What Is Object Oriented Programming?

Object-oriented programming is a programming language model. Common object-oriented programming languages are C++, Python, and Java. Read on for further information about object-oriented programming. Schools offering Computer Programming degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Object-Oriented Programming Defined

Object-oriented programming carries out tasks through the use of objects rather than actions. In object-oriented programming, information is organized into independently functioning groups called objects. These objects interact with one another, and one object can absorb the characteristics of another. For example, an online electronic shopping system may include objects like electronic products, shopping cart and customer.

Important Facts About Object-Oriented Programming

Programs Courses can be taken in a standalone format or as part of a degree or certificate program
Online Availability Yes
Degree Fields of Study Computer Information Systems, Object-Oriented Computer Programming & Design
Possible Careers Software engineer, web application developer, video game designer
Median Salary (2018) $103,620 (for all applications software developers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 31% growth (for all applications software developers)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics


By working with objects, programmers manipulate consolidated information. They don't need to directly control every detail of a program. When programmers add a new object to a program, they don't have to start from scratch because new objects can take on characteristics of existing objects. Object-oriented programming differs from procedural programming, which requires that programmers manage tasks at every stage of the process.

Object-Oriented Programming Techniques

Key object-oriented programming techniques are data abstraction, information hiding, encapsulation, modularity, polymorphism, and inheritance. Abstraction is the filtering of data and code that is repetitive or unnecessary to the immediate task at hand. It allows the programmer to focus on a concentrated body of data.

Information-hiding isolates data that is likely to change so that other data is not altered unnecessarily. Similarly, encapsulation hides the complex details of data structures behind an interface. This way, the user only has to know what the data structure does, rather than knowing all of the coding intricacies.

Modularity is the term for the separation of components in object-oriented programming, with each component represented by an interface. Polymorphism allows objects that have been separated into these modules to be controlled under the same interface, as long as they are related in some way. Inheritance allows objects to adopt the traits of other objects.

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