Procedural Programming


Procedural programming refers to a series of instructions that inform a computer what it should do step-by-step to achieve the task.

What Is Procedural Programming?

Procedural programming is usually the first paradigm that a developer learns. Fundamentally, the procedural code is the one that directly tells a device how to perform a task in logical phases. Based on the notion of a procedure call, procedural programming separates the program into procedures, which are sometimes known as routines or functions, simply having a set of actions to be carried out. This paradigm takes a linear top-down approach and sees data and methods as two independent entities.

Characteristics of Procedural Programming

Parameter Passing: Parameter passing is a technique used to pass parameters to functions, subroutines, or procedures. Parameter passing may be done by “pass by value”, “pass by reference”, “pass by result”, “pass by value-result” and “pass by the name”.
Local Variable: A local variable is defined in the main structure of a method and is confined to the local scope it is given. It can only be used in the method it is defined, and if it were to be used outside the defined method, the code will cease to operate.
Predefined Functions: A predefined function is often an instruction indicated by a name. Usually, the predefined functions are built into higher-level programming languages, but they are drawn from the library or the registry, rather than the program. 

One example of a pre-defined function is ‘charAt()’, which looks for a character position in a string.

Modularity: Modularity is when two distinct systems have two different goals at hand but are brought together to finish a bigger job first. Every set of systems then would have its own tasks done one after the other until all tasks are accomplished.
Global Variable: A global variable is a variable that is declared outside every other function specified in the code. Due to this, global variables may be utilized in all functions, unlike a local variable.

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) vs. Procedural Programming 

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that stores data (in the form of fields or attributes) and code in "objects" (in the form of procedures or methods). 

Object-oriented programming is a top-down method of programming that uses the notion of objects to interact with the actual world. The majority of widely used programming languages, such as C++, Python, and Java, employ a variety of paradigms, including the object-oriented programming paradigm.

Procedural programming differs from object-oriented programming in that procedural programming is mostly focused on functions, whereas OOP is primarily based on objects. The following are some key distinctions between these two programming paradigms:

The Focus

Algorithms are the foundation of the procedural-oriented programming paradigm (a finite sequence of executable computer instructions) primarily concerned with the storage, manipulation, and administration of data.

Working Mechanism

In procedural programming, the fundamental strategy is to break down a difficult problem into smaller parts that are easier to comprehend, handle, and manage. 

Object-oriented programming (OOP), on the other hand, concentrates on the objects to be processed rather than the technique or logic by which they will be handled.

The Origin

The procedural-oriented programming paradigm is developed from the imperative programming model, whereas the declarative programming paradigm is related to the OOP paradigm.

Division of Programs

A program is organized into functions or code blocks under the procedural programming paradigm. The function is the programming unit in this paradigm. The program is organized into multiple objects of classes under the object-oriented programming paradigm, and the programming unit is class.

Memory Requirement

Object-oriented programming’s data-oriented approach needs a large memory. 

The procedure-oriented programming paradigm, on the other hand, works with extremely small memory.


Procedural-oriented languages use a top-down approach to problem-solving, breaking down a huge complicated problem into smaller sections that may be explored separately. 

Object-oriented programming employs a bottom-up strategy, which entails assembling smaller chunks to build up a large object. 

The former divides a huge program into smaller pieces, whereas the latter assembles a large program from a number of smaller ones. In this way, the procedure-oriented and object-oriented programming approaches are diametrically opposed.

Debugging and Repurposing Code

Debugging procedural languages is complex, but debugging object-oriented languages is simple and straightforward. Furthermore, compared to the procedural-oriented programming paradigm, object-oriented programming allows for considerably simpler reuse of code.

Storage of Data

In an object-oriented programming paradigm, data and related behavior are stored at a single location, whereas in a procedural-oriented programming paradigm, they are separated and stored in various areas. 

Parallel programming is not supported by the procedural-oriented programming paradigm, but it is supported by the object-oriented programming model.


In the procedural-oriented programming paradigm, code is communicated by invoking the program's function.

In object-oriented programming, objects communicate with each other by passing messages.

Examples of Procedural Programming Languages

Haskell, C, Pascal, Fortran, and BASIC are some languages that enable a procedural-oriented programming paradigm. 

C++, Python, and Java are well-known examples of languages that support the OOP paradigm.