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Active Participant
Christina_R
Posts: 305

How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

When setting out to learn LabVIEW, or when starting to use a new area of LabVIEW (e.g. events, VI Server, etc.), what approach do you prefer?

I am interested in hearing about your past experiences with the various kinds of learning resources.  In particular, I would like to know which approaches were the most enjoyable and which approaches (not necessarily the same ones) were the most effective (i.e. made you successful with LabVIEW).

Here are a few of the kinds of resources I would like your opinions on:
  • Presentations (e.g. at NIWeek or special events around the world)
  • LabVIEW documentation (e.g. the Getting Started with LabVIEW manual, Help, or other manuals)
  • Example VIs
  • Developer Zone or other areas of ni.com
  • Other web sites
  • NI Tech Support
  • info-labview, OpenG, LAVA, or other user groups/forums
  • Books
  • Training courses
  • Video tutorials

Christina Rogers
LabVIEW R&D
National Instruments

Christina Rogers, Senior Software Engineer, LabVIEW R&D
Trusted Enthusiast
rolfk
Posts: 4,570

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

[ Edited ]


Christina R wrote:
When setting out to learn LabVIEW, or when starting to use a new area of LabVIEW (e.g. events, VI Server, etc.), what approach do you prefer?

I am interested in hearing about your past experiences with the various kinds of learning resources.  In particular, I would like to know which approaches were the most enjoyable and which approaches (not necessarily the same ones) were the most effective (i.e. made you successful with LabVIEW).

Here are a few of the kinds of resources I would like your opinions on:
  • Presentations (e.g. at NIWeek or special events around the world)
  • LabVIEW documentation (e.g. the Getting Started with LabVIEW manual, Help, or other manuals)
  • Example VIs
  • Developer Zone or other areas of ni.com
  • Other web sites
  • NI Tech Support
  • info-labview, OpenG, LAVA, or other user groups/forums
  • Books
  • Training courses
  • Video tutorials

Christina Rogers
LabVIEW R&D
National Instruments


My order of investigation usually goes as follows:

1) Look at the online help
    This usually is not enough to fully understand how everything works but it gets a basic idea about the feature or
    functionality.
2) Look for an example in the LabVIEW installation
    This may provide some additional insights although they often are not as easy to find and if you don't find one you
    are never sure if you just used the wrong search term or if there is really nothing
3) Look for discussions and examples on LAVA, OpenG, and NI DevZone in that order
4) Experiment and try to understand everything by trial and error
5) Discuss whatever problems you came up with collegues and eventually with Info-LabVIEW and LAVA users.
6) When finding things that seem to account for a bug inform NI tech support
7) If that doesn't solve the problem so far and there seem to be no workarounds start to debug and disassemble
    whatever might be needed to get the project running.

Rolf Kalbermatter

Message Edited by rolfk on 02-16-2006 09:42 AM

Rolf Kalbermatter
CIT Engineering Netherlands
a division of Test & Measurement Solutions
LabVIEW ArchitectLabVIEW ChampionLabVIEW Instructor
Active Participant LuI
Active Participant
LuI
Posts: 453

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

I'd like to second Rolfs statement and add some reasons and motivations.  Rolf wrote:
My order of investigation usually goes as follows:

1) Look at the online help
    This usually is not enough to fully understand how everything works but it gets a basic idea about the feature or
    functionality.
2) Look for an example in the LabVIEW installation
    This may provide some additional insights although they often are not as easy to find and if you don't find one you
    are never sure if you just used the wrong search term or if there is really nothing
3) Look for discussions and examples on LAVA, OpenG, and NI DevZone in that order
4) Experiment and try to understand everything by trial and error
5) Discuss whatever problems you came up with collegues and eventually with Info-LabVIEW and LAVA users.
6) When finding things that seem to account for a bug inform NI tech support
7) If that doesn't solve the problem so far and there seem to be no workarounds start to debug and disassemble
    whatever might be needed to get the project running
.

The author of the online help usually has som implicite knowledge about the feature that is not shared in the help article (I don't think by intention, but by not knowing the background of the readers).  So those articles describe the properties of the feature, but not necessarily their intention (how its intended to be used). So the user (me) has to find out how to use that feature to work _with_ LabVIEW and not _against_ it.
Examples usually provide that info. I'd love to see more of those, showing severals intended utilisations of the feature.
Peer discussions can help a lot, while NIs tech support (as good as it is, no Q) is usually far to slow for such kind of problems.
As a mid-aged male I am not soo good in multitasking and prefer to finish one 'construction site' before opening another one. So a support request can sometimes stop my devellopment ;-((

Greetings from Germany!<br>-- <br>Uwe
Member
gb119
Posts: 47
0 Kudos

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

Personally, I start with the printed manuals over a cup of coffee, away from my computer (I find I take in information from a printed page much more efficiently than reading things from a screen), then I try to make some test case experiments. If I get stuck with these then I refer to the online help and the provided examples. Really awkward things I have a look at internet based resources - using NI tech support, LAVA and OpenG pretty much equally. If all else fails then I'd turn to info-labview.
--
Gavin Burnell
Condensed Matter Physics Group, University of Leeds, UK
http://www.stoner.leeds.ac.uk/
Member
bogdani
Posts: 83
0 Kudos

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

Hi
I can say what I done to learn LabVIEW few years ago.
 
I start to watch as many examples as I can and analyse them, and learn how to solve different problems in LabVIEW.
I also read and watch materials from ni.com especially presentations and question on forum.
That I work few nights to solve my problems and after few projects I can say that I know in some way LabVIEW.
 
bogdani
Trusted Enthusiast
Albert.Geven
Posts: 3,323
0 Kudos

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

Hi Christina

I second Rolf and Uwe's approach.
e.g. I started out with the example on Xcontrols in LV8 and now I need more information, The document I found somewhere helped me to implement my own Xcontrol but I had a hard time looking at why is this event happening and when does it happen. Until I understood a little about the events that probably are very natural for a labview developer !.
The thermometer example is one thing but do you have more examples already and a discussion on the possible events.
I still have trouble to when to update a display feature and it is not as easy to use yet as a control developed by NI.

Another problem in this special case is where to leave the developed Xcontrol? Where to put the project where to put the doc etc.
The problem is of course what structure is right. All stuff in an .llb simply does not look ok for me anymore and the project already looks structured but my folders don't.

So I like to learn from examples with a red line of going from easy to difficult and with a real idea what structures are kept in mind when developing this stuff.

Greetings from an again wet country, the cold is over and skating is not getting gold medals today.

 

greetings from the Netherlands
Trusted Enthusiast
Henrik_Volkers
Posts: 2,191

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

Started to read the LV3.1 User manual and function reference (Yes, there was a printed manual:smileyhappy:)

(in these days I had an hour train ride to my desk, so a lot of time to read)

I still prefer paper to learn!   But I see that this would be hard to handle nowadays. :smileywink:

Now LV8.0 is knocking on my PCs drive (but it was the same before)  and take a look in the box: The what's new in LV8 booklet is a shame!

All the NI programmers that put so much work into LV8 and you only can find most of it by accident or because you get a hint here and there in the forum. All these new features just named at the end of this booklet (and isn't  there even more??). I'm shure I missed some nice concepts and ideas behind some of these new stuff. :smileysad:

Now,  how do I want to learn the new stuff ? 

#  Application notes and slide shows to give me an idea of the new concepts

# In deep articles (now mostly buried in answers by the experts in the forum)

# the complete handouts of all your training courses :smileyvery-happy::smileyvery-happy:

(Since my boss won't let me go to all of them)

 

Have a nice weekend

 

Greetings from Germany
Henrik

LV since v3.1

“ground” is a convenient fantasy

'˙˙˙˙uıɐƃɐ lɐıp puɐ °06 ǝuoɥd ɹnoʎ uɹnʇ ǝsɐǝld 'ʎɹɐuıƃɐɯı sı pǝlɐıp ǝʌɐɥ noʎ ɹǝqɯnu ǝɥʇ'
Active Participant
Jim_Kring
Posts: 1,744

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

I like to learn LabVIEW by sitting down next to someone and watching them code.
Thinking in G
Member
dambored
Posts: 21

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

Hi Christina,

One method I would like to see is to be able to right click on any function select example and have it open an example and hightlite the section of code, like highliting in the complare VI's.  It could still open the LabVIEW help but I think it would be benefitial to allow this to go directly to an example.  The one click approach.

I remember back when I started to learn LabVIEW, back in 1994, it was painful.  There wasn't he resources available that there is now.  I think I relied on example code, I don't really remember.  For new people we give the LabVIEW basics 1 and 2 books and give them 2 weeks to go through them.  Once they are done they use our standard code and learn from that.  I know for new things I often don't have the time to go find the documentation and read it.  More often that not viewing a quick example will give me enough information to use the function in some sort of capable fashion.  New things like Xcontrols, I will eventually figure out by reading and trying.

Dean
Active Participant
EdDickens
Posts: 1,707

Re: How do you like to learn LabVIEW?

My general approach is to find an example that's close to what I need (shipping example, Dev Zone, OpenG, LAVA...) and just start experimenting to see what I can do.

If I can't get it to do what I want, I'll resort to reading from the various resources available.

Ed


Ed Dickens - Certified LabVIEW Architect - DISTek Integration, Inc. - NI Certified Alliance Partner
Using the Abort button to stop your VI is like using a tree to stop your car. It works, but there may be consequences.