SOLIDifying Your Code: Practical Insights into Object-Oriented Programming’s Core Concepts

Understanding SOLID Principles in Object-Oriented Programming (OOP)

In the realm of software development, the SOLID principles have emerged as a cornerstone for designing maintainable, scalable, and robust software. These principles, when applied correctly, can lead to a more efficient and effective software design process. In this article, we’ll delve deep into each of these principles, understand their significance, and see them in action with examples.

Object-Oriented Programming (OOP) is a paradigm that uses “objects” – data structures consisting of data fields and methods together with their interactions – to design applications and computer programs. The SOLID principles are a set of design principles in OOP that, when combined together, make it easy for a programmer to develop software that is easy to maintain, modular, and scalable.

S.O.L.I.D: The Five Principles

  1. S – Single Responsibility Principle (SRP)
  2. O – Open/Closed Principle (OCP)
  3. L – Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)
  4. I – Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)
  5. D – Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)

“A class should have one, and only one, reason to change.”

1. Single Responsibility Principle (SRP)

The main idea behind the SRP is that every class or module in a program should have only one job to do. When a class has more than one responsibility, it becomes coupled, leading to a fragile codebase that is hard to refactor.


Consider a Book class that has methods to print() and write(). While it might seem logical to group these operations together, printing and writing are two distinct responsibilities. A change in the printing logic shouldn’t affect the writing logic. Hence, it’s better to separate these responsibilities into different classes.

class Book:
    def __init__(self, content):
        self.content = content

class Printer:
    def print_page(self, page_content):

class Writer:
    def write(self, content):

Real-life Example:
Think of a restaurant. The chef’s sole responsibility is to cook food, while the waiter’s responsibility is to take orders and serve the food. If a chef starts taking orders or a waiter starts cooking, it would create chaos. Each role has a single responsibility to ensure smooth operation.

Easy to Understand Example:
Imagine a mobile phone. The phone’s camera app is responsible for taking photos, while the messaging app is responsible for sending texts. If the camera app started sending texts, it would be confusing and inefficient.

2. Open/Closed Principle (OCP)

“Software entities should be open for extension but closed for modification.”

This principle states that the behavior of a module can be extended without modifying its source code.


Consider a Shape class and a function that calculates the area of multiple shapes. If we introduce a new shape, we shouldn’t have to modify the existing code.

class Rectangle:
    def __init__(self, width, height):
        self.width = width
        self.height = height

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

def area_calculator(shapes):
    total_area = 0
    for shape in shapes:
        if isinstance(shape, Rectangle):
            total_area += shape.width * shape.height
        elif isinstance(shape, Circle):
            total_area += 3.14 * shape.radius * shape.radius
    return total_area

With OCP, we can refactor the above code using polymorphism:

class Shape(ABC):
    def area(self):

class Rectangle(Shape):
    def area(self):
        return self.width * self.height

class Circle(Shape):
    def area(self):
        return 3.14 * self.radius * self.radius

Real-life Example:
Consider a coffee machine. If you want to introduce a new type of coffee, you shouldn’t have to modify the machine’s internals. Instead, you’d use a different type of coffee pod or set different parameters.

Easy to Understand Example:
Think of a music player app. If you want to add a new feature like an equalizer, you shouldn’t have to change the existing code for playing music. You’d add the equalizer as an extension or a plugin.

3. Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)

“Subtypes must be substitutable for their base types.”

This principle ensures that any class that is the child of a parent class should be usable in place of its parent without any unexpected behavior.


If Bird is a class and Ostrich is a subclass of Bird, an Ostrich should be substitutable wherever Bird is used. However, not all birds can fly, so if the Bird class has a method fly(), it might not be applicable to Ostrich.

Real-life Example:
Imagine you’re replacing an old light bulb with a new LED one. The new bulb should fit into the old socket and function correctly without any modifications to the lamp.

Easy to Understand Example:
Consider a remote-controlled toy car. If you replace its rechargeable batteries with regular ones of the same size, the car should still work. The car shouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the two types of batteries.

4. Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)

“Clients should not be forced to depend on interfaces they do not use.”

This principle deals with the disadvantages of having one big interface instead of many smaller ones.


Consider a Printer interface. If there’s a method in this interface for scan(), not all printers (like a basic laser printer) would have this capability. Hence, it’s better to segregate the interfaces into BasicPrinter and Scanner.

Real-life Example:
Think of a multi-function printer. Not everyone needs all its functions. Some might only need printing, while others might need scanning. Instead of having one big interface with all functions, it’s better to have separate interfaces for each function.

Easy to Understand Example:
Consider a TV remote. Some people only use the power, volume, and channel buttons, while others use the menu, settings, and smart features. Instead of cluttering the remote with buttons, manufacturers often provide basic functions on the front and advanced functions under a flip cover or in a menu.

5. Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)

“High-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Both should depend on abstractions.”

This principle allows for decoupling, making the system more modular and scalable.


Instead of a light switch depending on a bulb (a high-level module depending on a low-level module), both should depend on an abstraction (an interface or abstract class).

Real-life Example:
Consider the relationship between a light switch and a light bulb. The switch doesn’t need to know the specifics of the bulb (whether it’s LED, incandescent, etc.). It just needs to know that if it’s turned on, the bulb should light up. Both the switch and the bulb depend on an abstract concept of electricity, not on each other directly.

Easy to Understand Example:
Think of USB devices like a mouse, keyboard, or flash drive. The computer’s USB port doesn’t need to know the specifics of each device. All devices and the port adhere to the USB interface standard, allowing for plug-and-play functionality.

The SOLID principles are a powerful set of guidelines that can help developers create more maintainable, scalable, and robust software. By understanding and applying these principles, developers can ensure that their software design remains clean and efficient throughout its lifecycle. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting out, keeping the SOLID principles in mind will undoubtedly elevate the quality of your software design.

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