Programming paradigms of C#

C# is a general-purpose multi-paradigm programming language that is strongly typed, imperative (but also declarative). It is suitable for object-oriented programming, as well as functional programming. It’s already obvious that it really does combine many paradigms, some of which are opposite to each other. Let’s look at what each of them means!

What is a “paradigm”?

Since different types of programming languages are designed to solve different types of problems, they incorporate different understandings of the structure of the code, which leads to the existence of many different languages. “Program paradigm” is a method for language classification according to their properties. A programming language can combine a variety of different paradigms, a.k.a. language types.

What is “general purpose”?

“General-purpose programming language” is a language, which is designed to be used for the development of software for a variety of platforms. Such language is suitable for mobile and desktop applications, server code and apps that work in a more restricted hardware environment or cross-platform apps.

What is “strongly typed”?

There are two types of “typing” – strongly and weakly, and C# is a strongly typed language. This means that it has stricter typing rules compared to a weakly typed one and errors and exceptions are more likely to happen during compilation. For example, variables need to be defined adequately rather than arbitrarily and once declared, their type cannot be changed. A weakly typed language has looser typing rules and the results are more unpredictable.

What is “Imperative Programming”?

The term “imperative” comes from the Latin “imperare”, which means order/command/rule. The definition of the term describes the properties of this type of language correctly. When you use imperative programming, this means that the program you create consists of a series of commands. These commands determine what the program is supposed to do.  The concept of imperative programming is opposed to the concept of declarative programming, but C# includes both.

What is “Declarative Programming”?

Although C# is often described as an imperative and object-oriented language, but it can use declarative programming as well. In computer science, declarative programming is a way of building the structure and elements of programs that expresses the logic of a computation without emphasizing the structure of implementation or describing its flow.

The programming languages built on this paradigm are created to attempt to minimize or completely eliminate the side effects that may appear by pre-setting what the final result has to be according to the problem that needs to be solved.

What is “Object-Oriented Programming”?

Object-oriented programming (or OOP) is an imperative paradigm that complies with the requirement for the code to describe how and in what sequence the program’s instructions should be executed. This paradigm provides a new method for classification of the code in structures, known as “objects”. These objects can interact with each other, which helps for the development of more flexible programs that require less code writing.

What is “Functional Programming”?

Functional programming is a declarative paradigm that focuses on computations and mathematical functions, not on commands that alter the state of the program. The functional programming code is idempotent, which means that the return value of a function depends only on its arguments (parameters), therefore calling a function of the same value for an argument produces the same result every time. This is the main difference between functional and imperative programming – with imperative the state of the global program can affect the end result of a function.

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