Advice request: Getting started with LabView

No one on our rookie team has any experience with LabView. We do have two mentors who are software developers. They work in Java mostly. Our team decided to use LabView for rookie season (starting Jan 8th, 2010). We’ve downloaded the trial version of LabView 2010 and are trying to learn what we can from the examples included.

We are looking for advice on how our mentors can get up to speed on LabView so they will be able to assist the students during the build.

There are some generic online tutorials that would help you get the basics down. For instance,
LV Mastery
The framework style has changed a little bit each year, so some of the videos are dated. They all work, and the LabVIEW they teach is all valid, it’s just that the default FRC framework they start with and modify is no longer in use.

When FRC first switched to LabVIEW we used the generic student version for initial training, since the official FRC version hadn’t been released. That’ll give you some basic competence on a PC without the specialized FRC palettes or a control system. Testing FRC specific code can’t be done without a control system anyway.
Here is the workshop material run by local NI reps:
Beginner presentation
Workshop guide
Workshop solutions

After you gain a basic understanding of dataflow vs. procedural you can take a look at the online tutorials by:
FRC Mastery videos
NI tutorials

Thank you. This should keep us busy till Jan 8th. ::rtm::

On top of what Mr. McLeod said the main thing that helped me out was just using the software and getting used to it. The main thing that needs to be learned with LabView or any programming is following logic, which comes with pratice.

Given that you have mentors that work with java, what drove your decision to use LabVIEW?

Learning LabVIEW can be a different experience from learning other languages, especially for someone who has many years of programming in execution-flow languages like Java and C. Some people pick it up very quickly but for others the “aha!” moment for the paradigm shift from execution-flow to data-flow comes only after some effort.