how to teach the newbies to program?

well now that I’m a mentor and everyone who knows how to program is off doing more important things I thought I would teach the new team members who dint know how to program but want to learn. I got some ideas of simple little programs they could work on such as using simple digital sensors to reverse the motor directions etc. I was going to use our vex kits but they are being used by other team members to teach robot design and building so I’m gonna use the Edu bot controller for now. Just thought I would get some of your ideas and maybe how you guys teach your new programmers. I would appreciate all the input I can get. I’m trying to make it a s fun as possible for them so that they will stay interested and learn so that when our current programmers graduate we will have good programmers still around. Thanks

This year team 836 is using last years robot to help train our new programmers, working out the bugs on some of the programs that we couldn’t get to work last year and creating a few new ones based on last years game, like programming the pneumatics in auto mode and using dead reckoning. I think the best way to teach and learn is to use the real thing. So if you team can spare a robot for the programmers I would say that would be the best way to go.

In the first week, I taught them how to write C program and some of the
“stuff”. Second week- I finished teaching them how to write C(Only for robots). This week I’m going to get into how robots and their electricals and after that how to actually program robots. IF you know C, you can teach it to anyone. Just try to put yourself in their position and you will know what to say or how to go about it.

You make it sound easy. I learned C after knowing a few other languages; I don’t actually remember not knowing how to program!

Fortunately, my school has a Intro to Comp Sci course and an AP Comp Sci, so I have something to draw from. The only issue is that the course is in Java, a far cry from PIC C. Any suggestions for this particular class of people? (Besides not letting them touch the robot until I’m sure that they’re could won’t segfault.)

Our school has the same curriculum. I go to the teacher for help sometimes. I guess dealing with PIC C is one of our challenges.

Who knows?

Maybe coding will be easier this year.


Last year, I made some presenations about C and how our team’s customized version of the default code works. I also made a simple wooden demo robot using the FP mtors, FRC, some skyway wheels and a few banner sensors. I divided the new programmers into groups of two and had each of them write a line follower.