Data in the chart below comes from the Dice jobs database. We took measures to ‘clean’ the data, which helps us eliminate fuzzier elements (such as when recruiters re-post jobs). To be blunt, we ran the numbers several times because we had trouble believing what we saw.
But the data is accurate, and Kotlin is booming. Founded in 2011 by Jetbrains and released to the open source world in 2012, the language reached stability – or version 1.0 – in February 2016. As we see in the chart below, that stability milestone wasn’t a driver for jobs; until Q4 2016, job postings for the language were negligible.
In 2017, however, Kotlin jobs effectively doubled in six short months. By the end of the second quarter of that year, you could find jobs for the burgeoning language bubbling to the top of searches.
Though there were murmurs Google was looking for a supplemental Android language, nothing solid materialized for years. Then, at Google I/O 2017, the company announced Kotlin was officially a ‘first class’ language for Android. By the end of Q3 2017, the number of Kotlin jobs on Dice had increased four-fold. Given the short timeframe between jobs increasing and Google’s announcement, we can draw a solid conclusion that Android and Google are responsible for the spike.
The job growth never stopped. Each quarter since, Kotlin job postings on Dice have increased, with the number of jobs asking for experience with the language nearly doubling every three months. It’s not just Dice; many services that track languages note Kotlin is on the rise, often experiencing growth alongside Google’s self-developed language, Go.
Compared to the time before Kotlin became Google’s new best friend, job postings have increased roughly 20x. (We’ll note we are only tracking through Q2 2018.)
There’s only one reason for Kotlin’s new-found fame: Android. When we compared Kotlin to Java for Android Developer jobs, we see its growth percentage edge just a touch higher than Java. This means the number of job postings asking for Kotlin as a skill are outpacing those that specifically call out Java.
If your take on this growth is “no way,” we empathize. We had the same reaction – but it’s real. Android is spurring a meteoric rise for Kotlin jobs, and there’s no sign the language is slowing or plateauing just yet. Google is continuing to weave it into the Android developer ecosystem, and interest amongst devs is also booming.