Rubber Duck Debugging 2.0
In my last post, I explained the technique of rubber duck debugging, where you can explain your code and testcases to an inanimate object to uncover and resolve issues. This time, i take rubber duck debugging to the next level by using ChatGPT as a virtual rubber duck.
Why Use ChatGPT for Rubber Duck Debugging?
While the traditional rubber duck method is effective, it has some limitations too. For instance, an object won’t provide any feedback or suggestions, which can be a drawback in certain situations. This is where ChatGPT can help:
- With ChatGPT you can have interactive conversations. It won’t just listen. It can respond and ask questions, adding an extra layer of depth to your debugging process.
- Unlike an object, ChatGPT has access to an huge amount of knowledge and can provide context-specific insights or suggestions that might lead you to the root cause of a problem.
How to Use ChatGPT for Rubber Duck Debugging
Using ChatGPT as your virtual rubber duck is straightforward and can be seamlessly integrated into your current workflow:
- Begin by introducing the problem or code issue you’re facing. Provide some usefull context, such as the programming language, framework, and error messages.
- Like you would with a physical rubber duck, explain your thought process and the steps you’ve taken to diagnose the issue. Describe what you expect to happen and what’s actually occurring.
- Engage in a back-and-forth conversation with ChatGPT. Encourage it to ask questions or provide suggestions based on the information you’ve provided. Feel free to ask for alternative approaches or explanations.
- As the conversation continues, you may uncover insights, potential solutions, or areas to investigate further. Take note of these insights and summarize them.
- Use the new insights you’ve gained to iterate on your code, debugging or testing process. Test out potential solutions and continue the dialogue with ChatGPT if needed.
The rubber duck debugging technique is very good for problem solving. By making use of the new technology that AI-powered chatbots are, you can refine this technique even further by making use of the interactive conversations.