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September 9th @ 12:00 PM ET


December 31st @ 23:59 ET


Complete the program at your own pace. Anywhere around the world.

Virtual Competition | All Students 13 years of age and older are welcome to participate.

Welcome to Master the Mainframe

It’s back! The largest student mainframe competition in the world has returned for its 15th year in a row! This unique, virtual contest is open globally to high school and college students that are interested in gaining skills in a real-world, enterprise computing environment. Through the program, you can win amazing prizes, while developing critical skills that are in hot demand by the world’s largest and most respected companies.

The best part is there is no experience required, it can help you land a career in a Fortune 500 company, and just requires a desire to expand your skillset!

Interested in Learning More?

  • Read More About Mainframes Here


Part 1 finishers :

For every person who finishes Part One, a donation will be made to ShareTheMeal. (1 hour of learning = 2 children fed for a day)

Part 2 Finishers :

Exclusive access to IBM Z Career Marketplace Community
Earn industry recognized digital badge

Part 2 Winners:

$150 gift card to the fastest 1o0 finishers

Part 3 Finishers :

Master the Mainframe Part 3 Finisher t-shirt
Earn Industry recognized digital badge

Part 3 Winners :

$2,750 travel stipend to the top 2 individuals from each region*

Grand Prize:

The top 3 individuals globally will receive a $1,000 USD cash Educational Scholarship 


Part 1 | Learn the Basics

Navigating around, creating files and running programs.

Part 2 | Practice

Introduction to a variety of programming languages, operating systems and technologies such as databases and security.

Part 3 | Real World

Solve real world challenges using the skills you learned in Part 2.

Past Winners

Wall of Fame

The best of the best. The crème de la crème. The most Mastery of the Mainframe.
Check out which students, and schools are in the lead with the most participants in this years Master the Mainframe Competition.  


View Here


Coming Soon

Global Meetups

Want to brainstorm, learn, and grow your network? Join us and other Mainframers at one of these Meetups around the globe.




The Master the Mainframe Competition is comprised of three parts. Part One to help you learn the fundamentals of the mainframe, Part Two builds on the fundamentals by teaching you how to program with modern languages, and Part Three puts all your new skills to the test in a “real world” situation. Along the way you will not only build skills, you can earn digital badges, and great prizes.

Besides the awesome prizes, you can obtain unprecedented exposure to a wide variety of enterprise systems, software, and products. You can also earn an Enterprise Computing Open Badge to put on your resume or social media pages, so potential employers can easily find you. Yup, that’s right – this is one competition that can even land you a job!

Anyone who is 13+ years old, and currently a student at a high school or university can compete — no experience is necessary. The contest teaches the skills you’ll need and the competition difficulty increases as you progress through the contest phases. For more information on eligibility please reference the PA which can be found here

There is no set time for each of the parts. You can complete the parts at your own pace, as long as you finish Part 3 by December 31 you are eligible for the Grand Prize. Keep in mind a few of the prizes will go to the first group (number located in prize section) to complete a certain part.

N. America
Latin America
S. Asia

All you need to do is sign up here and you’ll be on the first part of your journey towards Mastering the Mainframe.

Many professors and teachers across the globe have started adding this competition into their curriculum. Please share the registration link with your students and have them complete the parts. If you are interested in having your students participate and have more questions, please view this informational webinar or email us at


Want to network, learn, and get your questions answered during the competition? Join the Master the Mainframe Slack Group. Through there you will be able to chat with IBM Mentors, AngelHack staff, and meet other students. CLICK HERE

Want to help promote Master the Mainframe around your campus or community? We will be adding a link to downloadable flyers shortly!

This user group is for anyone interested in Master the Mainframe. Students, educators, employers, and volunteers are invited. JOIN HERE

Student Webinar Recording – VIEW HERE

Professor/Teacher Webinar Recording – VIEW HERE