Disposable prototypes

Posted by Daniel Vela on March 9, 2022
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A disposable prototype in a small project that is done to learn something. A prototype is only as big as the problem it studies. When a code is started for the sole purpose of understanding how the code works, we can talk about creating a disposable prototype.

There are different reasons to invest time in creating one of these prototypes:

  • Learn to use a library or framework.
  • Test a design or architecture.

An example of a disposable prototype would be a small iOS app to learn how to integrate the Apple Pay payment system. It is better to create a small proof of concept, in order to assimilate the operation of this technology, with the aim of integrating said functionality into an existing project, which is more complex to modify than an empty app. Another example could be the integration of an OAuth authentication.

It is very important to understand, and accept, that a prototype is made up of code that is not going to be reused. Neither other projects should use these codes, nor should this prototype be used to start a new project. The reason is that these codes must be done quickly and quickly, with the sole purpose of learning something. You don’t need to write good code, as this would make it take a long time to code. It is also not necessary to define the graphic resources correctly, nor to make a safe code, nor to comply with the guidelines defined by the providers of the operating system or the programming environment. Only the prototype primary target needs to be programmed.

For this reason, the code of any prototype should be used exclusively as a reference. It’s worth saving, but only for advisory purposes, just to check how the problem was resolved.

The really important thing is to record all the findings and conclusions in a text document, such as a ‘readme.md’ file, where it is described what has been done, why, what documentation and libraries were used, and finally, what conclusions were drawn from this effort.