Get yourself a Rubber Duck

Ever heard of the concept of Rubber Ducking? If not, it might be entirely unfamilar to you.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are stuck with a problem, and it’s driving you insane. Sometimes you are sure you have a solution hanging on the side of your mind, or might be just puzzled and lost in your frustrations. Along comes a colleague or peer, and you start describing your problem and before you can even finishing, a solution jumps into your head! Bang just like that, you solved your problem.

I’m sure you have been through this experience before, and often results in an annoyed colleague for having to listen to you for half an hour and turns out you already know the answer.

Next time you encounter a problem you cannot solve, go get yourself a rubber duck. It does not need to be a real rubber duck, as long as it’s an object you can talk to. I created a stick person made out of blu-tack for my rubber duck. Now start conversing with your rubber duck, tell the duck your problems, and magically the answer will come….most of the time anyways. 🙂

Benefits to Rubber Ducking:

  • you don’t waste other people’s time.
  • most of the time, the answer is in your head, you just need to extract it out.
  • you learn to rely on yourself more, and be less inclined to depend on others to solve your problems.
  • your rubber duck won’t be annoyed with your grumbling, it will only listen with no complains.

I have tried this several times, and interestingly enough it works. I find that the key is to ask the right questions, so if you ask many questions eventually one of them will trigger the solution.


So, have you talked to your rubber duck lately?

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Posted in Ramblings. Tags: . 1 Comment »

One Response to “Get yourself a Rubber Duck”

  1. Harvesting Your Brain « Code Blitz Says:

    […] a programmer, good practices like rubber ducking and pair programming are all aimed at using your R-mode. Problem solving, ability to learn and […]

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