Create and import helper functions in tests without creating packages in test directory using py.test

my option is to create an extra dir in tests dir and add it to pythonpath in the conftest so.

tests/
    helpers/
      utils.py
      ...
    conftest.py
setup.cfg

in the conftest.py

import sys
import os
sys.path.append(os.path.join(os.path.dirname(__file__), 'helpers'))

in setup.cfg

[pytest]
norecursedirs=tests/helpers

this module will be available with import utils, only be careful to name clashing.