Functional programming is a programming paradigm that emphasizes the evaluation of functions rather than the execution of commands. It is a declarative programming style, meaning that programmers specify what values a function should return without specifying how the function should achieve those values.
Functional programming languages are designed to support this paradigm, and they are often used for mathematical or scientific applications. Some well-known functional programming languages include Lisp, Scheme, and Haskell.
The benefits of functional programming
Functional programming has a number of advantages over other paradigms. First, it is easier to reason about programs written in a functional style. This is because functional programs are composed of small, self-contained units that have well-defined inputs and outputs. Second, functional programs are more likely to be correct than programs written in other styles. This is because it is easier to test small units of code in isolation, and there are fewer opportunities for errors to propagate through the system. Finally, functional programs are more efficient than programs written in other styles. This is because they make better use of resources such as memory and CPU time.
The pitfalls of functional programming
Despite these advantages, functional programming has some disadvantages as well.
First, it can be difficult to understand programs written in a functional style. This is because they often look very different from traditional programs.
Second, it can be hard to find good libraries and tools for developing functional programs. This is because the market for these products is smaller than for products related to other paradigms.
How to get started with functional programming
If you’re interested in learning functional programming, there are a few resources you can start with. First, check out our article on the best functional programming languages to learn in 2020. Then, take a look at our list of resources for learning functional programming, which includes books, tutorials, and online courses.