May 26, 2019

How I found my rapid prototyping sweet spot


I know some people love server configuration and devops: more power to you, but I have very little patience for that kind of thing. I want to spend that time building actual features instead! That's where I thrive.

So I asked for minimal-configuration server setups and I got some great responses.

I've been a long-time Heroku user but I wanted to see what else is out there.

Thanks to @devenjarvis @awin @Andremoniz for introducing me to Zeit Now which has been a game-changer for me. I used to be an Express server user and I'm now a big fan of node.js serverless lambdas.

But the other game-changer is Next.js, a React framework also from the Zeit developers. It embraces the old-school PHP concept of using the file tree as the router, so you can just throw a React page component into a file and it becomes a page in your app. I ditched Create React App in favor of Next.js and I'm prototyping faster than ever.

So my current stack looks like this and it's working out great so far:

  • Serverless node.js lambdas for the backend, with micro
  • React front-end with Next.js
  • Front-end and back-end deployed on Zeit Now
  • Managed MongoDB hosted on Compose but also considering MongoDB Atlas as an alternative

In the future I plan to share how this stack is working out in the longer term.

I'd love to hear about other people's rapid prototyping stacks. What are you using and what are you doing to keep moving fast?

  1. 2

    Hi again glad I could help. We use a lot firebase for frontend deployment too. We do use firebase dB on some rapid prototype like on our last project But most common this days to us is angular app on firebase and backend node on now.

    1. 1

      For writeon might be cool to have a demo where you don't need to install an extension.

      1. 1

        I thought of that but it was not easy because you need the extension to be able to choose the site you want to edit. In order to try it out you can use this link for editing writeon page:

  2. 1

    Originally used mainly for (rapid) prototyping, 3D printing technology have taken a more significant role in manufacturing procedures. As the technology improved, it became possible to use 3D printers not just to prototype, but to manufacture tools and moulds used for'traditional. Click:

  3. 1

    Pretty awesome. Lots of room for vendor lockin, but I reckon it doesn't matter at prototyping stage. Replacing Compose with Atlas would essentially cut prototyping cost to zero (ok, except for the domain) when it comes to infrastructure and tooling.

  4. 1

    For React can you explain the benefit of Next.js over CRA for a SaaS app.

    I can understand it for a site where users come straight from google.

  5. 1

    Thanks for sharing! Are you using anything for authentication?

    1. 1

      Auth0 might be a good fit.