2IBM’s 10th Anniversary Awards Event
The 10th anniversary awards event was held in New York March 24. IBM is playing a role by establishing relationships with schools to teach the skills companies need, and locating talent in student and professional communities. This year’s Master the Mainframe—part of IBM’s Academic Initiative—drew 8,100 students from all over the globe for a hands-on, no-experience-necessary contest. Students can log on remotely to participate in three parts: part 1 takes 1 to 2 hours to complete; part 2 requires 10 to 20 hours to complete; part 3 requires weeks to months to complete.
3Solving Real-World Business Problems
As students complete the three parts of the Master the Mainframe contest, judges evaluate their results and reward those who move on to the next step. Each phase becomes more difficult, beginning with basic mainframe navigation to finishing a project that tackles a real-world business scenario. In the final challenge in this year’s contest, students were asked to analyze a set of credit card data for a store. Kevin Matesi, the 2014 U.S. and Canada first-place finisher, built in a fraud-detection feature to flag fake credit card numbers.
Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems, discussed the mobile economy. Mobile is changing everything, from the way we interact and conduct transactions. Over the past decade, there has been a 37x increase in mobile transactions per day per user. Programming and application development skills are becoming increasingly important with the explosive growth in mobile transactions that create even greater demands on company IT systems to quickly and reliably interact with consumers.
The z13 mainframe is built to support 2.5 billion transactions per day. Launched in January, the 13th generation of the IBM mainframe was built to support a data-heavy economy in which billions of transactions that consumers rely on take place every day. The z13 is the first system to double the speed of real-time encryption technologies to help protect the transaction data and accelerate response times. Each of the 10 largest insurers, 23 of the largest 25 airlines, 92 of the top 100 worldwide banks and six of the 10 top global retailers rely on the z13 for transactions.
6Meet the Master the Mainframe Winners
The winners are as follows: first place: Kevin Matesi, Northern Illinois University; second place: Joseph Bloom, Deerfield (Illinois) High School; third place: Jeremy Krach, University of Maryland; fourth place: Hongzhe (Henry) Liu, Algonquin (Massachusetts) Regional High School; fifth place: Steven Hoover, Syracuse University. Steven is a graduate student studying information management at Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies. He recently accepted a job with Wells Fargo working with the mainframe.
7In the Winner’s Circle
The winners received a new tablet computer and an expenses-paid trip to New York for the March 24 awards ceremony and tour of IBM labs in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. Ross Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems, and Maria Boonie, vice president, IBM z Systems Operating Systems & Firmware Development, spoke at the awards ceremony.