creating alignment: the zen of python

2020-06-12

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~2 min read

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261 words

Recently, I’ve been reading on strategies for creating alignment within companies and large projects. Ensuring that efforts are aligned and non-duplicative is one of the most important duties of leaders.

The Zen of Python, Tim Peters’ list of aphorisms is an amazing example of alignment in action. By distilling design principles down, he provided a lingua franca for an entire community to communicate.

Not everyone will listen all the time, but whenever someone designs a new feature within the ecosystem, it’s reasonable to have a conversation rooted in these principles.

That’s quite a powerful tool for any group!

The Zen Of Python

Beautiful is better than ugly. Explicit is better than implicit. Simple is better than complex. Complex is better than complicated. Flat is better than nested. Sparse is better than dense. Readability counts. Special cases aren’t special enough to break the rules. Although practicality beats purity. Errors should never pass silently. Unless explicitly silenced. In the face of ambiguity, refuse the temptation to guess. There should be one— and preferably only one —obvious way to do it. Although that way may not be obvious at first unless you’re Dutch. Now is better than never. Although never is often better than right now. If the implementation is hard to explain, it’s a bad idea. If the implementation is easy to explain, it may be a good idea. Namespaces are one honking great idea — let’s do more of those!


Hi there and thanks for reading! My name's Stephen. I live in Chicago with my wife, Kate, and dog, Finn. Want more? See about and get in touch!