This is my first blog for a very long while and my first testing blog so please be gentle with me.
Inspired by an exchange on twitter with the fab @ThePirateTester and the wonderful @witchofthetest (epic band name there guys) the other week I’ve eventually got round to attempt to writing about this.
Rubber duck debugging is a known thing. You talk through your code/test plan/process with a friendly little yellow inanimate object who listens intently to your solution and in explaining it the concept of someone else understanding it will make your thing better or at least more well thought out.
“One is never alone with a rubber duck”
What if your rubber duck was in fact the mythos mischief and eldritch god of longest coma ever, Cthulhu? Would this encourage less of a happy path process and inspire you consider more carnage, code in more chaos or play devil’s advocate with an existing, tired process?
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die”
-Would his eons old, unimpressed face steer you towards the less travelled path?
-Could consulting Hastur make you think about your yellow build or console warnings more?
-Does Yog-Sothoth’s concept of time give you a changed view on datetime bugs or waits in your automation code?
-Would “The Colour Out Of Space” make you contemplate the contrast and accessibility of the Hex codes you had choosen more carefully? #needsmorepink
I don’t debug very often by myself and if I am debugging I’m usually the rubber duck or it at least feels that way sometimes. I make attempts to be an elder god (don’t we all) but as I can only read the code that is in front of me I feel cornered by my lack of skills.
As testers we have a strange sort of courage that overides our feeling of not knowing enough / our shyness / our want to avoid conflict with a countermand to go “hey, this doesn’t look right” . We often complement this with screenshots or little GIFS as words can be easily taken to heart or misunderstood.
At times like these it would be better to be more Cthulhu. I don’t mean have a nap (though he does love a nap) be the mischief, weave well crafted doubts and forge talismans to breed better reflection.
“To the scientist there is the joy in pursuing truth which nearly counteracts the depressing revelations of truth“
Even if this means you take more naps I hope you’ll choose Cthulhu or one of his mythos buddies as a companion in the future or at least add a tentacle beard to your rubber duck.
Thanks for reading my half baked ramblings!