THE NON-profit 'Code for America' gives programmers an opportunity to lend their expertise to state and local governments. The effort has resulted in applications that have solved some nagging and pressing problems.
Parents in Boston complained bitterly, for instance, about the needlessly complex enrollment process for public schools. To sign up their children for school, parents were forced to navigate a Byzantine 28-page pamphlet seemingly designed to confuse. What's more, the process made it difficult for parents to make smart choices about schools based on criteria they considered important, such as proximity and user ratings.
But this year all of that changed.
A Code for America fellow taking a break from a tech career as a chief technology officer and entrepreneur, saw the problem, mapped out a solution and wrote a Web application, Discover BPS, that has a simple, easy-to-use interface and includes all manner of sorting capabilities.
He did this in two months, by himself.
>Read more about an elegant solution for government IT problems here.
>Takle a look at a gallery of Code for America solutions here.