Why use Classes in Python? (5 Reasons)

Python is an extremely versatile language that you can use for building a range of applications, from simple scripts to complex machine-learning models.

In Python, you can choose to write your code using either procedural or object-oriented programming (OOP) paradigms. While both paradigms have their own advantages, in this blog post we’ll be focusing on the benefits of using classes in Python.

  1. Classes Help You Keep Your Code Organized
  2. Classes Help You Reuse Code
  3. Classes Can Model Real-World Objects
  4. Working With Classes Makes Debugging Easier
  5. Functions Defined Within a Class Have Access to Class Attributes

An Introduction to Classes in Python

In Python, a class is a template for creating objects. Objects have member variables and have behavior associated with them.

In python, a class is created by the keyword: class.

Consider the following example, which creates a new class called MyClass, with a single member variable, x, and a single method, printVar(). To create this class, use the following code:

Creating a Class

class MyClass: def __init__(self, x): self.x = x def printVar(self): print(self.x) myObject = MyClass(5) myObject.printVar() # Output: 5

In the example above, we create the class MyClass, which has a single member variable x and a single method printVar().

The __init__ function is called automatically when the class is being created, and it allows us to initialize our member variables.

In this case, we initialize the member variable x to the value 5. We then create an object from this class called myObject and call the printVar() method on it, which prints out the value of x (5).

Note that in order for this code to work properly, we need to put the definition of MyClass above the line where we create myObject, since Python works on a “first come, first serve” basis. If we try to reverse the order and put myObject above MyClass, we get an error because myObject is trying to use a class that hasn’t been defined yet.

# This will result in an error! myObject = MyClass(5) class MyClass: …
Code language: PHP (php)

Using a Class

Accessing Member Variables and Methods from Outside the Class When we want to access member variables and methods from outside our class template (i.e., from outside the definition of MyClass), we need to use the dot operator (.).

For example:

# Accessing methods from outside the class

myObject = MyClass("Hello!") myObject.printVar() # Outputs Hello!
Code language: PHP (php)

If you try to access a member variable or method from outside your class without using the dot operator, you get an error because Python doesn’t know where to find that variable or method:

# This results in an error! myObject = MyClass("Hello!") print(myObject.x) # output error Because we didn't use .x here
Code language: PHP (php)

If you’re new to Python, you might be wondering whether you should write your code using classes or not.

While there’s no right or wrong answer, in this blog post we’ve outlined 5 reasons why you might want to consider using classes in your Python code.

From helping you keep your code organized to making debugging easier, classes can offer a range of benefits. So next time you’re starting a new Python project, keep these advantages in mind and see if classes can help you write cleaner, more reusable code.

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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