Top 14 JVM Languages To Choose From For Your Software Development


July 8, 2022


June 22nd, 2023

As we talk about the contemporary programming languages used for software development, Java has been a prevalent choice globally. And those who know Java are well versed with Java Virtual Machine (JVM). Its expertise and salient features have spread throughout organizations of all sizes and segments.

For the last few years, JVM does not rotate around Java alone, there are many other JVM languages that are getting well known. JVM is getting faster and more effective in terms of execution and performance. Hence, these JVM-based languages are facilitating developers in maximizing their Java skills and overcoming the shortcoming that they were facing.

This article runs you through the first five most popular languages on JVM and then the other JVM implementations. But, firstly, let us quickly understand what a JVM language means.

What Is JVM Language?

A Java virtual machine (JVM) is a virtual machine that enables a computer to run Java programs as well as programs written in other languages that are also compiled to Java bytecode. – Wikipedia

A JVM-compatible language is a programming language that can execute perfectly on a JVM. JVM is responsible for loading, verifying, and executing Java bytecode. As the interpreter of Java, it showcases an abstract computing model. It offers both a compiler and an interpreter. The compiler does the code compilation along with bytecode generation and then the interpreter does the conversion of the bytecode to machine understandable code.

JVM offers its own individual instruction set and execution engine that does the manipulation of memory regions at run time. This offers a comprehensive execution infrastructure for applications to smoothly execute on it. The JVM setup is a virtual one since it operates on top of hardware and OS which is real.

The three components that JVM comprises are class loader, runtime memory, and execution engine. JVM talks about a specification in which the JVM working is mentioned. Its implementation is called Java Runtime Environment (JRE). It creates a runtime instance each time a Java command is written on the command line. JVM is responsible for loading, verifying, executing code, and then offering a runtime environment.

Features Of JVM
  • Garbage collection
  • Native memory tracking
  • Inbuilt security features
  • Complete compiler control
  • Effective memory management
  • Supports non-Java languages
  • Signal Chaining


Top 14 JVM Languages To Choose From

  • Java
  • Kotlin
  • Scala
  • Groovy
  • Clojure
  • Fantom
  • Ceylon
  • Jython
  • JRuby
  • Frege
  • Xtend
  • Golo
  • Concurnaas
  • Yeti
Of the Above, Top 5 JVM Languages That Lead the Way


Java is a highly popular, class-based, object-oriented, general-purpose programming language that was developed initially by James Gosling at Sun Microsystems and is now owned by Oracle. It goes by the ‘write once, run anywhere concept because of which it has been steadily maintaining one of the top slots for years now.

It caters to a variety of applications like dynamic web apps, Android app development, game consoles, server-side development, embedded applications, IoT apps, scientific applications, financial/trading apps, Microservices-based apps, robotics, and many more. The Java code is first compiled into byte code which runs on Java Virtual Machine (JVM) irrespective of the fundamental architecture.

Interesting Read: Java Microservices: Basics, Examples, Frameworks, Interview Questions

Salient Features:
  • Ideal for all types of apps and infrastructure
  • An ecosystem with huge community support
  • Secure, stable, and scalable
  • Easy to learn and code
  • Platform independent
  • Modular style of coding
Companies Using Java:

Spotify, Twitter, Uber, Netflix, eBay, Google, Airbnb, Slack, Instagram, Pinterest, Groupon, etc.


Kotlin is a popular language focused on simplifying web and mobile app development. It has a special focus on Android app development – server-side and client-side. Based on the JVM, it offers secure and futuristic apps. In terms of speed, performance, and coding style, Kotlin has an edge over Java. There is good support for different platforms like Windows, iOS, macOS, Linux, JavaScript, JVM, and embedded systems.

As a modern and trending programming language, Kotlin is easy to manage and hence developers find it easy to create robust applications. With the help of JVM libraries and frameworks, a variety of server-side applications can be created. It maintains a cross-platform layer for native applications.

Salient Features:
  • Compatibility with current Java, Android, and web libraries
  • Easy maintenance and reading of code
  • Clean and compact syntax
  • Integration with any type of Java IDE
  • Strong community support
  • Operator overloading
Companies Using Kotlin:

Gradle, Spring, Corda, Coursera, Atlassian, Trello, Uber, Foursquare, Capital One, Pinterest, etc.

Interesting Read:  Top Examples Of Popular Apps Built With Kotlin


Scala is a known, general-purpose, statically typed programming language that supports functional as well as object-oriented programming. It is a high-level language that offers static types to lessen errors in complicated applications. The JVM and JavaScript runtime helps in creating high-performance applications with good library support. It is highly compatible with the Java ecosystem.

Being an object-oriented language, Scala manages user demands with ease right from smaller scripts to huge systems. It is mainly utilized for data processing, web development, distributed computing, data engineering, etc. Since it is interoperable with Java, it leverages library support heavily. Since it is statically typed, it has a sophisticated type interface system.

Salient Features:
  • Modernized, concise, and high-level language
  • Inbuilt best patterns and practices
  • Immutability, lazy computation
  • Well-designed coding structure
  • Concurrency control
  • String interpolation
Companies Using Scala:

Verizon, Twitter, Airbnb, LinkedIn, Accenture, Glovo, SoundCloud, The New York Times, Coursera, etc.


The Apache Groovy language is a powerful, scripting JVM language that offers simplified code with dot-separated notation. It supports syntax for manipulation of collections, Strings, and JavaBeans. As a dynamic, object-oriented language, it can be utilized anywhere where Java is used. It combines new applications, Java modules, and existing Java applications.

It offers multifaceted capabilities in which it offers static compilation and static typing. It integrates seamlessly with any other Java platform offering strong features and scripting competencies, meta programming, domain-specific language, and functional programming. It offers a flat learning curve for those who are well versed with Java.

Salient Features:
  • Static and dynamic typing
  • Operator overloading
  • Native support for lists and regular expressions
  • Flexibility and ease of coding
  • Vibrant and enriched ecosystem
  • Concise and supportable tests
Companies Using Groovy:

Starbucks, Apple, Verizon, AgaroPulse, Rumble, Craft base, Trendyol Group, Oracle, Target, etc.


Clojure is a dynamic, high-level, general-purpose language in the JVM language list that relies on the LISP language and possesses compilers that execute on Java and .NET environments. It combines the features of a scripting language and a multithreaded programming language. It is a compiled language, yet all features supported by it are equally supported at runtime.

Clojure shares the code-as-data philosophy and a strong macro system with Lisp. It consists of an enriched set of data structures that are unchangeable and constant. In case needed, it provides a software transactional memory system to get accurate multithreaded designs. It offers simple availability to Java frameworks with its elements like type inference and optional type hints.

Salient Features:
  • Functional programming
  • Hosting on the JVM
  • Runtime Polymorphism
  • Software Transactional Memory
  • Vibrant and strong community support
  • Inbuilt support for concurrency
Companies Using Clojure:

Walmart, Accenture, Nubank, CircleCI, Soundcloud, GO-JEK, Zalando, Adobe, Amazon, Capital One, etc.

Other Popular JVM Languages


Fantom is a language on JVM that is object-oriented, open-source, and portable. It compiles JavaScript and .NET CLR. It can execute seamlessly on different browsers, and servers and works well with IoT devices. It features immutability, familiar syntax, concurrency control, flexible libraries, and concise core APIs to make it a preferred choice.


Ceylon is an object-oriented language developed by RedHat. It is statically typed and offers a simple learning curve since it is highly understandable and less wordy. There are many powerful type system features that are liked by developers – construct to define type aliases, flow typing, local type inference, union, and intersection types, etc.


Jython, as the name suggests, is the Java platform implementation of Python that executes on JVM. It offers the benefits of Python running on JVM and the availability of classes that are written in Java. It is multi-threaded; object-oriented and utilizes Java’s garbage collector for effective memory cleansing.


JRuby is a high-performance implementation of Ruby language to execute on the JVM. It is free to use and works as a mixed-mode VM for Ruby in which code is interpreted directly or ahead of time to Java bytecode. It supports several libraries that belong to Java and Ruby. It leverages the best features from both languages, for e.g. duck-typing, etc.


Frege is a JVM language that creates functional programming for the Java platform. It is a version of the functional language Haskell and is interoperable with Java. It offers easy compilation to a Java class. It offers advantages like functional paradigms, immutability, making use of packages from Haskell repositor, and compatibility with the Haskell ecosystem.


Xend is a flexible, statically typed, object-oriented JVM language that compiles into Java 8 compatible code. Unlike others, it compiles to Java code and hence one can work with the generated code. Any current Java library can be used easily and the output that is compiled is easily readable. There are effective lambdas, macros, operator overloading features to help.


Golo is a light weighted dynamic language for the JVM. It is simple, dynamic, and weakly typed that prefers the explicit over implicit. In Golo, the semantics are ported by designing the language with performance patterns. The code base is highly approachable for runtime research or for using the language.


The Concurnas programming language is an open-source JVM language ideal to create scalable, reliable, systems that are concurrent and distributed. It helps developers leverage the modernized multi-core CPU and GPU hardware getting parallel programming easy. Developers can do their work with fewer lines of code that is easy to test and secure to deal with.


Yeti is a functional language that executes on the JVM. It uses properties such as Type inference, polymorphic structure, and variant types, lazy lists, pattern matching on values, property fields in structures, and an interactive REPL environment. It offers a direct compilation to Java bytecode with faster compilation and execution both.

JVM Languages: Wrapping It Up

It is interesting to run through the list of JVM languages that are becoming increasingly popular. And over the years, the list will expand with newer languages supporting JVM. Java is a sure shot stay but now, no longer are developers dependent only upon Java. They have a variety of languages on JVM that can offer better results and overcome the hurdles that developers face with Java.

Of the above JVM language list, it is tough to say which is the best JVM language since finally, it depends upon organizational parameters such ask skilled resources, budgeted cost, experience, project deadlines, etc.

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