[GLLUG] Teddy bear principle

John Winters john at sinodun.org.uk
Wed Dec 23 11:12:21 UTC 2020

On 23/12/2020 11:08, Alistair Mann via GLLUG wrote:
> On 23/12/2020 10:42, Andrew Black via GLLUG wrote:
>> Happy christmas everyone....
>> Some time ago someone suggested the idea of solving a tech problem by 
>> explaining something to you teddy. He is very stupid so it makes sure 
>> you explain it well. Sometimes the process of explaining makes you 
>> find the thing the clue you have missed.
>> I cant put my finger on where it came from (does it matter). Google is 
>> taking me to all sorts of sites like "how to make teddies" and "why 
>> teddies are called ted".
> I've not heard of a teddy-bear based approach (and such an approach 
> would surely be based) but what you describe sounds like a variation on 
> the "How do you boil an egg" question that introduces programming.
> In review - ask a programming student "How do you boil an egg?" and you 
> might get the answer
> 1. Get a pan

I think the Teddy Bear approach is for solving a slightly different 
problem (although I've always known it as explaining the problem to the 
hat stand).

It's not for introducing the basics of programming - it's for working 
out why your code doesn't do what it's meant to.

When you've stared at it for hours and hours and still can't see what's 
causing the problem you explain in detail to the hat stand why what's 
currently happening can't *possibly* happen, and then suddenly half way 
through your explanation the penny will drop.

I've often used it and it does work.


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