IT students among best in North America

First-years come out on top in IBM Master the Mainframe Contest

Academic Quality
Elliott Siewert and Michael Robinson visit the IBM Client Innovation Centre in Bedford, Nova Scotia after their win at the 2016 Master the Mainframe contest.

Two, first-year NSCC Information Technology Programming students were among the top one percent of participants at the 2016 IBM Master the Mainframe Contest.

Michael Robinson (Institute of Technology Campus) and Elliott Siewert (Truro Campus) each received an honorable mention and two digital awards for their ability to perform extensive programming, while innovating on the mainframe to solve real-life situations encountered by experienced developers.

Embracing the challenge

"I knew it would be challenging and near impossible to complete," says Michael. "I liked the idea of accepting the challenge, learning something new and seeing how far I could go."

Michael and Elliott were among more than 4,000 students from across North America taking part in the contest. In recognition of their success, IBM has granted Robinson and Siewert the ability to digitally display two of its 'Open Badges'–IBM Practical Experience and IBM Real World Challenge–as part of their professional profiles. The badges are recognized, respected and valued globally in the IT industry as verification of expertise in navigating multiple operating systems.

Benefits to placing among the top

Mainframe computers play a central role in the daily operations of the world's largest corporations, and IT professionals who can enhance the security and efficiency of these computers are in high-demand.

"There's a skills shortage for programming and working with mainframe computers," says Elliott. "When I came to NSCC, I wanted to learn as much as I could about the industry. The contest seemed like a great opportunity to supplement my class material, improve my skill set, and help me stand out when applying for jobs."

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