3 challenges and 3 phases– How Master the Mainframes helped shape my career
SandeepPerumbuduri 270003HW8Q Comment (1) Visits (9996)
By Sandeep Peurmbuduri
Software Developer, zAnalytics, IBM Cloud & Smarter Infrastructure
A contest that gives access to a mainframe system and the ability to work with various products on a Mainframe, the Master the Mainframe contest is a great learning experience for students who like to work on a Mainframe. It is an exciting opportunity which requires no prior mainframe knowledge to compete. With a great demand for people with enterprise computing skills, Master the Mainframe contest can boost one's career significantly. There is an increase in the usage of enterprise solutions and this increase requires an increase in the resources with mainframe programming skills to keep up with the demand.
I am one of the 68000 students across 38 countries so far who participated in Master the Mainframe contest. It helped me gain programming skills which were very significant in improving my career. After my participation in the contest, I had a great pool of opportunities in the System z industry open up for me.
Master the Mainframe is an outstanding programming contest that helped me build my career. I believe that learning is a key factor in one's career growth. I used Master the Mainframe contest as a tool to help me learn and gain new skills. And I benefited from the program in various phases of my career working in the mainframe industry.
As a student, IBM, known for its innovation and creativity, was a top choice to work for. When I learned about a program sponsored by IBM that helped students to gain skills to work for a company like IBM, I was very excited.
Master the Mainframe contest is a 3-part challenge which increasing difficulty as the contest progresses. The contest does not require any working knowledge of a Mainframe. The first part is an introduction to mainframe concepts and it will help students through navigating in a mainframe environment. The second part focuses on introducing various applications and products that are used on the mainframe operating system. The third challenge and most difficulty stage deals with presenting some real world challenges faced by System programmers and how those can be solved.
Completing the IBM Master the Mainframe contest helped me develop mainframe programming skills, gain working knowledge of some widely used mainframe applications, and ultimately secure a job at IBM to work in the mainframe industry.
After I started working for IBM, I noticed the significance of the knowledge that I gained through the competition. In a short duration after I joined IBM, I was able to understand how our product integrates with other applications on the mainframe and was able to make significant contributions in our team.
The contest was invaluable to me and I believe that it will be very helpful to other students as well. So, I signed up as a volunteer to work with the Master the Mainframe team to dry run the challenge, check the difficulty of the tasks and the clarity of instructions. I noticed that this was a great opportunity to learn about other products that are running on top of a mainframe. I work on a product that integrates with other products running on a mainframe. And this working knowledge of various products working on a System z environment eased my development responsibilities.
Through a colleague at IBM, I was introduced to the team that develops challenges in the Master the Mainframe contest. I was excited to utilize this opportunity to not only help students to work on new applications developed on mainframe but also to help myself go through the process of building a challenge with the skills that I developed so far.
I worked with my colleague to design and develop tasks for the part II and part III parts of the competition. We walked through the process of designing a task, balancing the difficulty of the task and the significance of gaining skills through the challenge, and presenting our idea to the team. It was a great experience working on developing challenges that could be useful for many students and I hope to continue to contribute to this amazing program that will generate a significant group of talented IT programmers for mainframe jobs.