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View Poll Results: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?
Competition 37 42.53%
Build Season 39 44.83%
Off Season 4 4.60%
Other 7 8.05%
Voters: 87. You may not vote on this poll

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Unread 08-26-2011, 04:41 PM
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What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC? There seems to be a conflict of interest among different people on the team. The conflict of interests is creating friction among team members and it hinders with progress as a team.

Also, if you vote other, please specify.
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Last edited by davidthefat : 08-26-2011 at 05:30 PM.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:04 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

I like the competition season because I travel to so many (5 last year) and get to meet a lot of cool people.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:26 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

How could this thread possibly solve a real problem on a team? "Hey everyone, people on Chief Delphi like this part of FIRST, we need to focus on it!"
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:34 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

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Originally Posted by Chris is me View Post
How could this thread possibly solve a real problem on a team? "Hey everyone, people on Chief Delphi like this part of FIRST, we need to focus on it!"
That is kind of what I was going for really. Seemed like a solid plan in my head.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:38 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

I guess what I'm trying to say is why should your team care what we think is the best part of FRC?
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:45 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

What offseason?
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Unread 08-26-2011, 06:53 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdamHeard View Post
What offseason?
What ever you do during off season, including the IRI and other off season competitions. Or if your team does any development and out reach stuff.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:11 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

Quote:
Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC? There seems to be a conflict of interest among different people on the team. The conflict of interests is creating friction among team members and it hinders with progress as a team.

Also, if you vote other, please specify.
What exactly are the issues? Is it that the team doesn't see the value of the offseason? They don't think competition is important?

If you explain better, we could help out better.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:22 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

I said "other", since I like ALL THE PARTS!
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:31 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

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Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
What ever you do during off season, including the IRI and other off season competitions. Or if your team does any development and out reach stuff.
#sarcasm
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:35 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

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Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
What ever you do during off season, including the IRI and other off season competitions. Or if your team does any development and out reach stuff.
Oh, you mean that less competitive and more developmental part of the season? That's what you call it?

In this case, being vague about the difference of opinion resulted in a distinct lack of clarity about anything except that there was a difference of opinion. A little bit more about what the difference of opinion is about would probably be helpful.



P.S. The term "conflict of interest" is usually used when someone in a position to make or influence a decision stands to gain extra benefit by making a decision in favor of a particular group. Say, for example, when a judge is on a case where they own stock in a corporation involved in the case--though usually the judge recuses himself from that case in that situation.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:42 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

I guess I'll write it here:
Well, I am on a campaign within my team to start running the team more like a company. We are not so high budget, we start from scratch or in debt every year and it really worries me. The year before (break away) we almost could not even participate due to bad financial planning. There is a majority in the group that want to sacrifice a well performing robot in lieu of going to a second regional. Keep in mind, last year was the only year we went to a second regional due to private donations. It was great, but I am looking ahead and thinking of sustaining our team. However, those particularly in non technical groups, want to go to a second regional. I don't blame them. But that second regional burned through half our budget last year and we started this year $400 in debt. This really worries me. But good thing is that we got aggressive on sponsoring and fundraising this year.

You can infer a lot from this. This is my last year, I wish to leave a legacy that would allow the team to sustain for a couple years longer, but I am faced with a great opposition. Especially with all the technical members graduated, except for programmers, no one can make a robot on our team. They see doing research and development during the off season a waste of money. I see it as essential. R&D actually costs a fifth of what a second regional would be (Including lodging, food and ect) I would like to have the kids start out next year with a couple thousand dollars in the bank with a database of different drive trains and code to go along with it since I won't be able to mentor.

So the bottom line is I would like to design and develop drive systems during the off season. That would allow us to be more competitive during competition, allow us more time to debug the drive code (majority of time consisted of this), let the drivers practice, build a practice bot, leave behind a legacy of CAD and code for the next years and to train rookies in skills that go into building a robot.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 07:50 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

If I had to and I mean HAD TO, choose between a second regional or designing and prototyping before build season, I would choose prototyping. It would cost less to prototype systems you want to learn about than it would to attend a second regional, and the return on investment is potentially greater.

That is why my favorite part of FRC is the "offseason."

In the end, at least you know you need to fundraise more. The money you save from not attending a second regional can also be used to compete in offseason events (many more of them). So yeah, if given the option, I would focus on how to make my robot more competitive. Perhaps your team really needs to lay out a financial/sustainability plan for the future. You never want to be in the position that you win a regional or somehow qualify for championships, but can't afford to go because you spent up your money during the pre-season.

More money = more fun, but it doesn't always = better robot.
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Unread 08-26-2011, 08:22 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

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Originally Posted by davidthefat View Post
What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC? There seems to be a conflict of interest among different people on the team. The conflict of interests is creating friction among team members and it hinders with progress as a team.

Also, if you vote other, please specify.
My favorite part is of the season is the first week of build season when you are not yet locked into a design and anything seems possible.

Also, I am hesitant to say this, but David, you often make side comments about your team in posts and it bothers me. I don't feel that that is respectful to your team and it doesn't do you any justice. While I am not in the habit of giving advice it is worth considering that while your team may be in the wrong, you are often an instigator on the CD forums and that attitude probably carries into your team. The first step to becoming a successful team is to act like a team. That means that you need to respect your teammates and their opinions. In turn, I think you will find that they will begin to respect and listen to yours.

As to offseason prototyping vs. extra comp. I would not prototype a drivetrain. I would instead use this http://www.simbotics.org/media/video...itbot-steroids I don't think you have the luxury of prototyping which requires multible members to WANT to. If you make them, nothing of value will be make or learned. It takes years to change the culture of a team, and bad habits are easy to fall into. There are lots of teams similar to yours who struggle year after year, but are content to struggle because "thats the way it is." My team has had experience with this. In 2009 we took a good look at ourselves and decided that we were not happy with always being "almost" as good as the good teams. Over the next two years we really underwent a kind of overhaul pushing for success. This year we were fortunate enough to captin alliances winning the MSC and the IRI competing against and with some of the teams I consider to be the best in the world. Your team is lucky to have you, someone who cares enough to stick their neck out to better their team. However, you will not be able to change your team by yourself, especially with only one year left. What you need to do is take the younger students under your wing. Be a leader who guides them. Teach them to love the program and to want to be better in it. One of the best things you can do is to introduce students to this website. If you can do that then you will be able to make a difference on your team. Once you have a team which WANTs to be better THEN you can start prototyping. While it is a long and difficult process to change culture, it has to begin somewhere, and might as well begin with you.

Best of Luck
Sincerely, Bryan
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Last edited by BJC : 08-26-2011 at 08:44 PM. Reason: Further example
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Unread 08-26-2011, 08:46 PM
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Re: What Is Your Favorite Part Of FRC?

David,

Here is a suggestion. It will take two hours to complete this task. The issues you are describing can be addressed by understanding this lecture. You mentioned the word "legacy". You mentioned "what is the favorite part..." that indicates a forming/storming conflict within your team, trying to bring people to your viewpoint. These and other issues are addressed in this video.

---

Last weekend Kell Robotics hosted the Georgia FIRST Mentor Advisory Council - Conference last week. The inaugural event of the MAC was a year ago, 1st meet of this year at Kell again. The conference last year had about 16 attendees. This year we had 32. I expect we will probably have 50+ next year.

This years topic is on leadership, group dynamics, team building. This year and last year's topics are generic, useful for any type of organization.

If you go to the 26:00 minute mark, I start a lecture on leadership, for about 35 minutes. The first 10 minutes of that is a little dry but it gets better around 36:00. There is an intermission, and then we go to group dynamics and team building at the 58:00 minute mark. The best part starts at 1:07:00.
http://www.youtube.com/kellrobotics#p/u/6/UriCZb7IzOI

I didn't have any real time to prepare for the briefing, I got 4 hours sleep, and I brought my notes to make sure I didn't forget anything, but it seemed to work out well, and the feedback from the audience was excellent. Some mentors drove 300 miles round trip in a single day to attend this conference. The goal of the 'MAC' is to create high performing, self sustainable teams. It is not a program specific low level technical thing that is best left to a workshop.


Last years presentation was on creating public value for programs like FIRST. Last year's presentations are on the right side of this screen: http://www.youtube.com/gafirst#p/c/AF1ABD379844337B

Creating public value is how you create community and sponsor support.
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