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I seldom typing code in front of people, and when I do, the code quality degrade massively. Most of the time, the code just don’t work or have an obvious bug. I can’t even debug when there’s people around me. Many people always ask me why, because when I’m alone, I tend to write an okay-code: a code that works. So why?

Because most of the time when I’m coding, I use what people call Rubber Duck Debugging, and I’m addicted to it, so I can’t code well when I’m not doing it. So what is this rubber duck debugging? It’s a technique where we do debugging while eating a rubber duck. *AHEM* Okay, seriously. It’s a technique of debugging where while debugging, a programmer read the code, line by line, aloud, to something. And because a great software developer loves rubber duck, that “something” is a rubber duck. Hence, the name.

What’s so special in rubber duck debugging, aside from it makes people think you’re a freak? It forces you to think, to explain your code line by line to the duck, because you know if you’re doing something wrong – some silly, deadly, sinful code – the duck will turn into a raptor and eats you. I don’t use a rubber duck by the way, I use a pencil, a pen, or whatever item within my reach. It’s a great way to debug, and it helps me more that Visual Studio or Eclipse ever did. I’ve done programming this way since I’m a kid and I’m also forced to do it when teaching, so I can’t just leave the habit. But it’s a great alternative way to debug when your IDE can’t help you. Trust me.

Another reason why I’m not so good when people surrounds me is I can’t get my mind to work when I’m not in trance. More on that in the next post. Meanwhile, happy debugging🙂

One Comment

  1. I know exactly how you feel, buddy. When I’m coding, I usually have Armin van Buuren (http://www.astateoftrance.com) blazing on my headphones. I need to be deeply entranced to cut the best code out. As for rubber duck debugging, that one seems pretty odd to me. I’ve never had to read my code aloud to see where stuff might go wrong.

    What I normally do when I’m trying to trace where something fell off, is to change one element, one line at a time. Usually, I sometimes end up putting in a Javascript alert (or more preferably, since I’m using the Telerik toolkit, radalert), very verbosely at every line to examine which lines are being executed and which are not.

    There are some other advanced tools that will help you wean yourself off Rubber Duck coding. That can’t be helpful to the people passing nearby.🙂


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