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Congratulations to our IBM zStudent Contest Winners!


It was a successful year for the 2022 IBM zStudent Contest, sponsored by IBM Z Xplore and run by HackerEarth. The sustainability themed contest guided users through the journey of collecting battery parts for an electric vehicle. Each challenge within the contest had contestants using a multitude of skills, including JCL, UNIX, APIs, SQL, COBOL and more on IBM z/OS. Total registrations reached more than 25,000 contestants across 153 countries. The top global and regional winners will receive cash prizes from HackerEarth and all participants that submitted code in the final step will receive a congratulatory box of branded items.

Congratulations to the following winners:

Top Three Global Winners


Atharva Malji - India

Atharva is a bachelor's student from India pursuing a degree in Information Technology. He enjoys working with computers and programming in general. He has actively worked in web technologies such as React, Express and Django.

"The IBM Z Student Contest was a way for me to interact with IBM Z technologies in a fun and intuitive way that I didn't imagine. I never expected to win the contest. It was an awesome experience, and I learned lots of new things along the way."

Salisu Ali Umar - Nigeria

Salisu is in his final year as a medical student at Bayero University Kano in Nigeria. He was a previous winner of Master The Mainframe in 2017 and an Open Mainframe Project intern from 2020-2022. Salisu loves exploring the mainframe, traveling, and learning new things.

"This was a challenging, tricky, detail oriented, thought-provoking mainframe wide contest."

Walid Loutfi - Belgium

Walid is in his final year as an applied computer science student with a focus on data and cybersecurity. He has a passion for technology and a desire to expand his skills. He quickly developed a love for the constantly evolving industry and honed his problem-solving skills and IT knowledge during this contest.

"The IBM zStudent Contest provided a unique opportunity for students to showcase their technical skills and creativity, while also gaining valuable experience and exposure in the field."


Top Five Regional Winners


Hartanto Ario Widjaya - Singapore

Hartanto was inspired by one of his high school teachers to start coding. After stumbling upon an IBM Intro to COBOL course on Coursera, he became interested in exploring his skills more. He spends his free time helping others boost their enterprise computing skills and is looking forward to a career which allows him to empower and inspire others to solve problems, think critically, and use technology to create solutions to the world’s biggest challenges.

"The IBM zStudent Contest enables students like me to challenge themselves in applying what they have learned on IBM Z Xplore and gain valuable skills which are sought for by companies around the world."

Moritz Reinel - Germany

Moritz is currently studying computer science at Hof University in Germany and was looking to try something different. He jumped into the IBM Z Xplore platform and was amazed to see the variety of technologies like Python, Node.js and even Unix services.

"I just kept going and decided to make it my goal to finish the contest! The most fascinating part for me was finding out that mainframes are more than just Cobol!"

Rohan Hari - India

Rohan is extremely enthusiastic about the world of technology and design and is constantly looking for opportunities to enhance his skills. His participation in the IBM zStudent Contest was a turning point in his learning journey, as it introduced him to the world of mainframes and further fueled his desire to pursue a career in this field. Rohan is committed to making a positive impact in the field of information technology.

"The IBM Z Student Contest provides students like me with a unique and challenging opportunity to demonstrate our abilities, expand our knowledge, and push the limits of innovation in the mainframe technology."

Pedro Bazaluk Machado Videira - Brazil

Pedro is a Computer Science undergraduate student at Centro Universitário FEI. He enjoys playing video games, practicing sports, and going to the gym.

"It was fun to participate in the contest and have the opportunity to learn new things and explore different skills that I know will help me jumpstart my career."

Farai Nechikwira - Algeria

Farai is a master’s student in Mathematical Analysis and a self-taught programmer with a passion for mainframe computing. He is a previous winner and has been participating in this contest since 2019. Besides proving math theories, Farai can be found on the IBM Z Xplore forum solving challenges using his favorite programming languages and interacting with fellow mainframe enthusiasts.

"The contest has non-trivial challenges that need critical thinking to solve them. I believe the skills I have acquired have prepared me for an early career in enterprise computing."


Build your skills on IBM zSystems to differentiate and open the door to new career opportunities. Get started today on the IBM Z Xplore Learning Platform, an interactive experience available to anyone. Complete coding challenges, get hands-on learning across a variety of technologies, develop valuable skills, and earn industry recognized digital badges. No prior knowledge is needed, and new challenges are continuously being added to the platform.

Congratulations to our winners and we look forward to seeing you on IBM Z Xplore!


Tue November 28, 2023 08:21 PM

Congratulations to all winners.

Thu March 16, 2023 01:45 PM

Amazing results! Congrats to all the Z XPlore enhusiasts and zStudent Contest 2022 winners. 

Thu March 09, 2023 01:45 PM

Congratulations.  Look forward to seeing you contribute on the platform!!!

Sun February 26, 2023 04:27 AM

Best wishes,

Thu February 23, 2023 09:58 PM

Congratulations to all the winners!

Tue February 21, 2023 12:20 PM

Thank you all for the well wishes. It has been great learning about the mainframe so far. I have been learning and improving with time. I can't forget the IBM Z SME mentorship I passed through last year, Thanks to @SUDHARSANA SRINIVASAN . It helped me improved my mainframe knowledge. I'm excited to be among among the winners and looking forward to what the future brings.

Mon February 20, 2023 03:44 AM

Congratulations to all the winners!

Congratulations to all who have participate!

I think I have almost everyone connected in LinkedIn, if is not the case, please contact me!

Georges Kopp

IBM Champions for Z 2023

Fri February 17, 2023 08:22 PM

Congratulations to all winners. Good to know that new students are interested in mainframe (IBM Z or IBM zSystems) learning, improving their skills and experiences, gaining new knowledge about how to work with mainframe environment using the new technologies like as VS Code, Phyton, Node.js, Unix, in addition, this could be a great opportunity to start their mainframe career. 

Fri February 17, 2023 02:58 PM

Love to see all that was achieved by being open to learning something new.  Congratulations to all winners on their tremendous achievement.  We look forward to seeing what is next.

Thu February 16, 2023 12:36 PM

Congratulations to all the winners! Can't wait to see where you go from here in your journey with IBM zSystems.