When I was (and still am being) taught how to use labview, or code in general, that I just sat at the programming desk with our team’s software lead and having him just show me everything until I understood it. Nowadays, he has me do the work, and he sits back and provides advice and help when I need help.
I’m currently undertaking the task of taking an old robot that doesn’t have much work done on it in the past year or 2, and making sure it works mechanically, electronically, and the software. It helps learn how to code, as well as how the rest of the robot works.
I had started doing a weekly programming challenge late last year with a new challenge each week. Each week got a little more difficult and also illustrated a certain part of LabVIEW. I also had a solution that went with each challenge (with a password so you could not see the code) to show what the outcome of the program should look like. We started our meetings having a student explain their answers from the previous week, and I would give out the password so they could look at my solution as well and compare. We ended the meetings with the next challenge.
This was a good way to get students to really start using LabVIEW in a fun way, and I could also see it being helpful for mentors too.
The biggest problem we had was access to computers outside of the club for some of the students, and it ended up falling through, but I plan to have a fix for that next year. I am also looking into some kind of more formal curriculum to use with these problems.
In all I created 6 of these challenges at various difficulties. Send me a PM if you are interested and I’ll give you what I have.
The students seemed to like it, and it also caught the interest of a few mentors who wanted to join in. The problem we had was that we started fairly close to build season so we only made it through three of the challenges.
For next year I am planning to start it much earlier and have more material behind it to teach.
The difficulty ranges quite a bit, two of our students had never done any programming, and one student came on with four years of Java experience. I tried to vary it based on that, so I have a few where little experience is needed, and a few where a lot is needed.
I plan to come up with a few more for the next school year to bridge that, where I will have different material and challenges depending on the number of years in the program and skill level.
Over the summer I will be developing a rubics cube solving robot for our outreach programs to try and inspire some children (and maybe their parents)!
The code is not too intense. It teaches arrays clusters and most importantly the idea of a subVi.
I never really learned Labview, but I learned java by watching Nick do everything.
I knew a lot of the concepts from other languages, but he taught me the syntax.
For this offseason, my project is coding the 2013 bot from scratch, before I become the new head programmer