Now that you’re starting to understand how classes and objects work, it’s worth delving a bit more into
self. They can be confusing!
As mentioned, you can think of
__init__() as the method that “boots up” a class’ instance object: the
init bit is short for “initialize.”
The first argument
__init__() gets is used to refer to the instance object, and by convention, that argument is called
self. If you add additional arguments—for instance, a
age for your animal—setting each of those equal to
self.age in the body of
__init__() will make it so that when you create an instance object of your
Animal class, you need to give each instance a name and an age, and those will be associated with the particular instance you create.
Check out the examples in the editor. See how
__init__() “boots up” each object to expect a name and an age, then uses
self.age to assign those names and ages to each object? Add a third attribute,
__init__(), and click Run to see the results.