2014 Master the Mainframe Contest – Wall of Fame

IBM’s Master the Mainframe Contest is a rigorous academic contest that involves learning mainframe technologies.  The contest takes place in three parts – with each part getting significantly more difficult.  It is difficult to finish Part 2 of the contest and extremely difficult to finish Part 3.

During last year’s contest, RMU had 18 students complete both Parts 1 and 2, which is a tremendous accomplishment!  Three of those students went on to complete Part 3, the most rigorous part of the contest.  To put this amazing accomplishment into perspective, only 50 students received Part 3 Honorable Mentions for completing Part 3, out of 4,900 participants.

Out of 4,900 competitors in the U.S. and Canada, RMU had the following results (see here for complete contest results):

  • Part 3 Honorable Mentions:  3 of 50 Part 3 Honorable Mentions
  • Part 2 Finishers: 18 of 313 Part 2 Finishers

We are proud to announce the following RMU winners for 2014:

RMU Part 3 Honorable Mentions

  • David Conley
  • Torrie McLaughlin
  • Daniel Owiti

RMU Part 2 Finishers 

  • Ahmad Aljuryyed
  • Timothy Brown
  • Ashley Cain
  • David Conley
  • John Dummer
  • David Harouse
  • Kevin Kalan
  • Monica Kodali
  • Kory Kozlowski
  • Anthony Kupchick
  • Joan Lewis
  • John Marcavage
  • Torrie McLaughlin
  • Daniel Owiti
  • Samantha Reitz
  • Melissa Roman
  • Trapp Thompson
  • Brandon Zink

David Conley, one of the Part 3 Honorable Mention winners, described the experience as a positive one, saying, “Part 3 of the contest involved sorting files by use of JCL commands, access to a DB2 database, and the creation of reports using data contained in that database.  All are skills that will compliment what is learned in class , look good on a resume, and provide confidence in your new abilities.”  David is a graduate student in the MS Information Systems Management program.

Torrie McLaughlin, another of the Part 3 Honorable Mention winners, had the following advice for other students, “I entered the contest because I thought it would be fun, and I enjoy games that test my intelligence. I would definitely recommend the contest for CIS majors of any type, not just Mainframe specific. It was lots of fun and a great experience.” Torrie is a student in the Integrated Bachelor/Masters program working toward an BS in Information Sciences and an MS in Competitive Intelligence Systems.

Daniel Owiti, the final of the Part 3 Honorable Mention winners, had much to share about his positive experience with the contest.  He says, “When I joined Robert Morris University in 2012, a couple of my professors, in particular Dr. Kovacs, evangelized the growth and potential of IBM Mainframes and the increasing demand for Mainframe professionals. Despite having a misplaced notion of Mainframe being an old technology, my curiosity got the better of me and I enrolled in two enterprise classes in the Spring of 2014.”

He continues, “When asked to enter the IBM Master The Mainframe Contest, my first reaction was, ‘Will I have the time and energy to go through the rigors while working full time, attending classes and spare time for my family?’  But the constant encouragement of one Professor, Packy [Dr. Packy Laverty], led me to enter the ring and see what this contest was made of. My biggest motivation was just gaining knowledge rather than completing the contest. But once started all I said was ‘Aha!.. This is doable’ with each and every step I completed.  Dr. Zeanchock’s very structured and easy to follow class helped a lot.  I am very glad I took the contest and went on to be a Part 2 Finisher and a Part 3 Wall of Famer. Part 3 was most challenging but also the most practical and interesting to work on a real world business application.  I would highly encourage students and anybody with a tech-curiosity to take part.  I look forward to pursuing a career in IBM zEnterprise.”  Daniel is a graduate student pursuing an MS in Internet Information Systems.

We are extremely proud of all of our students for their achievements in this contest and hope that even more CIS students will be interested in the contest in 2015.  Great work, everyone!

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