There're a lot of threads on importing modules from sibling directories, and majority recommends to either simply add init.py to source tree, or modify sys.path from inside those init files.
Suppose I have following project structure:
Do not run
sampleX.py directly, execute as module instead:
# (in project root directory) python -m samples.sample1
This way you do not need to fiddle with
sys.path at all (which is generally discouraged). It also makes it much easier to use the samples/ package as a library later on.
Oh, and init.py is not run because it only gets run/imported (which is more or less the same thing) if you import the samples package, not if you run an individual file as script.