UFH: Brandon Martus

Hey Brandon,
Congractulations for being the ninth Unsung FIRST Hero… Feels great doesn’t it, especially after working hard for 7 years? Good Job:)

Thread created automatically to discuss UFH Honoree: Brandon Martus.


Name: Brandon Martus
Date Honored: 05-31-2004
Years involved w/FIRST: 7
FIRST Team(s): Delphi/DaimlerChrysler &, Pontiac Central High School (0047)
Role: Webmaster
Quote: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing." - Socrates
Bio: Brandon Martus is one of the behind-the-scenes FIRSTers, and by behind-the-scenes, we really mean ‘behind the computer screens’. Brandon has been running ChiefDelphi.com for seven years, giving the FIRST community an invaluable service that many of us use religiously. Working as a programmer and developer for Chimes, Inc. in Troy, Michigan, Brandon has been working and developing CD since 1998.

Brandon recalls one of his first triumphant FIRST memories for us: “One memory I have of FIRST is way back in 1998 when I first started working on the website. The forums didn’t work at all, and I remember working on trying to get the forums to do something for the longest time. Everything I tried failed; everything I found while searching for help failed. Then all of a sudden I stumbled upon the problem and was able to open a new thread. I was so happy that I had gotten something working; I jumped up and ran around the house yelling with excitement. I guess you could compare it to when you got your first robot moving, or won a regional or something.” Brandon gives us this nugget of advice: “That memory is proof, to me at least, that you should never give up when things aren’t going your way. Keep trying and eventually you will be successful.”

Brandon’s list of accomplishments and contributions to the FIRST community are anything but few. "I’ve maintained the Chief Delphi website for the past 7 years. I was asked to help finish up the forums when an engineer at Delphi didn’t have time to finish them. I taught myself Perl and took on the task of making the forums work. And now 7 years later, I guess I’m still working on getting that done (and loving every minute of it). I think I’ve learned pretty much everything I know about website programming from working on chiefdelphi.com.

In the past seven years I’ve been the sole developer for the website, working on any new features as well as maintaining the existing forums and other features. In the beginning, I worked on adding features such as the ability to save users’ team, location and team role information, to make it easier to form an identity on the Chief Delphi forums.

From there, I worked on adding a section to the site where people could upload pictures of their robots, their competition experience, and other FIRST-related activities. The Who-Am-I gallery was created so that people could have their picture show up next to their posts. This was added so other users could see who was posting the ideas and views, and possibly recognize them easier at a competition.

I also developed a similar area to store white papers written by teams from all around FIRST. Teams could upload their technical and team-related documents and make them available to everybody via our website. To date, there have been nearly 200 documents stored in this system, accounting for nearly ¼ million downloads. In the summer of 2002, I worked on developing a FIRST-related pari-mutual betting game, called the Chief Delphi Ventures System. The system was loosely modeled after the pari-mutual system used in horse racing. Users could bet points on the outcomes of events, in hopes of ending up with the most points at the end of the season.

In order to highlight some of the great discussions on the forums, I wrote a system in which people could spotlight their favorite quotes. If they saw a quote that was worthy of being remembered, they could suggest it to be spotlighted for all to see and remember.

I’ve worked with the Unsung FIRST Heroes committee and integrated their volunteer recognition system into the forums. A similar system has been created to honor the past Woodie Flowers Award winners, as well. I’ve written some custom features into the forums, which provide external content for other FIRST teams’ websites. Teams can show a random Chief Delphi Spotlight on their website, for instance. There is also a script available that will show recent Chief Delphi activity on external websites. I’ve also worked with Andrew Schenk from Team 201, and provided their scouting database with images straight from our image gallery on a team-by-team basis.

I’ve also volunteered some time this year, along with David Kelly of Cyber Blue (234), to provide FIRST with a website to collect the Woodie Flowers Award submissions. Teams can log in to nominate a mentor for the award. Judges can then log in and use the system to judge all of the entries. After viewing the WFA website, FIRST asked us to help write a system which allowed them to judge the Website Award. We developed a system where judges could log in and rate the websites on a regional scale."

Brandon was nominated four times by four different people (a UFH record, to date) and was our first to be nominated. Congratulations to Brandon Martus, our thirteenth Unsung FIRST Hero.

Nominated By: Joe Ross, Will Hanashiro, Mike Martus, miketwalker

Congrats, Brandon! You deserve this!

And I’m still totally jealous my dad met you before I did. Bah.

PS - Weee! I got to this thread before Morrison! :smiley:

Congratulations to Brandon Martus on being honored as our ninth Unsung FIRST Hero.

All business aside: My Shrine to Brandon Martus. B, I hate you. SO MUCH. And you smell funny.
And you’re incredibly cool and probably my best FIRST friend. Here’s to many more random FIRST trips, crashing on your couch, meeting your friend Jose, my first Red Robin, notes on your car, making you do my bidding on the forums (yeah right), getting to be as tall as you for twenty seconds, letting you meet my Crazy Polish Grandma, Justin on the phone and Vance’s “I heard that back in like, oh, second grade”, your dad TOTALLY knows my name, and most of all, being privileged enough to be your midget friend who makes you carrot cake (your favorite) and oyster crackers (you’re hooked). Oh yeah, and crushing your trachea. I hate you, B. And you totally deserve this.

Congrats to Brandon, you really deserve this, thanks for all the work you put into CD :slight_smile:

gee i wonder who that guy is next to you, who ever he is he has a nice taste in hawiian shirts (i liked that hawiian shirt… to bad they were all given out/taken away from me)



Brandon definitly deserved this. Awesome job!!! :slight_smile:

ditto what he said :slight_smile:

Well deserved!


Brandon Brandon Brandon… Just about the most famous person in FIRST beside those other big FIRST personalities. Whether you care to admit it or not, you are directly responsible for making an impact in a lot of FIRST participants’ life, including mine. Your hard work on the Chief Delphi Forum made this site one of the most important experience a FIRST participant can ever have. I for one opened my eyes when I found out about this forum. I’ve met all of my FIRST friends because of this site, and so did thousands of other users.

We are extremely lucky to have you here working behind the scene 24/7, there are not many human being who contribute their time so selflessly for the greater good of a community.

Now if only we have a Brandon out here in California we will be all set.

Most of my memories about Brandon is back in the days when I post a lot and at great length, I had to either ask Brandon to open locked threads so I can post in them, or setup little corners so I can post my old newsletter. I must’ve asked him to help me out thousands of times. The most I remember about Brandon is how supportive he was whenever I made long post about something. He usually said “hey I saw you exceed the word limit again, haha, good job!”. It really made me feel the effort were worth it.

Thank you Brandon, we will be all lost without you.


With all the great work you’ve done, you totally deserve this recognition. We all speak a lot about the “FIRST community”, well this community wouldn’t be as tightly knit if it weren’t for all your efforts. This website brings a lot of people together, I don’t think it’s impact is really fully recognized. You’ve done an amazing job over the years.

Congrats Brandon,

I cannot imagine what the FIRST community was like before you started CD. There must have been total chaos. Perhaps riots and worse yet …. snail mail.

This is a well-deserved honor. FIRST is 24/7/365. It’s a comfort to sign in and always see new activity and other members on the board. You have given us community and place to belong and for that I am grateful.

It was a pleasure meeting you in Atlanta and I hope to see you next time around. Keep up the good work.


[font=Verdana]Also if you’re having problems with Jess, I can send you some pictures that you can use at your discretion. [/font]

Congratulation brandon, you have put so much work into this community… you definitely deserve this… every time i have problem with cd… the name that screams out of my mouth is brandon… you earned it… congrats man…


This honor is long overdue and well deserved. Lets face it, without you and your constant support of this website, there would be no FIRST community. I think we all owe you a debt of gratitude for all the wonderful friendships that we have developed over the years through this site. You have truely changed FIRST for the better over the years. Thank you and congrats!

-Andy Grady

Brandon has been, without exception, so incredibly helpful with every question I’ve thrown his way. A class act. Thanks for being there.

It’s TOTALLY against my nature to agree with Karthik BUT he hit the nail on the head.

You are the best! Just don’t let it go to your head. See you at Wonderland. :smiley:

Congratulations Brandon!
…You have made CD an absolutely amazing place, thanks for all you do.

On behalf of all my teachers, you deserve a slap…

for all the time I’ve spent on CD.

Good job, and keep up the good work. Remeber, because you’re the UFH, you have to work even harder. So now it’s Make Brandon Work Half Month!!!

PS- What type of cold medicine were you on in that picture?

Congratulations Brandon! :slight_smile:

It’s been said before and I’ll say it again. Without you this forum wouldn’t be the forum it is today. Heck, without you Chief Delphi (.com) wouldn’t exist at all! The UHF award is long overdue but well deserved by you.

Keep up the great work! :cool:

Without you… the FIRST community would not be the way it is today.

Thank you for ALL you have done, not just for the community, but for me personally. You’ve certainly had a positive impact on my life, and I really do appreciate it.

I’m happy to see you honored (finally).
It just shows that worthy candidates can’t hide from this honor forever. :wink:

You really are the man.

Your Friend and Un-worthy Fan,