python best practices for code quality

06 Dec 2020

This syntax became available from Python 3.5 onwards. Using Unpacking to Write Concise Code . But to improve code quality, we have to define what it is. Using a coding standard is one of the best ways to ensure high quality code. Keeping your code in a proper format is a necessary yet dull job that should be performed by a computer. Although you may be using code quality tools inside your code editor and pre-commit hook, you can't always count on your teammates and other collaborators to do the same. You’ll learn about four best practices you can use to make sure that your code can serve a dual purpose: 1. One way of trying to define code quality is to look at one end of the spectrum: high-quality code. It can be installed like any other PyPI package: Say you have the following code saved to a file called This should produce the following output: For every violation a line is printed that contains the following data: The violations that start with F are errors from Pyflakes while violations that start with E are from pycodestyle. When you design your code using clear, easy-to-understand concepts, the reader will be able to quickly conceptualize your intent. There are s… Almost all python world uses this guide to write clean understandable and standard python code. However, we cannot cover 100% of truly unreachable code by this rule. In this course, Python Best Practices for Code Quality, you will learn a number of best practices that will help you improve the quality of your Python code. As it turns out, the term can mean many different things to people. most probably bug), [F]atal for errors which prevented further processing. That person is you. 1. Its popularity has increased during the last couple of years, and it is already mature and widely-used with a large community behind it. It's an appealing way to engage awesome developers if your project is Open Source. You’ll learn about four best practices you can use to make sure that your code can serve a dual purpose: 1. It improves consistency and readability of the codebase. Pythonic Code: Best Practices to Make Your Python More Readable Understanding idiomatic Python lets you produce quality code — every time. Use a Coding Standard. There are a few things to consider on our journey for high-quality code. This post looks how to improve the quality of your Python code with linters, code formatters, and security vulnerability scanners. Leave a comment below and let us know. Using a coding standard is one of the best ways to ensure high quality code. Get a short & sweet Python Trick delivered to your inbox every couple of days. 4. The person who wrote the original code is gone. You can be as strict or as loose as you want, which is an important thing to realize. If automation and consistency aren’t there, it’s easy for a large team or project to lose sight of the goal and start creating lower quality code. Tests don't need testing. Join us and get access to hundreds of tutorials, hands-on video courses, and a community of expert Pythonistas: Real Python Comment Policy: The most useful comments are those written with the goal of learning from or helping out other readers—after reading the whole article and all the earlier comments. Without tools and a consistent system, the whole project can accumulate a huge technical debt, causing more problems in the long-term than it solves in the … This article will discuss some best practices to manage your python code base so that you can sustain and maintain it over the years without pulling your hair out in the process. Well-formatted code that follows a style guide for consistency is easier to read, which makes it easier to find bugs and onboard new developers. Again, since this is a dull job that developers are often opinionated about (tabs vs spaces, single vs double quotes, etc. We’ll analyze and compare tools you can use to take your code to the next level. You can use the PEP8 guide as a holy grail. Although, keep in mind frequent “except” calls are even slower than plain if conditional handling, so you must use it wisely. Unnecessary use of if’s may slow down your code. It adds the style and complexity checks of pycodestyle to the logical lint detection of PyFlakes. While this may seem drastic, forcing every bit of code through a screening for lint is an important step towards ensuring continued quality. However, as Spider-Man and Winston Churchill have taught us, with great power comes great responsibility. Ah, yes. That way you can start improving quality without doing a whole rewrite of your existing code base. Python Best Practices: 5 Tips For Better Code. To combat this, some continuous integration systems will allow you the option of only failing the build if the new code increases the number of linter errors that were already present. Code style, in particular, is a sensitive issue amongst developers since we spend much of our development time reading code. As far as Python goes, there is a well-accepted standard. The simple command os.listdir lists all strings, i.e., only the path filenames. By using it, you agree to cede control over minutiae of hand-formatting. It is some lines of code that cannot be executed by python’s interpreter. Output after running against lint-filled code from above: The downside here is that parsing this output may be a bit more difficult. Subscribe to the Level-up Engineering Podcast. Scan your code with Bandit. A coding standard makes sure everyone uses the right style. He is co-founder of typless where he is leading engineering efforts. You can check it out at This is available as an extension as a linter for all modern text editors. In this screencast we’re outlining some of the best practices that apply to performing code reviews. And what about defects and problems in the code, how can you detect those? Although, some stylistic choices do avoid common logical mistakes. In this article, we are going to see how you can use python documentation best practices. It cleans up all the dust and cat hair. The benefit here is speed. It's one of the best ways to learn for both parties. Next, you will create beautiful and publishable documentation with Python docstrings and a tool called Sphinx. Python Software Engineering Best Practices Cheat Sheet by ilyes64 Like any other language or tool, Python has some best practices to follow before, during, and after the process of writing your code. As a software developer you're very likely working in a team. You’ll get one step closer to mastering Python, so you can write beautiful and idiomatic code that comes to you naturally. The nice thing about this output is that the lint is labeled by category. And the list doesn’t conflict with anything from pycodestyle since all the errors are prefixed with a D for docstring. When he's not writing code or deploying to AWS, he's probably skiing, windsurfing, or playing guitar. To determine why high-quality code is important, let’s revisit those identifiers. No spam ever. Photo by ThisisEngineering RAEng on Unsplash Motivation. Next, you will create beautiful and publishable documentation with Python docstrings and a tool called Sphinx. (For Python developers, When we wrote the code, everything was clear, but after a few weeks or months, it looks fuzzy. Thankfully, there are a number of tools that can help detect possible vulnerabilities in our code. In this article, we’ll identify high-quality Python code and show you how to improve the quality of your own code. What’s your #1 takeaway or favorite thing you learned? The linters can be set up to fail the build if the code doesn’t meet quality standards. Slowness aside, the other complaints are somewhat of a double-edged sword. There are two jobs defined: test and code-quality. Since this is a dull, mundane process, it should be handled by a computer via code formatters like Black and isort. You can improve the quality of code that you write. Improve your Django project with these best practices Django is a robust, open-source, Python-based framework for building web applications. Use Python 3. It means more headaches and more work for everyone. When you try to use the vacuum to clean the pile of dirt, it breaks, spewing the dirt everywhere. A few examples: In terms of linting tools, while there are a number of them out there, for the most part each look for errors in either code logic or enforce code standards: Flake8 is a wrapper around Pyflakes, pycodestyle, and McCabe. Regardless of your personal view on how to represent whitespace, it’s safe to assume that you at least want consistency in code. Could not calculate sum...', """Initialize an instance of SomeClass.""". This happens due to the dynamic nature of python. You can run such checks in parallel with your tests. For example, to enforce PEP-8 naming conventions, install pep8-naming: Check out Awesome Flake8 Extensions for a list of the most popular extensions. Additionally, some team members may not want to “nitpick” style during code reviews. The errors and warnings it does catch are categorized in this table. It’s useful to have linters run against your code frequently. This article will focus on the tips when writing conditional statements in Python. 10% of profits from our FastAPI and Flask Web Development courses will be donated to the FastAPI and Flask teams, respectively. These automated tools ensure that our inferior human minds don’t mess up conventions. Some of these principles are Python-specific, but most are not. A list of those errors can be found here. Best practices ¶ These checks ensure that you follow the best practices. Therefore, it's strongly recommended to lint and format your code during development. To run Flake8, add the following config: Now, every time you run git commit Flake8 will run before the actual commit is made. We use style guides to make it easier for our fellow developers (ourselves included) to infer intent and collaborate with us. These make the code readable and create a standard across the industry. For more Python best practices, check out these posts: Python Exception Handling 3. Next, you will create beautiful and publishable documentation with Python docstrings and a tool called Sphinx. With Practices of the Python Pro , you’ll learn to design professional-level, clean, easily maintainable software at scale using the incredibly popular programming language, Python. In an effort to expand these ideas further, let’s delve into why each one matters in the realm of software. You'd lose readers and collaborators. For example, the get_error_message function has a complexity of four, since there are four possible branches (or code paths): To enforce a max complexity of 3 or lower, run: You can add additional checks to Flake8 via its powerful plugin system. These will make your code far more readable and maintainable. It won’t guarantee bug free code but the consistency really helps when you look at code that is several months/years old. The various issues and errors are not labeled or organized by type. Some people may find it easier to receive candid feedback from these tools instead of a team member. Fortunately, there are tools to assist with this. This is an updated version of my previous blog post on few recommended practices for optimizing your Python code.. A codebase that follows best practices is highly appreciated in today's world. Check out some key tips below. March 10, 2017. This is a replacement for the aging course, Python Developers Toolkit, covering only the topics around Pylint and Documentation. Awareness is a great first step. Then, it will determine a message to return based on whether or not, """Return the result of a multiplation of the inputs.""". It's used to check your installed dependencies for known security vulnerabilities against Safety DB, which is a database of known security vulnerabilities in Python packages. Document your master pieces You can’t expect yourself to always catch them in time. Although, keep in mind frequent “except” calls are even slower than plain if conditional handling, so you must use it wisely. Best practices for setting up a project to maintain the highest quality code. A coding style guide is a document that sets out all the coding conventions and best practices for a particular programming language. © 2012–2020 Real Python ⋅ Newsletter ⋅ Podcast ⋅ YouTube ⋅ Twitter ⋅ Facebook ⋅ Instagram ⋅ Python Tutorials ⋅ Search ⋅ Privacy Policy ⋅ Energy Policy ⋅ Advertise ⋅ Contact❤️ Happy Pythoning! Some poorly written logic or maybe some code with formatting that doesn’t match the neighboring code. Without tools and a consistent system, … Subscribe to the Level-up Engineering Podcast . I have been looking over the Python documentation for code formatting best practice for large lists and dictionaries, for example, something = {'foo' : 'bar', 'foo2' : 'bar2', 'foo3' : 'bar3'..... Stack Overflow. First, you will discover the guidelines for formatting code called Pep8. And if there are any issues, the commit will be aborted. There’s Python syntax rule #3: Python is case sensitive. The person who has replaced them now has to make sense of the code that’s already there. If it doesn’t meet basic requirements, it’s hard to even call it low quality. Create a new repository on GitHub and push your project to the newly created remote: You should see your workflow running on the Actions tab on your GitHub repository. I should point out that these aren’t all entirely comparable as they serve different purposes. Python’s meaningful indentation (one of its most controversial features) makes it very hard to maintain this kind of code. But even with a constant number of software developers, maintaining code quality can cause headaches. It also reduces merge conflicts. For the sake of not using software as an example, let’s say your vacuum works great on regular carpet. Put most code into a function or class. Comprehensive Guide to Code Quality: Best Practices and Tools. Michael Herman. Bandit is an open source project that is available through the Python … It’s a great place to start since it’s already well-defined. Prefer a Flake8 plugin? © Copyright 2017 - 2020 TestDriven Labs. Since you'll inevitably miss a warning here and there as you're coding, it's a good practice to check for quality issues at commit time with pre-commit git hooks. Follow code review best practices. Complaints and insults generally won’t make the cut here. Create Readable Documentation. Without further ado, here are the top 10 Python security best practices you need to start using now. flake8-import-order is quite popular as well. Linters flag programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors, and suspicious constructs through source code analysis. Inspection rates should under 500 LOC per hour. It's an appealing way to engage awesome developers if your project is Open Source. Bandit is a tool designed to find common security issues in Python code such as hardcoded password strings, deserializing untrusted code, using pass in except blocks, to name a few. Whether you've been using Python for a while, or just beginning, you can benefit from the practices … Note that Pylint prefixes each of the problem areas with a R, C, W, E, or F, meaning: The above list is directly from Pylint’s user guide. Use the most recent version of Python . Stuck at home? There are some strong feelings of what high-quality code looks like. Many of these principles relate to testing practices and ideals. It focuses on naming conventions, code comments, and layout issues (like … Additionally, most editors and IDEs have the ability to run linters in the background as you type. Photo by Martin Adams on Unsplash. What exactly is code quality? In this article, you'll see how to improve the quality of your Python code. It’s been around long enough that contributors have fixed most major bugs and the core features are well-developed. Infrastructure, frameworks, and libraries for testing need tests. If you took it a step further and ignored common standards like capitalization and spacing rules, your sentences would be very difficult to read. Editor Integrations; GitHub Code Review; Changelog; Pricing; Blog; Login; GET STARTED; How to set up a perfect Python project Best practices for setting up a project to maintain the highest quality code . No one wants to be in the position where they have to read, maintain, or extend low-quality code. Thus, you wouldn’t call it a high-quality vacuum cleaner. Pylama is a popular linting tool as well, which, like Flake8, glues together several linters. That is a problem we want to avoid in our code. Python Exercises, Practice, Solution: Python is a widely used high-level, general-purpose, interpreted, dynamic programming language. Similarly, Flake8, Bandit, and Safety help ensure your code is safe and free of errors. 2. We are pleased to announce the launch of Python support for Amazon CodeGuru, a service for automated code reviews and application performance recommendations.CodeGuru is powered by program analysis and machine learning, and trained on best practices and hard-learned lessons across millions of code reviews and thousands of applications profiled on open-source projects and internally … Verbosity can be because of thoroughness. 4. First, this journey is not one of pure objectivity. Its design philosophy emphasizes code readability, and its syntax allows programmers to express concepts in fewer lines of code … 2. Python Code Quality: Tools & Best Practices. Developed by A simple way to find security vulnerabilities within your Python code is … Prefer a Flake8 plugin? Linters analyze code to detect various categories of lint. You'll be able to find a plugin for your code editor for most of the aforementioned tools. First, you will discover the guidelines for formatting code called Pep8. PyFlakes, for example, does not identify stylistic errors like Pylint does. As the names' suggest, the tests run in the test job while our code quality checks run in the code-quality job. It combines the following: Here are some stand-alone linters categorized with brief descriptions: And here are some code analysis and formatting tools: Let’s get a better idea of what different linters are capable of catching and what the output looks like. Pylint is one of the oldest linters (circa 2006) and is still well-maintained. Improving code quality is a process. This means that Pyflakes won’t tell you about missing docstrings or argument names not conforming to a naming style. It’s also nice if it’s easy to add the new feature without disrupting previous features. A few days ago, I wrote an article to give some tips for Python variables and code quality. So, next in python best practices is readable documentation. These are obviously core skills for any python developer, but for a beginner, they might come too early. How do we improve code quality and clean up our Python code? best-practices We can prevent this bad situation simply by writing Python Documentation. Next, initialize your project with Poetry: After that, add Flask, pytest, Flake8, Black, isort, Bandit, and Safety: Create a file to hold tests called Next, add a file for the Flask app called Now, we're ready to add the pre-commit configuration. Over time, all that lint piles up. Little mistakes, stylistic inconsistencies, and dangerous logic don’t make your code feel great. Finally, there are tools that automatically format code to some specification. In this post, we’ll look at the top 10 Python security best practices, starting with the easiest to implement then moving up to the hardest to implement in our code. “With Python Tricks: The Book you’ll discover Python’s best practices and the power of beautiful & Pythonic code with simple examples and a step-by-step narrative. Those categories can be broadly defined as the following: There are also code analysis tools that provide other insights into your code. One way to accomplish this is by ensuring that your comments follow basic best-practices. Python Code Quality Linters. I also encourage you to read and follow the Python Code Style Guide. It happens slowly, of course. In addition, all the linters mentioned in this article have various command line options and configurations that let you tailor the tool to your liking. Unsubscribe any time. Without further ado, the output after running Pylint against the lint-filled code from above: Note that I’ve condensed this with ellipses for similar lines. If things break on edge cases and defects cause unwanted behavior, we don’t have a high-quality product. ... What is unreachable code? Code not conforming to defined conventions, [R]efactor for a “good practice” metric violation, [C]onvention for coding standard violation, [W]arning for stylistic problems, or minor programming issues, [E]rror for important programming issues (i.e. Put most code into a function or class. Related Tutorial Categories: Even if you're the only person in the project, branching makes it possible to easily switch between different features / bug fixes. Style guides serve to help facilitate the goal of making code easy to read, maintain, and extend. Let me just list a few (non-mandatory but highly recommended) Python best practices that will make your code much nicer, more readable and more reusable. Test coverage, while not a silver bullet, is a great way to maintain a quality code base. Hopefully, you can agree on the following high-quality code identifiers: These three identifiers, while simplistic, seem to be generally agreed upon. Use a virtual environment. After correcting the violations, you should have: Along with PyFlakes and pycodestyle, you can use Flake8 to check for cyclomatic complexity as well. Naming conventions are not checked and neither are docstrings. Python security best practices. PEP8 is a great starting point for Python. By learning and following established patterns and best practices, you can take your code and your career to a new level. In Python, the go to style guide is the PEP 8 — Style Guide for Python Code. While the vacuum worked under some circumstances, it didn’t efficiently handle the occasional extra load. Like we just said, readable documentation is important. Take your time. Code Formatters. Other Python Best Practices for Nicer Formatting. Coverage is an easy way to check code coverage using almost any existing tool. A coding standard makes sure everyone uses the right style. Linting tools are easy to set up, provide sane defaults, and improve the overall developer experience by removing friction between developers who have differing opinions on style. If the code is complex and convoluted, you’ll probably take longer and possibly make some wrong assumptions. Refactor legacy code (when necessary) How to Improve Code Quality: A Closer Look 1. Unnecessary use of if’s may slow down your code. Next, you will create beautiful and publishable documentation with Python docstrings and a tool called Sphinx. Written by Tamás Török. Hey, at least you don’t have to add semicolons at the end of every line. best-practices - Pieter Hintjens "Fit the 90% use-case. It functions without problems or defects and is written so that it’s easy for the next person to work with. In this article, I provide some recommended guidelines to follow when moving code from development environments to production environments. As a data scientist, it is essential to have good coding practices because it is easier for coworkers viewing your code and for you to avoid confusion when revisiting your code in the future. If you're not developing alone, practice code reviews. My passion is for testing, as I believe that good testing practices can both ensure a minimum quality standard (sadly lacking in many software products), and can guide and shape development itself. It combines the following linters: Pylama: A code audit tool composed of a large number of linters and other tools for analyzing code. Commenting Code via Type Hinting (Python 3.5+) It's similar with code. In return, Black gives you speed, determinism, and freedom from pycodestyle nagging about formatting. We're fortunate as Python developers to have the PEP-8 style guide at our disposal, which provides a set of conventions, guidelines, and best practices for making our code easier to read and maintain. Style guides will bring consistency to your code. You can choose to ignore certain errors if you don’t care to adhere to a specific convention as well. You can adjust the previously lint-filled code based on the linter’s output and you’ll end up with something like the following: That code is lint-free according to the linters above. And, in a team setting, it's very important that all developers follow the same coding standards. At this point, you should run linters and security vulnerabilities detectors and ensure that the code follows a particular code style. A "Best of the Best Practices" (BOBP) guide to developing in Python. For example, by adding type information to a function, it reminds those who use your code to insert an argument of type datetime. December 21, 2016 python. To run it against the files in the current directory and sub directories: To check if your imports are correctly sorted and ordered without making changes, use the --check-only flag: To see the changes, without applying them use the --diff flag: Black is a Python code formatter that's used to reformat your code based on the Black's code style guide, which is pretty close to PEP-8. PyFlakes runs in a fraction of the time Pylint takes. Such plugins warn you in real-time about code style violations and potential programming errors. Follow our contributions. Let's create a simple project to see how all of this works. We make software to do something. It's much easier to read and infer intent when code has a consistent style that adheres to PEP-8 standards. It can be tempting to tear through … It contains a bunch of useful examples for best practices in python coding. In this course, Python Best Practices for Code Quality, you will learn a number of best practices that will help you improve the quality of your Python code. In this course, Python Best Practices for Code Quality, you will learn a number of best practices that will help you improve the quality of your Python code. Linters flag programming errors, bugs, stylistic errors, and suspicious constructs through source code analysis. A quick Google search yields many results defining code quality. If you are still running Python 2.7, now is the time to prioritize your technical debt and upgrade. In this course, Python Best Practices for Code Quality, you will learn a number of best practices that will help you improve the quality of your Python code. The Best of the Best Practices (BOBP) Guide for Python. Depending on how you use this, that may not be a problem at all. You can add comments to your Python code. Code quality is one of the most opinionated topics in software development. It is easy to read, maintain, and extend. Covers best practices of software development and how to use advanced tools, like code formatters and source control Covers powerful techniques like using generators, handling time zones, and applying functional programming Page count 344 pages 544 pages 592 pages 360 pages 384 pages 240 pages Customers who bought this item also bought. Brendan Maginnis. A sister Python Enhancement Proposal, PEP 257 describes conventions for Python’s docstrings, which are strings intended to document modules, classes, functions, and methods. It’s generally a matter of finding the plugin for your IDE or editor of choice. 'created SomeClass instance at unix time: It is difficult to read, maintain, or extend, Checks for errors, tries to enforce a coding standard, looks for code smells, Analyzes programs and detects various errors, Checks against some of the style conventions in PEP 8, Checks compliance with Python docstring conventions, Analyzes code to find common security issues, Checks for optionally-enforced static types, Analyzes code for various metrics (lines of code, complexity, and so on), Formats imports by sorting alphabetically and separating into sections.

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