Before we can even discuss why object-oriented languages are far better for real-world applications than those that only follow procedural programming, we need to understand what this really means.
A programming paradigm defines the methodology required for designing and implementing a program using the key features of a programming language. So essentially, a programming paradigm describes the logical flow and implementation of a code. Let’s take a simple example, say you had to take the details of some five students along with their marks in Computer Science. There are several approaches to the condition, a two-dimensional array with 5 rows and 2 columns could store the names of the students with their marks or, a structure can be used to do the same thing and one might even consider using a class and create objects for the values, wherein the member functions can be used to take and display the required data.
While there are several types of programming paradigms, let’s limit ourselves to Procedural Programming and Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). Refer back to the previous example – a structure would group together the names of the student and the marks and through separate functions successfully carrying out the task – this is procedural programming. Now if we were to club the names, marks and the functions required to take the details and display them into a single class, we’d be using object-oriented programming. In OOP, Data and its associated functions are clubbed together in classes, whose instances, called objects are used in the program.
Thus, the main difference between the two is the fact that OOP encloses data and its associated functions into one using classes while procedural programming separates the two. This fact makes a program that follows procedural programming over OOP highly susceptible to design changes i.e. change in the definition of a type changes the design of the program.
There are several benefits to using OOP paradigm but the most important is the fact that it has a real-world application as it can depict relationships between objects through inheritance. It allows implementation of polymorphism, data hiding, and other such object-oriented objects. OOP languages allow for smart programming, reuse of code, easy understanding and even easier redesign and maintenance.
Let’s summarise the features of these two paradigms: