigms”

Jannat: What do you see as the future of Kotlin and its role in the technology industry?

Hernani: “Kotlin already has everything that makes a language great. Being a JVM technology is embedded in the most comprehensive development ecosystem of them all; On top of that, the community has already excelled in creating a few amazing Kotlin first frameworks for pretty much every need; Finally, being a Jetbrains lead project means the tooling is guaranteed to be cutting edge; Now, all its left is Kotlin to follow its natural path of becoming the default language of choice when starting JVM projects.”

Jannat: Can you share a success story of Starfish using Kotlin in a project?

Hernani: “Not an isolated story, but since we are maintaining some Java based services along with some Kotlin based ones, there is a noticeable difference between the two bases in terms of the amount of avoidable bugs, like null pointers and off by one error, each base produces.”

Jannat: What do you hope attendees will take away from the conference and Starfish's presence there?

Hernani: “A reinforced passion for writing quality code and we hope to showcase the versatility and power of Kotlin through our presence at KotlinConf’23.”

Jannat: “Can you speak to the unique advantages that Kotlin offers for software development compared to other programming languages?”

Hernani: “Null safety is absolutely my favorite. Throughout my career I think nulls are developers biggest trap, specially in a world where there are multiple services communicating through structured text. I also like the syntax that lowers the verbosity of simple functional constructs.”

Jannat: “What are you most looking forward to at the Kotlin Conference?” Hernani: “Definitely connect with like-minded individuals and have the opportunity to indulge in my passion for a few days. It's a chance for me to connect, grow, and immerse myself in a world of possibilities.”

Jannat: “What do you hope to learn and take away from the conference?”

Hernani: “There seems to be a lot of new novelty usages of Kotlin, including Kotlin multiplatform for example. I hope to have a better understanding of how we can leverage Kotlin in the future.”

Jannat: “Can you share a specific example of how Kotlin has improved the quality or efficiency of your team's work?”

Hernani: “Kotlin has allowed us to write more concise and expressive code that is easier to maintain and less prone to errors. For example, we have been able to reduce the number of null pointer exceptions by using Kotlin's null safety features. It definitely makes even the seasoned Java developer that never worked with Kotlin before write much safer code.”

Jannat: “We appreciate you taking the time to share your perspective with us and look forward to working with Kotlin in the future as we work to advance and support this significant community.”