Overview of Conditionals, Functions, and Scope

Codecademy Team
Get started on conditionals, functions, and scope, which are all universal programming concepts.

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Storing information in variables and printing out information gives us a good basis for starting our programming journey. The next step is to use conditionals — to build out programs that account for different scenarios. We’ll also make use of functions to reuse code and execute blocks of code at once. Afterward, we’ll use scope to keep track of when and where variables and values are accessible. Let’s explore these concepts in more detail.

Adding Flexibility with Conditionals

Every day we make decisions using the best information we have. Even simple decisions like, getting up at a certain time, or sitting down to eat a meal, are all guided by information.

This decision-making ability gives us the flexibility to address even more complex situations. This same idea of decision making to address different situations can be incorporated into our programs through conditionals. Here’s an example:

if(correctPassword) {
console.log('You are now logged in.');
} else {
console.log('Incorrect password.');

Above, we’re writing code to check if a user’s password is correct — if it is, they can log into their account. And we can also account for when the password is wrong, so they can’t log in.

Using conditionals, our program becomes more robust and flexible!

Reusing Code with Functions

Sometimes when we do a task, we do it more or less the same way. Let’s say we’re folding clothes, specifically a shirt. We need to take the shirt, lay it down, make the necessary folds, in the right place, in the right order, and repeat for the next shirt. We do it so often, that we know exactly what to do every single time we need to fold a shirt.

function foldShirt() {
console.log('Shirt is folded');
foldShirt(); // Prints: Shirt is folded
foldShirt(); // Prints: Shirt is folded
foldShirt(); // Prints: Shirt is folded

As seen above, this same idea of repeating tasks also exists in programming. To spare ourselves from writing the same lines of code over and over again, we can bundle the code into a function which is one block of code that has a given name. The function, foldShirt() saved us time and effort by not having to write the same console.log() statement each time. Now when we want to repeat our collection of tasks, we simply call the function.

We can even allow functions to take in user input. If we modified our foldShirt() function into a more general foldClothes() function:

function foldClothes(clothing) {
console.log(`${clothing} is folded`);
foldClothes('Pants'); // Prints: Pants is folded
foldClothes('Sweater'); // Prints: Sweater is folded

Now our function does more than just fold shirts, it can fold any type of clothing! This ability to include user input is because of parameters and arguments. We’ll cover this in even greater detail later on.

Within Scope

As we work on creating more code and blocks of code, it’s important to know when values and variables can be accessed. This ability to access specific values and variables is known as scope.

When used in combination with conditions and functions, the concept of scope tells us how to organize our code to make sure our program has all the right information to work properly. Keep this in the back of your mind as you work through the material.

Accumulating Knowledge

With these three new concepts, your ability to write advanced programs will increase dramatically. But remember, you don’t need to build anything from scratch — with Wix and Velo, you can develop these advanced programs even quicker!