The U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics projects the demand for software developers to grow by 25% over a 10-year period from 2022 to 2032. This data underscores the importance of programming skills, which also includes Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). For those new to software development, a common question arises: What is object-oriented programming? It holds great significance because many programmers consider it a must-have skill. This article delves into answering what is object-oriented programming and why it will continue to dominate trends in the coding world.
In this blog, we will address the following:
- What is Object-Oriented Programming?
- What are the Characteristics of Object-Oriented Programming?
- Why is Object-Oriented Programming Important?
- What are the Key Advantages of Using Object-Oriented Programming in Software Development?
- Ready to Take Your Coding Career up a Notch?
What is Object-Oriented Programming?
If you are somewhat familiar with coding terminology, you might have heard and wondered all about what is object-oriented programming. Think of it as a whole new way of approaching software development. It’s like organizing your code into building blocks, which can be reused for more efficient and scalable programs. Here’s a quick breakdown of what is object-oriented programming:
OOP is basically a programming approach or methodology that organizes objects and classes to structure code around data. In fact, it is one of the most popular methods in many programming languages, such as Java, Python, C++, etc.
An object is a self-contained unit of code with distinct attributes and behavior. They are instances of a “class” that represents entities in the real world. For example, game characters are a class in which each specific user is an object of that class.
A class designs the type of data used for creating objects. It defines the structure and behavior of its objects. For instance, let’s continue with the games example; a class would define the attributes (health, damage, and inventory) and functions (attack, heal, and move) of a character.
What are the Characteristics of Object-Oriented Programming?
It is important to illustrate OOP’s abilities when exploring the question of what is object-oriented programming. Let’s take a look at some of them:
It enables a single interface to represent a general class of actions following which different types of objects can pass through the same interface. In other words, polymorphism treats different types of objects as objects of a common superclass. Hence, it minimizes the need to duplicate code because the program determines which meaning or usage is necessary for each execution.
This concept asserts that developers should contain important information inside an object for minimal exposure. Coders bundle data and methods into a single unit or a defined class. In fact, the principle does not permit access to other objects in order to prevent changes. This practice provides effective security and prevents unintended data corruption.
It is a way to simplify complex reality by modeling classes on essential properties and behaviors relevant to the problem. In this principle, objects only reveal internal mechanisms that are relevant for the use of other objects whereas unnecessary implementation code remains hidden. It helps developers seamlessly make additional changes or additions over time.
4. Communication Between Objects
It is one of the most important aspects of OOP because the execution of code depends on how objects interact with each other. The objects send and receive messages (data) across the program, often through method calls.
5. Dynamic Binding
Dynamic binding, also known as late binding, allows developers to determine the selection of an appropriate method at runtime rather than at compile time. This is particularly important in polymorphic scenarios.
Why is Object-Oriented Programming Important?
Now that we know the answer to what is object-oriented programming, let us explore why it is important for developers:
1. Organized Code
The code structure is more organized under OOP. As a result, developers find it easier to understand and maintain code. Furthermore, a developer making changes to one part of the code is less likely to corrupt other parts of it. This thus reduces the risk of bugs in the program.
2. Real-World Modeling
Every developer can model real-world entities and their relationships directly in code under OOP. This is beneficial because it is easy to plug the gap between the problem domain and the software solution. In short, it improves communication between developers and domain experts.
A coder can resume objects in OOP across different parts of a program or in other programs. This feature is important because it helps save time and effort. It also brings consistency across applications. In fact, coders prefer reusing existing code to starting from scratch for several reasons, including reliability and the fact that it undergoes testing beforehand, among other benefits.
Several programming languages, including popular ones, such as Ruby, Swift, C#, etc., support OOP. Some of them like Java and C++ support it as a core feature. The consistency allows developers to afford standardization, which makes it easy to learn and share code across the community.
Multiple programmers can work on different classes or objects in OOP simultaneously. It fosters a conducive environment for collaboration. This feature is handy for large software projects in which multiple developers need to coordinate their efforts.
What are the Key Advantages of Using Object-Oriented Programming in Software Development?
We have already discussed some key advantages while explaining OOP’s characteristics. Here are a few more:
A lot of coders enjoy the advantage of breaking down complex software systems into smaller, manageable objects. It is then easy to develop, maintain, and understand code. In fact, it is very useful when programmers have to collaborate with each other.
2. Code Security
OOP allows developers to specify which parts of an object are publicly accessible and which are private, thus reducing the risk of unauthorized or unintended data manipulation.
A class can inherit properties and behaviors of another class under this mechanism. It permits code reuse as well as hierarchies among classes. A developer can thus create “subclasses”, which inherit properties and methods of their parent class. This allows for a thorough data analysis, and reduces development time without compromising accuracy.
4. Code Maintenance
OOP characteristics like encapsulation and modularity permit coders to maintain and update code with ease. They can change features or add some new ones according to changing requirements. OOP principles can also help in making these modifications without affecting the entire codebase.
Software development is an iterative process. It is necessary for the developer to be able to pinpoint the problem in the code swiftly. Self-contained objects in OOP thus make debugging easy. This narrows down the issues to specific objects or classes and this saves time.
Ready to Take Your Coding Career up a Notch?
Now that we know the answer to what is object-oriented programming, it is time to elevate your career in coding. Emeritus offers an extensive range of coding courses to help coders focus on their coding journey. They ensure you gain practical insights into all things coding. Enroll in these courses and take the first step toward securing your future!
Write to us at email@example.com