Pass by Reference in Python: Best Practices

After gaining some familiarity with Python, you may notice cases in which your functions don’t modify arguments in place as you might expect, especially if you’re familiar with other programming languages. Some languages handle function arguments as references to existing variables, which is known as pass by reference. Other languages handle them as independent values, an approach known as pass by value.

If you’re an intermediate Python programmer who wishes to understand Python’s peculiar way of handling function arguments, then this course is for you. You’ll implement real use cases of pass-by-reference constructs in Python and learn several best practices to avoid pitfalls with your function arguments.

In this course, you’ll learn:

  • What it means to pass by reference and why you’d want to do so
  • How passing by reference differs from both passing by value and Python’s unique approach
  • How function arguments behave in Python
  • How you can use certain mutable types to pass by reference in Python
  • What the best practices are for replicating pass by reference in Python

Best Practices For Passing by Reference In Python

4 Lessons 16m

About Howard Francis

Howard Francis Howard Francis

Howard is an avid Pythonista and records video courses for Real Python. He has been teaching beginning programming at the college level for over 20 years in C++, Java, C#, and most recently Python.

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