Debugging Dilemma: Is Your Rubber Duck Still Effective in the AI Era?

Aditya Dixit
3 min readJan 20, 2024

Ever blabbed your coding problems to a friend, real or imaginary, and boom! 💡 Problem solved.

We have a fancy term for it in software engineering: Rubber duck debugging. Yep, talking to a rubber duck — your coding confidante.

Rubber duck debugging, is the practice of articulating your problem/code to an inanimate object (like a rubber duck) to help you understand and solve the issue,

Photo by Wu Zhongyi on Unsplash

Now, here’s the million-dollar question: Is your rubber duck (with its buff debugging muscles 💪🏻) still the rockstar, or is it time for AI tools to swoop in like a tech-savvy genie?

Enter Rubber Duck Debugging — your secret weapon of innate critical thinking. I call it Yoda Ducky 🐥, because, well, why not?

So, let’s cut to the chase: Do you trust yourself to be the Sherlock Holmes of coding and wish to improve your critical thinking, or are you ready to let AI tools be your digital Watson?

Rubber ducky is indeed slower than AI debugging, but it spans it wings on more aspects than coding itself, it helps you change the way you see a problem, it builds you up for real life challenges

This thought-provoking Yoda duck transforms you into a Jedi not by magic, but by making you think. As you spill your problems (coding or otherwise) to this quacking sage, it nudges you to look at it from different angles. It’s like having a tiny, feathered Yoda on your desk, encouraging you to ponder the ways of debugging and finding solutions.

So, while the Yoda duck might not wield a lightsaber, it does spark those ‘aha’ moments. It’s your silent companion, offering wisdom without the serious Jedi council vibes.

The process of explaining your code or problems to Yoda Ducky often uncovers insights you might’ve missed, turning your problem solving journey into a bit of an adventure. May the debugging force be with you, young coder!

on other hand, AI-driven debugging works like a charm, but be warned — it’s like that helpful friend who insists on doing everything for you.

Before you know it, you’re sitting back with a bag of chips while AI takes the wheel, and your critical thinking is on a coffee break

So, what now? AI genius or trusty rubber ducky?

Answer is Simple: check your intentions.

Ask yourself: Is this problem on the brink of a techno-disaster (money, job, or drama)? If yes, no hesitation — let the AI grandmaster do its thing. No tech guilt, my friend.

If not, let the rubber duck (your brainpower coach) work its magic.It gives your brain a boost most of the time. And if it falters, no worries! The AI grandmaster is on standby, ready for doorstep delivery of genius insights.

Conclusion:

In case AI ever stages a coup and takes over (pun intended), you might survive, but your critical thinking will be on standby, twiddling its thumbs.

If you’re all about problem-solving without breaking a mental sweat, then AI tools are your trusty sidekicks.

Just keep in mind, your critical thinking might fade away if you don’t invite it to the party every now and then ☕️🎉

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Aditya Dixit

Leading Web and Growth Initiatives at Cult.Fit | React.Js | Next.Js | JavaScript | Architect