FIRST Robotics Competition Blog

The Great Registration System Crash of 2016

Sep 22, 2016 Written by Frank Merrick

I am so sorry for the trouble we experienced with initial event registration today. We at FIRST HQ really do understand the investment of resources teams make to participate in our programs, and teams have the right to expect that we will be holding up our end of the deal by making things happen like we say we will. We failed to do that in this instance, and once again, I apologize.

While we did perform extensive load testing on the servers in preparation for this event, something still went wrong. Our Information Technology Department has been working feverishly since the crash to puzzle this out and come up with a plan to prevent recurrence. It’s not yet clear that it was the registration load per se that actually caused the problem. The system crashed immediately, before even a single team was registered, and this is strange behavior.

As you hopefully know from our tweets, Facebook posts, and emails, we are postponing initial registration until next week. Our goal is to be able to announce the specific day and time for registration before the weekend begins, so you can make appropriate plans.

Another goal we have is to be open and honest about what caused this issue and the steps we are taking to correct it. Our IT department has said they will do a guest blog explaining the situation in detail as soon as we have the facts.

Once again, I am sorry. Despite this issue, I do believe we have a great season ahead of us!


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No worries, stuff happens.

Move regestration to a weekend. Many of my fellow head coaches are industry professionals or teachers. We have to take time out of our already busy day to complete regestration. Moving the regestration to a weekend would help a lot of us coaches. Mike Lins Head coach 2169

Why not use one of the alternate methods that do not require a first-come/first-served (everyone hit my server at the exact same second) approach?  There are known solutions that are at least as fair (if not better) than the current approach and do not require teams to be on-line at the same moment (since there really is no good moment that works for everyone anyway).  It is a more relaxed approach that requires a small fraction of the computing resources I'm sure you are putting towards doing it using the current method.  I'm happy to go into details off-line if interested.

Each team submits a list of locations online in order of preference. The system enters the interested teams in an electronic list and randomly selects the first drafts.  Rookie and veteran spots can still be handled this way and no bandwidth issue since not a time based selection process??? Teams without any spot after first rounds given to a new lottery of remaining places before any team get to pick second spot, thoughts???


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