VexCode vs C++

Hi everyone,
New teacher here! My students will begin programming this week and some people suggested using VEXCode rather than VEX Coding Studio - any thoughts or suggestions? Would VEXCode be easier for beginners to understand? I’m teaching high school, V5 - EDR - they are building the clawbot. My knowledge of coding is honestly pretty minimal as I had started the VEX Certification as many had suggested and they stopped the Certification process to work out bug unfortunately.
Thank you!
Catherine

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If it’s just a claw of, VCS should be fine, however that’s because VCS is restrictive in what you can do. For example, you can’t make pid loops. I recommend VexCode so students can get familiar with an ide they may actually use in a competitive season. Also, PROS is a c++ library created by the team at Purdue. Basically, all the really good teams use the library because it allows people to bypass the limitations of vexcode and VCS. However, if your students are new to coding, PROS might be too much to take in at once, so I would recommend VEXCode.

I’m a coach and not a super stellar or experienced programmer - but serve as the programming coach formy team. We used VCS last year and there were some distinctive drawbacks - such as the inability to open more than one program at a time, inability to print directly from VCS, inability to wirelessly upload programs and inability to “include” functions (this results in crazy spaghettie code that is easy to mess up with just one “{” error). Plus, VCS upgrades and support were slower than promised last year. I had the team switch to VEXCode this year. We downloaded it this week and have limited experience. It fixes some of the drawbacks of VCS and has a nifty autofill function. Limited sample programs (so far) and I readily couldn’t find on-line manuals and support. I’ve been told it exists - but haven’t found it yet. VCS has a panel with all command choices - I did not see that with VEXCode - so that is a VEXCode drawback for.

So, in summary, as a novice programmer, neither make me “jump for joy.” My understanding is that VCS is not being supported in the future. In that case, it makes sense to move to VEXCode which will still evolve and be improved.

There are other options that I’m not as familiar with (RobotMesh and Pros). I’m sure others with more knowledge will chime in on those. For me, programming is kind of the weak link so far with V5 - if you are a novice.

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If you have not already downloaded it, I believe VEX Coding Studio is no longer available. They have essentially separated VCS into VEXcode V5 Blocks (Very similar to scratch) and Text. Both are relatively new, but they work great and are getting scheduled updates.

V5 Blocks is very easy to use and has a ton of example programs and tutorials. I would definitely recommend that for first time programming.

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Assuming you are planning on doing text-based programming (which I would recommend for high school), VEXcode and VEX Coding Studio use the same VEX C++ API. This means code is interchangeable between the two, and neither will come across as necessarily easier than the other purely based on the code.

The main differences between VCS and VEXcode are the IDEs. In a nutshell, VCS pales in comparison to even Notepad++ as an IDE, but VEXcode looks and feels similar to the increasingly popular Visual Studio Code IDE (they are both based on the same underlying platform).


You may also want to investigate Robot Mesh Studio. It may integrate better with your classroom, and it supports other languages like Python and JavaScript in addition to C++.

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To elaborate, students’ projects in Robot Mesh Studio are automatically saved online, and the teacher edition lets you see the projects of all the students you have created for your class with no fuss of submitting and shuffling files around.

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