Rewarding Partnerships and Careers Evolve From IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest

Illustration by Miriam Migliazzi & Mart Kle

For colleges, Resnik emphasizes that the AI curriculum is open to professors and students from all majors at accredited schools because businesses need various skills to make their enterprises successful. Understanding the value of System z makes those programmers, network administrators, security administrators, architects, project managers and business analysts work better to create innovation, Resnik believes.

The students would agree. “The demand is high for people with these skills and the supply is hardly able to keep up with this demand, so opportunities for success are plentiful,” Harris says.

The students are also eager to use technology for change. “We rely on technology so much that it would be amazing for it to be able to do more for everyone,” Elwood comments.

IBM clients, including Visa, are taking notice and hiring graduates. “IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest enabled Visa to recruit students with mainframe computing skills—a critical success factor in extending the reach and capabilities of our network while at the same time enhancing the security of payments and maintaining high volume and high availability,” says Jeff Gill, director, Switching Systems, Visa Inc. “Without the IBM Master the Mainframe contest, perhaps we could have found students with aptitude, but participation in this program demonstrates a student’s interest in mainframe computing, which to us, translates to a wise long-term investment.”

The enthusiasm Gen Z brings to the mainframe bodes well for System z, their careers and mainframe clients. Get ready to have them take technology and the world to previously unimagined places. The adventure has just begun.

Shirley S. Savage is a Maine-based freelance writer. Shirley can be reached at

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