We called it the Rubber Duck method of debugging. It goes like this:
1) Beg, borrow, steal, buy, fabricate or otherwise obtain a rubber duck (bathtub variety)
2) Place rubber duck on desk and inform it you are just going to go over some code with it, if that’s all right.
3) Explain to the duck what you code is supposed to do, and then go into detail and explain things line by line
4) At some point you will tell the duck what you are doing next and then realise that that is not in fact what you are actually doing. The duck will sit there serenely, happy in the knowledge that it has helped you on your way.
Works every time. Actually, if you don’t have a rubber duck you could at a pinch ask a fellow programmer or engineer to sit in.
And don’t you feel foolish……
when, after hours or days of banging away and being completely stumped by something. Then you walk someone else through a problem, and you facepalm and realise EXACTLY WHERE the freaking problem was.
You blush, you mutter and say, thanks for the help. They look at you like you are an idiot and walk away grumbling.
AM I RIGHT ?