ARMONK, N.Y., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced the expansion of its Master the Mainframe Contest to include a first-ever IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship competition. As part of IBM's ongoing commitment to develop the skills of a new generation of mainframe experts, the competition will highlight the modern capabilities of the mainframe, designed to handle today's complex Big Data, Cloud, Security and Mobile computing workloads.
The Championship is designed to assemble the best university students from around the globe, who have demonstrated superior technical skills through participation in their regional IBM Master the Mainframe Contests. Out of the 20,000 students who have engaged in country-level Master the Mainframe Contests over the last three years, the top 44 students from 22 countries have been invited to participate in the inaugural IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship. This innovative group of students will spend the month of March entrenched in the Systems of Engagement concept. They will deploy Systems of Record mainframe business applications written with Java and COBOL using DB2 for z/OS API's, demonstrating how the Systems of Engagement concept takes full advantage of the platform's superior capabilities. These students will showcase their applications on April 7, 2014 in New York City where a distinguished panel of judges will determine which student earns the distinction of "Master the Mainframe World Champion." Representing the United States are Mugdha Kadam from the University of Florida, Elton Cheng from the University of California San Diego, and Rudolfs Dambis from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. "The Master the Mainframe Contest is a great way to get the millennial generation excited about enterprise computing," said Martin Kennedy, managing director, global enterprise systems, Citi. "I've been following the contest for a number of years and have made successful hires from both IBM's Master the Mainframe Contest as well as their System z Academic Initiative program. I envision a World Championship such as this generating momentum in academia and making educators take a second look at the mainframe in enterprise computing." To kick off the World Championship, IBM has launched the Master the Mainframe World Championship website. The site profiles each student 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. "The Master the Mainframe Contest opened many doors for me," said Dontrell Harris, a previous Master the Mainframe contestant. "I was able to translate my knowledge of the mainframe and evolution of key computing workloads into a successful internship experience and hope to parlay those 'in demand' skills into a career upon graduation." 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 zEnterprise mainframe, which can be found in virtually every industry, from banking and transportation to healthcare and government provides businesses with a highly secure platform to manage new and emerging workloads, help speed time to market, reduce costs and stimulate business growth.