Rubber Duck Debugging

A co-worker asked me a question relating to how our software works. As soon as he finished framing the question, and before I could respond, he finished with, “Oh, of course…” and answered his own question. I don’t there’s a techie alive who hasn’t experienced this phenomenon from one side or the other.

There’s a practice called “Rubber Duck Debugging.” In a nutshell, when you have a problem, you explain the problem to the duck so that you can figure it out.

Coincidentally, there’s a rubber duck on top of a bookcase next to my desk. This co-worker and I had gone through similar debugging episodes before, so I told him that going forward, he should first talk to the duck. This particular co-worker works remotely most of the week, so I told him we’d have to find a way he could talk to the duck online.

Sure enough, someone else had already thought of this. Five minutes later, I found the Cyberduck – an Eliza-based chatbot.