It’s worth pointing out also that sometimes you’ll get a failed context and won’t know why- in these situations I just open up Blender’s source and search for the operator’s poll function. With your development background this might also be something that you’d find beneficial. I keep a github mirror of the blender source available for easy searching, and since operators all follow a standard naming convention the code is pretty easy to find.
As an example, say I’m looking for the poll function for
bpy.ops.mesh.bevel(), the registered name is going to be
MESH_OT_bevel (operators are always OT, and the ‘namespace’ of the operator is always capitalized before the OT prefix). Searching the repository for
MESH_OT_bevel yields three results: a header file, mesh_ops.c where the operator is registered with Blender, and the one I want in edit_mesh_bevel.c. Scrolling down past all of the static const definitions, I’m looking for
ot->poll where the poll function pointer is being set (if you’re interested in seeing the code for the operator itself, that pointer is usually
Once you have the function name, you can search for where it’s defined- it will be a bool return type and will usually not be in the same source file so you’ll need to search for it. In my case I found it here. Looking at the code I can see that it’s just checking to see if the object is in edit mode and that’s it- which means I could run it from the python console if I wanted without needing to create a context override for the area or whatever.
That all sounds over the top and complicated but in reality it takes about 15 seconds to track something down and understand what’s going on, and in the end you will have a better understanding of what makes Blender tick- which is always beneficial.