Ask the Duck – hwrnmnbsol (rubber ducking)

The original version of the story where “rubber ducking” came from.

via Ask the Duck – hwrnmnbsol

Linked from the comments on this very good article “Solving shtoopid problems” by Eric Raymond at

EXPN “rubber ducking”?

You explain your problem to some{one|thing} with absolutely no background in it (but enough interest, possibly feigned, to keep listening). In the course of formulating your description precisely enough for them to understand what the fsck you are talking about, you stumble over the key issue, and often the solution.

(Obvious targets for the explanation are a non-programming spouse or SO, or even an inanimate icon – hence the term “rubber duck”.)

The missus and I do this at while out walking the dogs. She, explaining her business issues (packaging and labelling for garments) and me, mine (4th line/SRE work)…

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