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Kotlin and Variance: Navigating Type Relationships

Demystifying Generics: A Comprehensive Exploration of Type Variance in Kotlin and its Practical Implications in Software Development

Photo by Ji Seongkwang on Unsplash

If you’ve worked with a programming language that supports generic types, you’ve likely encountered terms like invariance, covariance, and contravariance. At first glance, these terms can be intimidating. However, a deeper understanding of them allows for more efficient and flexible coding. While this article uses Kotlin for illustration, the core concepts resonate across several programming languages, including Scala, Java, C#, and Swift.

The Beverage Vending Machine

Let’s begin with a simple example: a beverage vending machine. It takes your payment and dispenses a drink. While basic, this example sets the stage for our deeper dive into variance. Some machines are designed to dispense soft drinks, while others are specifically built for coffee.

Kotlin and Variance: Navigating Type Relationships was originally published in Kt. Academy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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