Prioritizing Entrepreneurial Technical Skills

Skills-infographicA Great Example of a Visual Resume of Technical Skills

A spiritually and materially fulfilling life depends upon a lot more than narrow technical skills and the income they can garner.  FIRST LEGO League emphasizes a lot of the life skills like teamwork and presentation skills that often prove more valuable than narrow technical skills (although together these soft and hard skills can prove to have multiplicative value).

Given that disclaimer, I’d like to isolate and focus on exactly how to prioritize the hard technical skills we could learn in our FLL off season this year.  I’ve been putting a lot of thought and research into exactly what would be the optimal mix of skill enrichment I could introduce this Spring/Summer prior the start of our August 25th Trash Trek Field Kit Release.  It’s a multidimensional problem that weighs a number of resource-competing factors against each other:

* cognitively most appropriate for 9-14 year olds (eg what level of mathematical modeling is appropriate)

* inherently most interesting (eg game programming)

* specialized skill sets (eg UX and infographic design)

* likely tools we’ll need to execute on an innovative Research Project (eg android and iOS app design)

* core tools we’ll need for FLL (eg extremely robust error-detection/recovery robot programming)

* balance between breath and depth of teaching given our limited time

* the limitations of our physical resources (eg lab space, laptops, operating systems)

Not to be left off the list are my concerns about what are the core, most valuable and most interesting technical skills I’d like to convey that will prove useful well beyond FLL and perhaps spark a life-long interest in some aspect of STEM.

computer-centric-skill-value-average-salary-value-of-skill_chartbuilder-1A Current Narrow but Quantitative Market Measure of Specific Technical Skills

Here is my evolving list of topics I’m thinking of covering or at least introducing in a way that gives kids a systematic way to think of the tools available and how to select among them and combine them to achieve their ends.  Hopefully this will give a layout of the land and help them to envision an original architecture for their Research Project this fall.  This is basically an Entrepreneurial STEM life-skills course outline that I’m developing from scratch – much of which I wish I had someone provide me when I was young.


– Psychology/Self Assessment/Career Objectives/Resume

– Entrepreneurship Ecology and Scholarship

– Economics

– Research

– Strategy and Tactics

– Financials

– Business Plan

– Patents

Technical Management

– Agile Development

– Technical Documentation

– Project Management

– Code Coordination / Management

– Bug Reporting / QA Improvement Process


– LEGO Robot Visual Programming

– Multi-Level Error Detection and Correction

– Fundamentals of Programming

– Data Analysis/Mathematical Modeling/Machine Learning

– Virtualization and Cloud Services

– Database

– Web Server Config / Web App Design

– Mobile and Table App Design

– UX Design

– Infographics

– Game Design

– Social Networks

– DIY micro controllers/computers and sensors

Obviously I cannot devote the time required to cover all these subjects in depth.  Currently, I estimate I can introduce one or two main topics as the focus with most of the other topics slipped into the mix in the most general terms.  As we progress, specialize our team roles and more clearly define our Research Project I hope various individuals take interest in and ownership of key technologies needed to execute on the group’s vision.

skillbubblesTactically and Strategically Representing Skills

resume-infographicInsights to help kids be Proactive rather than Reactive in Identifying and Pursuing Interests


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