The “Fuzzy Bunny Debugging” That Is Bort

Written by: Jennifer Mackie

Bort is Jennifer’s pet rabbit

Many developers are familiar with the term “rubber duck debugging”, which comes from a story of a programmer explaining his code to a rubber duck for debugging purposes. While I employ the concept, I personally prefer “fuzzy bunny debugging”.

My particular bunny’s name is Bort. I decided to take him home after seeing him at my local pet store week after week with his siblings adopted one by one before him. While the other rabbits were approachable and friendly, leading them to easily find homes, Bort was a little different. He would avoid human contact, leap out of the arms of any who were able to catch him, and even nip if he didn’t have his way. I knew I had to take him.

After taking Bort home, he had free reign of the house to better acclimatize. Although he chose to sleep in his cage, Bort spent most of his time roaming the house and getting into trouble. After a while, he began to come around to the whole ‘interaction’ thing, and would hop up beside me on the couch while I was working. Although he didn’t say much, I found the company helpful. It was only a matter of time before he became my sounding board for any issues I had with my code. Null pointer exception? I would explain each line of code until I found the culprit. Unexpected output? Not after a good debug session with Bort. Soon, he became a staple in my work routine.

Despite his helpfulness, Bort has his eccentricities just like countless other coworkers. He may refuse to do what he’s told without some incentive first (little bites of banana work like a charm), his work area is in a constant state of disarray (his idea of the correct spot for his hay is everywhere except the hay feeder), and he often sleeps in and shows up late with no explanation. He has also on occasion decided to give my paperwork a sort of ‘antiquated’ look by nibbling all the edges off.

Despite this, ‘hiring’ Bort was one of the best decisions I could have made. I suggest that if you have a furry friend at home that you give them a chance to help you out. You might just find that man’s best friend can be man’s best peer programmer as well.

Check out Bort’s selfies:

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