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IBM Master the Mainframe World Championship Exposes Top Students to Analytics and Data Storage

Master the Mainframe, Antonio Alvarez Rodriquez
Antonio Alvarez Rodriguez 2016 Master The Mainframe World Champion-Photo by Leah Fasten

The IBM Master the Mainframe contest gives students the opportunity to gain real-world experience using enterprise computing skills—no previous knowledge necessary.

Completing the contest’s final stage at the regional level is an honor of which to be proud. Being asked to participate in a Master the Mainframe World Championship is a special invitation extended to only the top finishers in each country.

And the Champion Is…

Of the 65 students from 26 countries who participated in the second Master the Mainframe World Championship that concluded in September, Antonio Alvarez Rodriguez of Spain was named the champion. Rodriguez recently finished his master’s degree in computer science at Universidad de A Coruña.

“I think having to be creative is always the best learning experience one can receive.”
—Antonio Alvarez Rodriguez, champion of the 2016 Master the Mainframe World Championship

He entered the contest in 2015 because he wanted to “learn new environments and discover what they are about. This is exactly what I have done with the mainframe.”

Rodriguez was excited to be selected for the World Championship, noting it has increased his motivation to learn new things as well as appreciate the unique opportunity and experience associated with the contest.

Regional contests focus on introducing high school and college students to mainframe technology as easily and creatively as possible. The contest includes three parts increasing in difficulty—learn the basics, practice and try challenges. Finishers of parts two and three can receive prizes and be introduced to clients looking for mainframe talent.

The first World Championship in 2014 coincided with the 50th anniversary of the mainframe, and took the idea of the regional contests to the next level, explains Troy Crutcher, lead, IBM z Systems* Academic Initiative.

For the second World Championship, the Academic Initiative team narrowed down finalists from the local contest level. “They go through extensive challenges and handle new technology. It shows that anybody, when given the right materials, can accomplish these pretty amazing tasks,” he says.

Valerie Dennis Craven is a Minneapolis-based writer and editor.



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