Object Oriented Programming: A Beginner’s Guide to OOP and Its Languages
Object oriented programming (OOP) is a fundamental programming paradigm used by nearly every developer. This is because it is the standard coding method for new programmers. In this guide, we will break down what makes a language object oriented and show you how to use this popular type of programming in projects and interviews.
What Is Object Oriented Programming?
Object oriented programming (OOP) is a programming principle that relies heavily on objects and classes. A class is a piece of a reusable code blueprint used to structure software programs. A base class, for example, could be used to build other classes.
It is out of the broader, more abstract classes that more concrete, specific objects are created. Individual objects are like real-world objects in that they have both states and behaviors, or, in coding terms, variables and methods.
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One of the key principles of object oriented programming is that the abstract details of the language constitute broader categories that share certain attributes. This is what allows the classes to define the variables and the public methods of the objects they represent.
What Is Object Oriented Programming Used For?
Object oriented programming is used to structure, sort, categorize, and ultimately simplify software. It allows programmers to efficiently reuse code through object interactions and other public functions. This helps them to save time that would be spent writing code. The structure of an object oriented language is also useful in debugging.
Programming languages like PHP, C++, and Java are functional languages built around OOP principles.
Object Oriented Programming Concepts
OOP has four key concepts: encapsulation, abstraction, polymorphism, and inheritance. These principles of object oriented programming are complex. However, learning each of these common features can help you to better understand OOP, class objects, class methods, class variables, class templates, and class hierarchies.
Encapsulation refers to the process used to keep objects within each class communicating and interacting with each other. Encapsulation is primarily used in individual classes. With this process, you can also bundle the functions and variables of an object in such a way that the state of the object is invisible from the outside.
Abstraction hides specific methods and properties from the external code. It’s often referred to as an encapsulation extension. The purpose is to make the object’s interface simpler and cleaner. Programmers rely on things like abstract data types to make debugging easier.
Polymorphism allows programmers to create and manage various object-dependent elements. Through polymorphism, programmers redefine the process through which an element works. This is done by altering processes or elements.
Through inheritance, programmers expand the existing functions of classes to avoid repetition. Instead of altering and redefining every element’s methods and properties, you can define all of them simultaneously in a generic object. Inheritance allows a child class to assume the properties of a parent class.
Object Oriented Programming Languages
One of the main reasons programmers use object oriented programming is that it makes collaborative development more manageable. With greater code efficiency, scalability, and reusability, OOP allows developers to create less complex code.
Python is a general-purpose programming language with many applications. This programming language is essential because it’s used for data science and machine learning. Python is essential for software development, data analysis, and automation.
Like Python, Ruby is a general-purpose programming language. It’s made specifically for portability, extensibility, completeness, and simplicity. It’s an interpreted, open source OOP language that can be applied and utilized across various platforms.
This is one of the few object oriented programming languages used to build interpreters and that also compiles other OOP languages. Most operating systems are written using the C and C++ languages. This language is also used to develop Safari, Firefox, Chrome, and other web browsers.
C# was developed by Microsoft in 2000 to form part of their .NET initiative. This programming language shares similarities with C++, C, and Java. It was designed to be used with other languages. One of its many uses is for web applications, making C# a popular language to learn for developers who create graphical user interface-powered software.
How to Learn Object Oriented Programming
Finishing a four-year degree at a university is not the only way to learn object oriented programming. You can take advantage of different course offerings on online learning platforms like Udemy, Coursera, and more.
Object Oriented Programming Courses
Object Oriented Programming for Java Interviews – 13 hours – Free
This free OOP course from Udemy will acquaint you with essential object oriented programming concepts for Java. Topics covered include objects, classes, encapsulation, polymorphism, inheritance, abstraction, composition, association, and more. It will also give you a deeper understanding of what object oriented programming is.
Through this course, you will learn to use object oriented programming concepts and how they are used in real-life applications. For the capstone project, you will be required to create a game that tests your OOP skills and whether you understand when and how to apply foundational Java concepts and the tools that professional Java developers use every day.
Python OOP – Object Oriented Programming for Beginners – 15.5 hours – $55
In this course, you will learn OOP for Python through a series of mini-projects. You will have the opportunity to practice hands-on and apply your acquired knowledge in new scenarios. You will also be working with instances and classes and writing Python programs.
At the end of the course, you will have an understanding of how Python works behind the scenes and when to utilize instance and class attributes. This class is for beginners, so it should be easy to understand the concepts and programming processes.
Basics of Object Oriented Programming with C# – 1.5 hours – Free
This free Udemy for Business course focuses on C# as an OOP language. This course teaches the foundations of OOP, helping you progress through more systematic, complex, and cleaner OOP methods. Though beginners are welcome, students are expected to have some C# coding experience.
Object Oriented Coding Bootcamps
Udacity – 3 months – $399/month
Udacity is an online learning platform whose popular nanodegree certificates are like intensive remote bootcamps. It offers several online courses in OOP, including a three-month certificate program in Java programming. The course will address the fundamentals of Java, programming strategies, and application development. You will complete three real-world projects.
BrainStation – 3 months – $15,000
Through BrainStation, you will receive a collaborative project-based learning experience. Two of its OOP training options are a Python programming course and the main data science bootcamp, where learners are asked to complete a collaborative data project. The bootcamp is ideal for folks looking to become data scientists.
Tech Elevator – 14 weeks – $15,950
University of Washington Coding Boot Camp – 12 or 24 months – $12,995
Thinkful – 5 or 6 months – $9,500 to $16,000
Graduates of this bootcamp have an interview-ready portfolio that showcases their tech skills. As you find job openings, you can also take advantage of Thinkful’s career coaching programs.
Object Oriented Programming: Getting Started
Object oriented programming (OOP) is a fundamental principle used by nearly every developer in their career. It is one of the most well-known programming paradigms, and it is the standard coding method taught to new programmers.
OOP helps the developer understand all the programming actions related to each class of objects. Having a deep and thorough knowledge of these OOP elements can improve your programming and troubleshooting skills. It can open the door to a career as an Android app developer, web developer, Python developer, or domain-driven design (DDD) engineer.
Object Oriented Programming FAQ
What are the best object oriented programming languages?
The top object oriented programming languages you should consider learning are Java, Python, Ruby, and C++. These languages are commonly used across the tech industry.
Is C++ a fully object oriented language?
No, C++ is not purely object oriented. While its logic is similar, C++ is considered a hybrid OOP language because C is a procedural language. This hybridity enables you to use procedural programming, functional programming, and object oriented programming techniques in C++. On the other hand, Java and C# are examples of entirely object oriented languages.
Does learning OOP languages lead to a lucrative career?
Yes, it can. The supply of tech experts is low, which means the demand for people with the right skills is very high, and object oriented programming is a popular paradigm in the tech world.
Are OOP-related certifications mandatory?
No, they’re not, but a certification in an OOP language like Java could help you build your credibility and improve your employability as a tech expert.