Learning Friday: JS Scope - Global, Function, and Block

Hey there! Here are some notes I took after reading Kyle Simpson’s YDKJS and watching his “Advanced Front-end Masters” on Scope. Let me know if theres anything I can improve with this article via the links below. There’s always room to improve!

What is Scope?

According to W3Schools, scope is the set of variables you have access to.

There are 3 types of Scopes in JS:

  • Global Scope
  • Function Scope
  • Block Scope

Global Scope

This is whatever’s not in function or block. These variables are accessible from wherever.

Function Scope

Variables declared within a function are considered to be in the Function Scope. This is the most common type of scope you’ll run into. Whenever there is a variable declared within a function it is also accessible by the nested function. For example:

function holdsTheHi(){
  var greeting = "hello";
  function helloBob(){
    console.log(greeting, "Bob"); // greeting is within holdsTheHi's function scope
holdsTheHi(); // "hi Bob"
console.log(greeting);            // greeting is not defined

Block Scope

In old school vanilla JS these are not so common. Block Scopes are used within things like for-loops, if-loops, and try/catch’s. For example:

for (var i=0; i<10; i++) { // i declared within for block
	console.log( i );


However as of ES6, you’re able to use let instead of var to declare variables. In short, this keeps the variable accessible within the two parens {..} of a block scope. That’s it. For example:

var foo = true;

if (foo) {
	{ // <-- explicit block
		let bar = 2;
		bar = 3;
		console.log( bar );
  console.log(bar); // ReferenceError

console.log( bar ); // ReferenceError

We explicitly define a block here that only logs the bar within the block scope. If we use a var instead of let to declare bar, all 3 of these would be outputted.

Written on May 12, 2017