Functional Programming

What Does Functional Programming Mean?

Functional programming is a software development model. It estimates and applies mathematical functions, rather than state or mutable data and imperative code threads. The real origins of functional programming are lambda calculus and formal system sciences, which apply function definition, application and recursion.

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Techopedia Explains Functional Programming

Functional programming makes language code threads result in the same values, regardless of the time or machine running the code thread. This is not the case with imperative function programming, which often has unpredictable program responses.

Many (most?) commercial software developers, often inexperienced with mathematical models, apply imperative function programming rather than functional programming. This results in crash-vulnerable commercial programs with unacceptable responses.

Functional programming can be realized in any language, even one not designed with default functional programming structures.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.