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Real-world Examples of OOP in Software Development

Updated: at 05:12 AM

Object-oriented programming (OOP) is a programming paradigm that models real-world entities as software objects containing data and behaviors. Unlike procedural programming which structures code as a series of tasks, OOP organizes code into objects that represent entities and their interactions.

OOP provides key advantages like modularity, reusability, encapsulation, and abstraction which make it a popular choice for developing large, complex software systems. Major programming languages like Python, Java, C++, C# fully support OOP.

This guide will provide a practical overview of OOP principles and demonstrate real-world examples of how object-oriented techniques are applied in software development. We will cover key OOP concepts like classes, objects, inheritance, polymorphism and explain their implementation in Python. Additionally, we will illustrate common OOP design patterns using case studies of popular Python packages.

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Object-Oriented Programming Concepts

The four pillars of OOP are:


Binding data and functions into a single unit called a class. The internal implementation details of a class can be hidden from external code.


Reducing complexity by exposing only essential features of an object while hiding inner details and implementations.


Creating new classes from existing classes. The new “child” classes inherit attributes and behaviors from the “parent” classes.


Using a common interface for entities of different types. The same method call can produce different results depending on the runtime type of the object.

These concepts allow developers to efficiently model complex systems as modular, reusable components that can exchange messages while minimizing interdependency. The following sections demonstrate OOP principles in Python.

Classes and Objects

A class defines the blueprint for creating objects. Objects are instances of a class created at runtime.

# Example class
class Vehicle:

  def __init__(self, make, model, fuel="Gas"):
    self.make = make
    self.model = model
    self.fuel = fuel

  def describe(self):
    print(f"This is a {self.make} {self.model} using {self.fuel}.")

# Create object instances from class
car = Vehicle("Toyota", "Prius")
truck = Vehicle("Ford", "F150", "Diesel")

car.describe() # This is a Toyota Prius using Gas.
truck.describe() # This is a Ford F150 using Diesel.

The Vehicle class encapsulates data (make, model, fuel) and behaviors (describe method) related to vehicles. car and truck are object instances with their own distinct data values.


Child classes can inherit attributes and methods from a parent class:

# Parent Vehicle class
class Vehicle:

  def __init__(self, make, model):
    self.make = make
    self.model = model

  def describe(self):
    print(f"This is a {self.make} {self.model}")

# Child class inherits from Vehicle
class Car(Vehicle):

  def __init__(self, make, model, doors):
    # Initialize parent then child class
    super().__init__(make, model)
    self.doors = doors

# Inherits describe() plus unique child attributes
my_car = Car("Toyota", "Camry", 4)
my_car.describe() # This is a Toyota Camry
print(my_car.doors) # 4

Car inherits the make and model fields and describe() method from Vehicle. It also defines a new doors field only available in Car objects.


Objects with a common interface can be used interchangeably despite having different implementations:

class Shape:
  def area(self):

class Square(Shape):
  def __init__(self, side):
    self.side = side

  def area(self):
    return self.side * self.side

class Circle(Shape):
  def __init__(self, radius):
    self.radius = radius

  def area(self):
    return 3.14 * (self.radius ** 2)

square = Square(4)
circle = Circle(7)

print(square.area()) # 16
print(circle.area()) # 153.86

Square and Circle classes inherit from Shape but implement area() differently. The common Shape interface allows us to treat distinct Square and Circle objects interchangeably.

OOP Design Patterns

Design patterns are reusable solutions to commonly occurring problems in OOP design. Here are some examples demonstrating design patterns in real Python code.

Factory Method

Defines an interface for creating objects, allowing subclasses to alter the type of objects instantiated. Lets you instantiate objects without exposing initialization logic.

The module:

from abc import ABC, abstractmethod

class Pet(ABC):

  def __init__(self, name): = name

  def speak(self):

class Dog(Pet):

  def speak(self):
    print("Woof woof!")

class Cat(Pet):

  def speak(self):
    print("Meow meow!")

The module:

from pet import Pet, Dog, Cat

class PetFactory:

  def get_pet(pet="dog"):

    pets = dict(
      dog = Dog("Hope"),
      cat = Cat("Peace")

    return pets[pet]

my_pet = PetFactory.get_pet("cat")
print( # "Peace"
my_pet.speak() # "Meow meow!"

The factory method encapsulates object creation while enabling Subclasses to change the class of objects instantiated.


Restricts a class to only one instance. Useful when a single shared resource is needed across the system.

class Logger:

  _instance = None

  def __init__(self):
    if not Logger._instance:
      print("Creating new instance")
      Logger._instance = self
      print("Instance already created:", self.get_instance())

  def get_instance(cls):
    return cls._instance

logger1 = Logger()

logger2 = Logger()

# Output:
# Creating new instance
# <__main__.Logger object at 0x7fc5d89bf610>
# Instance already created: <__main__.Logger object at 0x7fc5d89bf610>
# <__main__.Logger object at 0x7fc5d89bf610>

The _instance class attribute ensures only one Logger instance is ever created.


Enable objects to notify other objects of changes in state. Useful for event handling and reactive programming.

The module:

from abc import ABC, abstractmethod

class Subscriber(ABC):

  def update(self, message):

class SMSSubscriber(Subscriber):

  def __init__(self, name): = name

  def update(self, message):
    print(f"Sending {message} to {} via SMS")

class EmailSubscriber(Subscriber):

  def __init__(self, address):
    self.address = address

  def update(self, message):
    print(f"Sending {message} to {self.address} via Email")

The module:

from subscriber import SMSSubscriber, EmailSubscriber

class NewsPublisher:

  def __init__(self):
    self.subscribers = set()

  def register(self, subscriber):

  def unregister(self, subscriber):

  def notify_subscribers(self, message):
    for sub in self.subscribers:

publisher = NewsPublisher()

sms_sub = SMSSubscriber("555-1234")
email_sub = EmailSubscriber("[email protected]")


publisher.notify_subscribers("Breaking News: Rain in forecast")

# Output:
# Sending Breaking News: Rain in forecast to 555-1234 via SMS
# Sending Breaking News: Rain in forecast to [email protected] via Email

Subscriber classes can register to receive notifications from a NewsPublisher. When an event occurs, the publisher notifies all subscribers.

OOP in Python Libraries

Many popular Python packages use OOP techniques to model complex systems. Below are some real-world examples.

Django Web Framework

Django is a Python web framework that leverage OOP principles like:

For example, Django represents each web page as an object instantiated from the django.http.HttpResponse class:

from django.http import HttpResponse

def index(request):

  # Construct response as HttpResponse object
  response = HttpResponse("Welcome to my app!")

  return response

Developers can use Django’s pre-built modular components to quickly build web apps.

NumPy Scientific Computing

NumPy provides the ndarray class to model n-dimensional arrays which enable fast vector/matrix operations.

For example:

import numpy as np

vector = np.array([1, 2, 3]) # Encapsulates data & operations
print(vector) # [1 2 3]

matrix = np.array([[1,2], [3,4]])
print(matrix.T) # Encapsulates transpose operation [[1 3], [2 4]]

NumPy uses OOP concepts like abstraction and encapsulation to provide a powerful N-dimensional array object.

TensorFlow Machine Learning

The TensorFlow library for machine learning also leverages OOP.

For example:

import tensorflow as tf

# Create model by inheriting Model class
class MyModel(tf.keras.Model):

  def __init__(self):
    super(MyModel, self).__init__()
    self.dense = tf.keras.layers.Dense(1, activation='sigmoid')

  def call(self, input):
    output = self.dense(input)
    return output

model = MyModel() # Encapsulation hides complexity

TensorFlow Leverages polymorphism, inheritance and encapsulation for machine learning.


This guide provided an overview of core OOP principles and design patterns including encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and abstraction. Examples demonstrated the real-world application of object-oriented programming in Python using case studies of popular packages like Django, NumPy, and TensorFlow.

Key benefits of OOP include modularity which improves code organization, reusability of components, and abstraction which reduces complexity by hiding low-level details. Modeling systems using hierarchical classes allows leveraging powerful techniques like inheritance polymorphism.

Overall, OOP enables managing complex software through decomposition into well-defined objects. Mastering object-oriented analysis and design is invaluable for architecting large-scale Python programs and systems.