Master the Art of Software Design with the SOLID Principles: A Comprehensive Guide  

The SOLID principles are a proven framework for producing high-quality software. By implementing these principles, you will become a better engineer. This will help you build software that is easy to maintain and expand.  

I will cover everything that matters in SOLID principles and how they play a crucial role in software design and development. 

How would these principles benefit you as a software developer? Once you understand these principles:  

  • You will have insights needed to create high-quality and user-centric software 
  • You will understand the advantage of applying SOLID principles which will help you create better software 
  • You’ll learn how implementing SOLID principles can help you with code that is more dependable, scalable, and maintainable 
  • You’ll be able to incorporate SOLID principles into your software development easily 

5 SOLID Principles for Better Software Design  

1. Single Responsibility Principle: There should be just one functionality or responsibility for each class. 

2. Open-Closed Principle: Software entities (classes, modules, functions, etc.)  should be open to extension but closed to alteration. 

3. Liskov Substitution Principle: Objects of a superclass should be replaceable with objects of its subclass without breaking the overall functionality of the program  

4. Interface Segregation Principle: Clients should not be forced to depend upon interfaces that they do not use. 

5. Dependency Inversion Principle:  High-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Both should depend on abstractions.

The Benefits of Building Code with SOLID Principles in Mind  

Easy to maintain: SOLID principles help to build software that is well organized, modular, and easy to understand, making it easier to maintain and modify over time.  

Scalable: SOLID principles allow code to be easily extended or modified to accommodate new features or changing requirements.  

Robust: SOLID principles make code less prone to bugs and errors, and can handle changes and new requirements with ease.  

Reusable: SOLID principles encourage to reduce the amount of redundant code and improving the overall efficiency of the development process.  

Testable: SOLID principles promote code that is easy to test, making it easier to validate the functionality and quality of the code, and to catch and fix bugs early in the development process. 

Let’s Dive Into Each of the Principles in Detail. 

1. Single Responsibility Principle    

The Single Responsibility Principle (SRP) states that every module or class should have responsibility over a single part of the functionality.   

That responsibility should be entirely encapsulated by the class.  

The main benefit of adhering to the Single Responsibility Principle is that it makes it easier to maintain and modify the software. It allows developers to make changes to a class without affecting other parts of the system.   

It also makes it easier to understand the functionality of a class, as it is clear what the class is responsible for.   

Here’s an example of how the Single Responsibility Principle might be applied:   

Let’s assume we have a class called File Processor. This class is responsible for reading data from a file and storing it in a database.  

The class might have the following methods: 

class FileProcessor:

   def read_data_from_file(self, file_path: str) -> str:

       # code to read data from file

       passdef store_data_in_database(self, data: str):

       # code to store data in the database


The FileProcessor class should only be in charge of reading data from a file and storing it in a database to follow the single responsibility principle. 

If you have to add email notification capabilities once the data is stored, this should be done using another class because it is a different responsibility. 

We could alter our code to utilize this class whenever we want to send a message and build a new class named EmailNotifier that is in charge of delivering email notifications: 

class EmailNotifier:   

   def send_email(self, recipient: str, subject: str, message: str):   

       # code to send email   

       passclass FileProcessor:   

   def __init__(self):   

       self.email_notifier = EmailNotifier()def read_data_from_file(self, file_path: str) -> str:   

       # code to read data from file   

       passdef store_data_in_database(self, data: str):   

       # code to store data in database   

       self.email_notifier.send_email(recipient='', subject='Data stored in database', message='The data has been stored in the database.')

2. Open-Closed Principle (OCP)   

Object-Oriented Programming is built on the Open-Closed Principle (OCP).  

The idea behind OCP is that entities or objects should be created in a way that allows for future functionality to be added without changing the existing code. As a result, the codebase becomes more flexible and simpler to maintain. 

For example, let’s say we have a class called “Shape” defines the basic properties and behaviors of a shape, such as its area and perimeter. The class has a method called “calculateArea()” that calculates the area of the shape. 

OCP using Inheritance 

According to the OCP, we should be able to add new shapes (such as a triangle or a circle) without modifying the existing “Shape” class. One way to do this is to use inheritance.  

We may create a new class called “Triangle”. It inherits from the “Shape” class and overrides the “calculateArea()” method to provide the specific implementation for a triangle.  

Similarly, we could create a “Circle” class that also inherits from the “Shape” class and overrides the “calculateArea()” method for a circle.  

This way, we can add new shapes to our program without modifying the existing “Shape” class. The “Shape” class remains closed to modification but open for extension through inheritance.  

Here’s an example of how the OCP can be applied in Python using inheritance: 

class Shape:   

   def calculateArea(self):   


class Triangle(Shape):   

   def calculateArea(self):   

       # Implementation for calculating the area of a triangle   


class Circle(Shape):   

   def calculateArea(self):   

       # Implementation for calculating the area of a circle   


OCP using polymorphism and interfaces 

Another way to achieve the OCP is through the use of polymorphism and interfaces.  

An interface is like a contract that specifies a set of methods that a class must implement.  

Multiple classes can implement the same interface, and each class can provide its own implementation of the methods defined in the interface.  

This allows for different types of objects to follow the same set of rules while providing their own unique behavior. 

For example, instead of inheriting from the “Shape” class, we could create an interface called “Shape”. This interface defines a method called “calculateArea()”. 

We could then create multiple classes, such as “Triangle” and “Circle,” that implement the “Shape” interface and provide their own implementation of the “calculateArea()” method.  

In this way, we can add new shapes to our program by creating new classes that implement the “Shape” interface, without modifying the existing classes.  

Additionally, the open-closed principle can be also applied on function level, where the function’s implementation should be closed for modification but open for extension by using decorators or higher-order functions.  

Here’s an example of how the OCP can be applied using interfaces and polymorphism   

class Shape:   

   def calculateArea(self):   


class Triangle(Shape):   

   def calculateArea(self):   

       # Implementation for calculating the area of a triangle   


class Circle(Shape):   

   def calculateArea(self):   

       # Implementation for calculating the area of a circle   


def calculate_area(shape: Shape):   

   return shape.calculateArea()   

triangle = Triangle()   

circle = Circle()   



3. Liskov Substitution Principle (LSP)   

The Liskov Substitution Principle argues that objects from a superclass should be  replaced by objects from a subclass without affecting the  overall functionality.  

This allows for a more flexible and maintainable codebase.  

If a subclass can be used interchangeably with its superclass, the code is less tightly integrated, and can be easily modified or extended in the future.  

This also promotes code reusability and allows for more efficient design patterns. 

Consider a class “Animal” with a subclass “Birds”.  

The class “Animals” has a method “move()” that describes the movement of the animal.  

The subclass “Birds” can have its own method “move()” that describes the specific movement such as flying.  

In this case, wherever the parent class “Animals” is used, it can be replaced with the subclass “Birds” without breaking the functionality of the program.  

Python is used as an example of the Liskov Substitution Principle in action.

def move(self):   


class Dog(Animal):   

   def move(self):   

       return "I am walking"   

class Fish(Animals):   

   def move(self):   

       return "I am swimming"

In this example, we have a parent class “Animal” with two subclasses “Dog” and “Fish”.  

The parent class has a method “move()” that is defined but not implemented. The “Dog” subclass implements the “move()” method to return “I am walking”.  The “Fish” subclass implements the “move()” method to return “I am swimming”.   

Now, let’s say we have a function that takes an object of type “Animals” as an input and calls the “move()” method on the object:   

def move_animals(animal: Animal):   

   return animal.move()

We can now create objects of the “Dog” and “Fish” class and pass them to this function.  

This won’t create any issues because both classes inherit from the parent class “Animals”. They implement the “move()” method, which is expected by the function.

dog = Dog()  
print(move_animals(dog)) # Output: I am walking  
fish = Fish()  
print(move_animals(fish)) # Output: I am swimming 

4. Interface Segregation Principle (ISP)   

Now let’s discuss the Interface Segregation Principle (ISP) of SOLID principles. In object-oriented programming, the Interface Segregation Principle (ISP) encourages the development of multiple, small, specialized interfaces as compared to a single, large, and complicated interface.ISP makes codebase more manageble as it forbids developers to implement methods they don’t want to utilize. 

Imagine a class that needs to implement an interface to perform a specific task. If the interface has many methods that are not relevant to the class, it will be forced to implement these methods even though they will not be used. This leads to unnecessary complexity, increased coupling, and makes the code harder to understand and maintain.  

On the other hand, if the interface only has the methods that are relevant to the class, the class will only need to implement the methods it needs. This leads to a cleaner, more modular design and makes it easier to change the code in the future. 

For example, an interface has methods for saving and printing a document.   

A class that only needs to save documents should not implement the print method. We could design two distinct interfaces—one for saving data and the other for printing—by following the ISP. The foresaid class should only implement the interface for saving.  

As a result, the design becomes more flexible and modular, enabling clients to use the method they actually require.The Interface Segregation Principle  ensures small, focused, and well-defined contracts between objects. This makes code easier to maintain over time. 

Here’s an example to see the Interface Segregation Principle in action:   

Imagine a system for managing a library. There is a class called LibraryItem that represents the books, CDs, and DVDs in the library. This class needs to have methods for checking out items, returning items, and renewing items.   

Initially, we might create a single interface, ILibraryItem, that has all of these methods:

interface ILibraryItem {   

   void CheckOut();   

   void Return();   

   void Renew();   


However, this interface forces all classes to have these methods, even if some of them are not relevant.  

For example, a class for a Book in the library might only need to have the CheckOut and Return methods. It doesn’t need the Renew method because books cannot be renewed.   

To adhere to the Interface Segregation Principle, we can split the interface into two smaller, more focused interfaces:

interface ICheckOut {   

   void CheckOut();   

   void Return();   


interface IRenew {   

   void Renew();   


Now, the Book class can implement only the ICheckOut interface, and the code becomes more flexible and easier to maintain. Classes that need the Renew method can implement the IRenew interface.   

5. The Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP)   

The Dependency Inversion Principle (DIP) states:  

  • High-level modules should not depend on low-level modules. Both should depend on abstractions.  
  • Abstractions should not depend on details. Details should depend on abstractions. 

This means that the implementation details of low-level components should not impact the design of high-level components.  

Instead, abstractions should be used to define the relationships between components. 

The principle aims to reduce inter-dependencies between software modules which leads more flexible and easier to maintain code.  

Adhering to this principle can help decouple the components of a system and improve its overall design.  

By relying on abstractions, it becomes possible to modify low-level components without affecting high-level components. This can make the code easier to maintain, modify, and easier to test.  

It enforces to define interfaces or abstract classes to define the relationships between high-level and low-level components.  

For example, a high-level component might depend on an abstraction that defines a database access layer, instead of depending on a concrete implementation of a database.  

This way, if the implementation of the database changes, the high-level component does not need to be updated, as long as the abstractions used to interact with the database remain unchanged.  

Consider a system that provides access to a database for storing and retrieving customer information.  

The system has two components: a high-level component that implements the business logic, and a low-level component that provides access to the database.Without following the Dependency Inversion Principle, the high-level component might depend directly on the low-level component, for example:

class BusinessLogic {   

 private Database database;   

 public BusinessLogic() {   

   this.database = new Database();   


 public void addCustomer(Customer customer) {   




In this example, the BusinessLogic class directly depends on the concrete implementation of the Database class. If the implementation of the Database class changes, the BusinessLogic class will also need to change.   

However, by applying the Dependency Inversion Principle, the high-level component can depend on abstraction, for example:

interface Database {   

 void insert(Customer customer);   


class BusinessLogic {   

 private Database database;   

 public BusinessLogic(Database database) {   

   this.database = database;   


 public void addCustomer(Customer customer) {   




The BusinessLogic class depends on an interface that spells out the connections between the high-level and low-level components. The business logic class is unaffected if the implementation of the Database class changes, but the implementation of the interface may. 

Final Thoughts

The SOLID principles provide a valuable framework for designing software that is more modular, flexible, and maintainable. By following these principles, engineers can create software that are less prone to bugs, easier to modify and extend, and more adaptable to changing requirements. 

Applying these principles requires practice and experience, but the effort invested in learning and implementing them can pay off in the long run with better quality code. 

Author: Prince Kapadiya
Prince is an experienced developer with full scale coding capabilities in Dot Net technologies, React, Angular, Azure and and many more. Prince uses his spare time reading current affairs and latest technological trends.

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