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Key Differences Between OOPs and Procedural Programming Explained to Kids

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A programming language is a computer language that is used by programmers/developers to communicate with computers. It is a set of instructions written in any specific language such as C, C++, Java, Python, etc. to perform a specific task. A programming language is mainly used to develop desktop applications, websites, and mobile applications.

Different programming languages use different types of approaches generally known as Programming Paradigms. The two most widely used programming paradigms are Procedural Programming and Object-Oriented Programming (OOP). This article is about the differences between OOPs and Procedural Programming approaches.

Procedural programming and Object-Oriented Programming both are programming approaches, which use high-level language for programming. A program can be written in both languages, but if the task is highly complex, OOP operates well as compared to procedural programming. In traditional procedural programming, data security is at risk as data freely moves in the program, as well as code reusability is not achieved which makes the programming lengthy and hard to understand.

Large programs lead to more bugs, and it increases the time of debugging. All these flaws make object-oriented programming more preferable. The primary concern of object-oriented programming is data security as it binds the data closely to the functions which operate on it.

It also resolves the problem of code reusability, as when a class is created, its multiple instances commonly known as objects can be created which reuses the member functions defined by a class. There are some other differences which we will discuss in this article. Before moving on to the differences between OOPs and Procedural Programming, let’s look into these two paradigms.

What is Procedural Programming?

Procedural Programming can be described as a programming model which is derived from structured programming, based upon the concept of calling procedures. These procedures are also referred to as routines, functions, or subroutines and normally consist of many computational steps to be carried out. During a program’s execution, any given procedure might be called at any point, including other procedures or itself.

Procedural Programming Concepts

Following are the concepts used in procedural programming:

  • While designing a program, procedural programming follows a top-down programming approach.
  • The majority of the functions allow global data to be shared.
  • It divides larger programs into smaller parts called functions.
  • It allows free data movement around the system from functions to functions.
  • Data is transformed by the functions from one form to another.
  • It gives importance to the concept of the functions.

What is Object Oriented Programming?

Object-Oriented Programming can be described as a programming model which is based upon the concepts of objects. Objects can contain data in the form of attributes and code in the form of methods or functions. In his approach, computer programs are usually designed using the concept of objects that interact with the real world.

OOP is developed on the basic concept of object, class, data encapsulation or data abstraction, inheritance, polymorphism, or overloading. In OOP, programs can be divided into modules by partitioning data and functions, which further can be used as templates for creating new copies of modules, if required. There, it is an approach that facilitates modularizing programs by constructing a partitioned memory area for data and functions.

Object-Oriented Concepts

Differences Between OOPs and Procedural Programming
OOPs Concepts

Following are the concepts used in object oriented programming:

  • Objects: It is considered as a variable of type class and an instance of a class.
  • Class: It is a set of objects of similar type. A complete set of data and code of an object creates a user-defined data type using a class.
  • Data abstraction and encapsulation: Abstraction is a method of hiding the background details and representing essential features. Encapsulation is a method of packing the data and functions into a single unit.
  • Inheritance: Inheritance is a technique of acquiring features of objects from one class to the other class objects. In other words, it helps in deriving a new class from the existing one.
  • Polymorphism: Polymorphism provides a method of creating multiple forms of a function by using a single function name.
  • Dynamic binding: It specifies that the code associated with a particular procedure is not known until the moment of the call at run time.
  • Message passing: This OOP concept enables interaction between different classes by transmitting and receiving information.

Differences Between OOPs and Procedural Programming

Basis of Comparison Procedural Programming Object-Oriented Programming
Approach Top-down Bottom-up
Basis The main focus is on how to get the task done. That is on the procedure or structure of a program. The main focus is on data security. In this approach, only objects are permitted to access the entities of a class.
Division A large program is divided into units called functions. The entire program is divided into objects.
Entity accessing mode No access specifier observed. Access specifiers are public, private, and protected.
Overloading or Polymorphism Neither it overload functions nor operators. It overloads functions, constructors, and operators.
Inheritance There is no provision of inheritance. Inheritance is achieved in three modes – public, private, and protected.
Data hiding and security There is no proper way of hiding the data, so the data is insecure. Data is hidden in three modes – public, private, and protected. Hence, data security increases.
Data sharing Global data is shared among the functions in a program. Data is shared among the objects through the member functions.
Friend functions or friend classes No concept of friend functions. Classes or functions can become a friend of another class. For example in C++ keyword friend is used. 
Virtual classes or virtual functions No concept of virtual classes. The concept of virtual function appears during inheritance.
Examples C, Fortran, Pascal, Visual Basic C++, Java, VB.NET

Advantages and Disadvantages of Procedural and Object-Oriented Programming

Following are the advantages of Procedural and Object-Oriented Programming:

Procedural Programming 

  • Provides an ability to reuse the same code at various places.
  • Facilitates tracking the program flow.
  • Capable of constructing modules.

Object-Oriented Programming

  • Objects help in task partitioning in the project.
  • Secure programs can be built using data hiding.
  • It can potentially map the objects.
  • Enables the categorization of the objects into various classes.
  • Object-oriented systems can be upgraded effortlessly.
  • Redundant codes can be eliminated using inheritance.
  • Codes can be extended using reusability.
  • Greater modularity can be achieved.
  • Data abstraction increases reliability.
  • Flexible due to the dynamic binding concept.
  • Decouples the essential specification from its implementation by using information hiding.

Following are the disadvantages of Procedural and Object-Oriented Programming:

Procedural Programming

  • Global data is vulnerable.
  • It is tough to verify the data position in a program.
  • Functions are action-oriented and are not capable of relating to the elements of the problem.
  • Real-world problems cannot be modeled.
  • Parts of code are independent.
  • One application code cannot be used in another application.

Object-Oriented Programming

  • It requires more resources.
  • Dynamic behaviour of objects requires RAM storage.
  • Detection and debugging are harder in complex applications when the message passing is performed.
  • Inheritance makes their classes tightly coupled, which affects the reusability of objects.

It can be noted that the flaws of the traditional procedural programming paradigm arise from the need for object-oriented programming. OOP corrects the drawbacks of procedural programming by introducing the concept of object and class. It enhances the data security and automatic initialization and clear-up of objects. OOP makes it possible to create multiple instances of the object without any interference.

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