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Big Nerd Ranch Clash of the Coders: The winners revealed


The Clash of the Coders drew to its climax Saturday night as teams presented their projects and a good time was had by all.

In the end team Raisin' Elevens took the crown, laying claim to geek victory for the next year (plus an extremely generous equipment purchasing allowance). They created an app-testing utility that enables developers to evaluate the way users interact with their product.

Intended primarily for in-house use (although it could possibly be sold to third party developers sometime in the future), their project, Krendler, provides cross-platform interface recording.

Although superficially similar to products already out there on the market, Krendler's automatic web integration and beautiful view visualization truly set the app apart.

Well done to team Raisin' Elevens: Mark Dalrymple, Gregg Rothmeier and Steve Sparks.

Team Daedalus did not disappoint, although they just missed the crown and squeaked into second place. Their brilliant device management system is (cover your eyes, TUAWians) an Android-based solution for tracking test units.

Unplug any unit from the board and it immediately prompts you for your name. You type it in and the unit checks out in your name, with an associated web service tracking and monitoring that loan. Not sure who grabbed that Galaxy note? The Daedalus project had that covered.

My favorite part of this system, is how it offered a plug-to-sync simplicity. Plug the unit back, and it automatically checks back in. Brilliant. Team members included Chris Stewart, Eric Jeffers and Darren Pottinger.

In third place were the Wynners. (Yes. I tried to dock them five points for that name, but it didn't take.) Brian Hardy, Zac Stewart and Paul Turner created a OpenCV-based system to scan already-used crossword puzzles and transform them into ready-to-play versions. If you've ever been stuck on an airplane with a partly filled-in puzzle in the back of the flight magazine, you'll understand these developers' pain.

The scanned interface was ultimately beautiful and polished.

I want to mention two other teams of note:

"Team Edward" (Yes, I know) delivered one of the least sparkly (see what I did there), yet ultimately most important projects. Perhaps a bit overlooked, this team created an app to scan a web domain and produce an intelligently collected list of important words, phrases and names. You can then feed that list into a generation system to provide beautiful and exciting navigation tools. We only got to see the beginnings of what looks like a really promising project.

Finally, Team Spazberry Pi delivered the "we are such Apple geeks, we live and breathe and bleed in six colors" that most TUAW readers will be waiting for. They created a ginormous 4-foot-tall joystick that ran a game, where flying nerds had to fight off NSZombies.

No puns were spared.

Erica reported from Big Nerd Ranch's Clash of the Coders, the shop's annual internal developer challenge.

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