what's the secret to making a good robot in robocode
- Understanding of the Java technology, including deep knowledge of Robocode API.
- Understanding of competition mechanics, like game theory.
Looking what other robocoders are doing helps a lot. Most strategies are a combination of the 3 elements above, but starting from where others are now is more efficient than trying to reinvent the wheel and figuring out everything by yourself.
How do you now where others are now? Browse this wiki, there is A LOT of information here. Reverse engineering code from the top bots also helps, but only after you are familiar with most of the concepts.