IBM launches its 'Master the Mainframe' competition

Australian students encouraged to enter IBM's annual mainframe programming competition

Attention programming students: the third annual IBM 'Master the Mainframe' competition is now underway.

Open to all Australian students aged 18 and older, the competition is designed to help participants learn mainframe skills and gain experience in the enterprise computing industry. Contestants work on mainframe servers, including IBM's newly released IBM zEnterprise 196 which the company says is its most "powerful and energy efficient server that includes support for more than 3150 Linux applications".

Glen Wightwick, IBM Distinguished Engineer and Director of IBM's Australian Development Laboratory, believes that the standard of the contestants will be of a very high quality. "The current generation of students are very capable in this field and it's important that IBM helps to make sure that we are sending them down the right pipeline."

The competition is based around three complex programming scenarios, with contestants having to deal with real-life situations encountered by experienced systems programmers. Contestants will have remote access to the IBM System Z mainframe.

Wightwick says that 160 contestants have already signed up to 'Master the Mainframe' and he is expecting around 300-400 participants in total. IBM says that more than 21,956 high school, college, and university students from 15 countries have participated in the "Master the Mainframe" competition.

"Successful completion of these programs gives students a significant advantage in the marketplace over peers in competing for jobs in the marketplace," said Wightwick.

The competition runs from 2 August until 31 October. This year's prizes include "Master the Mainframe" T-shirts and Apple iPod Shuffles; the final round winners will receive Apple iPad's. The winners will be announced within two months of the contest's completion.

Full-time and part-time students residing in Australia can register for the 'Master the Mainframe competition' at IBM’s Web site.

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