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Hollow to solid or spun sugar development

I was recently discussing “hollow to solid” product development with a cadre of senior engineers. A quick search didn’t yield any articles about this, as I wouldn’t conflate it with SOLID.

The idea is, when building out a product, build out the whole product “hollow” — for example, the UI has all the buttons it should but maybe none of them work yet. Rather than spending a sprint implementing the user data service, you implement a hollow service that just returns a name and an ID. Oh, you need addresses now? Okay, time to add them.

The way I thought of this when presented with this idea is “spun sugar development” which I’d use to describe how I’ve built a feature lately. I built it out “proof of concept” but the thing about those, is that it can be easy for them to get promoted to “real” so building out the feature as “spun sugar“. It looks like something, but really it has LOTS of gaps, is very fragile, and will probably fall over if you poke it.

It’s an interesting analogy, but I don’t think you really “fill in” spun sugar, so that’s where it collapses, but I think it sounds interesting as a way to describe a feature, lest someone looking at something believe it to be “done”.

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