Rubber Duck Debugging

Today I helped a colleague solve an issue she was having simply by listening. By giving her an opportunity to discuss the topic with me, she was able to work out the solution herself. Before I had even fully understood the problem, she thanked me for the help.

This technique of problem solving even has a name: “Rubber Duck Debugging“. The term comes from a story in the book The Pragmatic Programmer.

The idea is to obtain a rubber ducky, keep it at your desk, and explain your code
to it whenever you are stuck on a problem – though you can use a human in place of the duck, if you prefer. The human doesn’t need to programmer. The technique is based on the idea that teaching a subject forces an evaluation from a different perspective allowing for a deeper insight into the problem.

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