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For Beginners: What is a function? My sh*tty explanation πŸ’©

It's 12:09AM, I can't sleep. After drinking my protein shake (I was hungry) I decided, why not write an informational piece.
During a Women Who Code virtual meetup, someone needed help understanding what functions are so, here it is!

Understand the vocabulary

  • Use the vocab, whenever you can when you are talking about your code. For example, people get parameters and arguments mixed up when they first start. The more you use the correct language, the better you'll understand.


  • Function: A reusable block that allows you to perform some calculation or task. Reusable, so you don't have to repeat work!
  • Function Body: That's the meat of the function - the logic part.
  • Parameters: That's the words inside the parenthesis. Basically, empty variables names that aren't assigned to any data, until you call the function with the arguments. Speaking of arguments...
  • Arguments: When you call a function (aka execute your function after you have defined it), you provide the data/values to pass into that function. I dare you to code this function and run it function human(protein, veggie){ console.log( arguments);} tell me what you see! What is the data structure?
  • Return: Return allows you to exit out of a function when a condition is satisfied. Or, sometimes a function provides an output so you can use that output for something else.

Here is my shitty explanation:

//function name is human
//parameters are protein and vegetable
function human(protein, vegetable){
  console.log(`I am digesting ${protein} and ${vegetable}`);
  return 'πŸ’©';

//calling the function with the arguments, 'protein shake' and 'spinach'
human('protein shake', 'spinach');
//[Arguments] { '0': 'protein shake', '1': 'spinach' }
//'I am digesting protein shake and spinach'

I am a human and one of my main functions is to take input like food and digest it. After the food is digested, what the output (aka return) is πŸ’©. That's my shitty explanation. 😬

I will edit this later for more clarity and better examples but it is now 1:11AM and I should sleep.

Eat your vegetables!


Oldest comments (2)

feministclickback profile image

I enjoyed this :-) And it was really helpful. Thank you. Hope you got some sleep.

chiexplores profile image

I am so happy it helped in some way haha!