IBM Master the Mainframe Contest is divided into three parts.
Part 1: Breaking the ice
IBM will provide extensive screen shots and direction, guiding students along and telling them exactly what they need to do. This part of the contest gets students comfortable with navigating the mainframe user interface, as well as introducing them to some basic mainframe concepts.
The first 2,500 students to complete this section 100% correctly will receive custom Master the Mainframe T-shirts. The hometowns of the 50 schools with the most eligible registrants as of 01 Oct will be listed as "tour dates" on the back of the shirt. Hello, Cleveland!
Part 2: Practical experience
This section will require considerably more work from contestants. Using the skills they learned in Part 1, contestants will perform some more extensive systems programming (advanced commands, system setup and advanced system navigation) and application developing (C, JAVA, COBOL, assembler and REXX) tasks.
The first 60 students to successfully complete this section 100% correctly will receive a Part 2 Prize Pack from IBM, which includes the following custom gear:
Part 3: Real-world challenge
This section is very challenging and will require extensive work from the student over weeks and months. The tasks in Part 3 are taken from real-life situations encountered by experienced systems programmers, along with challenges designed to identify the contestants with the most drive and determination. The five students who most accurately complete Part 3 will get a 32GB Asus Transformer Pad Infinity Android-based tablet computer with Wi-Fi connectivity. In addition, the top three winners will receive a two-day, expenses-paid trip to the IBM mainframe lab in Poughkeepsie, NY.