Learning Resources for an absolute beginner

I have no idea where to start right now. I am in 9th grade and I want to be able to make the FIRST team in my school next year.So basically how do I go about learning this stuff?
I have prior programming experience with python and C++ (I did a bit of USACO contests).
My goal is to make the national finals by next year,so anybody willing to tell me what I ought to know and where from is great!

I do have and arduino kit , but that is about it , although i barely used it.

It really depends what “stuff” you want to learn. There are countless facets to FRC - from programming and machining to designing and outreach, and everything in between. You can’t learn everything right now. In fact, most of your learning will come later once you are on the team.

If you have not done so already, go and talk to the mentors of the team you hope to join. Ask them what you can do to prepare yourself for next year. They will know what their team needs and is looking for more than anyone on here can ever.

A couple of basic questions to get you started:

  • What programming language(s) do they use?
  • What CAD/design software do they use?

To address your “goal” of making it to “the national finals” … Making it to the FIRST Championship is a team goal, not an individual one. With the exception of one individual student award, teams advance, not people. Your personal goal could include doing whatever you can to help your team advance (or the goal is as a team). Your personal goal, though, should be whatever you are hoping to get out of the experience (which I hope is not just a trophy).

If you come back with specific things you want to learn (e.g. CAD skills, machining, programming FRC robots, etc.), this community is incredible and can provide you with the resources you need to succeed.

Talk to the mentors of the team and see what they think you should work on. Remember, your goal should not be a trophy.


Neither your post nor your profile indicate where you are located. Go to this web page on the FIRST web site and find some events (competitions) near you. Go to the competitions to see what it is all about before committing to joining the team. Go ask to hang out with the team now. It may be too late to give you any major roles but you can probably still help out with some small tasks. You can get a much better idea of what this program is all about.

As Jared said, this is not an individual sport. No one person will be able analyze the game, develop a strategy, design/build/program/operate the robot so no single individual will “get their team to World Championship”. Effective teamwork, clear thinking and working smart as a team will are required to get good results.

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