Object oriented programming, also known as OOP, is nothing new. It’s been around since the 1970s. However, unlike tools and frameworks that come and go, object-oriented programming is still relevant today. It’s not a programming language or tool, and many popular frameworks are designed with Object Oriented Programming concepts in mind. Therefore, if you want to be a serious developer, you need to understand object oriented programming.
Basic knowledge of Java, C++, and Python fundamentals and syntax.
What Best Defines a Programming Language?
An artificial language used to convey instructions to a machine is known as a programming language. It’s used to create programs that control the behavior of a machine.
A program is a list of instructions given to the machine. Programming languages are divided into two types: low-level and high-level languages.
Low-level languages are languages that the machine understands. There are two types: assembly and machine language.
High-level languages are user-friendly and closer to human language, and they are of two types: procedural and object oriented.
What is the Goal of Object Oriented Programming?
Object-oriented programming is a programming paradigm centered around objects rather than functions. The OOP style of programming tells us to divide our code into different objects that contain fields and methods. Fields are variables, and methods are functions. We can do a variety of things when we divide our project, including protecting data from some objects or sharing it with different objects.
Object oriented programming enables programmers to write useful code in different programs. For this reason, it is widely used in modern software engineering.
Object-oriented programming uses the concept of objects and classes.
The Building Blocks of Object Oriented Programming
The building blocks of OOP include the following:
- Classes: Classes serve as blueprints or templates for generating objects.
- Objects: Objects are instances of a class that were produced using precisely defined data.
- Methods: The actions of an object are described through methods, which are defined inside a class.
- Attributes: Attributes or variables refer to the characteristics of an object.
Understanding the pillars of object oriented programming is very important so you know what language will best suit your needs.
The 4 Main Concepts Of Object Oriented Programming
4 core concepts of object oriented programming include:
Let's discuss the 4 concepts of object oriented programming.
What is Encapsulation in Object Oriented Programming?
In object oriented programming encapsulation is defined as a way of combining data and information that operates as a single unit. Encapsulation in object oriented programming is the first core concept. It binds together code and data.
Logging into your Gmail account is a real-world example of encapsulation. There are a lot of internal processes going on in the backend to keep your account safe from misuse.
What is Abstraction in Object Oriented Programming?
A programmer uses abstraction in object oriented programming to hide all but the relevant data about an object in order to simplify it and boost productivity. Abstraction hides the extraneous features and only shows relevant attributes of objects. Data and functions can both be abstracted in object oriented programming.
Your laptop is a great real-life example of abstraction. You start it by pressing the start button. You do not need to know how the laptop started, nor all of the components of your laptop.
What is Inheritance in Object Oriented Programming?
In object oriented programming inheritance refers to a process or system whereby one class acquires or inherits the properties or methods of another class.
Inheritance in object oriented programming allows for code reuse, enabling us to simply inherit the properties of one class into the other, saving time. It can also be used to add new logic to pre-existing frameworks and even map a domain model to the database.
An example of inheritance is a fork, knife, and spoon. All of these fall under a category called cutlery. This means they have inherited properties of the class “cutlery,” which are all used for eating.
What is Polymorphism in Object Oriented Programming?
“Poly” means “many” and “morph” means “forms.” In simple terms, polymorphism in object oriented programming refers to the presence of several forms. It can be described as the capability of a message to be displayed in more than one form in object oriented programming. Developers can access objects of various types through the same interface when using a language with polymorphism, which also enables us to carry out the same activity in many ways.
A real life example of polymorphism is a person who has different characteristics at the same time, such as a woman with the roles of a mother, a wife, and an employee. In this case, the same person behaves differently in each situation.
The Top Three Languages for Object Oriented Programming
Java is an all-purpose, class-based, object oriented programming language. It’s more than just a high-level language. It functions with several operating systems, including MacOS, Linux, and Windows. Java is one of the greatest and most in-demand programming languages for object oriented programming. It can be used to create desktop applications, web applications, mobile applications, and web and application servers, among other types of software. “Write once, run anywhere” is Java’s motto. It gives all the advantages of a high-level object oriented programming language, although it doesn't offer the same degree of performance as C++. Java has a strong development ecosystem that only a few languages have. Java is made easily readable on platforms by Java frameworks and libraries. Java virtual machine (JVM) is the core concept of the high-level programming language that executes, loads, and verifies code. Java is easy to learn, and it has a simple syntax. Read more for a greater overview of data structures in Java.
Advantages of OOP in Java:
- Easy to learn and understand
- Highly secure
- Multiple resources available for learning
Disadvantages of OOP in Java:
- Consumes more memory
- Runs slowly
Python is a great programming language. It’s a high-level, interpreted, and object oriented programming language. It’s an OOP language, but it also supports functional programming. When using Python, we can create classes and objects. It has the best code readability, and it is widely used with machine learning. In addition, Python offers several benefits compared to other programming languages. It does not require a programmer to declare types of variables and arguments, and Python is easy to understand and learn. Much like Java, Python has multiple backend web frameworks, making it easy and accessible to develop in.
Advantages of OOP in Python:
- Easy to learn and write
- Simple, which improves productivity
- Open source
- Reduces maintenance cost
- Allows integration with other languages like C, C++, and Java
Disadvantages of OOP in Python:
- Not suitable for mobile and game development. (Python is mostly used in desktop and web server-side development.)
- Cannot detect errors and bugs during compilation
- Difficult to run tests on code
C++ is one of the most popular and widely used general-purpose programming languages. It is used to create the compiler for other programming languages. Popular among game developers, C++ can create many types of games, including 3D games. It is also used to produce smartwatches, stopwatches, electric car systems, and much more. C++ is a compiled language, and unlike Python, C++ is very fast. It is a powerful language that can be used for low-level manipulation of operating systems, file systems and has compatibility with backend database tools.
Advantages of OOP in C++:
- Object oriented
- Large support community
- Secure language
Disadvantages of OOP in C++:
- Security issues
- Cannot support built-in code threads
- Requires more memory
Pros of Object Oriented Programming
- Code Reusability: Object oriented code is flexible. A single function can be used repeatedly. With inheritance, we can also copy data and functionality that has previously been created. This makes coding easier, and saves both time and space.
- Security: Even though most languages offer some level of security, object oriented programming languages are advantageous because security is integrated with encapsulation. Therefore, programs created in object oriented languages are more secure.
- Code Maintenance: OOP prevents users from having to redo tasks in a variety of ways, and it makes work simple and efficient.
- Data Redundancy: This is a situation that develops when an identical piece of data is stored in two different places, such as two databases. Users can write common class definitions for comparable functions and inherit them if they require the same functionality in other classes.
- Higher Productivity: Object oriented programming results in more work being completed, a better finished program, and more built-in functionality. Also, OOP is easier to read, write and maintain. A programmer using object oriented programming can combine software elements to create entirely new programs.
- Low Development Cost: Programmers can save time and money by reusing existing objects.
Cons of Object Oriented Programming
- Size: Object oriented programs are larger than other programs.
- Speed: Object oriented programs are slower than other programs because of their large sizes.
- Limited Application: It is not suitable for a wide range of problems.
- High Learning Curve: Object oriented programming is difficult to learn.
One of the most helpful programming principles is object oriented programming, although it’s not without flaws. Learning object oriented programming languages can make life easier since it simplifies debugging code when utilizing classes and objects. Object oriented programming breaks complex problems into smaller pieces and allows for better structures and reuse.
In this article, we covered the fundamentals of object oriented programming, including encapsulation, abstraction, inheritance, and polymorphism. We also looked at the top three object oriented programming languages, where OOP should be used, along with the advantages and disadvantages of object oriented programming languages.
The field of software development will continue to benefit greatly from object oriented programming.