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Junior a winner in IBM contest

Christopher Moore, a junior computer science major at Binghamton, was one of five winners of IBM’s student mainframe programming contest.

More than 700 students from 85 colleges across the United States and Canada participated in the event, a series of technical challenges designed to spark interest in large-systems computing.

Moore, 20, grew up in Tioga Center but moved to Virginia after fourth grade. He decided to major in computer science after enjoying a class on the subject in high school.

Mainframe computing was a new challenge for Moore, whose primary computer interest is in networking.

Sponsored by IBM’s Academic Initiative program, the contest’s three progressively more difficult tasks helped the students get acquainted with the mainframe interface and basic user commands, develop more in-depth commands and then tackle real-world issue

s such as integrating databases and transactional processing.

Moore worked on the third section of the contest off and on over the course of a couple of months late last year. He said just 100 of the entrants made it to the third part, and only five students completed it successfully.

Those winners were treated to a tour of IBM’s Poughkeepsie operation last month.

“It seems like there are a lot of jobs available,” Moore said. “A lot of IBM’s customers say their mainframe workforce is getting older and not many colleges are teaching that.”

Moore has interned with a Virginia technology company, so he has an idea of what a job focused on software testing and programming would be like.

For him, it’s just plain fun. “It’s interesting,” he said, “to solve all the different problems that come up.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08