Master the Mainframe 2012

Master the Mainframe 2012

An Enterprise Systems Contest, US & Canada (excluding Quebec)

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This page is an archive of the 2012 IBM Master the Mainframe Contest. For information and links on current contests, please visit our worldwide IBM Mainframe Contests page.

In the fall semester of 2012, IBM is ran its eighth annual Master the Mainframe Contest for college and university students across the U.S. and Canada (excluding Quebec). High school students are also encouraged to compete!

With all IBM mainframe contests, no experience with mainframe computing is necessary. In fact, the contests are designed for students with little or no mainframe experience. Students just need to bring enthusiasm and a competitive spirit.

Why compete in a Mainframe Contest?

The prizes up for grabs in the 2012 Master the Mainframe Contest include:

Today's mainframes are growing in popularity and require a new generation of mainframe experts. This contest is designed to equip students with basic skills to make them more competitive for jobs in the enterprise computing industry. Participation in the Master the Mainframe Contest could give you the edge you need.

To help employers connect with the best mainframe students, contestants are encouraged to check out the jobs posted on the new System z job board at

You can see information on previous years' winners at the 2012 Master the Mainframe Wall of Fame. You can also read some nice press on previous winners in these articles:

Who can compete?

To compete, students must have an educator at their institution enrolled in the IBM Academic Initiative. Students, ask your educator to follow the instructions on the Educators tab; enrollment takes only about 10 minutes. By enrolling, your educator will gain access to IBM products and resources at no charge.

What is a mainframe, anyway?

On 28 August 2012, IBM introduced its most powerful, scalable and energy-efficient mainframe server ever, the IBM zEnterprise EC12, the result of over one billion dollars of research and development. This machine sports the world's fastest microprocessor, running at 5.5Ghz. It is also the only commercial server to achieve Common Criteria Evaluation Assurance Level 5+ security classification. Cool? Cool.

To find out a little bit more about what makes a mainframe system unique, check out these resources: