Optimising Performance with Advanced JavaScript Array Methods & Patterns
For Developers

July 04, 2024

Optimising Performance with Advanced JavaScript Array Methods & Patterns

JavaScript is a crucial programming language mostly utilised to enhance user interaction with online pages. This programming language enhances the liveliness, robustness, and interactivity of your website. Currently, JavaScript is extensively utilised in the realms of game creation and mobile application development. It is a highly favoured programming language among software engineers for both academic and practical purposes.

Proficiency with arrays is crucial for JavaScript developers as they serve as the foundation for fast data processing and storage. Arrays facilitate the efficient management of extensive data collections, allowing developers to compose more organised and sustainable programs. Nevertheless, hiring JavaScript developers that possess significant proficiency in working with arrays might be difficult since it necessitates specific expertise in optimising efficiency and successfully utilising array techniques and patterns. This proficiency is not only essential for constructing high-performance applications but also for sustaining code that can effortlessly accommodate increasing data requirements.

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What Are Arrays in JavaScript?

A JavaScript array is a global object specifically designed for storing data. Arrays are structured collections that include zero or more data types in a predefined sequence. They are accessed using numerical indices, starting from 0, to get individual elements.

Arrays are highly advantageous as they allow for the storage of several values within a solitary variable, resulting in the consolidation and organisation of our code, hence enhancing its readability and maintainability. Arrays may store many data types, such as integers, texts, and objects.

In order to illustrate the use of arrays, let us take the task of assigning the names of the five seas of the globe to individual variables.

// Assign the five oceans to five variables
const ocean1 = "Pacific";
const ocean2 = "Atlantic";
const ocean3 = "Indian";
const ocean4 = "Arctic";
const ocean5 = "Antarctic";

This approach is excessively wordy and has the potential to rapidly become challenging to sustain and monitor.

By utilising arrays, we may streamline our data.

// Assign the five oceans
let oceans = [
"Pacific",
"Atlantic",
"Indian",
"Arctic",
"Antarctic",
];

Instead of having five distinct variables, we now have a single variable that encompasses all five aspects. We utilised square brackets, denoted as [], to instantiate an array.

To retrieve a particular item, merge its index to the variable.

// Print out the first item of the oceans array
oceans[0];

Output
Pacific

This guide will provide a comprehensive understanding of arrays, including their creation, indexing, item addition, modification, removal, and access, as well as looping across arrays.

Read more: Sorting Strings in JavaScript and Java

Creating an Array

There are two methods to instantiate an array in JavaScript:

  • The array literally uses square brackets.
  • The array constructor utilises the new keyword.

We will now illustrate the process of creating an array of shark species using the array literal, which is started with an empty set of square brackets [].

// Initialize array of shark species with array literal
[label sharks.js]
let sharks = [
"Hammerhead",
"Great White",
"Tiger",
];

Now, the data is created using the array constructor, which is initialised with the new Array() method.

// Initialize array of shark species with array constructor
let sharks = new Array(
"Hammerhead",
"Great White",
"Tiger",
);

Both techniques will generate an array. Nevertheless, the utilisation of the array literal (square brackets) approach is more prevalent and favoured due to potential inconsistencies and unforeseen outcomes associated with the new Array() constructor function. It is beneficial to have knowledge of the array constructor in the event that you come across it in the future.

We have the capability to output the complete array, resulting in the same presentation as our input.

// Print out the entire sharks array
sharks;


Output
[ ‘Hammerhead’ , ‘Great White’ , ‘Tiger’ ]

Arrays are commonly employed to aggregate collections of comparable data types, while they have the capability to encompass any value or a combination of values, including other arrays.

// Initialize array of mixed datatypes
let mixedData = [
"String",
null,
7,
[
"another",
"array",
],
];

Once an array is created, it may be manipulated in several ways. However, it is essential to have a clear understanding of array indexing before proceeding.

Please be aware that the last item in an array may or may not include a final comma. A trailing comma refers to the use of a comma at the end of a list or series of items. While it is often observed that they are excluded, it is increasingly recommended to incorporate them in your code. This practice enhances the clarity of version control differences and facilitates the addition and removal of things without encountering issues. It is important to be aware that JSON files do not permit the use of commas at the end of a line.

Indexing Arrays

If you have acquired knowledge about indexing and manipulating strings in JavaScript, you could already be acquainted with the notion of indexing arrays, as a string bears resemblance to an array.

Arrays lack name/value associations. Conversely, they are assigned numerical values starting from 0 for indexing purposes. Below is an example array called seaCreatures.

let seaCreatures = [
"octopus",
"squid",
"shark",
"seahorse",
"starfish",
];

Below is a comprehensive explanation of the indexing of each element in the seaCreatures array.

The initial element in the array is octopus, which is assigned an index of 0. The final item is a starfish, which is located at index 4. Indices in counting start from 0, which contradicts our instinct to begin numbering at 1. Therefore, it is crucial to recall this fact until it becomes second nature.

The length property of an array may be used to determine the number of items it contains.

seaCreatures.length;

Output 
5

The seaCreatures array has indices ranging from 0 to 4, however the length property will return the total number of objects in the array, beginning from 1.

To determine the index number of a particular item, such as "seahorse", in an array, we may utilise the indexOf() function.

seaCreatures.indexOf("seahorse");

Output
3

If an index number is not discovered, such as for a value that is not present, the console will output -1.

seaCreatures.indexOf("cuttlefish");

Output
-1

By utilising index numbers that relate to specific elements within an array, we may access each item individually in order to manipulate them.

Read more: Java vs Python: Selecting the Right Programming Language (2024 Edition)

Accessing Items in an Array

To retrieve an item in a JavaScript array, you refer to the index number of the item using square brackets.

seaCreatures[1];

Output
squid

The value 0 will consistently get the initial element in an array. To identify the final item in an array, we may calculate the index number by subtracting 1 from the length property.

const lastIndex = seaCreatures.length - 1;

seaCreatures[lastIndex];

Output
starfish

If you try to access an item that does not exist, the result will be undefined.

seaCreatures[10];

Output
undefined

To access items in a nested array, you need to use an additional index number that corresponds to the inner array.

let nestedArray = [
[
"salmon",
"halibut",
],
[
"coral",
"reef",
]
];

nestedArray[1][0];

Output
coral

In the above example, we retrieved the element at index 1 of the nestedArray variable, and then accessed the element at index 0 within the inner array.

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Array Methods

Having acquired knowledge regarding the creation and retrieval of arrays, we will now delve into the many techniques associated with arrays. Arrays provide a variety of pre-existing ways that may be utilised, and we will discuss a selection of the often employed ones. 

toString()

The toString() function retrieves a string representation of the integer. The sole argument that it accepts is the base index. 

let list_Number = [2,4,6,8,10]
            for(let x=0;x<list_Number.length;x++)
            {   let y = list_Number[x]
                console.log(y.toString(2))
            }

The provided code transformed each element in the array into its respective binary representation. Below is the shown output: 

toString()

Push()

The push technique is employed to append elements to an existing array. The push() function modifies the array. 

cars.push("Audi");
console.log(cars);

The element "Audi" is appended to the end of the array. 

push()

Unshift()

This function is utilised to prepend elements to the beginning of the array and increment the index of each element by one.

cars.unshift("Toyota")
console.log(cars);

The array will be modified as follows: 

unshift()

Pop()

This function is utilized to remove the final element from the array. 

cars.pop()
console.log(cars);

Based on the aforementioned logic, the final element "Audi" is removed from the array. 

pop()

Shift()

This procedure is the antithesis of unshift, because it eliminates the initial member of the array. This method performs a shift operation on all the elements, decrementing the indices of each element by one.

cars.shift();
console.log(cars);

The code above should return the original array with three members. 

shift()

Slice()

The slice() function divides the array and produces a shallow duplicate of a section of the array, which is then stored in a new array object. The function accepts two parameters: begin and end. The array is sliced starting from the supplied index 'begin' up to, but not including, the index 'end'. The original array will remain unaltered.

If the end argument is not supplied, the full array starting from the begin index is divided into smaller parts. 

let cars = ["Toyota", "bmw", "volvo", "honda","Audi"];
let cars2 = cars.slice(1)
console.log(cars2);

The code above produces the following output: 

slice()

Look at this line of code: 

let cars = ["Toyota", "bmw", "volvo", "honda","Audi"];
let cars2 = cars.slice(0,4)
console.log(cars2);

As the end argument is not included, the array member at index four is not included. Here is the output: 

slice() 

Concat()

The concat() function is utilised to combine two or more arrays into a singular array. 

let cars = ["bmw", "volvo", "honda"];
let bikes = ["yamaha", "suzuki", "royal enfield"];
let vehicles = cars.concat(bikes);
console.log(vehicles);

The array "bikes" is combined with the array "cars" to get the following output: 

concat() 

Sort ()

This technique is employed for sorting the array, as indicated by its name. The array is sorted in ascending order by default. 

let list_Number = [3,2,6,1,5,4,8,7];
list_Number.sort();
console.log(list_Number);

The resulting output is as follows: 

sort() - JavaScript Arrays

Reverse()

The reverse() function is utilised to invert the sequence of elements in an array. Applying the reverse() function to the sort() method will yield the data in a descending order. 

let list_Number = [3,2,6,1,5,4,8,7];
list_Number.sort();
list_Number.reverse();
console.log(list_Number);

The resulting output is as follows:

reverse() - JavaScript Arrays

Map, Filter and Reduce

Three of the most potent JavaScript array functions are map, reduce, and filter. Let us review these. 

.map()

The map() function is utilised to generate a fresh array from a preexisting one by implementing a function to each member of the first array. The original array remains unchanged. 

let num1 = [2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7];
            let num2 = num1.map(double);
            function double(value) {
                return value * 2;
            }
             console.log(num2)

The map method guarantees the application of the double function to every element in the array, resulting in the multiplication of each element by two and the storage of the results in the new array num2.

Here is the output: