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Big Nerd Ranch Clash of the Coders: Projects

As the teams battle away on the Clash of the Coders, ideas are quickly becoming reality as developers are hard at work on their projects.

Some projects are, admittedly, utilitarian. Now is a great opportunity for devs to create in-house tools for use during the rest of the year. In a shop that caters to Android as well as iOS development, tracking and managing dozens of Android variations can prove a big challenge, as BNR works to create apps for many-shaped phones and tablets.

Other projects are all about the fun. One team is building a giant joystick, another electronically scrubbing already-started crosswords from the backs of those on-line airline magazines.

One of my favorite projects, however, is less technological than inspirational. The Carter Center has been monitoring the eradication of the guinea worm, a parasite that's been documented throughout human history. A Nerd Ranch team is working on an app to promote awareness.

In 1986, when the center first started its campaign there were 3.5 million cases reported across Africa and Asia. By 2012, that number had dropped to just 542. "Guinea worm disease is poised to be the next human disease after smallpox to be eradicated," writes the Carter website.

The team's app offers background, support links and -- if they manage to pull it off -- a countdown clock that reflects the success on the war of the guinea worm over time.

Do any of the teams have a lock on the win? It's still too early to tell.

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