Get Onboard Kotlin With Jetbrains
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Wednesday, 29 March 2023

There's a free course designed for novices in Kotlin that focuses on the basic concepts of the language. Apart from the content itself, the interesting of feature of this course is that it runs inside IntelliJ.

The pre-requisite to embarking on Kotlin Onbaording is to install the EduTools plugin with version at least 2023.1. When this plugin is enabled you can study a number programming languages supported by JetBrains IDEs by way of coding tasks and get instant feedback right inside your IDE.

Alternatively you can go for the special IntelliJ edition for Education, which has a free community license to complete the course. kotlinOnboard

The focus of the course is to learn how to write simple console applications in Kotlin and want to familiarize with the syntax and capabilities of the language. As a prerequisite, you need a basic understanding of programming in any language since

the course does not explain fundamental concepts such as variables, functions, or loops in detail, but rather offers simple reminders about their definitions and demonstrates how they can be used in Kotlin.

You do that by implementing six console applications like: 

  • Chat application - a simple chat program that engages the user in an interactive conversation to learn more about them
  • Bulls and Cows (Mastermind) game - try to guess a word chosen by their opponent
  • Console Photoshop - a simple console app that applies various filters to character images, similar to a basic version of Photoshop 

plus three more apps. 

By working on those apps you'll go through concepts like: 

  • the entry point for a Kotlin program
  • variables
  • functions
  • loops
  • ranges
  • if expressions
  • multi-row strings and string builder
  • basic facts about the null safety mechanism
  • basic facts about collections and lambda expressions 

All in all, it is a good entry point to the world of Kotlin.

As to why you would want to get acquainted with Kotlin. There are several reasons. First unlike Java, it's modern and as such does not carry the burden of the past in trying to stay compatible with it at any cost. However, Java is still going strong despite being heralded as the 'old horse' of the programming language collective:

Java has always been the favorite - enterprises talked and still talk Java. Look no further than the Fortune 500 list of companies reliance on it. Yes, Blue Chips love it.

But for young startups, those fresh to the art of programming or, on the other hand, those experienced but looking for better alternatives or feeling adventurous, Kotlin is highly recommended.

Of course, let's not forget those who deal with Android, the platform that spearheads Kotlin's adoption. This is something pretty evident when prime educators like Udacity move on from Java to Kotlin in its Android Development curriculum. Lately Kotlin is also gaining ground on the Server side too.

On a final note, by discovering this course I also discovered the IntelliJ Education edition which can be used to learn other programming languages as well besides Kotlin. A win-win situation.


More Information

Kotlin Onboarding

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Why Do Android Devs Convert To Kotlin? 

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 01 April 2023 )