Python Data Classes Tutorial – Complete Guide

Welcome to our latest, comprehensive tutorial focused on Python Data Classes. Python is an influential language used in various fields from web and game development to artificial intelligence and scientific computing. Just like in any programming endeavor, effective data management is fundamental in Python coding tasks. Today, we’ll break down the concept of Python Data Classes, giving you the knowledge to utilize this feature to its fullest potential.

What are Python Data Classes?

A data class is a class primarily used to store data and does not contain much functionality. Python introduced data classes in Python 3.7, and they serve as a means of reducing boilerplate code in classes that only serve to contain values.

Why use Data Classes in Python?

Typically, you could visualize a class as a blueprint for creating objects with particular attributes and methods. However, creating numerous classes can become a hassle, especially when you only need them to store data. This is where Python data classes come in handy:

  • Data classes automatically add special methods to our classes including __init__() , __repr__() , __eq__(), saving us the extra work.
  • Data classes make classes more readable by creating a better structure.
  • We save time and energy by reducing the amount of boilerplate code.

By using data classes, we make our Python code more efficient, readable, and maintainable. So why not add this powerful tool to your Python skill set? Whether you’re creating a small script or building a complex gaming engine, understanding how to use Python data classes effectively can be a major asset. Stay tuned as we dive into coding with Python data classes!

CTA Small Image

Creating a Basic Data Class

Data classes are created using the @dataclass decorator and the class syntax, just like you would with a regular class. Here’s an example:

from dataclasses import dataclass

class Book:
    title: str
    author: str
    pages: int

This code creates a data class called ‘Book’ with attributes for ‘title’, ‘author’, and ‘pages’. The @dataclass decorator auto-generates special methods for the class, such as __init__(), __repr__(), and __eq__().

Working with Data Class Instances

Let’s create a book instance:

greatbook = Book("Learn Python


", "Zenva", 300)

Running this code would output: Book(title=’Learn Python Programming’, author=’Zenva’, pages=300)

Default Values in Data Classes

When defining data classes, you can provide default values for fields:

class Book:
    title: str = "Unknown"
    author: str = "Unknown"
    pages: int = 0

This means if a value for a field isn’t provided when creating a book object, it will default to the value specified in the class. Let’s see an example:

unknownbook = Book()

Running this code would output: Book(title=’Unknown’, author=’Unknown’, pages=0)

Ordering Data Classes

By default, data classes are not comparable. That means you can’t use comparison operators like on them. However, you can add this feature by setting the ‘order’ parameter to True, in the @dataclass decorator. Here’s how it’s done:

from dataclasses import dataclass

class Book:
    title: str
    author: str
    pages: int

Now, we can compare ‘Book’ objects based on their contents. For example:

book1 = Book("Learn Python Programming", "Zenva", 300)
book2 = Book("Master Python Programming", "Zenva", 500)

print(book1 < book2) # Based on the order of parameters in the class, it will output: True

This completes the second part of the Python Data Class tutorial. Stay tuned for the next installment where we will delve deeper and explore more advanced features.

Inheritance in Data Classes

In Python, data classes can also inherit from other data classes. Consider the following example:

from dataclasses import dataclass

class Publication:
    title: str
    pages: int

class Book(Publication):
    author: str

In this example, ‘Book’ is inheriting from ‘Publication’. This means ‘title’ and ‘pages’ attributes don’t need to be redeclared in ‘Book’.

mybook = Book("Learn Python Programming", 300, "Zenva")

Running this code would output: Book(title=’Learn Python Programming’, pages=300, author=’Zenva’)

Mutable Default Values

When working with mutable default values such as lists or dictionaries, use a default factory function. Here is how to do it:

from dataclasses import dataclass, field

class Library:
    books: list = field(default_factory=list)

In this example, an empty list is the default value for ‘books’. If we didn’t use ‘field(default_factory=list)’, all instances of ‘Library’ would share the same ‘books’ list, which might not be desirable.

mylibrary = Library()
mylibrary.books.append(Book("Learn Python Programming", 300, "Zenva"))

Running this code would output:
Library(books=[Book(title=’Learn Python Programming’, pages=300, author=’Zenva’)])

Dataclass Methods

Similar to traditional classes, data classes can also include methods:

class Book:
    title: str
    author: str
    pages: int
    def bookinfo(self):
        return f"{self.title}, by {}"

Then you can call this method on any ‘Book’ instance:

mybook = Book("Learn Python Programming", "Zenva", 300)

This code outputs: “Learn Python Programming, by Zenva”

Post-Initialization Processing

Python data classes support a special method, __post_init__(), which you can use for post-processing after instance creation:

class Book:
    title: str
    author: str
    pages: int
    def __post_init__(self):
        self.title = self.title.upper()

In this example, we’re using the __post_init__() method to ensure the book title is always stored in uppercase.

mybook = Book("Learn Python Programming", "Zenva", 300)


You’ve done a lot today, great job! Don’t forget to experiment with these examples and try to include Python data classes in your own projects. Happy coding!

Where to Go Next: Continuing Your Python Journey

You’ve now had a taste of the powerful world of Python, and undoubtedly its potential in transforming your coding efficiency. Yet, the journey doesn’t end here, it’s only just begun. There’s always more to learn and discover!

At Zenva, our mission is to empower learners to create, grow, and achieve their goals. This is why we offer the Python Mini-Degree. The Python Mini-Degree is a complete in-depth immersion into Python, a versatile and widely popular programming language known for its sculpted simple syntax. The course covers a broad range of topics: from coding basics, algorithms, object-oriented programming, to game and app development.

Each step of your journey is filled with hands-on projects in real-world applications, transforming you from theoretical learning to practical implementation. Upon completion of the course, you will not only have a portfolio of Python projects to show off your skills, but also a comprehensive understanding of Python and its use cases in various industries.

In case you wish to widen your horizons or seek out highly specialized Python topics, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Diversify your Python prowess with the range of courses we offer to cater to learners at all stages, whether you’re a beginner wishing to get started or a professional looking to polish your skills.

Explore our vast collection of Python courses to map out your next learning adventure.


What a journey it’s been! We delved into the ins and outs of Python Data Classes, discovered their power and versatility, and explored how they can streamline your Python coding experience. But remember, the door to the Python universe is wide open and waiting for you. Our Python Mini-Degree is the perfect stage for your next grand coding adventure.

Your courier of coding knowledge, Zenva, is always here to empower your learning quest. Keep exploring, keep coding, and don’t forget – every line of code is a step forward on your path to mastery. Let Python Data Classes be your faithful companion along that journey. Set your creative impulses free with Python, and let’s code the future together!

Did you come across any errors in this tutorial? Please let us know by completing this form and we’ll look into it!

Python Blog Image

FINAL DAYS: Unlock coding courses in Unity, Godot, Unreal, Python and more.