Rubber Duck Debugging

In his recent videocast, Dan Pick introduces us to “rubber duck debugging”.

As it turns out, this is actually a thing.

Essentially “rubber duck debugging” means talking through your problem with a toy rubber duck (or similar object with equivalent IQ). In staring into the silent, supportive eyes of a rubber duck and being forced to talk through a problem at a very basic level, often the solution will emerge.

Several years ago, IT Crowd popularized the common tech geek response to any user’s technical issues:

The solution to problems we experience, particularly technical ones, can often be found in having an objective person can simply ask, “Did you plug it in first?” For some reason, we’re often blinded to the simplest solutions because we’re so immersed in the problem that we forget to check the obvious issues.

If you find yourself hitting a roadblock and don’t have a friend nearby to help you see the simple solutions, try talking it through with a rubber duck.