The concepts are abstract, yes. You don't need a PhD to understand functional programming. What is Functional Programming? A course on functional programming at Cornell University. Data Structures and Functional Programming Spring 2020 Why Learn About Functional Programming? Functional langauges empazies on expressions and declarations rather than execution of statements. Functional programming is a declarative paradigm because it relies on expressions and declarations rather than statements . If the inclusions of functional programming principles in Python and other languages are of any significance, however, then functional programming seems to be gaining traction. This is the first in a four-part series on things I wish someone had explained to me about functional programming. In order to make the most of this, I suggest choosing the language with the most different perspective: Haskell. The functional programming paradigm was explicitly created to support a pure functional approach to problem solving. Another good way to learn Haskell is to do so while following Erik Meijer’s MOOC on functional programming on edX, which you can follow along in Haskell or one of several other languages. Functional programming (also called FP) is a way of thinking about software construction by creating pure functions. Microsoft introduced FP support with the release of .NET 3.5. Functional Programming (FP) in simple words is a "Declarative Programming". Functional programming is a style that emphasizes immutable data, functional primitives, and avoidance of state. Even if you never end up using functional programming, learning it teaches you new ways to think. But that doesn't make them incomprehensible. In this blog piece, I explain why it has made sense for me to study FP and why you should also learn it. Functional programming (FP) is a programming paradigm for developing software using functions. That means FP does not deal with how to do (lines of code for achieving some functionality) but speaks about what to do. Instead, think of it as another programming technique that will open up your mind just as OOP, templates, assembly language, etc may have completely changed your way of thinking when (if) you learned them. But it ought not to be. Following the FP philosophy entails foregoing things like shared states, mutable data and side effects. Do not think of functional programming in terms of a "need". I know what you’re thinking. It shouldn't be this difficult. Functional programming is a form of declarative programming . You wrote some Lisp in college and dreaded it. It avoid concepts of shared state, mutable data observed in Object Oriented Programming. It's hard learning functional programming on your own. I learned functional programming by being tossed headfirst into a project in which my boss insisted all development be done in APL. Ultimately, learning functional programming will make you a better programmer. My studying of Functional Programming has profoundly influenced me, and this data-centric approach arises from this studying and learning. You will learn a lot just by working in a language with so much history. That makes perfect sense: functional programming is great for big databases, parallel programming, and machine learning. Functional programming is one of the first paradigms (invented around the time of procedural) and has fed the other paradigms ideas and features since its inception, including the if statement. My two cents with respect to functional programming is to not get hung up on a particular language, but learn the key concepts of functional programming. 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