IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 40

Stop Run
An eclectic take on the mainframe world

Mainframe: Mastered
Meet the 2010 mainframe contest winners By Sara Aase

Master the Mainframe competitors visited IBM Poughkeepsie (from left): Sibo Niu, Syracuse University; Philip Yeo, Dalhousie University; Calvin MacKenzie, Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts; and Patricio Reynaga, West Texas A&M University.

T

he top three winners of IBM’s Master the Mainframe contest come from very different backgrounds: a small town in the panhandle of Texas, an independent telecom company and a residential honors high school. But they have one thing in common: an affinity for learning a computing platform—the mainframe—that was new to each of them.
experience helped him with some of the contest’s problems. “I appreciated how powerful and elegant batch processes are for moving things around or doing cleanup on log files,” Thomas says. Calvin MacKenzie is a senior at Arkansas School for Mathematics, Sciences and the Arts, a residential school for juniors and seniors that offers honors and AP courses. “I wanted to be challenged and go through the college experience before actually heading off to college,” says MacKenzie whose family lives in Hot Springs Village, the country’s largest gated community. Even though his school hosts “Mainframe Thursdays,” MacKenzie says he “was pretty uncertain about what a mainframe was.” He was pleasantly surprised to find that skills he’s learning in classes, such as programming with Java*, were useful in the contest. MacKenzie hopes

Patricio Reynaga, who took first place, is a senior with a lilting Spanish accent at West Texas A&M, where the contest is offered as a three-credit independent study course. Reynaga, who grew up an hour north of the university, is majoring in computer science and hopes to develop software. “I’ve been interested in computers since I was little,” Reynaga says. Of the contest, which progresses from learning the interface to solving real-world challenges, Reynaga says he learned the most by mastering foreign programming languages. “I couldn’t believe that I won,” Reynaga says. Jay Thomas is a 31-year-old network manager at Madison, Wis.-based TDS Telecom, earning his undergraduate computer-science degree through Pace University’s distance-education program. He may go on to graduate studies in computer science and network security. His job

to become a computer scientist or computer engineer. Mike Todd, contest coordinator for IBM, says nearly 33,000 students from 17 countries have competed in the mainframe contests since 2005. The 2010 contest drew 3,537 students from more than 400 schools across the U.S. and Canada. In this year’s final challenge, students had to successfully code a system to ensure credit-card transactions were properly processed. Todd says IBM and students recognize the value of the contest to teach real-world skills that are in demand with many of the world’s largest companies. IBM customers, for instance, have influenced contest content, requesting more exposure to concepts like advanced Job Control Language (JCL) or Virtual Storage Access Method (VSAM) data sets. Thomas says he’ll use some of the skills he learned in the contest as he moves into a job at TDS that involves more analysis and trending. “That will make a lot of the DB2* experience in the contest really pay off,” he says.

Sara Aase is a Minneapolisbased freelance writer.

40

M AY/J U N E 2 011

ibmsystemsmag.com/mainframe



IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011

IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011
Table of Contents
Editor's Desk: Before Smartphone Applications
Data Display: Who Are You?
Insider: Minimize the Impact of Failures With Restartable Batch Applications
Focus on Storage: ProtecTIER Deduplication Saves More Data on Less Disk
Case Study: P&V Assurances Reduces Technology Costs Via VPN-Free Access
Build a Solid Foundation: The zEnterprise Delivers Value as the Cornerstone for Business Applications
Leveling the Playing Field: IBM Rational Software Advances Mainframe Development
Developer: EGL is the Ultimate for Multiplatform Programming
Solutions
Advertisers’ Index
Stop Run: Meet the 2010 Mainframe Contest Winners
Reference Point
Special Supplement: Innovate 2011
Special Supplement: Services Blueprint: IBM Systems Lab Services and Training
Special Supplement: Mainframe Special Report
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Intro
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - CA1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - CA2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Table of Contents
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Editor's Desk: Before Smartphone Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Data Display: Who Are You?
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Insider: Minimize the Impact of Failures With Restartable Batch Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 17
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Focus on Storage: ProtecTIER Deduplication Saves More Data on Less Disk
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 19
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 20
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 21
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Case Study: P&V Assurances Reduces Technology Costs Via VPN-Free Access
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 23
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 24
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 25
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Build a Solid Foundation: The zEnterprise Delivers Value as the Cornerstone for Business Applications
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 27
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 28
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 29
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Leveling the Playing Field: IBM Rational Software Advances Mainframe Development
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 31
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 32
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 33
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Developer: EGL is the Ultimate for Multiplatform Programming
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 35
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 36
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 37
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Advertisers’ Index
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - 39
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Stop Run: Meet the 2010 Mainframe Contest Winners
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Cover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Reference Point
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - RF2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Innovate 2011
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - I8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Services Blueprint: IBM Systems Lab Services and Training
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB1
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB8
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB9
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB10
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB11
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB12
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB13
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB14
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB15
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SB16
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - SBCover4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - Special Supplement: Mainframe Special Report
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR2
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR3
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR4
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR5
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR6
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR7
IBM Systems Magazine, Mainframe Edition - May/June 2011 - MFSR8
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