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Python: Choosing a variable's name

Imagine we've set the following program:

x = 'Father!'

We've worked with a similar program before, but now it's changed the variable name to x.

The computer doesn't care what we call a variable. Names are only important to people. Programmers usually read other people's code much more often than they write their own. To make it easy for your colleagues to read and analyze your code, you need to name your variables clearly.

It's important to come up with a clear name that reflects the idea of the variable. It's important to give names that can be understood without context and without examining the surrounding code.

There is a general rule: Do not use transliteration for names - only English. If you have difficulty with English, use a translator. Over time, by poking around in other people's code, you'll learn how to properly name variables.

There's a joke among developers that naming variables is one of the hardest things in programming. It's really hard to come up with names. For example, it's difficult to name a variable that stores the number of unpaid orders from customers in arrears in the previous quarter.

Try this task to test yourself:

Think of a name for the variable that will store "the number of the king's siblings".

Write it down in a notebook or email it to yourself. Don't put anything in there except the name of the variable. And in a few lessons, we'll come back to this topic.


Create a variable that describes the number of your brothers and assign it the value 2. Print its contents. Then compare your name with the name used in the teacher's solution.

The exercise doesn't pass checking. What to do? 😶

If you've reached a deadlock it's time to ask your question in the «Discussions». How ask a question correctly:

  • Be sure to attach the test output, without it it's almost impossible to figure out what went wrong, even if you show your code. It's complicated for developers to execute code in their heads, but having a mistake before their eyes most probably will be helpful.
In my environment the code works, but not here 🤨

Tests are designed so that they test the solution in different ways and against different data. Often the solution works with one kind of input data but doesn't work with others. Check the «Tests» tab to figure this out, you can find hints at the error output.

My code is different from the teacher's one 🤔

It's fine. 🙆 One task in programming can be solved in many different ways. If your code passed all tests, it complies with the task conditions.

In some rare cases, the solution may be adjusted to the tests, but this can be seen immediately.

I've read the lessons but nothing is clear 🙄

It's hard to make educational materials that will suit everyone. We do our best but there is always something to improve. If you see a material that is not clear to you, describe the problem in “Discussions”. It will be great if you'll write unclear points in the question form. Usually, we need a few days for corrections.

By the way, you can participate in courses improvement. There is a link below to the lessons course code which you can edit right in your browser.


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