The Array forEach method

Jafar Husain
InstructorJafar Husain
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Published 9 years ago
Updated 5 years ago

Most JavaScript developers are familiar with the for loop. One of the most common uses of the for loop is to iterate through the items in an array. In this lesson, we will learn how to replace the for loop with the Array's forEach method - and shorten your code in the process.

[00:01] Hey, and welcome to the, "forEach" lesson. Today, we're going to be learning about the array's forEach method, and we're going to create an exercise that is going to help us learn about the forEach method. Let's say that we're building an application that displays a list of stock symbols.

[00:16] What we are going to do is, we're going to pretend that we are retrieving a bunch of stock information from a server, and we want to print out just the symbols of those stocks so that people can select them and then get more detail about them. What we're going to do is, we're going to write a function called, "get stock symbols."

[00:30] It's going to accept an array of stock records. The way we're going to call this function is, we are going to get just the symbols out of get stock symbols, and pass in a bunch of stocks. You can see, this is an array of stocks where each stock is a symbol, a price and volume.

[00:49] How are we going to do this? Well, most jobs grifter developers are familiar with the "for" loop, so we're going to use the for loop to move overall the stocks, pull out the symbol from each stock, accumulated in an array and return that array. First we're going to create the symbols array, which is an empty array that is going to store all our symbols. Next we're going to create a couple of variables which we are going to use in the for loop.

[01:09] The first is a counter, which keeps track of the current index in the array, and the next is a stock, which will keep track of the current stock in the array. Most job script developers are familiar with the for loop. The way the for loop works is it's in three parts, the first statement is what we want to execute the very first time the for loop is executed. In this case, we're going to initialize the counter to zero, which will point to the first index in the array.

[01:33] The second part of the for loop is the condition that we want to be true, as long as we want the for loop to be continued. In this case, we want the for loop to continue as long as the counter is smaller than the length of the stocks. Finally, this third part of the for loop is what we want to execute at the bottom of each iteration of the loop. In this case, we want to increment the counter.

[01:54] What we're going to do inside of the loop is we're going to assign the stock to the stock inside of the election at the index of the counter. So, stock collection. What we're doing now is we're looping through each item in the stocks array and assigning it to a variable stock. Now what we'll do is, we'll add to the symbols array.

[02:17] We're going to pull out the symbol from the stock, and add it to the symbols array. Now, what we've essentially done is we've gone through all the stocks, pulled out the symbol and then put that into a new array of just the symbols of each stock. Finally, we will return the array. And now, to confirm that that worked, we're going to log to the console, the symbols array that we get when we call, "get stock symbols."

[02:41] I'm going to call JSON stringify, pass in symbols, and we'll run it. Lo and behold, it works. We get just the symbol FSX, TNZ and JXJ. Now, most JavaScript developers are familiar with the for loop, but in this lesson, I'm going to teach you about the arrays forEach method. We can use the "forEach" method to dramatically simplify this code.

[03:06] Now, the most important thing is not the lines of code, but as we'll learn later, the forEach method because unlike the for loop, it can also run asynchronously. Here, I'm going to delete this counter and stock variable, and I'm going to replace this for loop with a call to the 4H method of stocks. The way the forEach method works is it accepts a closure, and it invokes that closure for every item in the array and passes in that item as an argument to the closure.

[03:42] And so now, we can see that all I have to do is go symbols, push stock, symbol, and the code here is completely equivalent to this code below. I'm going to delete this code below, and we're going to see that the exact same result occurs...

devin pastoor
devin pastoor
~ 9 years ago

little typo in the transcript! haha,

Well, most jobs grifter developers are familiar with the "for" loop,

~ 9 years ago

In the for loop, why did you create an extra variable "stock" when we could have done the same with just the counter and the result array. e.g.

var arr = [
	{symbol:"XFX", price: 240, volume:2333},
	{symbol:"TNZ", price: 332, volume:234},
	{symbol:"JXL", price: 120, volume:5345}

var result = [];
for(var i = 0; i<arr.length; i++){
abhinav reddy
abhinav reddy
~ 8 years ago

If the foreach is asynchronous , is there a possibility for the function to return before the foreach has finished its execution...

~ 8 years ago

ES6 code:

function getStockSymbols (stocks) {
  const symbols = []

  stocks.forEach(({symbol}) => symbols.push(symbol))
  return symbols
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