actually, proteus is encourage since most of us are studying MCU programming on our spare time. This means we don't have the need for a hardware. Pero syempre, recommended and development board. Personally, I can't seem to be able to work without a hardware first. parang di ako motivated. ewan... iba-iba naman tayo.
pero ok na yan, most of the time, if we are able to make it work with proteus, magwowork na din yan sa actual hardware.
Kaya nga the best yung tutorials ni sis paranz (hitech c + proteus). Kahit on-the-go ang trabaho mo, you can still program and do hobby stuffs.