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Unread 08-29-2017, 06:44 PM
Natehh Natehh is offline
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Teaching New Programmers/Offseason Training

I'm the head programmer from team 1339, and the past few years, we have been struggling with managing our programming team, especially new programmers. Three years ago, when I was a freshman and new to the team, there were no veteran programmers. Two other freshman and I learned command based Java and programmed the robot that year (with the help of an excellent mentor).

In the years since, we have had groups of noobs interested in learning programming, but we didn't really know how to teach and manage them effectively during the offseason. Each year we ended up with only one new person really contributing during build season/competition, out of groups of five to ten who wanted to learn. And they were the ones that were driven enough to learn on their own, to make up for our lack of real teaching. Mostly only veterans, me included, wrote the code for our robots.

I want to know, how do you guys handle new programmers? What resources do your teams use to train them (PowerPoints, websites, etc)? What do you teach them first, generic Java or go straight to WPILib robot code? And how do you manage people of different skill levels and what they contribute during build season/competition?

Thanks for any help!
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Unread 08-29-2017, 08:34 PM
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GeeTwo GeeTwo is offline
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Re: Teaching New Programmers/Offseason Training

A recent thread on this topic
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Unread 08-30-2017, 07:42 AM
Natehh Natehh is offline
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Re: Teaching New Programmers/Offseason Training

Thanks for your response. In the other thread you mentioned online resources for learning Java. What websites did you use? Also, how did you divey up coding so that the new people had a contribution for build season? Were they skilled enough to work alongside veterans after the off-season training?
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Unread 08-30-2017, 07:48 AM
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Re: Teaching New Programmers/Offseason Training

What we have found to work really well is we developed small robots that run LabVIEW to practice programming on. This allowed us to get a 1 to 1 robot to student ratio. Then we developed a series of youtube videos that went along with are training classes so that the students could take the robot home and practice at home. This has worked really well over the past couple years
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