Help starting with Java and Netbeans. Complete beginner.

I’ve been taking AP Computer Science, so I mostly know my way around Java. I’ve also read this years Cookbook and Getting Started guide. However, I’m still unsure on how exactly to begin the programming process since it’s my first year. My team is still drafting out ideas for our robot. Any pointers on how to get started building or learning about how to program by using the FRC plugin and NetBeans?

The Getting started guide has some screenshots of the plugin. It also contains some really simple code for extending SimpleRobot that you can use to get started. While it shoulds you how to deploy, it does assume you know how to use NetBeans a little (open fixes, save files, etc.) If it isn’t obvious, there are lots of NetBeans tutorials online for that since it isn’t FIRST specific.

Also look at the WPILib Cookbook in the documents section of the WPILib project on And there are some sample programs to look at in Netbeans.

We’re hoping to have some videos posted later today or tomorrow walking through the process of programming a robot in Java.


After reading the two doucments. I would suggest building a demo board. Hook up a Jag or victor, program a joy stick maybe a few sensors. Just have fun with it. This will give you a grasp of everything. Until you have a game plan.

So generally speaking, I just work one thing and make a class for each machine and then bring all the methods together in one class? I just have to cruise through the api that FIRST gives and tinker with it? My team still hasn’t even even opened the cRIO.

Also check out the video tutorial for a demonstration of writing a full program with some autonomous and teleop code doing PID control, timed operations, and joystick programming. Parts 1, 2 and 6 are there now. 3, 4, and 5 are rendering and will go up first thing tomorrow morning.


Sweet. Looks great. I’ll make sure to watch all of them. Everything helps. Mostly, what I’ve realized that my team needs help on is figuring out the hierarchy organization, which classes to use, and the general tips and tricks. We’ve been tinkering with how to make a subsystem and so forth, but we’re pretty stumped on how it’ll all come together.

If you’re still having trouble after looking at the videos and cookbook, be sure to ask. The command-based model is designed to make that organization easy.


I was finally able to watch the videos. I must say that I know understand what the structure and logic behind the code. Great job! The videos were really clear and simple to follow :slight_smile:

The only real question that I have now is how to find the PDI values.