The Rise of Functional Programming

For more than a decade, object-oriented programming has been the norm. But Larry O’Brien writes that is beginning to change as functional programming approaches become more common. Functional programming “will not replace object-oriented programming in the way that OOP replaced structural programming; the concepts of “class” and “object” are clearly attractive for structuring software modules,” says O’Brien. “Rather, functional programming techniques will become ever more common, and programming languages will evolve to have more and more functional features.”

O’Brien says that this evolution is occurring for three main reasons. First, “popular languages such as JavaScript and C# conveniently provide functions as first-class types.” Second, functional programming is easier to unit test, a discipline that has become pervasive. Finally, the growth of multicore systems and concurrency is encouraging a natural transition toward functional programming.

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