Career trends: IBM rolls “Master the Mainframe World Championship”

IBM contest keeps mainframe relevant to new generations of potential IT recruits

IBM/Seth Reichelson, a teacher at Lake Brantley High School in Florida, with students during a mainframe programming class.
Keeping the mainframe relevant to newer, younger generations of budding IT workers as been an IBM strategy for years  -- a largely successful one at that according to most experts. 

Big Blue today announced another component of that plan with the IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship competition - a program that looks to gather the best university students from around the globe, who have demonstrated superior technical skills through participation in their regional IBM Master the Mainframe Contests and reward them with prizes.

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IBM says the top 44 of some of the 20,000 students from 22 countries who have engaged in the company's Master the Mainframe Contests over the last three years, have been invited to participate in the inaugural IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship.

Since its 2005 inception, IBM's Master the Mainframe Contest has enabled over 68,000 students to take charge of world-class enterprise platforms and showcase their talents while learning sought-after computing skills, the company says.

The championship-level students will spend six weeks entrenched in Big Iron business application development using Java and COBOL using DB2 for z/OS API's. These students will showcase their applications on April 7, 2014 in New York City where a panel of judges including experts from  from VISA, Syracuse University and MetLife Insurance to name a few -- will determine which student earns the distinction of "Master the Mainframe World Champion."

As part of the completion, IBM opened a Master the Mainframe World Championship website that offers student competitor profiles and provides a leaderboard so fans can follow their favorite contestant, school and country. In addition to the contestant's information, the website highlights the judges, who represent a cross section of the IT industry, and who are participating in the April 7th final championship event.

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