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Curtin student masters the mainframe

Media release

Curtin University of Technology second year computing student David Wright has out-performed over 320 fellow undergraduate students from across Australia to win IBM’s Master the Mainframe contest.

The competition – in its second year – is designed to familiarise students with concepts for the large enterprise computing industry and build mainframe skills in future IT professionals.

For Bentley resident David, 25, the competition was a positive experience, and a rare chance to get involved with a large, multinational company.

“I entered the competition to broaden my knowledge,” he said.

“It was a great opportunity to learn how to work with a large mainframe computer.”

“This isn’t something you get very often, even in a university environment.”

During the competition, students were provided with online access to a mainframe computer provided by IBM, where they were required to undertake a series of challenges, each more difficult than the last.

In these challenges, contestants were required to apply their technical and problem-solving skills to real life enterprise computing scenarios.

For David, this was a great chance to use a form of computer that he would be interested in working with when he enters the workforce.

“I would like to design software for different computing systems, including mainframes, when I graduate” he said. 

Associate Professor Ling Li, Curtin’s Head of Computing, said that David was an example of the high calibre students studying computing at Curtin.

“We are all proud of David’s wonderful achievement,” she said.

“David has told us that he came to Western Australia specifically to study at Curtin.

“Since arriving he has been an enthusiastic student who I believe has a bright future ahead of him.”

Originally from Eugene, Oregon in the United States, David decided to pursue Curtin’s Bachelor of Science in Computer Science Degree after hearing about the quality of the University’s program.

“Since moving to Perth, Curtin has given me the chance to develop my skills, and the University has been very supportive of my participation in external events, such as Master the Mainframe,” David said.

“I believe that this will help me to succeed after graduation.”

Master the Mainframe is an annual competition designed to familiarise students with concepts for the large enterprise computing industry and build mainframe skills for the 21st Century.

Mainframes are computers generally used by large organisations for high performance data processing.

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