Imperative Programming Definition & Meaning

Imperative programming describes a program that gives a computer specific instructions for performing actions. Imperative programming differs from declarative programming, which focuses on the logic of what the program does. Declarative programming typically reacts according to the progress of the program, whatever that may be, whereas imperative programming details very specific steps that the program must take.

Features of imperative programming

Assignment statements: these statements assign values to certain variables within the program. A common method of indicating an assignment is the equation x=value, in which a particular value is assigned to the initial variable. Most programming languages allow a variable to assign a different value if needed for example, if x=5 at one point in the program but is later replaced with the value 3.

Branching statements: one of the most common branching statements is IF, which tells the program to do something different based on a command or condition given.

Looping statements: these statements are functions within the program that are set to repeat, either continuously or for a programmed amount of time. Looping statements must have an initialization, a test, and an update before completing the first iteration of the loop.






Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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