Environment variables are used for securely storing and accessing sensitive data, facilitating seamless configuration management across different environments. In this tutorial, we will explore how to work with environment variables in Python. In order to do this, we will use the Python libraries os and python-dotenv.

What is an Environment Variable?

Environment variables are dynamic values crucial for managing configurations across different environments (e.g. Development / Production). By leveraging environment variables, developers can securely store sensitive information such as API keys or database credentials without hardcoding them into their codebase.

Best Practices for Working with Environment Variables

  1. Use Descriptive Names: Choose meaningful names for your environment variables to enhance clarity and maintainability.
  2. Avoid Hardcoding: Refrain from hardcoding sensitive data directly into your code. Instead, use environment variables for improved security.
  3. Document Your Variables: Document the purpose and usage of each environment variable to facilitate collaboration and maintenance.
  4. Handle Missing Variables: Always handle cases where required environment variables are missing gracefully to prevent runtime errors.

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