Coding Standards

All code submitted must meet certain standards, outlined below, before it can be merged into the master branch. It is the contributor’s job to ensure that the following is satisfied, and the reviewer’s role to check that these guidelines have been followed. The contributor may wish to make use of git pre-commits to help adhere to these guidelines. Instructions for using pre-commit are at the bottom of this document.

The workflow to be used for submitting new code/issues is described in Git Workflow.


All pull requests should be PEP 8 compliant. We suggest running code through flake8 and pylint before submitting to check for this.


Any new code will be accepted only if the documentation, written in sphinx and found in docs/, has been updated accordingly, and the docstrings in the code have been updated where necessary.


All tests should pass before submitting code. Tests are written using pytest.

The following should be checked before any code is merged:

  • Function: Does the change do what it’s supposed to?

  • Tests: Does it pass? Is there adequate coverage for new code?

  • Style: Is the coding style consistent? Is anything overly confusing?

  • Documentation: Is there a suitable change to documentation for this change?


Code should use the logging in utils.log. This uses Python’s built in logging module, and should be used in place of any print statements to ensure that persistent logs are kept after runs.


Pre-commit runs checks at the point of committing code to ensure simple problems are spotted before running the CI. This covers sorting imports, fixing indentation, removing trailing whitespace, and checking the linting.

Pre-commit will be installed as part of Step 4 in Installation but will need to be activated with pre-commit install.