JetBrains Brings a Pragmatic Object Oriented Functional Language to the JVM

Kotlin provides conciseness, null-safety, interoperability and functional constructs to Java 6 and up.

February 15, 2016

JetBrains has announced the immediate availability of their Open Source language Kotlin, targeted at the JVM and JavaScript.

Kotlin is a multi-purpose language that can be used to create any type of application including web applications, backend services and others. Its seamless interoperability with Java and a vibrant ecosystem make it easy to start using and gaining productivity benefits from. Already dubbed as ‘the Swift for Android,’ Kotlin has seen tremendous adoption on the mobile platform owing to its compatibility with Java 6 and small runtime. Along with its conciseness, null-safety, functional constructs and the ability to create type-safe DSLs, this has brought many new possibilities such as Anko, an Open Source library for Android Development.

Originating out of an internal need in JetBrains, today Kotlin is being used in 10 of the company’s products, including the award-winning IntelliJ IDEA as well as the recently announced Project Rider, a cross-platform IDE for .NET.

“If I were to choose one word to describe Kotlin’s design, it would be pragmatism. For us it means caring about the usefulness,” says Andrey Breslav, Kotlin team lead. “Many of the language design decisions were made under constraints like ‘Won’t this impede incremental compilation?’ or ’What if this increases APK method counts?’. It’s about creating a user experience, not a language or a library alone.”

The project has been in development for just over 5 years, and used in production for the last two, both by JetBrains and other companies such as Expedia and Prezi.

With over 11,000 users in January 2015, and lines of Kotlin code growing exponentially in GitHub projects, Kotlin has already seen strong adoption well before this official release.

The Kotlin development project includes over 20 JetBrains employees and almost 100 collaborators overall. JetBrains has invested in Kotlin heavily and is committed to it for the long term.

About JetBrains

JetBrains is a technology-leading software development firm specializing in the creation of intelligent, productivity-enhancing software. It maintains its headquarters in Prague, Czech Republic, with its R&D labs located in St. Petersburg, Moscow, Munich and Boston. JetBrains employs close to 600 people and is organically grown, with no external funding. Its product catalogue includes award-winning tools such as IntelliJ IDEA and ReSharper, and its IntelliJ Platform has been chosen by a variety of companies to build their own tooling on, including Google’s Android Studio. For more information, see

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Note to Editors: Kotlin, JetBrains, IntelliJ, IntelliJ IDEA are trademarks or registered trademarks of JetBrains, s.r.o. All other trademarks are the properties of their respective owners.

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