Help with Programming

Hey guys,
I’m the newly appointed programmer for team 692 a.k.a. the fembots of st.francis high school. St. Francis is located in Sacramento, CA. I was one of the assistant programmers last year and now I’ve been asked to take over. I was just wondering if anyone could maybe help me learn more. I really have no clue what I am doing. I understand the enough to make the robot complete basic functions but now our mentor in programming has retired and i have been left alone. If anyone could help, it would be deeply appreciated. T
Thanks and much love, Amanda

Hey Amanda,

First off, congrats on taking this on! It will be a lot of fun as well as a valuable skill to be able to do.

If you follow this link it will give you a bunch of how-to’s on programming. If you PM any of the authors, I’m sure they’d be glad to explain further!

If you need any help, you can IM me at MikeWasHere05

Hi Amanda,

You’ve certainly come to the right place. Many of the participants of this forum are well versed in the “Tao of Programming” :wink:

You can help yourself, right away, by reading a few of the “sticky threads” right here at the top of the forum. They, in turn, contain links to many of the resources the rest of us routinely use. The Forum’s white papers has a section devoted solely to pogramming. Many teams have shared their ideas and code, there. The IFI robotics website contains excellent downloads concerning the FRC code, and when it’s time to get down and dirty, the Microchip site has a wealth of pic info.

The search tool is your friend. I use it often. And when you have a specific question that eludes you, please post it here, we are easy on newbies and love to help.


This summer I’ve added programming to my team activities. But then, I used to to it professionally. :smiley:

If you have specific questions, let me know and I’ll try to help.

Yeah I’m planning on picking it up too. My question is this. I’m proficient with JAVA how much of a leap is it to go to C?

I’m more of a C programmer myself. I regularly use C, C++, and PHP (mostly C++ though). I’ve also dabbled in JavaScript, Perl, Forth, and Java. I didn’t like Java though. It’s too object oriented for my tastes.

But back to your question. I didn’t do much Java, I didn’t get much farther than Hello World, but I think that they are very different. But, I’ve found that for programming things as simple as FIRST stuff, all languages are pretty much the same. ifs are ifs, fors are fors. Languages don’t tend to separate much until you get into more complicated things.

As for a more quantitative answer: it seems that Java branched off from C in 1983 and is twice removed. History of Programming Languages

Hi Amanda,
I’m one of the Mentors for team 1147, “The Herdinators” from Elk Grove.
Talk about turn of events. Your retired mentor saved our bacon at last years Sacramento Regional. We had no one who knew programming. We needed to make a simple modification to the default program, but had too little understanding of C to do it. Your mentor came over and worked with us for a hour or so, and with his help, we got it working exactly as we needed! I’ve run into him a few times in the community and each time I can’t stop thanking him for his help.
Since that time, I’ve spent quite a bit of time learning C. I don’t even consider myself a good programmer, but I understand enough that I can make some “magic” happen. There are some incredible programmers here on CD, more wealth of knowledge and resources than you’d imagine.
All this is to say, I would love to help you out as much as possible. Anything I can do to help, just ask. You can send me an e-mail, IM, or just post it here and I will do all I can.

IM me for help, I’m on quite a bit:

AIM - etherkill

This brings up another great resource. Find a team in your area and try to get in touch with their programmer(s).

Yes, there are tons of willing people here, but communication in text often loses something. Plus, asking “I need to have our robot follow a line” often results in just straight code (heck, that’s what I do), which may or may not even work for your robot setup. The other problem with someone just giving out code is that you often don’t learn the thinking/algorithm behind it.

A person you can call and ask to come over (or go to them) can be a great resource because they’ll be able to talk you through what you’re trying to do in a way which isn’t possible in AIM or on these forums.

The point is, make sure that any help you get actually helps you, not just gives you a crutch. If someone gives you code with no explaination (and it’s not dead obvious ;)), then ask for one. Learn.

I had some basis in C previously but i went straight to JAVA (took a course on it for a year) before I came back to C for programming. If you understand the basics, your transition will be VERY SMOOTH. The languages aren’t that different as far as what you’re dealing with. Just look at some sample codes and model your code after that.
…I’ve switched between them so much (programming this year and taking JAVA) that i don’t even register the difference…i guess i just switch automatically in my head

Actually, they’re very similar. C isn’t object-oriented like Java, but all the syntax, declaring variables, loops, conditionals, etc. are identical.