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.. » JavaScript » Introduction » JavaScript Functions
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JavaScript Functions

A function is a special data type that contains a group of statements in its code block. The statements execute whenever the function is called or invoked. A code block is a statement or group of statements contained in curly braces ({}).
function myFunc(){
alert("This is my function.");
The code block in the above is,
alert("This is my function.");
Importance of Functions Functions are very important data types in JavaScript that allows us group statements which are executed whenever told to do so. For example, a function can be defined to add two numbers together and return the output. It will do just that whenever it is called. Therefore, they allow for re - usability of codes. A good example of a function you should have been familiarized with is the JavaScript predefined alert(). It contains statements that help alert a message on a webpage whenever called upon. Functions & Methods Both a function and a method are same thing. The difference is that a method is a function that is define in an object. Therefore, it can not be invoke without the object name.
myFunc(); //invoking a function
objectName.myFunc(); //invoking a method that belongs to the object "objectName"
console.log("Hello"); //log() is a method of the object "console"
Creating Functions To define a function explicitly, the basic syntax involves, First, the function keyword. Secondly, the function name. Thirdly, parentheses (()). And finally, the function code block.
function addNum(){
A function can also be define implicitly using the new Function() prototype. Contained in it should be the individual parameters of a function if any and finally the body or statements of the function.
var myFunc = new Function ("x","y","alert(x * y)");
//"x" is a parameter
//"y" is also a parameter
//"alert(x * y)" is the body of the function

myFunc(4, 5);


Arrow Functions Yet again, there is the arrow method of creating functions which was introduced in ECMAScript6. Functions created this way are usually known as arrow functions because of the use of this arrow sign, (=>) when creating them. This method is actually a shorthand or alternative method of creating traditional JS functions. For example, below is a traditional method of creating a function,
function addNum(){
To create the above in an arrow function equivalent goes thus,
var addNum = () =>{
alert(3 + 4);
}; //Creates the function

addNum(); //Invokes the function


You can remove the curly braces ({}) if the function contains just one statement just as in the above.
var addNum = () => alert(3 + 4);; //Creates the function

addNum(); //Invokes the function


Arrow functions can also have parameters,
var myFunc = (a, b) => return a * b; //Creates the function
myFunc(2, 2); //Invokes the function
You need to remove the return keyword if the function has only one statement just as in the above function.
var myFunc = (a, b) => a * b; //Creates the function which returns the value of a multiply by b
alert(myFunc(10, 10)); //Invokes the function


You can remove the parentheses (()) if the function contains just one parameter.
var teller = amt => "Your amount is $"+amt;


The above was just an introduction on arrow functions as you will learn more about them in subsequent tutorials. Nevertheless, you may come across them and should be able to recognize them. For example,
var amts = [100, 200, 500, 1000];
var amts_naira = => "N"+amt);


Notice the use of the arrow function '(amt) => "N"+amt' as an argument/callback function to the map method of the array object.
It is best to always define functions explicitly. It enhances the readability of your codes.
A Function Parameter & Argument A function parameter is a variable declared in the parentheses of a function which can be use inside a function while its value (argument) is assigned when invoking the function. An argument is a value assigned to a parameter when invoking a function.
function name(personName){
alert(personName); //using a parameter "personName" inside a function
}//personName is a parameter

//invoking function
name("Omamode"); //Omamode is an argument/value being assigned to the personName parameter
name("Esther"); //Esther is an argument/value being assigned to the personName parameter
//Omamode and Esther are arguments
You can have as many parameters and arguments as you want in a function. Invoking A Function Function invocation is the act of calling on a function to do what it was created for. A function is meaningless to your program if not invoke because functions only execute when invoked. To invoke a function, we write the function name followed by parentheses (()). Inside the parentheses, we can assign arguments to a function if there are supposed to be any.
addNum(); //invoking a function
alert("Hello World"); //invoking a function with a parameter
findMax(4,100,6,8,23);//invoking a function with multiple parameters
When you invoke a function without parentheses (()), it won't execute rather it will return the function definition which can be seen when alerted.
function callMe(){
alert("Where are you?");



Constant Functions In JavaScript, you can redefine a function and erase its previous definition. This is called overriding and even applies to JavaScript pre - defined functions. For example, let's override the popular JavaScript alert function.
function alert(msg){
alert("Hello World");


Above, you can see how we override/altered the pre defined JavaScript alert() function to do something else than what it was previously defined for. This also means that any of your variables irrespective of what value it holds can be override or its value change if it is not a constant. Constant functions achieves same thing as constant variables. That is, functions whose definitions cannot be change. For whatever reason, below is how to define a constant function.
const myFunc = function (){


It cannot be override. Your codes may not execute in some browsers if any attempt is made to override them. If the codes manage to execute, the first definition will still be active.
const myFunc = function (){

function myFunc(){



Function's typeof() When used on a function, the typeof() operator returns "function". Therefore, to test if a value is a function or not, use the typeof() operator on the value.
function myFunc(){



You will learn more on functions in the tutorial chapter dedicated to functions. SUMMARY
  1. A function contains statements that execute whenever called or invoke to do so.
  2. Functions are important because they facilitate the reusability of codes.
  3. A function parameter is a variable declared in the parentheses of a function and can be use inside the function.
  4. The value assigned to a function parameter is known as argument and is assigned when invoking the function.
  5. For whatever reason, you can define functions whose values cannot be override.
  6. The typeof operator when used on a function will return function.
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