Aussie students offered chance to show off IBM mainframe skills

Prizes include Kindles and iPad 2s

IBM is once again offering budding Australian programmers, who have a hankering to work with mainframes and are aged 18 years or older, the chance to tinker with IBM System z mainframe servers.

Now in its fourth year, the contest is aimed at preparing Australian university students for the growing enterprise IT industry and a future career in mainframes.

The IBM ‘Master the Mainframe Contest 2011’ is comprised of three stages, including operating the mainframe user interface, systems programming and application development.

Students are tested for technical, problem solving and collaboration skills in real life enterprise computing tasks, and will have remote access to a System z mainframe server to perform the programming tasks.

IBM Australia development laboratory director, Mike Schulze, said in a statement that participation and completion of the complex programming tasks offer students a "unique opportunity" to build their skills set and gain an academic edge.

The contest is part of IBM's Academic Initiative for System z, a global project that is designed to support colleges, universities and businesses to develop mainframe and large enterprise skills for employment with companies.

The contest opened on 1 August and will end on 31 October, 2011. Prizes include ‘Master the Mainframe’ t-shirts for the first 100 contestants to complete part one of the contest, Amazon Kindles for the first 14 contestants to complete part two, and Apple iPad 2s for the top three people to complete the third part. Winners will be notified via email by December.

University students who are up to the challenge can visit the IBM Master the Mainframe Contest 2011.

University of New South Wales undergraduate Derrick Teo took out the winning prize last year, beating approximately 460 university students across the country.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Techworld Australia on Twitter: @Techworld_AU

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Tags IBMMainframescompetitionIBM mainframesIBM System z mainframe serversMaster the Mainframe Contest 2011

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