One of my favorite concepts in software engineering is called “Rubber Ducking”. Rubber Ducking is where you keep some inanimate, toy-like object on your desk, and when you get stuck on a problem, you explain the problem, out loud, to the toy. For some crazy reason, this works amazingly well to uncover the cause of bugs or to unblock your thought processes during design. It also makes you look completely insane if anyone happens to wander by your desk while you’re having a full conversation with your Rubber Duck.
It’s actually been quite a while since I’ve had my own Rubber Duck, but at SuiteWorld, a game of skee ball was set up where they were giving away plush Stanley toys (NetSuite’s mascot) if you scored high enough. Naturally, I needed to win all the Stanleys to build an army of Rubber Ducks so that I would never get stuck on a problem again.
After an embarassing amount of futile attempts, I finally walked away with my own Stanley that now serves as my loyal problem solver.