October 24, 2020

Functional vs Object-oriented Programming

Both functional and OOP have their own use cases and both of them seem to...

Both functional and OOP have their own use cases and both of them seem to provide powerful solutions to complex programming problems. Of course, each in its own way! Both of these paradigms can be used to understand the differences that lie in between them and also find out where they would fit appropriately as well.

On this blog, we will taking a look at the following aspects:

Also, make sure to check out the Functional Programming vs OOP video on our YouTube channel:


Functional Programming

Functional programming is one of the famous programming paradigms that is seeing a lot of popularity among developers recently. The main intent of functional programming is to avoid changing states and working with mutable data. It is completely concerned with attaining the output of a function when passed certain inputs.

Functional programming, simply put, is concerned with the ‘what’ rather than ‘how’ part of arriving at a solution. Pure reliance on the arguments of a function to achieve results is what makes this paradigm special.

For example, consider that you have a function that multiplies two numbers. Call it returnProduct(). This calculates the product and returns the output appropriately. When you input the same values for the parameters, your output will always be the same. The output will not vary.

Now, when the talk is about how things function in the backend, in terms of logic, structure, and maintenance, functional programming is really good when there is no history of data or states to deal with. Predetermined boundaries are among the important things that guide functional programming to work effectively.

There are numerous advantages to using functional programming, and some of them are as follows:

  • Highly efficient processing
  • Support for lazy evaluation
  • Usage of nested functions
  • Provision of easy debuggability
  • Powering parallel programming capabilities

All in all, functional programming is used to write the functions that have a particular task at hand to achieve and output the result. If there are multiple functions to do the same task, then each of these sub-functions will have its own small logic that when used with the other functions makes it very effective.

The most important thing is its ability to provide the code that is highly modular and clean to work with. And for this, functional programming is seeing a lot of limelight!

NExt up on this Functional Programming vs OOP blog, it is vital you understand a little bit about OOP to get a clear idea.


Object Oriented Programming

Object Oriented programming is a paradigm that has been here for a while, and there are numerous reasons for this. It is amazing to check out what it offers and how it processes everything.

Every entity in the world of OOP is considered as an object, hence the name. These objects can be data structures, variable entities, or more. An object has two main things that govern it: functions and attributes.

Attributes are things that describe an object better and give it a sense of meaning, while functions are completely concerned with attaining a goal using objects.

Consider this simple example of a car:

Attributes: Colour, the number of doors, the type, etc.

Functions: Moves fast, safety features, comfortable, etc.

Now, it is pretty clear, I suppose. Attributes give more definition to an object, and functions govern what the object does.

On the programming side of things, OOP is mainly concerned with encapsulating data from outside entities. Encapsulation is the process that is used to hide variables and entities from unwarranted access outside its scope. This, for security reasons, is amazing and works really well to avoid accidental data usage and leakage as well.

The primary reason for its popularity is because of the feel developers get when working with object oriented programming. It is a style of programming that closely models how the real world works. Everything is an object with attributes and functions. So, this allows for simpler transitions from the real world into programs when providing solutions to clients.

Also read: OOPs Concepts


Functional Programming vs OOP

Comparison Factor Functional Programming Object-oriented Programming
Definition Concerned with the evaluation of functions without any discrepancies Concerned with using objects and executing programs based on the ‘objectified’ architecture
Programming Model Follows the declarative (what) programming model that expresses logic without describing the control flow Follows the imperative (how) programming model that uses statements to actively change the state of a program
Parallel Programming Supports all programming paradigms involved in parallel programming Does not support parallel programming as a whole because of its way of functioning  
Data Handling Works well with immutable data Makes use of mutable data for functioning
Order of Execution Involves executing statements in any order of choice based on the program Supports only the ordered execution of statements for functioning
Usage Preferred when there is a requirement of more operations and only a few inputs Preferred when there are many inputs to process but with fewer operations to perform
Core Components Based on the usage of functions and variables Breaks down into objects, attributes, and methods where each defines an aspect of functionality
Ease of Implementation Can be difficult to implement as it takes a different approach to think from a functional standpoint Very simple as it is based on mapping real-life functions and using them while programming
Ease of Learning Simple to learn as it does not involve complex data handling and in-depth manipulation Involves complexity due to the maintenance and non-modularity approach involved in programming


Which is better? I am sure you had this question in mind, and the above details would’ve given you some clarity on this front.

However, it is definitely hard to pick one to be a favorite as they are both amazing in their ways of providing brilliant programming capabilities in a variety of situations. Both functional programming and OOP use completely different methods for storing and working with data. In the case of functional programming, it cannot store data as objects, and the data can only be transformed and worked with by creating functions.

Functional programming, on the other hand, shines when the code requires new operations on the already existing items. Hence, when handling complexity is the primary aim, functional programming is well revered, and it works effectively.

When it comes to the object-oriented approach, it is perfect if the goal is to keep things packaged and secured from unwanted access and usage. Simply put, when a scenario calls for working on a variety of things with boundaries, OOP is amazing to keep everything secure and packaged up.

I hope that the difference between Functional Programming and Object Oriented Programming is now clear to you.

If you are looking to build your career and want to master the latest technologies in the world of IT, make sure to check out Intellipaat’s latest Course Certification offerings. Now, what do you think about Functional vs Object oriented programming? Head to the comments section, and let us know your views!

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