If you’ve ever delved into the world of coding, you’ve likely encountered square brackets
 in various contexts. These seemingly simple characters play a vital role in different programming languages and are used for a wide range of purposes. In this article, we’ll demystify the
 notation, exploring its significance and demonstrating how it’s employed in coding.
Basics of Square Brackets
Square brackets, also known as brackets or array brackets, are an essential part of many programming languages. They serve multiple purposes, with one of the most common uses being for creating and accessing arrays.
my_array = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
In the code above, we’ve used square brackets to define an array called
my_array containing five integers.
Square brackets are also used to access elements within an array. Each element in an array is assigned an index, starting from 0 for the first element. You can access a specific element by specifying its index within square brackets. For example, to access the third element in the
my_array defined earlier, you can use:
element = my_array
This assigns the value
3 to the
element variable, as arrays are zero-indexed.
Square brackets can be used to slice arrays, allowing you to extract a subset of elements. In Python, you can use a colon
: to specify a range. For example, to get the first three elements of
my_array, you can use:
subset = my_array[:3]
subset variable now contains
[1, 2, 3].
In Python, square brackets are also used for list comprehensions. List comprehensions provide a concise way to create lists. For instance, to create a list of squared numbers from 1 to 5, you can use the following code:
squared = [x**2 for x in my_array]
squared list will contain
[1, 4, 9, 16, 25].
const myArray = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5]; const element = myArray; // Accessing the third element (index 2)
Ruby and Square Brackets
Ruby uses square brackets similarly to create and access arrays. Here’s an example:
my_array = [1, 2, 3, 4, 5] element = my_array # Accessing the third element (index 2)