FIRST Robotics Is Not Just for Technical People
Hey, what up? My name is David and I'm an alumni of FIRST Robotics Team 3528, UpNext from Kansas City, Missouri. I was a student for three fantastic years while being apart of the communications, build and design teams.
When I first joined the team, I was skeptical because I had no idea how to build anything. I didn't consider myself a technical person to say the least and I had no prior knowledge in engineering, math, or programming; I was honestly afraid of joining the team because it might turn out to be a horrible idea.
Fast forward three years and it was one of the best decisions of my life. I learned so much, made some awesome friends and gained skills that I still use to this day.
The reason I tell this story is because when I explain to people that I was on a robotics team, they often reply with something like, "wow, that must need a lot of technical skills!" or, "dang, you must know a lot about engineering." When I hear things like that, I often happily reply, "no, you don't have to know anything about engineering; you actually don't have to be uber smart either!"
You see, FIRST Robotics is NOT just for engineers, programmers, or any tech smart person. It’s also for business people, photographers, videographers, marketers, graphic designers, and any other non-technical people. Yeah, learning the technical side is important and I believe everyone should learn it, but sometimes we forget FIRST is for everyone. It is an environment that welcomes anyone with any amount of skills, knowledge, or expertise in any area. If you're looking to join first, freaking do it!
Sometimes we forget FIRST is for everyone
Like I stated before, I was on the communications, design, and build teams. I have always been passionate about making things look good through design, so when I joined the team, I found myself creating the team logo, helping design the website and creating promotional material. As time went on, I did learn to get my hands dirty. My mentors showed me how to cut metal, mount motors, and use math to make things work. And it was awesome! Even though at first I was anxious and didn't think this whole robotics thing would work out, I found out that I fit in perfectly. If I look back now, I know I was fearful of the unknown. But now I know that was the wrong attitude to have.
FIRST Robotics teams are like businesses if you think about it. They have many aspects to them. There are communication teams, marketing teams, multimedia teams, programming teams, and so on. Whatever your skills, knowledge, or passions, I promise you that you'll fit right in. FIRST Robotics is for everyone.
If you want to learn more about how your team can excel in the non-technical side of FIRST, I created FRCNation to guide you through that process. I am using FRCNation as a platform to share what I have learned about communications, branding, marketing, multimedia, business, and leadership. I do his through providing free content that encourages any FIRST team to use these mediums to stand out and be unique.