IBM MASTER THE MAINFRAME 

IBM Master the Mainframe

Encouraging innovation and education in mainframe computing.

IBM Master the Mainframe

Leaders today and tomorrow

IBM MASTER THE MAINFRAME WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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The IBM Master the Mainframe contest is an exciting opportunity for students to gain real-world experience using enterprise computing skills. Hosted at high schools, colleges and universities all over the world, this unique mainframe computing contest is designed to equip students with mainframe knowledge, and challenge their skills in a hands-on coding experience.

To compete in the Master the Mainframe contest, no experience with mainframes is necessary. In fact, the contest is designed for students with little or no mainframe experience, increasing with difficulty as the contest progresses. Students just need to bring drive and competitive spirit, and they will be ready to compete. With a growing demand for a new generation of enterprise computing professionals, participation in Master the Mainframe contests could give students the career edge they need.

Who can compete?

Anyone who is currently a student at the high school or university level can compete — no experience is necessary! To compete, students must have an educator at their institution enrolled in the IBM Academic Initiative. Students, ask your educator to follow the instructions on the Educators tab or contact us. By enrolling, your educator will gain access to IBM products and resources at no charge.

What experience will I gain?

Today’s mainframes are growing in popularity and require a new generation of mainframe experts. By participating in an IBM Master the Mainframe contest, students will be equipped with basic skills to make them more competitive for jobs in the enterprise computing industry.

To help employers connect with the best mainframe students, contestants are encouraged to check out the jobs posted on the System z job board.

What is the mainframe?

The mainframe plays a central role in driving things that touch our lives every day. In industries such as banking, finance, healthcare, insurance, retail, utilities and government, the mainframe continues to form the foundation of modern business. In fact, the mainframe processes over 30 billion transactions per day! With unprecedented longevity, the mainframe drives progress, and makes the extraordinary possible.

When is the next contest happening?

To find out when your region is hosting a Master the Mainframe contest, please check “Find a contest” for more information.

How the contest works


Part one: Breaking the ice

IBM will provide contestants with screenshots and directions to guide students on exactly what to do. This helps acquaint each contestant with navigating the mainframe user interface, introduce them to basic mainframe concepts, and get each student more comfortable with different aspects of the mainframe.

Part two: Practical experience

Utilizing the skills each contestant learned in Part One, the students will perform extensive programming (advanced commands, system setup, and advanced system navigation) and application developing (C, JAVA, COBOL, assembler and REXX) tasks, as well as hands-on experience with multiple operating systems (Linux on System z, z/VM, z/OS, z/TPF).

Part three: Real-world challenge

This is the most challenging stage and requires the contestants to work over weeks and months. Tasks from this stage are taken from real life situations encountered by experienced systems programmers, along with challenges designed to identify the contestants with the most drive and determination.


Past Master the Mainframe contests

2013

Argentina

Bolivia

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Ecuador

India

Paraguay

Peru

Poland

Puerto Rico

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

2012

Argentina

Australia

Austria

Bolivia

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Ecuador

Germany

India

Mexico

Paraguay

Peru

Poland

Russia

Spain

Switzerland

Taiwan

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

2011

Argentina

Australia

Bolivia

Brazil

Canada

Chile

China

Colombia

Ecuador

Germany

Kazakhstan

Mexico

Paraguay

Peru

Russia

Switzerland

Taiwan

Turkey

Ukraine

United Kingdom

United States

Uruguay

Venezuela

2010

Australia

Brazil

Canada

France

Mexico

Netherlands

Taiwan

United Kingdom

United States

2009

Australia

Brazil

Canada

Taiwan

United Kingdom

United States

2008

Australia

Brazil

Canada

United Kingdom

United States

2007

Benelux

Brazil

Canada

Denmark

Finland

Norway

Sweden

Thailand

United Kingdom

United States

2006

Canada

United Kingdom

United States

2005

Canada

United States

Contact IBM

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

Hardware

IBM provides world-class IBM mainframe technology to help today's enterprises respond quickly to evolving business conditions and with extreme flexibility. From automation to advanced virtualization technologies and open industry standards, IBM mainframes help deliver competitive advantages for enterprises contributing and succeeding on a smarter planet.

Operating Systems

IBM System z servers are supported by a multitude of operating systems, such as z/OS, z/VSE, z/TPF, Linux on System z and the z/VM hypervisor.

Solutions

IBM's technology, solutions and industry expertise can help you find the competitive edge with a sharper understanding of your customers. Our System z solutions combine the foundation of IBM hardware, software and middleware with flexible financing and packaging options to help your business meet and overcome the challenges of doing business in the on demand world. IBM can help you develop a customer-centric view—and assist you in delivering the right solution and the right products.


Additional resources

 

2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship highlights

 

View the System z Job Board

To see or post your own System z job opportunities, visit the System z Job Board

Facts about Master the Mainframe

Over 68,000 students have competed in Master the Mainframe Contests worldwide since 2005.

In the US & Canada, registration has grown each year for nine straight years.

Master the Mainframe has given students hands-on experience with four different mainframe operating systems.

38 countries from 6 continents have run Master the Mainframe contests.

In 2013, over 2,000 high school students joined the US & Canada Master the Mainframe Contest.

Get your school involved

Find out how your school can compete in Master the Mainframe

 

My Mainframe career begins now!

Dontrell Harris of MetLife shares his experience with IBM's Master the Mainframe contest at Mainframe50. (00:04:48)