Functional programming languages — what are the advantages?
There are two main approaches to programming – imperative and functional. Functional languages are quickly gaining popularity and are increasingly making their way into most companies. The considerable increase in the fanbase of Haskell lovers also leads to the rise in interest in functional programming.
The functional programming paradigm describes a coding process as the function, which can be used as the mathematical solution for the case. So what are the benefits of functional programming. Where did this boom come from, and why should you consider learning functional programming?
Advantages of functional programming
Among the advantages of functional programming languages is the automated dynamic allocation of computer memory for data storage. In this case, the programmer gets rid of the routine need to monitor the data and can run the function of “garbage collection” – cleaning up the memory of the data that are no longer needed by the program.
Complex programs in functional languages are built by function aggregation. In this case, the program text is a function, and some arguments can also be treated as functions. This code reuse is reduced to a call of a previously described process that structure, in contrast to imperative language procedures, is mathematically transparent.
The types of individual functions used in functional languages can be variable. This approach makes it possible to handle ascending ordering of list elements for integers, individual characters, strings, or polymorphism. Thus, when creating programs in functional languages, the programmer focuses on the subject area and cares less about routine operations, ensuring correct data representation from the computer’s point of view, etc.
Due to the implementation of pattern matching mechanisms, functional programming languages. Such as Rust and Haskell are very well suited for symbolic processing.
Closeness to mathematical formalization and initial functional orientation is the reason for the following advantages of the functional approach:
- Ease of testing and verification of program code based on the ability to construct a rigorous mathematical proof of correctness;
- Unification and data representation. Data can be encapsulated in the program as arguments of functions, meaning, or calculation of function value can be performed as needed.
- Independence from machine representation of data and system architecture. A programmer focuses on details of implementation, not on peculiarities of machine representation of data.
To name all advantages of functional programming you will need hours – there are many of them.
We can say this – working with functional languages ensures accurate and fast code writing, makes testing and debugging easier, programs are more high-level, and function signatures are more informative.
Of course, you can’t deny the benefits, but you should also remember that functional languages are similar to others in terms of convenience and are worthy of your attention.
Conclusion – don’t be afraid to try
As you have probably already understood, functional programming is nothing to be afraid of. A little diligence and curiosity and you’ve mastered it.