[Python Dependency Pitfalls] "Re-inventing the wheel" disease

Hey there,

PyPI, the Python packaging repository, now contains more than 100,000 third-party packages in total.

That's an *overwhelming* number of packages to choose from...

And this feeling of overwhelm and "choice paralysis" is exactly what held me back earlier on in my Python career.

Here, let me explain:

Back when I got "serious" about building my Python skills, mastering the syntax of the language was NOT the hardest part.

Python's syntax is quite clear and intuitive by comparison, and there's a (relatively) obvious path to learning it.

But when it comes to Python's 100k+ libraries and frameworks that's simply an OVERWHELMING number to choose from (and there's no way to memorize all of them.)

So anyway, what tripped me up as a fledgling Pythonista was this:

I had the basics of Python under my belt, but I struggled when it came to adopting the right workflows and tools of the "ecosystem" surrounding the core language.

Thus, I wasted time reinventing existing solutions left and right...

Sometimes I spent DAYS writing my own (crappy) versions of common building blocks like config file parsers, data validators, or visualization tools.

Now, sure I learned quite a bit from doing that—

But I kept repeating the same mistake and was "reinventing the wheel" even when under a tight deadline.

In hindsight, my ignorance caused me a ton of undue stress and sleep deprivation.

Part of it was overconfidence in my abilities, and another part was a lack of experience using "bread and butter" tools like the pip package manager, virtual environments, and requirements files.

Once I got the hang of Python's dependency management tools and workflows I was able to overcome my "reinventing the wheel disease" relatively quickly.

Mastering those tools and coming up with strategies for identifying high-quality Python packages opened up a whole new world to me:

By leveraging Python's packaging ecosystem I was suddenly coding at a higher level of abstraction.

And it had a MASSIVE impact on my productivity and efficiency.

Saying it allowed me to 10X my output wouldn't be too far off.

If you use Python and you're wondering how to go from "writing scripts" to "building applications"—

Then there's a good chance you could benefit from focusing on your dependency management skills.

You might be ready for a similar "quantum leap" in your productivity.

In Managing Python Dependencies With Pip and Virtual Environments, I give you the exact step-by-step workflows I use every day to work on Python projects small and large.

When you add just one of these tricks to your personal dev workflow you'll *permanently* increase your productivity and efficiency as a developer.

Details here:

realpython.com/products/managing-python-dependencies/

— Dan Bader

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