I wanted to make a quick tweet about my weird satisfaction with a recent prototype, but it turned out I couldn't quite cram all the words I wanted in. And so I'm taking to the blogs!
I've just finished a good prototype, a prototype that was just a prototype and didn't suddenly have to evolve into the final launch product a few weeks later. This never happens.
It did everything a prototype is supposed to do, people could play with it to see what the larger project was all about, gave us a language to hang interactions, design, UI, UX, data structures, architecture and so on off. A prototype that allowed us to test that the technology was going to do what we thought it was going to do, and which bits didn't.
It was also rushed and slap-dash in places, no unit testing, no proper deployment scripts, copying and pasting of code from one place to another rather than refactoring. Duct tape and quick hacks to test things out. Good intentions at structure at the start before just-getting-it-done as the 1st stage prototype deadline approached.
And now, and this is the best bit by far, I get to scrap it. I get to ditch all the code, wipe the slate clean and keep all the learning and decisions for the next proper version. This, did not happen...
"Well, looks like it does everything it needs to do, let's tidy it up a bit and launch in a few weeks"
...the bit where a prototype suddenly becomes production code, and you weep softly at the though of someone else doing maintenance on that code.
I am, I think, a little bit in love with this prototype I'm about to kill off, and it feels good.