Object-oriented programming is one of the widely discussed topics among IT specialists and seasoned appreneurs. But what exactly is object-oriented programming and why is it so popular today?
You can think of object-oriented programming as APIE, which is an acronym for abstraction, polymorphism, inheritance, and encapsulation. With their powers combined, they create the four pillars of object-oriented programming. But before diving into those components and subtleties of OOP, you want to visit this website and then check out the definition of the OOP paradigm.
A Few Words about OOP
OOP is a programming paradigm based on the concepts of objects. Objects, in their turn, can contain data in the form of attributes or properties, as well as actions in the form of functions or methods. But you can easily find this out if you do a quick Google search. But in simple words, what object-oriented programming means is that you’re taking real-world objects and representing them within code. Let’s take a computer monitor, for example. Some of its attributes could be the size or resolution. These would also be the monitor’s properties. Some of the actions would be turning on or off the monitor or tweaking brightness. These also would be functions or methods. And you also might be familiar with at least one programming language having the concept of classes. The most popular ones are Python, C++, and Java.
And now it’s high time you checked out the four essential pillars of OOP, which might come in handy when you will start working on your next project.
Abstraction is all about showing the necessary details to those who are using the object. Let’s go back to the computer monitor example. When switching the monitor on or off, a user doesn’t care about the inner mechanisms underlying the above-mentioned processes. And that’s exactly what abstraction is responsible for. All you need to do is expose the necessary details needed by whoever uses this object. The best thing about abstraction is that it helps decouple the user from the underlying implementation. So, you just need to call the method without having to worry about its implementation.
Inheritance is another powerful feature that allows you to enjoy code reusability to its fullest. This OOP pillar comes in particularly handy when you need to build a new class based on the previously created one. Classes derived from an existing class can be referred to as subclass, extended class, or child class, while the classes from which this new class is derived are called superclasses, parent classes, or base classes. Hence, the concept of inheritance!
Polymorphism allows you to determine which functions to run while the program is running. It is due to an object and variable’s ability to take on many forms. So, if your object happens to pass more than one IS-A test, congratulations! It can be considered polymorphic. As you might have already guessed, the major benefit of this feature is that it provides coders with the possibility to reuse the code and classes for creating new classes that function with the same name but exhibit different behaviors. This can go a long way toward helping programmers generate more advanced and powerful abstractions based on those which were composed earlier.
Encapsulation is essentially built on the idea of data hiding. This is where developers restrict access to certain properties or methods of their object to whatever is calling that object. Coders can successfully encapsulate their properties within a specific object. This can be done by setting properties to ‘Private’ and thus preventing third-party unauthorized users from accessing these properties.
Benefits of OOP Development
The benefits of OOP are truly manifold. It empowers coders to reuse more code and thus spend less time and effort on designing new solutions. The inheritance feature substantially simplifies the process of creating and implementing functionalities in multiple classes. For this, a coder can simply generate similar class definitions and inherit them. Polymorphism is great for modifying the existing code by making some minor changes to native code, which allows more flexibility and convenience. With the OOP approach, you can troubleshoot possible issues and detect bugs faster due to the ability to decompose a complex problem into smaller components. The encapsulation feature reduced the possibility of using duplicate code due to the self-constrained nature of objects. This empowers coders to work on multiple tasks and projects simultaneously.