The Web Development Duck


I am a Pragmatic Programmer, I have a rubber duck beside my monitor.

"Rubber Ducking" - the phrase originated from The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master. The concept is that simply explaining the problem out loud will often help one to come up with a solution, be it computer programming, design, or anything that requires thought really.

In the words of the Pragmatic Programmer:

"Place a rubber duck on your monitor and describe your problems to it. There's something magical about stating your problems aloud that makes the solution more clear."

I have taken this one step further and adopted Dux as my Web Development mascot along similar lines as Tux is the Linux mascot.

I suspect that Dux is related to the Pokemon Psyduck.

Programming Term: A Duck

A feature added for no other reason than to draw management attention and be removed, thus avoiding unnecessary changes in other aspects of the product.

This started as a piece of Interplay corporate lore. It was well known that producers (a game industry position, roughly equivalent to PMs) had to make a change to everything that was done. The assumption was that subconsciously they felt that if they didn't, they weren't adding value.

The artist working on the queen animations for Battle Chess was aware of this tendency, and came up with an innovative solution. He did the animations for the queen the way that he felt would be best, with one addition: he gave the queen a pet duck. He animated this duck through all of the queen's animations, had it flapping around the corners. He also took great care to make sure that it never overlapped the "actual" animation.

Eventually, it came time for the producer to review the animation set for the queen. The producer sat down and watched all of the animations. When they were done, he turned to the artist and said, "That looks great. Just one thing - get rid of the duck."