WDI Fundamentals

WDI Fundamentals Unit 9


Now, we're going to take a look at one of the complexities that comes with using functions — variable scope.

We'll also dig deeper into how we can use our newfound knowledge of scope to make our scripts run faster and avoid variable naming conflicts.

Global vs. Local Scope

Watch this short video for an overview of local vs. global variables and a helpful analogy to remember the difference between the two:

In JavaScript, where you declare a variable affects where that variable can be used within your code.

When we declare variables inside a function, those variables will only be accessible from within that function. This is known as scope.

You can think of the scope as the lifetime of the variable (where in the program the variable is born and where it dies or is discarded).

Let's look at the two different types of scope: global and local.

Global Variables

Before you even write a line of JavaScript, you're in what is known as the global scope.

When a variable is declared outside a function, it is referred to as a global variable. A global variable has global scope, which means all scripts and functions on a web page can access it.

Let's take a look:

Local Variables

Conversely, if a variable is declared inside a function, it is local to that function and therefore referred to as a local variable.

This also means it has local scope. When we have a variable with local scope, it cannot be referenced outside of that function, which means it cannot be called or used outside of the brackets in which it's contained.

var sayHello = function () {
    var brother = "Bill";
    console.log("Hello " + brother);


Notice how the variable brother is now defined from within the function?
This means it is now a local variable and can only be accessed from within that function.

Test Yourself

Take a look at the code provided in the "JavaScript" panel in JS Bin.

Refresh the page if you don't see the JS Bin editor below.

JS Bin on jsbin.com

Fix the code so that "Hello Marie" is logged to the console. After fixing the code in the "JavaScript" panel, hit the "Run" button in the "Console" panel to check your work.

Here's another exercise for you - give it a shot.