For the folks that made FTC remote system - YOU ARE AWESOME

tl;dr
FTC remote system is awesome
Why didn’t HQ use it for the other progressions?
Overall communication issue

Hi everyone, how is everybody holding up?

So in 2020/2021 I had the time and the opportunity to volunteer across all progressions in 8+ regions. And has been an awesome experience! Teams are impressed every time in the way they deal with such a complex year!

But I am here to talk about the remote systems and a respectful criticism to HQ on how they handle some stuff. And a FULL DISCLAIMER I don’t know the whole history, this is just my views based on what I saw in 150 hours of volunteering

The FTC remote system has been so good! It has remote conferencing (since March 2021 I guess) built into the platform, with all considerations that judges could want:

  • Ability to remove members from a team when the interview ends
  • Notes for each panel, Award and Judge
  • Fast and responsive.
  • Automatically changes your name to Judge ****
  • Automatically makes sure that YPP is being complied with two judges in the room
  • Same credentials as the Dashboard
  • Built in award scripts area
  • Feedback form works flawlessly
  • Deliberation room
  • Multiple tabs support with no issues
  • Powered by AWS for a very consistent experience

And a couple more that clearly shows that the folks doing it understand the competition.

I heard from some people that part of this effort was volunteer driven, so if you helped develop this: THANK YOU! You ensured a great experience for teams and volunteers in the most awkward year of all!

And on the other hand the FLL REH was buggy, lacked some features and nowhere near the FTC one, the FRC one was ‘’okay’’ not very feature rich, required a new weird credential but works for the bare minimum.

That’s my main issue, if all three systems were just ‘’okay’’ I would understand: time and budget constraints can lead to this. But we had an awesome one, an okay one, and a buggy one. Why? It seems like that there was no communication in the HQ between the progressions.

Imagine how great it would be if the folks that made the FTC one had more resources and just worked in small modifications for FRC/FLL.

Overall communication seems to be an issue with FIRST recently, I saw in another topic a post by @krf mentioning how hard it is to get this kind of feedback delivered directly to HQ and I couldn’t agree more. If you send an email you probably never gonna get an answer, if you try the route JA>PDP>HQ is time consuming for everyone involved and the information degrades at each step and you may or may not get an answer. I met some people along my journey that send one email every year regarding process/rubrics/ideas and never heard back, that’s sad :/.

And to be clear, I am not ranting FIRST, I am a proud alum and even more proud volunteer, but it is concerning to see that the progressions are not talking as they should in the backstage.

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