Community invited to participate in IBM computer science learning contest

For Immediate Release:
October 8, 2019

Primary Media Contact:
Sally Voth
Public Relations Specialist
[email protected]
Phone: 540-868-7134


High school students, college students and members of the public interested in participating in IBM’s Master the Mainframe contest can get help with Part 1 of the three-part competition Saturday, Oct 12, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Cornerstone Hall Rooms 310 and 311 on the Middletown Campus.

FCC computer science and cybersecurity professors, as well as mainframe developers from Navy Federal Credit Union will offer assistance to those in attendance.

“The mainframe platform enables you to work on networking, analytics, databases, deep programming languages, application programming interface – the full 360 degrees of IT,” Laurel Ridge Computer Science Professor Melissa Stange says. “Based on current growth patterns, IBM is predicting that more than 37,000 mainframe administration positions will emerge worldwide by 2020.”

In Part 1 of Master the Mainframe, participants will complete step-by-step instructions to become familiar with the user interface, basic concepts and data structures of the mainframe platform.

The next two phases are done remotely, with Part 2 allowing participants to get practice using program commands and programming language, and to become familiar with the operating system. Part 3 allows the participants to delve deeper and solve challenges.

To register for Saturday’s event, go to

 Learn more about the contest at


Founded in 1970, Laurel Ridge Community College is a multi-campus public institution of higher education. With four locations — Middletown, Warrenton, Luray-Page County and most recently, Vint Hill— the College serves eight localities in the Shenandoah Valley and northern Piedmont regions. The localities are the counties of Clarke, Fauquier, Frederick, Page, Rappahannock, Shenandoah and Warren and the city of Winchester. Laurel Ridge offers more than 75 associate degree and certificate programs in a wide variety of disciplines, in addition to providing access to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs offered on site by a four-year institution. Laurel Ridge also serves the business community by offering workforce preparation programs for employees and employers. Laurel Ridge serves more than 9,000 unduplicated credit students and more than 11,000 individuals in professional development and business and industry courses annually.

Laurel Ridge Community College (Laurel Ridge) is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associate degrees. Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Laurel Ridge Community College. Laurel Ridge Community College is an equal opportunity institution providing educational and employment opportunities, programs, services, and activities and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, religion, disability, national origin, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or other non-merit factors. Laurel Ridge also prohibits sexual misconduct including sexual violence or harassment.

Laurel Ridge Community College was known as Lord Fairfax Community College until June 2022. For consistency purposes, the college will be referenced as Laurel Ridge going forward.