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IBM Announcements Focus on Skills

Master the Mainframe sees record-setting year; access the LinuxONE Developer Cloud at no charge

12/2/2015 3:00:49 PM | The IBM Academic Initiative program has made two recent announcements focused on an investment in the mainframe and education. The Master the Mainframe contest is reaching more countries and students than ever, and the LinuxONE Developer Cloud is announced, providing access to the new Linux system at no cost.

Master the Mainframe Grows

The 2015 IBM Master the Mainframe contest is taking place in 47 countries, including 18 new markets through the end of December. Participation in the coding event is expected to reach a record number 13,000 students. Participants not only gain hands-on, marketable skills but also a better understanding of how mainframes are used in the real world.

Since its inception in 2005, the contest is aimed at high school and college students who want to learn about the mainframe, with no prior experience necessary. It’s run by the IBM z Systems Academic Initiative team, whose goal is to help students enter enterprise computing careers.

Divided into three parts of increasing difficulty—breaking the ice, practical experience and real-world challenge—the contest challenges participants to go from gaining a basic understanding of an enterprise OS to coding a program that addresses a real-world IT problem.

The mainframe is the world’s premier data and transaction server. 80 percent of the world’s corporate data resides or originates on mainframes, and the platform is needed for 55 percent of all enterprise applications to complete transactions. Speaking of, 30 billion business transactions are processed on a mainframe every day. Couple that with the fact that the z Systems platform is empowering the mobile generation and the world’s most efficient and trusted cloud system, and it’s easy to see the importance of the mainframe now and in the future. This Master the Mainframe contest ensures students have the skills needed to work on the world-class system.

Top winners of the country contests will be invited to participate in the 2016 World Championship. In many countries there’s still time to begin as long as the tasks are completed by Dec. 31. Read more about this year’s contest and key dates and countries for participation. Read about the impact Master the Mainframe has firsthand in an interview with the 2014 Master the Mainframe World Championship winner.

LinuxONE Developer Cloud

IBM LinuxONE Developer CloudIBM is working with Marist College, Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies and Leipzig University in Germany to launch the LinuxONE Developer Cloud, a program giving developers and students access at no charge through the cloud to a LinuxONE system to create and test applications. The systems will be at the partner institutions, with Marist live Dec. 2 and Syracuse and Leipzig to follow.

The LinuxONE system is a new family launched in August enables for open-source software and that of ISVs and IBM. Today, 80 of the top 100 z Systems clients use Linux, and 27 percent of all mainframe capacity in the market—more than 8 million MIPS—now runs on Linux. Read more about the new system.

Read the news release about the Master the Mainframe contest and LinuxONE Developer Cloud.

Photo information: (Top) Master the Mainframe 2014 participants gather in New York. (Bottom) Marist College School of Computer Science & Mathematics students (from left) Paula Batoon, Dominic Rosillo and Charles Hill inspect the school's IBM LinuxONE system. Marist is one of three universities around the world that will host the IBM LinuxONE Developer Cloud, which provides developers access to a virtual IBM LinuxONE at no cost to create and test applications. IBM also is working with academic and corporate partners to host a Master the Mainframe programming contest in 47 countries this year to reach next-generation developers. (Jon Simon/Feature Photo Service for IBM)

Valerie Dennis is site editor of Destination z.

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