Best Practices Of Writing Python Code

Introduction

In recent times, Python has become the most used language across every domain of software engineering. We can use Python for data science, data engineering, DevOps automation, testing, etc. Considering the popularity of Python, we should also learn what are the best practices to develop Python code. So, in this article, we are going to explore PEP 8 (Python Enhancement Proposal). So, at the end of this article, you will learn and understand the below topics.

  • Introduction to PEP-8
  • How to write consistent and clean python code
  • An automated way to comply with PEP-8 standards

Introduction to PEP-8

  • PEP 8 is a style guide created by the founder of Python along with a few of his colleagues.
  • The main aim of creating PEP-8 standards is to increase the readability, write a consistent and clean code in Python.
  • In order to collaborate with multiple developers in the world of DevOps and also it is really difficult to understand the code at a later stage if code readability is not good. PEP-8 standards help the python developer to overcome these challenges by following various standards.

How to write consistent and clean python code

Indentation

While writing Python code, it is preferable to use 4 spaces for indentation.

Example

#Correct: 
# Add 4 spaces to distinguish arguments from the rest.
def func(var_a, var_b, var_c): print(var_a)
# Wrong: 
# Missing alignment
for arguments.
fa = function_name(var_a, var_b, var_c)

Spacing while writing python statement

Usage of space is preferable instead of a tab to write python code.

Length of each python statement

The maximum length of each python statement should not be more than 79 characters. If the length of the statement is more than 79 characters then it is better to split the statement.

Naming convention

When you write a code python, the name of the variable, function, class, etc should be self-explanatory. Avoid using random names while writing python code.

Example

 def m (a,b) :

   o=a*b
   return o

Line Break with Binary Operator

While working with the binary operators in python, a line break should be added before the binary operator to improve the code readability.

Example         

# Wrong: salary = (gross_salary +
          taxable_interest +
          pf_contribution)

 

# Correct:
# salary = (gross_salary 
         + taxable_interest 
         + pf_contribution) 

Blank line with class and function

It is advisable to add two blank lines before starting any function or class in the python code.

Example

# Two blank line before creating python function
def add(a,b):
  sum = a+b
  return sum

Import Python packages

The import of each package should be written in a separate line. Avoid importing multiple packages in a single line.

# Correct
import os
import json

# Wrong
import os, json

An automated way to comply with PEP-8 standards

In the previous section, we explored various PEP-8 standards for writing python code. Now, in this section, we will explore how to efficiently comply with those PEP8 standards while developing python code to make our Python code more readable and easier.

Linters

It analyzes the source code and reports the errors in your python code based on PEP-8 standards. Various linters are available in the market. pycodestyle is a tool to check python code against the standards defined by PEP-8.

Autoformatters

Automformatters are programs that will automatically correct your source code following the PEP-8 standards.

pep8 python package in PyPI repo

We can also use the pep8 python package which will scan your source code based on pep8 standards.

Conclusion

In this article, we explored pep8 standards in Python to write readable, clean, and consistent python code. We also explored the various external programs/features that can be used to automatically follow the standards of pep8 during the python development. Hope this article helps you with your development journey in python. Feel free to share your feedback in the comments about the article and any missing pep8 standards