Rubber Duck Debugging

Rubber duck debugging, rubber ducking, and the rubber duckie test, are informal terms used in software engineering to refer to a method of debugging code. The name is a reference to a story in the book The Pragmatic Programmer in which a programmer would carry around a rubber duck, and debug his code by forcing himself to explain it, line-by-line, to the duck.

Many programmers have had the experience of explaining a programming problem to someone else, possibly even to someone who knows nothing about programming, and then hitting upon the solution in the process of explaining the problem. In describing what the code is supposed to do and observing what it actually does, any incongruity between these two becomes apparent. By using an inanimate object, such as a rubber duck, the programmer can try to accomplish this without having to involve another person.

This concept is also known as "Talk to the Bear".


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Famous quotes containing the words rubber and/or duck:

    First, are you our sort of a person?
    Do you wear
    A glass eye, false teeth or a crutch,
    A brace or a hook,
    Rubber breasts or a rubber crotch,

    Stitches to show something’s missing?
    Sylvia Plath (1932–1963)

    A man may take care of a furnace for twenty-five years and still forget to duck his head when he starts going down the cellar stairs.
    Robert Benchley (1889–1945)