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A big thanks to all the developers.

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  • A big thanks to all the developers.

    Tomorrow’s the day.

    It’s the day that a whole bunch of people get to see the new control system and its software for the first time. Most have been blissfully unaware of all the work that has occurred to get to this point.

    It’s also the day that a bunch of us have to stand up in front of the eager masses and convince them it’s going to be OK.

    Some of these masses will be eager for new and exciting experience. Some will be terrified of the implications of the change.
    The people presenting the new system to these masses are the “Front Line”.

    I volunteered to present the Android Studio track at the MD Kickoff, and I’m giving at three sessions: Two basic and one advanced.
    I did this without having any prior Java or Android Studio experience.

    Why would I do this? Am I insane? Maybe. But I knew that there would be a lot of coaches and mentors that would be in the same boat as me, and I wanted to learn the process ahead of time so I could give everyone the best start they could get. Developers who are very familiar with leading edge tools, often don’t understand what problems rookies will have grasping the concepts.

    I knew it was going to be tough, so I started my learning process early by going to the World Championship and spending a lot of time in the FTC Showcase room (bugging Tom and Jonathan).

    The early release of beta code was a huge help in letting me discover what I didn’t know. Seeing what other more advanced developers could do with the code was also a huge benefit. I needed to get past “what am I doing?”, and get to “why in the heck did they do this?” My job was to try and discover what didn’t make sense, find flaws, expose weaknesses and then do my best to get reasons for them, or get them resolved. This is the only way I know to really understand a new system, and along the way it also makes that system more robust. It’s peer review where you can’t be fired for being too critical.

    When I’m on the trail of a problem, I know I often can’t let go. Being direct and stubborn are my ways to get to the heart of an issue.
    So I’m apologizing now to anyone I have annoyed or offended by my doggedness during this process.
    I know I can be a PITB when it comes to software testing. My first boss taught me “All you need in life is a red pen and a cynical outlook”. I think it stuck

    Do I think I’m ready for tomorrow? Not really, but I’m giving it my best shot.
    I think I’ll be able to get the information across in a logical way, and move most participants in a direction best suited to their needs and capabilities.
    Most of all I think I’m ready to answer their questions. Lots of them.

    So, once again, thanks to all the designers, developers, testers, and companies, who brought us this new system.


  • #2
    I wish we would have met at Worlds. I think you've been great
    on the forums and your feedback has certainly improved the
    software. And that's the bottom line.

    FIRST is built on the backs of a few thousand dedicated
    and fantastic volunteers. You are one of them. You
    should feel good about helping to make this transition a

    Good luck tomorrow. I'll be at the LA kickoff, maybe loitering
    in the back heckling our software workshop presenter.


    • #3
      @Phil - Good Luck


      • #4
        For the most part I agree with Philbot. But I am disappointed that the final SDK is not ready at kickoff...When are we going to see it?


        • #5
          Hey Phil.

          Given your dedication and your attention to detail I am certain your presentation at the MD Kickoff will go well. Thank you for all of your feedback and support. The new software is big project, and this community has helped greatly.

          - Jonathan


          • #6
            Thank You Phil for taking the time to point out all of the things that did not seem to make sense and investigate possible issues. We are all better for it. Your focus on how to make the system function in competition will be greatly appreciated by all the teams. Those like me who have a challenge following through on a detailed test plan have an understanding of how great your efforts have been. Thanks again.


            • #7
              Dr. Phil, your posts are a MUST READ.

              Many thanks to you and all the other contributors to this forum for your valuable info and insights!

              - Alec


              • #8
                Thanks to Tom Eng, and Jonathan Berling and his people (and to Qualcomm) for making the transition from the NXT (which made our teams have a great "disliking" to it) to Android.

                Thanks Philbot, and skatefriday and to everyone else on this forum, for helping everyone out.


                • #9

                  Your presentations at MD's kick-off yesterday were very good. Thanks for sharing your insights with MD teams, but also on this forum. The switch to a new technology is a lot less daunting due to your efforts.