Does the rubber duck actually help anyone?

As title says really.

Does the rubber duck help with debugging?

My son has a million of them lying around the house and just always disregard it.

Any experiences speaking to the yellow rubber blob would be appreciated :slight_smile:

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Sssshhhhhh!!! Do not question the duck’s abilities, for he/she is all knowing :slight_smile:

Talking through the problem and the code line by line explaining to someone else what is happening will invariably lead you to often find the solution yourself.

The reason being is that when you work on something yourself for a long time you can become blind to what is right in front of you, you can start to make assumptions which may not be true.

When you have to explain something to someone else, who you assume knows nothing of your problem/solution, you will often either dumb it down so they can understand it or go into a lit of detail… during this process you may well have a “oh, I missed the…” kind of moment…

Whether it’s the duck, or someone working on the project with you, or popping it all in a forum post, quite often by the time you have finished explaining the issue or writing it - you will have solved it.

It’s a handy technique, do not dismiss the power of the duck to quickly :slight_smile:


Totally agree!
Sometimes a bug can be staring you in the face and you wont see it at all.
I had one of these in Shadow Stalkers recently and even with Rob providing a fix it still didnt work.
It wasnt until i started asking the ducky (The now imaginary Ben and Sam on my shoulders) why it wouldnt work i saw that i had code in the constructor that should have been in BeginPlay.
I kicked myself so hard on that and without a rubber duck or ben (not rubber) and Sam (Also not rubber) i probably would be still stuck there.


I personally talk to Arthas and Foxy. But yeah, talking it out helps, even if its to yourself in reality.


…if I had a penny… :wink:

…what I hear here is that have a need for characterised instructor play things, with pose-able parts, and a branded duck of course :smiley:

…and that of course is why the approach is so useful, because time and time again the answer is staring us right in the face, we are all just too close to the subject matter to actually see it - the talking it out I believe gives us a degree of separation…

…just need to be wary of where you do it - at home, all good, in the office - you’re labelled the “crazy one” unless you have someone else sat with you… do it in a coffee shop… game over… :slight_smile:

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I have to assume Arthas is at the bottom of the picture :wink: Scary… very scary… that would probably rumble a bug find out of me fairly fast! :slight_smile:


Well in that case say hello to r2d2 the desktop hoover :wink:

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Fantastic! You may of course need a CP30 unit to translate :wink:



i am fluent in r2d2 of course

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Beep Boop Beep Beep Boop Boooooo…

Dont tell then what I said! :wink:

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your secrets safe with me.

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I would prefer a teddy bear. They’re more cuddly. No offense to the legions of rubber ducks. :wink:

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…anything is possible…

I would expect only hard core solutions from such a plush duck :slight_smile:

Now that looks like one cuddly duck. :wink:

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The very first time I experienced the wisdom of the duck that I can remember, though I didn’t call it “the duck”. I was in high school, taking a Geometry class taught by an engineer who was, well, quite a bit better a mathematician than the majority of high school math teachers, and I was looking at math contest problems. I came across one that was something like this:

Solve for x: 2^(2x) -3*2^x + 2 = 0

I tried various things, like move -3*2^x+2 to the other side and take logarithms base 2, but to no avail. I was genuinely stuck. So, I thought I’d ask the geometry teacher.

I took the problem to him,and as I was explaining it, the solution just hit me.

If you recall high school algebra, the solution is basically, do a substitution, y = 2^x, and then it becomes the regular quadratic equation y^2 - 3*y + 2 = 0, which can easily be solved with high school algebra methods.

That is how I first learned, explaining a problem to someone is a good way of solving the problem.

Since that time, this has happened many, many times, with math problems and programming problems.

It wasn’t till a few years ago I learned this was called “rubber duck problem solving”.

The strangest one was in graduate school, with a take home graduate-level algebra exam. The teacher said, come to him if you get stuck.

So I went to him, with a problem I had literally spent several days on, and explained the problem and what I had done. He said, “yes.” I said, “uh, are you going to tell me anything else?”. He said, “No.”. I thought, gee, last time I ask him for help! But when I got home, suddenly the solution came to me. Taking it to the teacher was all I needed to do…

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I don’t need the duck, the voices in my head keep my code in line well enough.

Amusingly, I’m currently using a program called TeXstudio (for mathematical typesetting). If you press the “help” shortcut key, an image of a duck pops up, and that’s all you get…


rotfl @Todd_Vance, that’s quality! :slight_smile:

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