What Do You Think The Purpose Of Chief Delphi Is Intended For? What Is Its Value?

This time of year is typically a slower and quieter time on Chief Delphi. Hopefully, it is a time when teams and their members begin to think about and prepare for the upcoming season(s) for their team. It’s also a time to think and reflect on the past season(s) as teams and as individuals.

Chief Delphi doesn’t roll up the welcome mat and store it during the off-season. It keeps the welcome mat out and leaves the fora available to those who wish to contribute, read, discuss, or think. Here’s a few questions to help the discussion get started. What is valuable here in CD and why is it valuable to you? What do you contribute? What are your favorite aspects of CD and why? If you are a veteran CD member and think that it has changed - what has changed, why, and what can be done about it? If you are a newer member of CD, what do you enjoy and hope to find or contribute?

I’m hoping this thread offers an opportunity for some food for thought and good discussion.
Jane

This has been my first season on CD, and I think it’s very important because of its ability to let FIRST teams collaborate. In many ways, CD embodies the principle of cooperition- competing teams share not only advice, but also ideas. And because of it everyone is better in the long run.

To talk about the FIRST robotics competition

edit: My core values do not reflect my team or my community, I am a very unique person. In a discussion I often like to take the side of the opposing view to just keep people more open minded. Unless I have passion for the said subject I will stick to my views. My view of this community is to promote individualism. Since innovation can not be found in the conformity to society. Without order, there is chaos. Without chaos, there is no evolution. So I believe that if someone has a very radical opinion on a subject, people should not be quick to shut them down.

Don’t just limit it to FRC. FTC, FLL, VRC, BEST, and I’m sure countless other little topics are going on in this forum.

  • Sunny

I agree that ChiefDelphi is a great place to talk about the robot, but it’s also much more than a place to discuss the robot. This is my first year on the team, ergo my first year on CD, and I’ve learned so much about Robotics just through reading other Threads. CD, along with talking to other teams (some much better than ours) about their robot also allowed us to talk to Hall of Fame teams about how they got there, how to raise money, and getting long term sponsorship from companies. Just my $.02 :).

I value CD because of the intense level of discussion which can appear out of nowhere. For example, check one of my favorites about drilling through a magnet: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79272

I enjoy the level of introspection that goes on here. Some post will set off a deep philosophical discussion on life.

Where else can you have instantaneous access to some of the smartest people in many industries. Ask a question about the cRIO and you will have experts from National Instruments answering questions, in moments… on a Saturday… out of love for the community.

And in addition to all that, you can go to the Web Hug at championship, meet a lot of these awesome people in person, and walk away with a cool tshirt.

I don’t know if that was the intent of CD when it first started, but that is definitely what it is now.

For the summer, I am continuing to pay attention to CD because I am working on trying to figure out what teams (veteran and rookie) need the most to succeed. Somehow (I really don’t get how it happened, student apathy perhaps :stuck_out_tongue: )I ended up as outreach director for my universities engineering society, and I am hoping community discussions are going to help reveal some of these things so I can get our local teams as much help as I can for fall term.

In general, to get a clear vision of the realities of operating a FIRST team, CD during the summer and early fall is probably the best place to be.

I use delphi for research and discussion. One philosophy I always try to teach my students (Wow I feel old…) is “A smart person learns from their mistakes, a genius learns from everyone else’s mistakes” We always encourage everyone to be on here, discuss things with others, learn from what other teams are doing, I think Chief Delphi is one of the best teaching tools for the new team members

Good thread, Jane. Thank you.

As valuable as a lot of the information on CD is, there is a lot of it that doesn’t concern me. Well, it does, but I don’t have the mental capacity or experience to even grasp some of the discussions (Do I know about gear ratios? No. Should I learn? Yes. Should I insert myself into a hardcore discussion between seniors, college students, and professional adults on a new AM gearbox to ask about the basics and begin my learning there? No, that’s just bad judgement.). I usually do learn a bit from the technical discussions, but that’s not my posting forte here on CD. I feel much more at home with the management, spirit, and general team organization threads, and spend more of my time posting there. For example: my team isn’t going to be changing our image any time soon, so I won’t take an incredible amount away from those threads. However, I can still contribute my knowledge to those threads to help others. I really love that I can both help and learn in the same environment.

I also serve as a bit of a liaison between my team and the FIRST world. Nobody else on my team is as connected and hears as many opinions as I do, so I always can bring a lot of different views to the table, and different interpretations of rules. If these forums didn’t exist, I don’t think that anyone from my team would know of the happenings within the Q&A. I don’t think that most of them would know that it exists. The rules would not be read, and we would be in a real pickle sometimes.

What I have found to be just as valuable is the people. By posting and forming relationships with users, I have gained a platform of friends that I would have never thought that I would have. Friends to be geeky with, friends to collaborate with, friends to provide a solid shoulder to cry on from several hundred miles away, friends to give levelheaded advice, and friends that care. The FIRST community is filled with such great students and mentors, and I wish that I could say that everyone in my network of friends at home could share the same qualities.

Chief Delphi is priceless on many levels and for many reasons. Obviously there is the technical side and the material that is directly game related. That is just the tip of the iceberg imho. The thing that strikes me most is that it is generally unfiltered and unbiased and transparent, and is a huge library of material that is basically there for the sharing between minds.
Does one have to use common sense and good judgement when searching for material, is it easy to get caught up in a thread or see a thread or worse start up and go completely off tangent, sure…were all human.
Its purpose…like a lot of things, is a tool or a resource but its beyond that. Perhaps for some its no more than that, but for many it may give you some context or some perspective on a topic that you had previously ignored or were not even aware of.
Whatever it is and its value are up to the user, to me it is priceless and I wish to thank you all for your input to it.

In no real order…

  1. Networking and coordinating with members from other teams, various FIRST organizations, and industry (NI, Sun, Luminary Micro, etc.)

  2. Keeping up to date with FIRST-related happenings and discussions. CD is about as comprehensive as it gets.

  3. Seeing what other teams are doing. What works in a FIRST context, what doesn’t work in a FIRST context, what am I going to be seeing a lot of at Regionals - it’s all part of the research that goes into making an effective competition solution.

  4. Historical purposes. I enjoy looking at years-old threads to see what the talk was about. I also enjoy reading my posts from years ago and watching how my own opinions and feelings about FIRST have changed over the years.

  5. A place for honing (technical) communication abilities. From time to time I like to give a detailed technical answer to a question not only to help others, but to also dust off my writing skills.

  6. A resource that is frequented by experts in almost any subject. Most non-robotics questions here get the same exceptional responses that FIRST-focused ones get. I have gotten my interest piqued in many topics that I would have otherwise had minimal exposure to without reading these types of threads.

  7. Entertainment. Caption contests, jokes, photos, etc. There are many smiles and laughs to be had here.

  1. What is valuable here in CD and why is it valuable to you?

I use Chief Delphi as a research tool. I get design ideas, utilize their media section for white papers and pictures, and investigate new designs from other teams here (from which I shamelessly steal to improve our robot :slight_smile: ).

  1. What do you contribute?

Hopefully, I contribute answers to other teams technical questions. More often than not that falls within the labview / programming spectrum because I am the team’s programming mentor, though I have a degree in mechanical engineering.

  1. What are your favorite aspects of CD and why?

My favorite aspect of CD is the flow of information from experienced teams to newer teams. Conversely, my most un-favorite portion of Chief Delphi is the flow of information from any poster that is either ill-informed or simply rude/snarky/horribly formatted and typed.

I often wish that a mandatory portion of signing up on Chief Delphi required an email authentication system that utilized a mentor from each team as both an approver prior to allowing people membership and a policeman that could be contacted on any given team to directly address issues with posters.

  1. If you are a veteran CD member and think that it has changed - what has changed, why, and what can be done about it?

I’ve watched Chief Delphi since my first ‘First’ year of '97. As the community has expanded I’ve seen an influx of newer and generally younger members. The board has changed somewhat from what used to be a collection of more technically oriented individuals. This goes back to point #3, in that many of the newer members do not seem to understand that this is not a personal facebook or twitter forum. It is a technical forum where spelling, grammer, punctuation and style are all important and valued.

  1. (I’m adding one here). Potential improvements: I’d like to see a re-vamping of CD Media with drill down style topic menus that allow people to read through associated topics without simply utilizing the search feature.
Only if this is assumed to be a technical forum. Chiefdelphi is one of the few ways where FIRSTers can exclusivley connect to one another. It may not have started that way, but it is that now. This is one of my favorite things about CD, the interaction of people thousands of miles apart, who all share a similar interest, collectivly communicating in one location. It is here that one can truely see how FIRST is differant in each region. It actually was here that I truley got my first taste of GP. 

If CD only featured techinical discussions then it would almost turn into a Q and A where experianced mentors would do most of the talking, as they are the ones with the answers.  It would be an analog of the FIRST Q and A, just unofficial and with sharing of designs. Oh and pictures... those help too. CD would lose some of its value and flavor.

Nothing should be taken away, but more should be added and those additions should not hinder that which is already in place. No one is forcing you to read the posts from “any poster that is either ill-informed or simply rude/snarky/horribly formatted and typed.” (not sure how to double quote…sorry) just skip them. It is their loss that you did not reply or didn’t read the post.

Great thread Jane. This is a topic that is long due for examination and the results may be a bit interesting.

  • $0.02

When I joined Chief Delphi this year, I was just hoping to somehow gain insight on robotics and FIRST from people all across the world. I knew you could ask for technical help there, but I thought that was all it was. I was, obviously, wrong. CD has proved to be so much more. I love to see people from teams that I recognize (33, 67, 1189) and look up to talk about deep issues like this thread, and fun odd stuff like http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=85964. Then, I can post in a technical forum and get help almost instantly on some problem that’s gripping me.
As well, seeing what others have posted on CD (like the rash of 6WD chassis designs recently) gives me inspiration to pursue my own projects, like a special backpack I’m working on that’s basically going to sum up all of the skills I have learned this ‘first’ year, as well as try new things with the robot for next season. Most of all, robotics has given me some fun things to do in life, and then I feel that CD is a natural extension of that – a market square where ideas from all of life can be tossed around, molded, and put back in to whoever’s hands who want it. For instance, I didn’t really know what Gracious Professionalism was until I read on CD about the wonderful things teams have done to really embrace that spirit.

errr…You forgot semi-valid excuse to avoid your actual work. :slight_smile:

I have to agree with most of what was said above including the thanks to Jane who always seems to have the most interesting and thought provoking posts and threads.

I like the variety in the threads from the technical to the humorous and the philosophical. I am constantly amazed at the quality of the site and the people that contribute. It has added to my enjoyment of my first year of FIRST but it is also a great resource for learning.

As for Tom’s comment about spelling, I would tend to not let it bother me except that after 30 years in the workplace I know how one misspelled word will distract the reader from the intent of what was written. I think that since FIRST is partly for training it is important for students (and some adults) to get used to using proper grammar and spelling.

I just wish there was a Chief Delphi for real life.

That goes without saying.