Programming is like giving instructions to a computer to perform specific tasks. Just like when we communicate with each other. We use words to convey our thoughts and ideas.

Whereas, programming languages use something called “parameters” to pass information to the computer. In this tutorial, we will learn what parameters are and how they are used in programming.

What is a Parameter in Computer Programming?

In computer programming, a parameter is a piece of information that we provide to a function or method.

Think of a function as a set of instructions that the computer follows to accomplish a particular task.

Parameters act like inputs to these functions, helping them perform their job more effectively.

Understanding Functions in Programming

Before we dive deeper into parameters, let’s understand what functions are.

Imagine you have a recipe to make a delicious cake. The recipe contains a set of steps that need to be followed in a specific order.

In programming, a function is similar to a recipe. It consists of a series of instructions that the computer follows to complete a specific task.

Parameters as Ingredients in Programming

Now, let’s relate functions to parameters. When you bake a cake, you need different ingredients like flour, sugar, eggs, and butter. These ingredients make the cake taste good. Similarly, functions need information to perform their tasks, and that’s where parameters come in.

Think of parameters as ingredients for functions.

Just like a cake recipe requires specific ingredients, a function might need specific information to work correctly.

For example, if we have a function that adds two numbers together, we need to tell the function which two numbers to add.

We can do this by passing the numbers as parameters to the function.

Passing Parameters to Functions

When we pass parameters to a function, we are giving the function the information it needs to do its job. In programming, we pass parameters inside the parentheses of a function.

Let’s take a look at an example in Python:

def add_numbers(num1, num2):
    sum = num1 + num2
    print("The sum is:", sum)

add_numbers(5, 3)

The Python code defines a function called add_numbers that takes two parameters num1 and num2. It calculates the sum of num1 and num2 and prints it using the print function.

The function is then called with the arguments 5 and 3, resulting in the sum being displayed on the output.

Now, see an example of a parameter in C programming

#include <stdio.h>
// Function declaration
int addNumbers(int num1, int num2);

int main() {
    int result;
    // Calling the function and storing the result in 'result'
    result = addNumbers(5, 3);
    printf("The sum is: %d\n", result);
    return 0;

// Function definition
int addNumbers(int num1, int num2) {
    int sum = num1 + num2;
    return sum;

Both code examples demonstrate the concept of using functions with parameters to perform addition and display the sum.

The C programming code starts with including the standard input/output library. It declares a function called addNumbers that takes two integer parameters num1 and num2 and returns an integer value.

In the main function, it declares an integer variable result. The addNumbers function is called with the arguments 5 and 3, and the returned value is stored in the result. Finally, the sum is printed using printf.

Both codes achieve the same goal of adding two numbers and displaying the sum.

However, the syntax and structure differ between C and Python due to the characteristics of each programming language.

Let’s see one more example of the parameter in JavaScript programming

function greet(name) {
console.log(`Hello, ${name}!`); 

greet("John"); // function call

//Outputs: 'Hello, John!'

In this example, name is the parameter. When we call the greet function, we pass an argument for the name parameter. For example:

The argument ‘John’ is passed to the name parameter, so when the greet function is executed, it logs 'Hello, John!' to the console.


Parameters are a way to provide information to functions in programming. They act as ingredients for functions, allowing them to perform specific tasks.

Just like we use ingredients in a recipe to make a delicious cake, functions use parameters to accomplish their tasks effectively. By understanding parameters, you can start creating more powerful and flexible programs.

Keep exploring and have fun with programming! You might also like programming help.