Reading Great Code

One of the core tenets behind the design of Python is creating readable code. The motivation behind this design is simple: The number one thing that Python programmers do is read code.

One of the secrets of becoming a great Python programmer is to read, understand, and comprehend excellent code.

Excellent code typically follows the guidelines outlined in Code Style, and does its best to express a clear and concise intent to the reader.

Included below is a list of recommended Python projects for reading. Each one of these projects is a paragon of Python coding.

  • Howdoi Howdoi is a code search tool, written in Python.
  • Flask Flask is a microframework for Python based on Werkzeug and Jinja2. It’s intended for getting started very quickly and was developed with best intentions in mind.
  • Diamond Diamond is a python daemon that collects metrics and publishes them to Graphite or other backends. It is capable of collecting cpu, memory, network, i/o, load and disk metrics. Additionally, it features an API for implementing custom collectors for gathering metrics from almost any source.
  • Werkzeug Werkzeug started as simple collection of various utilities for WSGI applications and has become one of the most advanced WSGI utility modules. It includes a powerful debugger, full-featured request and response objects, HTTP utilities to handle entity tags, cache control headers, HTTP dates, cookie handling, file uploads, a powerful URL routing system and a bunch of community-contributed addon modules.
  • Requests Requests is an Apache2 Licensed HTTP library, written in Python, for human beings.
  • Tablib Tablib is a format-agnostic tabular dataset library, written in Python.


Include code examples of exemplary code from each of the projects listed. Explain why it is excellent code. Use complex examples.


Explain techniques to rapidly identify data structures, algorithms and determine what the code is doing.