Leaders today and tomorrow. IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship. Leaders today and tomorrow. IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship.

Current Standings Current Standings

First place: Selvakumar Vairasamy - Canada
Second place: Vladislav Gorbatiuk - Ukraine
Third place: Ricardo Patino - Colombia

First place: Selvakumar Vairasamy - Canada
Second place: Vladislav Gorbatiuk - Ukraine
Third place: Ricardo Patino - Colombia

Start Your Engines: The 2016 z Systems Master the Mainframe World Championship! The 2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship was a spectacular success as the world watched 42 finalists representing 22 countries competing for honor, glory, and of course prizes. Global corporate sponsors like Visa, Metlife, First Citizens Bank, and BB&T Bank were happy to judge the submitted results from the students and provide individualized feedback that tied back real world computing challenges that companies face everyday. This invitational event turned out to be more than a global coding competition for top notch college students studying computer science. This event was an opportunity to build expertise, to tour IBM's z Systems world class manufacturing plant in Poughkeepsie, to hear directly from young professionals already employed in lucrative enterprise computing jobs, and to foster a network of business relationships that for many contestants continues even today. Get ready, the next z Systems Master the Mainframe World Championship will occur in 2016 and will include more contestants, additional countries, and new and exciting app-building challenges...all of which run on IBM z Systems. Watch this space for more details in 2015. If you are interested in the World Championship, sign up for one of our country level Master the Mainframe contests on the Find a Contest tab or send an e-mail to us at: zskills@us.ibm.com Top winners of the country contests will be invited to participate in the 2016 World Championship. Now that's something to look forward to!

The 2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship highlights 2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship highlights (00:01:29)

The IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship was a first-of-its-kind, global competition. IBM brought students from countries around the globe to IBM in New York City to compete in this premier enterprise coding event.

The top 6 winners of the World Championship

First Place

  • Yong-Siang Shih

    National Taiwan University
    Score: 3407

Second Place

  • Rijnard van Tonder

    Stellenbosch University
    South Africa
    Score: 3329

Third Place

  • Philipp Egli

    University of Brighton
    United Kingdom
    Score: 3186

Fourth Place

  • Mugdha Kadam

    University of South Florida
    United States
    Score: 3031

Fifth Place

  • Shahini Sengupta

    RCC Institute of Information Technology
    Score: 2977

Sixth Place

  • Aaron Call Barreiro

    Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Score: 2840

Champions converge from around the world


The IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship 2014 brought together the next generation of mainframe all-stars. Out of 20,000 IBM Master the Mainframe student contestants, 43 Master the Mainframe winners that had demonstrated superior programming skills on the mainframe were selected to compete on the world stage, representing schools from over 23 different countries around the globe.

Competitors sharpened their programming skills, cultivated advanced development tools, and learned how the mainframe platform supports Cloud, Big Data & Analytics, Mobile and Security initiatives. Using that knowledge the competitors were tasked to build a business application on the mainframe. This application was presented to a diverse panel of judges representing the IT industry in New York City on April 7, 2014. Competitors were announced at the IBM 50th Anniversary event held on April 8, 2014, with special recognition for the Top 3 Winners.

Competitor Prizes

Rewards, honors and prestige.Rewards, honors and prestige.

All participants received expense paid trip to New York City for the period of April 5th, 2014 through April 9th, 2014. This includes coverage of air fare, a hotel designated by Sponsor (double occupancy) and meals. Participants who rank in 1st , 2nd and 3rd place in the Contest (collectively, “winners”) will receive trophies and prizes, including a laptop computer (Approximate Retail Value [ARV]: 1,829.49), directly from the General Manager of z Systems at the 50th Anniversary of the IBM Mainframe event in New York City on April 8th, 2014. All participants will receive competitive recognition plaques for their participation in the event.

Academic Initiative


The IBM z Systems Academic Initiative holds competitive coding contests, and enables students around the globe learn enterprise computing skills. The z Systems Academic Initiative holds regional IBM Master the Mainframe Contests in which winners compete to qualify for the Master the Mainframe World Championship. Through the Initiative, IBM has worked with students, professors, businesses, and universities to provide mainframe training and curriculum resources at over 1,000 schools in over 67 countries. The program also sponsors the Master the Mainframe contest, which has drawn over 68,000 competitors since its inception in 2005.

The IBM z Systems Academic Initiative has evolved alongside the technology that it supports. As the business community advances enterprise computing – Big Data, Analytics, Cloud and Mobile – new skills will be required from the workforce. To help the new generation of students learning on the mainframe, IBM works with professors and academic institutions to reshape curriculum and teachings.

Students who compete in the IBM Master the Mainframe Contest will get unprecedented exposure to a wide variety of enterprise systems, software and products. Professors from around the world who are enrolled in the IBM z Systems Academic Initiative gain access to the newest mainframe systems and enterprise computing software, exposing students to the future skills required in enterprise computing.

Contact IBM

Students, educators, parents, or organizations looking to get involved in Master the Mainframe, please contact us.


Infrastructure matters. Businesses turn to the IBM mainframe for unmatched security, operational efficiency, speed, seamless scale, and lower cost per transaction. The IBM z System, the world’s premier data and transaction engine, is enabled for mobile, integrates transactions and analytics, and delivers efficient and trusted clouds.

Operating Systems

IBM z Systems supports multiple operation systems:


The IBM z Systems portfolio of solutions, along with IBM's deep industry expertise, helps organizations like yours reinvent enterprise IT for mobile, analytics, cloud and security.


IBM z Systems combine leading-edge innovation and unparalleled capabilities to power cloud, business analytics, mobile applications, and the most important workloads.


Additional resources


IBM z Systems Job Connector

See or post your own z Systems job opportunities


Business partners speak about the contest

"Anyone with a passion for technology – whether its big data, security, cloud or analytics – can find it working on the mainframe. No other platform delivers such an endless set of technologies and opportunities. As IBM advances the mainframe platform and CA Technologies provides the software innovation to run the mainframe, the possibilities grow exponentially."

Michael Madden,
General Manager for Mainframe
CA Technologies

"The mainframe is the bedrock of many of MetLife’s core systems. As one of the largest global life insurers we are excited to see IBM continue to develop global talent around enterprise computing. Good luck with the contest."

David Ditillo,
Vice President, Regional Application Development – Americas
MetLife Insurance

"IBM’s Master The Mainframe Contest enabled Visa to recruit students with mainframe computing skills - a critical success factor in extending the reach and capabilities of our network while at the same time enhancing the security of payments and maintaining high volume / high availability. Without the IBM Master The Mainframe Contest, perhaps we could have found students with aptitude – but participation in this program demonstrates a student’s interest in mainframe computing which, to us, translates to a wise long-term investment."

Jeff Gill,
Senior Director, Switching Systems
Visa Inc

"In a world where so many see the need to chase a fad, some things are just fundamentally correct. In the case of large scale computing, the mainframe has proven to be clearly fundamental to business. That is why BlueCross BlueShield South Carolina continues to innovate and drive our business on the mainframe and now helps lead the charge, along with IBM, in supporting the advancement of academics to address the need for growing IT talent."

Lonnie Emard,

"The Master the Mainframe Contest is a great way to get the millennial generation excited about enterprise computing. I've been following the contest for a number of years and had success hiring from the contest and z Systems Academic Initiative."

Martin Kennedy,
Managing Director, Global Enterprise Systems