Scala vs. Kotlin: What’s better?

  • 10 mins read

Scala vs. Kotlin: What’s better?

Isn’t this usually a touchy subject? Choosing the correct programming language frequently boils down to personal choice and the unique objectives of a project. 

That being said, both Scala and Kotlin have distinct pros and downsides, and it all comes down to what you’re looking for in a language.

Scala is a sophisticated and versatile programming language with an extensive standard library. It’s a strong choice for sophisticated, large-scale projects and has a robust developer community to aid you along the way.

On the other hand, if you’re searching for a language that’s simple to learn and use, with simpler syntax and less boilerplate code, Kotlin could be a better option. It’s an excellent choice for Android app development and has a lot of features that make it more user-friendly for developers coming from Java.

Whether you’re an experienced developer or just getting your feet wet, this article will provide you with a solid grounding in both Scala and Kotlin so that you may choose between the two with confidence. So buckle up, grab a coffee, and let’s get started!

What is Scala?

Scala, which stands for “Scalable Language,” is a multi-paradigm /object-oriented programming language. Authored by Martin Odersky, it debuted in 2003. Since Scala is compiled for the JVM, it can easily work with Java programs and make use of Java’s extensive library.

Scala’s Syntax and Its Potential

Scala’s conciseness and expressiveness in syntax are one of its most notable qualities. Because of this, programmers may create complicated applications with fewer lines of code, making the language more efficient overall. Because of its succinct nature, Scala’s syntax encourages developers to create more legible and maintainable programs.

Processing and analysis of massive amounts of data 

The academic and research community favors Scala because of the language’s versatility and ease of use for processing and analyzing massive amounts of data. Scala’s sophisticated functional programming characteristics, such as slow evaluation, immutability, and higher-order functions, make it a good fit for this sort of work. Because of this, many developers choose to use Scala for their next big data, scientific computing, or machine learning project.

What is Kotlin?

JetBrains introduced Kotlin in 2011, a programming language with static typing. It’s aimed to address many of the issues that have plagued Java programmers, and it does it by being shorter and more expressive than Java.

Kotlin’s compatibility with Java implies that it may be used in any Java application and vice versa. For large-scale corporate software and server-side applications, Kotlin’s compatibility with the JVM is a major plus.

Explicit Syntax and Readability

Since Kotlin prioritizes readability and has a concise syntax, it is far more convenient for programmers to create and maintain applications. Null safety, type inference, and extension functions are examples of how this language improves productivity. Kotlin allows programmers to produce code that is both easy to understand and modify, which improves teamwork on software projects.

Enterprise-Grade Language for Server-Side Applications

Kotlin’s structure makes it ideal for developing enterprise-level software and server-side applications. Kotlin is an excellent option for these types of endeavors because of its compatibility with Java and support for the JVM. Moreover, Kotlin’s emphasis on readability and compact syntax makes it simpler for developers to produce and maintain code, even for big and complicated projects.

This concludes our quick introduction to the programming languages Scala and Kotlin. Each language has its own set of quirks and benefits that make it useful in certain situations. In the next part, we’ll draw parallels between the two languages and help you choose between them.

What is the difference between Scala and Kotlin?

Let’s compare Scala with Kotlin so you can make a well-informed choice.


The syntax of Scala and Kotlin are two major areas of contrast. The rich and often verbose syntax of the Scala programming language is one of the reasons it is used to write such complicated and sophisticated software. Kotlin, on the other hand, is favored for projects with several developers or vast codebases because of its more compact and understandable syntax.

Functional approach vs. Object-Oriented one?

Scala is a computer language that supports several paradigms but leans heavily toward functional programming. This makes it an excellent option for tasks like data processing and analysis, as well as other projects that need cutting-edge functional programming capabilities. Kotlin, on the other hand, is built to allow both functional and object-oriented programming, albeit the former is given more priority.

Java’s Integration:

Interoperability with Java is an attractive feature of both Scala and Kotlin. Both languages may be used with existing Java applications since they share the same underlying virtual machine. Kotlin, on the other hand, is fully compatible with Java, making it a compelling option for Java programmers and projects that must work with existing Java code.

Scala vs. Kotlin: Comparison

Ease of Learning

If you’re scared of how it might be hard to learn coding with Scala, don’t be! Scala’s robust functionality and adaptable syntax make it a highly desirable programming language. The learning curve for the JVM programming language is steep, making it challenging for beginners.

However, this is not true for Kotlin.

Developers working in Java have indicated that it takes just a few hours to grasp the fundamentals of Kotlin grammar and may begin writing code in as little as three days. Google has also provided Android developers with free Kotlin training, making it easier for them to enter the Kotlin industry.

If the only criterion for deciding between Kotlin and Scala is the steepness of their respective “learning curves,” then Kotlin is the clear victor.

A Plea for Functional Coding

It’s true that the functional programming paradigm is a hallmark of both languages. When comparing Scala to Kotlin, however, the former emerges victorious when it comes to functional programming.

Scala is more influenced by Haskell and other functional programming languages than Kotlin is. Functional programming is encouraged together with the usage of other features such as pattern matching and currying. Additionally, the Scala ecosystem encourages greater experimentation with functional programming.

Pattern Matching

The advantages of Scala over Kotlin in terms of pattern matching have previously been shown. Its match statement lets programmers match any data, not just it’s own. Additionally, it demonstrates complete compatibility with advanced and macros-based formats.

The functionality of the App

However, let’s use an Android app as a benchmark for evaluating the JVM languages, even if app performance is greatly dependent on the kind of app.

Using Scala for Android development is a great choice if you need highly scalable Android app development services. Comparatively, developing and troubleshooting a Kotlin-based program is straightforward. When comparing Scala vs. Kotlin, we see that Kotlin provides better app performance than the other JVM language. Effectiveness of Apps

It’s difficult to generalize about app performance since every app is unique, but for the sake of this comparison, let’s use an Android app written in one of the several JVM languages.

Operators Overloading

While Java does not have built-in support for Operator overloading, both Scala and Kotlin do. To reiterate, this is an essential consideration when deciding between Scala and Kotlin for your JVM-based development requirements.

Kotlin’s main goal is to strike a harmony between efficiency and comprehension. It allows developers to redefine existing operators but prevents them from overloading the standard ones. This simplifies the language of Kotlin operators (even for inexperienced programmers), but it also limits their potential applications.

While Kotlin takes a strict stance against operator overloading, Scala takes a more relaxed approach. Since of this, it’s a fantastic match for developing internal domain-specific languages because it encourages more understandable code writing. However, it might cause bafflement if used poorly.

Which is faster, Scala or Kotlin?

There is no easy solution to this problem since the performance of a language depends on many factors, such as the kind of program being developed in it, the hardware being utilized, and the algorithms and data structures being used.

Kotlin’s rise to popularity may be attributed to the fact that it compiles faster than Scala thanks to its simpler syntax and type system. Scala’s strong support for functional programming and optimizations for large-scale data processing makes it a viable alternative for performance-critical projects.

Since both Scala and Kotlin run on top of the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), the actual performance of a given application will depend on the JVM implementation and settings rather than the language.

Is Scala losing popularity?

There is no simple solution to the question of how widely used Scala is. While some evidence suggests its appeal has diminished in recent years, other studies demonstrate that it remains in great demand, particularly for creating microservices and managing massive data processing. Remember that many variables, such as industry needs, developer tastes, and new technology, may affect a programming language’s popularity. Scala may not be expanding as quickly as other languages, but it still seems to be a significant participant in the IT industry as a whole.

Is Kotlin inspired by Scala?

So, the quick answer is that Scala absolutely influenced Kotlin. Many developers see Kotlin as a more succinct and lightweight version of Scala. Both languages support functional programming and are meant to run on the Java Virtual Machine (JVM), but Kotlin is intended to be easier to learn and use, with simpler syntax and less boilerplate code.

If you’re acquainted with Scala, you’ll see that many of the same principles exist in Kotlin but in a more simplified form. Kotlin, for example, includes type inference and type safety capabilities comparable to Scala but with a less sophisticated type system. It also has functionality for dealing with null values, which are often a cause of aggravation for Java developers.

Scala vs. Kotlin: What’s better?

Both Scala and Kotlin are wonderful languages with a lot to offer. The ideal option is dependent on your demands and goals for your project.

There is a growing need for developers to have access to a wide variety of resources in order to meet the challenges posed by technological progress and shifting software development requirements. It’s not easy to figure out which programming language will work best for your future endeavor. This is where the Scala and Kotlin programming languages come into play. The developer community has been buzzing about these two languages because of their distinctive advantages and growing popularity across a range of domains.

As a developer, you may already be aware of Java’s drawbacks and the difficulties it might provide. Because of this, Kotlin exists. Kotlin is an alternative programming language to Java that aims to improve readability, flexibility, and performance for its users. However, Scala is a multi-paradigm language, meaning it can be used for both functional and object-oriented development. It finds widespread use in the world of academia and research because of its efficiency and effectiveness while dealing with massive amounts of data.

Why Pick One Language Over Another: Kotlin vs. Scala? The answer is straightforward: it is determined by the developer’s needs. Kotlin is a quick, efficient, and straightforward programming language that deserves consideration. Scala, on the other hand, is a great option if you need a language that can handle enormous amounts of data and is expressive and flexible.