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Introduction to Learn to Code For Beginners

Web development, programming languages, Software testing & others

Thankfully, modern-day coding is a lot easier than it was before. For non-developers, learning to code can seem very daunting. But there are a lot of tools online, both free and paid, that make it easier to learn to code. Depending on the time available, you could learn to code in eight to ten weeks. It could take longer or even less. It’s all up to you, but learning coding is not as far-fetched and impossible as before; it is doable.

Here is a look at some of the steps and key things you need to follow and know to learn to code. Explore more about these online, and you can quickly create your prototype. Remember to keep learning and practicing, though. Constant practice is what makes any developer better.

How to Learn Code for Beginners?

Following are the steps to learn code for beginners:

1. Introduce Yourself to the Key and Code Terms

For many people, what makes coding seem confusing is its terminology. To familiarize yourself with the key terminology of coding. The key challenge to building a prototype is that there are a lot of components to know about. Here’s an overview of some of these components, but remember that it may take time to understand them fully. Sometimes, you may not understand them completely, even after you build your prototype.

Let’s understand these components by describing the entire process of a user visiting a website. First, they type in your website address or URL. Once they press enter, the browser sends a request via the internet to a machine that runs the website. This machine is the server.

Server: Servers are essentially computers that contain all the content, data, and coding to run your website. It receives requests from other client/user computers. You could buy your server, which is expensive, or you could rent storage on them, which is what most individuals or small/medium enterprises do. Amazon Web Services, Slicehost, and other popular web hosts are available. The server contains software that handles the user request. This software is called a web server, our next big component.

Web Server: Web Servers are software on your server that receives and sends requests and responses from and to the user. The requests and responses are usually in HyperText Markup Language (HTML), the universal language on the internet. Nginx and Apache are popular web servers. While you do not have to get your hands dirty too much on web servers, you need to know how to restart the server since server issues are the type of problem any web developer or website operator faces. So now we know what a server and web server do. The user sends a request to the server, and it’s time for the server to respond. The server must deliver data specific to the client’s request and display it in a format its web browser understands. How does it do that? It sends the request to our next major component: the web application framework.

Web Application Framework: Web application frameworks are probably the most important component for a web developer. They are responsible for receiving requests and generating an HTML page to be sent back to the user. All the work is done here. Ruby on Rails and Django, the built-in Python, are popular and best examples. When we talk about the best code to learn for beginners, you will spend most of your time because all the coding will happen. It is not super-critical to learn every detail about the framework you choose; you’ll get the hang of it over time and practice. You need to know enough to develop data structures and loops. For tools, you can do most of your programming on Textmate. GitHub is a good option for managing your revisions. So, the web app framework does all the hard work but doesn’t store the data. Where is all the databased? At the database: our next major component.

HTML and CSS: HTML is the universal format for web pages, and Cascade Style Sheets or CSS is the additional file used to style the HTML. This is one of the most accessible parts of learning to code. It is not programming, but knowing this can give you a huge edge. You could be ready to write your HTML page within weeks. As for tools, Firebug on Firefox is one of the best tools for learners. PSD2HTML is also recommended to turn Photoshop files into HTML.

JavaScript: JavaScript is the sixth and final component, a programming language running on the user browser. This means it is a ‘client-side’ programming language that can manipulate the site content without the user reloading the entire page. It is not a necessary component, but most websites use it to improve the user experience significantly. It would help if you learned to use jQuery, a library written in JavaScript that makes it easier to do the user interface things on the page. Just know enough about jQuery to achieve the improvements that you want.

2. Familiarize Yourself with the Development and Production Environment

You will have a development and production environment when you launch a website. The development environment is basically where you will work on your prototype. Regular users won’t have access to this part of your site. It is essentially a working version of your website with code et al. running on a local machine. This is better done on a Mac than on a PC.

3. More Acronyms and Terms

There are a lot of other acronyms and terms used regularly while coding. Now that you know the major components, these acronyms should be much easier to understand and fit into the larger picture. Here is a look at some of the most popular ones:

Perl, Java, PHP: these are programming languages like Ruby and Python

XML: it is a format similar to HTML and is typically used by APIs (see below)

JSON: Short for JavaScript Object Notification, JSON is another format for putting data much easier than XML. Most APIs can deliver JSON and XML formatted data if you wish.

4. Learning Python

Now that you know the terms, acronyms, and major components, it is time to roll up your sleeves and learn some coding. Start off with an introductory understanding of Python and whatever web app framework you choose to work with. If you choose Python, here are some good options:

Google Python classes: Many videos and notes are available here as associated exercises. Solve these exercises independently until you get them right without referring to the answers. The whole experience of struggling with the exercises can be a huge learning tool.

There are lots of other resources available online. It’s recommended to join a few of them and do the first few lessons from the options available before you select one. Once you complete one resource, you can go through others to find unfamiliar concepts and get more practice.

5. Learning Django

A Django Tutorial can help you learn almost everything about the tool. Work through the tutorial to form your code, delete it all, and work through it again. Remember that practice makes perfect. The first time you follow the tutorial, you will probably follow the step-by-step instructions without actually understanding each step. As you do it more often, you will get used to the concepts and better focus on how the parts work together.

6. Learning more about Python and general programming

Intro CS class from Udacity: The courses generally have seven self-paced sessions, so don’t worry about deadlines. The Intro CS class typically takes two months, and it is highly recommended that you go for the intermediate programming class after this or the web development class too.

Intro CS course, Unit 1 from MIT: This is well-taught and approachable. Search more online to find more such resources, and sample them to find out what works best for you. You could even do more than one to strengthen your knowledge.

7. Practice, practice, practice

Now you should have all the skills and knowledge to build your prototype. But it’s not going to be easy. And you will probably not succeed right away. Start with some exercises in Django, for example. They are not as hand-holding as the Django tutorial, but they give enough guidance for those not yet ready to take off the training wheels.

8. Build the prototype

You have the skills, knowledge, and practice. Now it’s time actually to build your prototype. At this point, you could build it within a weekend too! Bear in mind you may not like the final results, but it is a starting point, and at the end of it, you get the satisfaction of seeing the results of your coding.


By the end, You will go from ‘What’s coding?’ to building a functional prototype. That’s worthy of praise right there. But remember that the journey is far from over. It’s just starting. Continue to build prototypes as and when you can, and try different ones. Keep going, and you could become a formidable developer within months.

You can also get into the more complicated components, like the webserver and database. Even if you do not become a core programmer per se, you will still have a clear understanding of how the development process works and can give clear and relevant inputs to a development team. Moreover, you would better understand what can be done and what is impossible, and how long it would take to get things done.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to How to Learn to Code For Beginners. Here we discussed the basic concept and 8 different steps to learn coding for beginners in detail. You can also go through our other suggested articles to learn more –

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Windows Is Stuck On Welcome Screen

When the Windows 11/10 computer boots up, it displays a temporary Welcome screen which is nothing but a blue screen with Welcome written on it and spinning circle of dots. At times, this screen stays longer and sometimes permanent that you end up force rebooting the computer. If you do not get to the login screen, and Windows 11/10 is stuck on the Welcome screen, then follow our troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.

Windows 11/10 stuck on Welcome screen

Restore Windows 11/10

Run SFC and Chkdsk commands

Create a new account in Safe Mode

Force Automatic Repair or perform it manually

Reset Windows 11/10.

One of these methods should help you fix the problem. Make sure to check if the problem exists by performing a normal boot.

A similar experience happens when  Windows 10 device starts on the Welcome Screen and as “Other user.” DWM gets killed all the time, and once in this loop, the session gets terminated, which causes to be logged in as Other User.

1] Restore Windows 11/10

If the problem started occurring recently, and you have a restore point of earlier days when it was working fine, then I would suggest use System Restore. The process will bring back the system files, which may have gone corrupt, and the welcome screen will not be stuck anymore.

Related: Windows is stuck at the Lock Screen before login

2] Run SFC and Chkdsk commands

The best way to run these commands is to boot into Safe mode as an admin user. Then you can run the SFC and Chkdsk so it can fix any corrupt system files which could be causing Windows 11/10 to be stuck on the Welcome screen.

Open Command Prompt, and then use either or both of these options

SFC or System File Checker: sfc /scannow

Chkdsk or Windows Disk Check Tool command: chkdsk /f /r

Let the command complete its execution, and if there is a problem which it can fix, it will be reported fixed.

3] Create a new account in Safe Mode

Restart and boot Windows in Safe Mode.

Create another administrator account. Logout, and log in with the new account

Delete the previous user account.

Reboot normally and check if the solution worked.

This solution was reported to be working. You might have to reinstall applications if it was not installed for everyone.

4] Force Automatic Repair or do it manually

You can either force automatic repair or do it manually. If you plan to do it manually, you need to boot into the Advanced Startup option, and then follow options as explained below.

5] Reset Windows 11/10

It’s the last method we can suggest if nothing works. After all, you need to use Windows. Follow our detailed guide to find how you can reset Windows. Remember, after reset, you will have to install all the applications. If you choose to keep files and folder, all the personal data will remain untouched.

Before you go ahead with Reset, make sure to take backup up of all your files into an external drive. In case the Reset gets interrupted, you will not end up losing relevant data.

One of these steps will fix Windows 10 from getting stuck on the Welcome screen. We hope it was easy to follow them, but they need an admin user. So make sure to get help if you are not an admin user or do not understand the technicality.

If you need more helps, take a look at this post – Windows 11/10 is stuck on loading some screen.

Fix Error Code 0X80070003 & Resume Your Windows Updates Now

Fix Error Code 0x80070003 & Resume Your Windows Updates Now Fix Windows Update errors with our tested solutions




The 0x80070003 update error usually arises due to issues with OS itself and can be fixed in no time.

Restarting associated services, for instance, Windows Update, can help here.

Other fixes include modifying the Registry and manually downloading the update, as described below.



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

Have you tried updating your device only to get an error message on each attempt? You might have noticed that in some cases, the Windows Update process stops at around 50% and gives you the error code 0x80070003.

What is error code 0x8007003?

Like any other Windows Update error, 0x80070003 prevents you from downloading the latest version of the OS. Here are some of the reasons why you might encounter the error:

Issues with the related services – There are several critical services that need to be running for the update process to go through, in the absence of which, you are likely to get the error.

Corrupt system files – In some cases, the error arises due to corrupt system files, which can easily be fixed by running the DISM tool and SFC scan.

Misconfigured Registry – Oftentimes, all it takes is making some minor changes to the Registry to get the update process up and running.

Problems with the Windows Update components – WU components play a critical role in the update process, and any issues here can trigger errors.

Here are other variations of the error:

We couldn’t install this update but you can try again (0x80070003) – Here, you can try restarting the computer and verifying that the critical services are all up and running.

Windows failed to install the following update with error 0x80070003 – A variation of the update error, and the solutions here should help fix things.

Error code 0x80070003 Visual Studio / IIS (Cannot read configuration file) – Check whether the folder name matches the path for the virtual directory.

Error 0x80070003 the system cannot find the path specified – In this case, users get the 0x80070003 Backup error.

0x80070003 error code Windows install in Windows 7/10/11 – Error encountered while installing Windows.

0x80070003 SCCM – Seen in Configuration Manager during the SCCM content transfer.

Failure error code 0x80070003 – Modify the registry as we have shown below in order to fix this failure error.

Status_wait_3 0x8007003 – Manually download each Windows update that you want to install in order to avoid this issue.

Without further ado, let’s just jump right in!

How do I fix error code 0x80070003?

Before we head to the full-fledged solutions, here are a few things you can try:

Restart the computer.

Disable any third-party antivirus or firewall installed on the computer since these could be blocking the update.

In case the two don’t work, try the solutions listed next.

1. Modify the Registry

Windows updates can run into trouble due to corrupted registry files, so you may need to change your Registry settings. Apply the provided steps below without changing other files.

1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type regedit in the text field, and hit Enter.

3. Paste the following path in the address bar and hit Enter:HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesWIMMount

6. Now, press Windows + E to open File Explorer, paste the following path in the address bar, and hit Enter:C:WindowsSystem32drivers

7. Verify you have the chúng tôi file here.

8. Finally, restart the computer.

Once done, check if you can now download Windows Updates without encountering the 0x80070003 error.

2. Run the Windows Update troubleshooter

If you want to fix update errors and other issues with ease, Fortect is a great tool that you might want to consider.

⇒ Get Fortect

3. Run the DISM and SFC scan

Corrupt system files are a likely reason you are getting the 0x80070003 update error in Windows, and the SFC (System File Checker) scan and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool should do the trick in this case.

4. Restart or stop the Windows Update Service

This solution usually works, but if you’re having issues with services, check out what to do when the Windows Update service isn’t running.

In case the previous methods didn’t work, it could be corrupt Windows Update components to blame. Here, the simplest solution is to reset the Windows Update Components.

You can do that by running a batch file or manually executing the commands. The process is usually quick and highly effective at eliminating the 0x80070003 error with the KB5007186 update.

6. Manually download each update 7. Perform an in-place upgrade

This is by far the most effective method to fix the 0x80070003 error. And remember, the installed applications and stored files won’t be affected during the process.

1. Run a quick SFC scan

If you have followed the steps above carefully, the error code 0x80070003 should be fixed by the time you reach this part.

In case the problem persists, you have no option but to reinstall Windows 10, and remember, you will lose the applications and files stored on the computer.

Also, you may use a reliable Windows Update repair tool and fix all such errors automatically and in no time.

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32 Low Code/ No Code Statistics From Reputable Sources

We’ve written about low code app development and no code AI and no-code RPA before. We highlight the importance of low code technology using statistics and facts on low code development. In this article, you will see statistics about:

Low code market forecast

70% of new applications developed by organizations will use low-code or no-code technologies by 2025, up from less than 25% in 2023. (Gartner)

41% of businesses have active citizen development initiatives and 20% of those who don’t are either evaluating or planning to start citizen development initiatives (Gartner)

About 79% of businesses build a web application with citizen development within a year. (Gartner)

Half of all new low-code customers will come from business buyers outside the IT organization by the end of 2025. (Gartner)

Nearly 60% of all custom apps are now built outside the IT department. Of those, 30% are built by employees with either limited or no technical development skills. (451 Research)

Why does low code matter? Low code app development

IT is the second-largest area for businesses to address potential skill gaps after data science. (McKinsey)

The average software developer salary in 2023 was more than $100K a year in the US. Though no-code solutions don’t fully replace a developer functionally, they help developers focus on more difficult projects and they cost significantly less than hiring a new developer. (U.S. News)

82% of firms say custom app development outside of IT is important. (451 Research)

Between 2023 – 2023, more than 500 million apps will be created. That’s more than the previous 40 years combined. (IDC)

Low code AI development

40% of companies state AI technologies and expertise are too expensive. (Deloitte)

The average data science salary is $101k. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

83% of businesses say AI is a strategic priority for their businesses today yet, there is not enough data science talent. (Forbes)

As of 2023, there are three times more data science job postings than job searches. This promotes businesses to invest in citizen data scientist practices for AI development. (Quanthub)

Benefits of low code

Low code/ no-code solutions have the potential to reduce the development time by 90%. (Redhat)

The average company avoided hiring two IT developers using low code tools. This reaped about $4.4 million in increased business value over three years from the applications designed. (Forrester)

Low-code development use cases

Schneider Electric launched 60 apps in 20 months, with most delivered in 10 weeks. (Bloomberg)

Ricoh replaced legacy systems with a low code platform which helped them achieve a 253% ROI and a payback in just 7 months. (Bloomberg)

thinkmoney delivered a modern mobile digital banking experience in just 14 weeks. (Bloomberg)

Facts about low-code industry

We have identified 223 low code platforms for development and 13 low code platforms for developing machine learning solutions.

42 vendors of low-code development tools primarily structured as PaaS (platform as a service).  (Forrester)

“Ease of use” is the most used (20%) positive word describing low code / no-code development platforms based on data collected from customer reviews for all low code / no-code development platforms companies. (AIMultiple)

The most negative describing low code solution is” clunky” with being used in 5% of all low code / no code development platforms the reviews. (AIMultiple)

Funding raised by low code application development vendors

Low code has multiple meanings:

Low code application development tools are used to develop applications without relying on code. These applications are used by humans end users to complete forms or other process steps

Low code automation tools are used to automate tasks. They may or may not be used directly by human users, for example some automations (i.e. unattended automation) work in the background.

Here we focus on low code application development tools:

OutSystems has raised a total of $422.1M in funding over 5 rounds. (Crunchbase)

Mendix has raised a total of $38M in funding over 3 rounds. (Crunchbase)

ServiceNow has raised a total of $83.7M in funding over 6 rounds. (Crunchbase)

Appian has raised a total of $47.5M in funding over 2 rounds. (Crunchbase)

If you are looking for a low code/ no code/ codeless vendor, feel free to check our transparent vendor lists where sorting vendors by AIMultiple score shows the best solutions based on maturity, popularity, and satisfaction:

And if you still have questions on the topic, don’t hesitate to contact us:

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.





Looking For A Business Idea In 2023? Start With Your Purpose

Did you ever try to invent a business idea? Some entrepreneurs find the idea is easy to come up with. Perhaps it comes from a familiar industry or a problem the founder has personally experienced. However, not all entrepreneurs have a clear vision of what their business should do. Where do you start?

This element is a sense of purpose. It’s not just the driving force behind a business, but it can also be the seed for a business idea.

Purpose before problem

This alternative formula uses a sense or purpose, both personal and corporate, to first and guide the rest. Do not rush to create your corporate mission in a hurry and add it to your pitch deck. Instead, ask yourself these questions before you start:

What is my personal purpose?

What purpose would I like my business to work towards?

Which ultimate goals drive my ambition?

After you have some initial thoughts, you can explore further. The Five Whys method was first used to address a core issue in a corporate setting. You can use it for your own purpose-finding journey.

Ask yourself: “What is my personal purpose?” Find an answer. Next, challenge the answer by asking “Why?” You can do this five more times (hence the Five Whys) to get closer to your core motivations. This is important, not only for your personal self-awareness but also as an essential part of your business plan.

For instance, suppose you start with the accompanying answer: “My motivation is to be fruitful in work.” Why? Perhaps this is on the grounds that you’d be cheerful if things worked out positively for your work. Why?

It may be the case that you can perceive what your work means for other people, and this gives you a feeling of pride. Why? Since you need to take care of your job that is important. Why?

Since you need to feel like your work adds to the world, or offers back here and there. Why? Perhaps you need to feel like you left the world a superior spot, and that your work mirrors the qualities you put stock in.

There’s no set-in-stone manner to work through this technique. It’s anything but a device to assist you with investigating your goals in more profundity. You don’t need to wind up with an answer about changing the world, by the same token. On the off chance that it’s significant to you (for instance, living with credibility, dealing with your family, or interfacing with your local area), it ought to be incorporated.

Back to business

Suppose you’ve revealed a basic feeling of direction, or you’ve taken a gander at your own main goal in somewhat more detail. What next? There several different ways you can utilize a feeling of direction to direct a strategy.

To begin with, you can get back to the conventional model of discovering an issue in a current market and afterward looking for an answer — however this time, take a gander at it through the viewpoint of direction. Taking a wide model, if your motivation was to “make joy for other people” (getting from The Disney Institute), you can take a gander at your market issue through this viewpoint.

How is it possible that you would discover an answer for your concern that would serve a useful, benefit-driven result, yet in addition fill your need of amplifying joy? Applying the reason focal point may lead you to an alternate method of resolving the issue, or an alternate way to deal with the issue out and out.

Second, you can utilize your feeling of direction to really figure the business thought itself, and find your market, issue and arrangement. Take magnificence disruptor Glossier for instance. Their corporate statement of purpose is to “democratize magnificence” and to “give voice through excellence.” The outcome, for Glossier, is a shopper-centered organization with an accentuation around inclusivity.

Yet, by beginning with the statement of purpose alone, you could conceptualize many different thoughts that work towards a similar reason. This is an interaction of innovativeness, and — in case you’re contemplating creating business thoughts for yourself — you can utilize your own feeling of direction as a beginning stage.

At last, you can realign a current business thought to mirror your own central goal and reason. Suppose you’ve effectively seen a market issue, discovered an answer, approved it with customers, and began to fabricate. A feeling of direction is as yet a significant piece of your methodology, regardless stage you’re at.

At this later stage, attempt to work out precisely the thing need you’re meeting for your clients or clients. This may go one level further than simply an item or administration. Consider qualities, experience, and individual association. From that point, you can work in reverse to perceive what sort of direction your organization serves.

The reason for reason

Why of the entirety of this reason looking for some kind of employment? With regards to the innovative way of life — extended periods of time, tirelessness, depletion — does having a feeling of direction help? Indeed, research shows that it does.

According to a down-to-earth viewpoint, incorporating a solid corporate reason into my own startup has given me clearness at each later phase of the interaction — in pitching to forthcoming financial backers, in figuring business procedure, and in giving me a dream for what’s to come.

On a more close to home level, having a feeling of direction can give the energy and drive you to need to keep chipping away at your business, for a long time, after quite a long time after year. When the underlying fervor of another venture blurs, and you’re left with the troublesome, reliable work of building your business, you’ll have a strong establishment of significance, mission, and reason to help you.

Start Your Humanoids: Today’s Darpa Robotics Challenge Is Historic, And Hilarious

The DARPA Robotics Challenge (DRC) Finals are simultaneously the most important event in the field of robotics in years, and one of the most childish things ever cooked up by the Pentagon. On the one hand, the two-day contest being held at the Fairplex in Pomona, California on June 5 and 6 is the culmination of a high-profile, three-year international competition, with twenty four teams of roboticists now competing for $3.5M in prize money.

Those millions are a fraction of the overall funding already provided to many of the teams by DARPA, the Pentagon’s research agency. The DRC’s goal is to foster the development of robotic first responders, systems that could rapidly deploy to disaster zones considered too dangerous for humans. “It’s important to have robots at the ready, that are fully hardened, that can be rapidly deployed in these cases,” says Tony Stentz, leader of Carnegie Mellon University’s DRC team, Tartan Rescue. “Unfortunately they aren’t very common, and the consequences can be high. When Fukushima happened, we realized that we didn’t have any decent robots that could go in there. If we had, they could have opened some valves, and released gas, and avoided some of the explosions that occurred.”

The human-centric nature of the eight known tasks that comprise the DRC has led to a thrilling design orthodoxy: nearly all of the robots are humanoids. Most walk on two legs, and manipulate their environment with human-like arms and hands. The few bots that aren’t bipeds, such as Carnegie Mellon’s CHIMP and NASA’s RoboSimian, either roll over obstacles, or scramble across them on all fours. And because DARPA has promised to squeeze communication signals to a trickle at some point during each robot’s time on the course, many teams have adopted a largely hands-off approach. A human might confirm which valve needs turning, but the robot will do the rest, determining how to approach, grab and rotate it. For systems that are not only walking on two legs, but navigating unfamiliar environments, this degree of autonomy is unheard of. Completing most of the DRC’s assigned tasks would be difficult enough during full teleoperation, with a team member constantly pulling the machine’s strings. Letting the bot control itself for long stretches is a profound leap of faith.

In addition to unprecedented robotic competence, the event promises to be a showcase for catastrophic incompetence. During the DRC Trials in 2013, the robots were equipped with “fall arresters,” tethers that prevented them from hitting the ground. The finals will feature no such fail-safes. In fact, falls are practically guaranteed. In order to win the DRC, teams must complete the most tasks in the shortest time. Bots are allowed two runs—one on Friday, and another on Saturday—but the emphasis on speed is bound to topple some systems. Will those unlucky robots survive their ordeal, and rise, triumphant, while the grandstands cheer them on? Or will they be hauled off the course, piece by expensive piece?

The DRC Finals are shaping up to be mix of cool robots doing cool things, and machines destroying themselves through slapstick. That’s the only hope for at least one or two systems achieving fleeting moments of human-level performance. If they can do that, they’ll be the kind of machines that have previously existed only in science fiction, and the first real glimmer of hope for a future populated by Rosie the Robot-style domestic servants. In fact, the competition isn’t even over, and it’s already made an impact on the field of robotics. In the run-up to the 2013 trials, Google essentially purchased whole sections of the DRC, when it acquired Boston Dynamics, the firm that DARPA had contracted to supply multiple teams with Atlas humanoids, and SCHAFT, the Japanese startup that wound up scoring the most points in the trials. But in a surprise move, Google decided to take SCHAFT out of the competition. Though no official reason was ever given, if Google hadn’t withdrawn, it might have been in the uncomfortable position of receiving more funding from the Pentagon, immediately after announcing that it wouldn’t be taking on any new military contacts. According to a current DRC team member, who did not want to be identified, this decision was good news for the remaining teams, joking that SCHAFT’s bot would have completed the DRC finals tasks “while holding a cigarette in one hand.”

Whatever its rationale for acquiring SCHAFT when it did, Google clearly changed the competition by pulling its frontrunner into the Googleplex. And if there’s any doubt that the DRC doubles as an open audition, consider that, when building its driverless car program, Google hired members from the top-scoring teams in DARPA’s last two robotics challenges. Those competitions—the Grand Challenge in 2005, and the Urban Challenge in 2007—are credited with kicking off the current race to build autonomous cars. With its broader focus on robots that can act as surrogates for humans, in environments built for humans, the DRC could attract investment in areas that are, at the moment, little more than discussion topics, such as machines that could function as live-in caretakers for seniors. And that’s just the most obvious example. The collective effort that’s gone into creating disaster bots can be applied to a wide range of other missions and classes of robots. In the coming days, our coverage from the finals will dissect the component parts of this landmark competition, and explore the major research areas and technical challenges that the DRC has both encouraged and paid roboticists to tackle.

If you want to watch this historic event for yourself, DARPA is livestreaming both days of the competition. Robots will be deployed in groups of four at a time, proceeding through identical versions of the course. It’s irrelevant who wins or loses those heats—all that matters is the robot’s task count and course time. Saturday should be more dramatic than Friday, as frontrunners emerge, and teams with slower times are tempted to take bigger risks. But consider yourself forewarned. As large as the DRC looms in the world of robotics, there’s a reason the finals aren’t being plastered across network TV. These robots are slow. The lack of safety tethers will add an element of suspense that was missing from the 2013 trials, and DRC program manager Gill Pratt has confirmed that there will be a ninth mystery task. Nonetheless, this is a research competition, not a sporting event, and the action will be intermittent, at best. So feel free to go about your weekend, doing what humans do in their spare time. We’ll be here in Pomona, keeping an eye on the robots.

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