So when last we left our heroes/heroines (the mainframers), they alone stood between us and total chaos. As anyone who’s watched a horror movie knows, there’s safety in numbers, and so in terms of fighting a potential apocalypse, growing the ranks of the mainframers is priority number one. That task is exactly what IBM and Global Knowledge have started to tackle together.
So at this point you may be saying to yourself, “Katherine, that’s great and all, but between this post and your last I’m terrified. Exactly how do IBM and Global Knowledge plan to round up more mainframers who can leap to our defense and prevent the ‘Lord of the Flies’ nightmare I’ve constructed in my head?” Well fear not dedicated reader: We’re getting to the more complete description now.
Addressing the mainframe skills shortage requires a two-pronged approach. IBM is handling its end through the Academic Initiative, while Global Knowledge is helping to quickly bring up new mainframers and build the skills of existing employees through the delivery of robust training courses. This tag-team effort helps to both address the short-term need for mainframe skills as well as the long-term problem of not having enough new people enter the mainframe world.
Let’s start with the long-term problem of not getting enough new, trained employees entering the workforce with a working knowledge of the mainframe. This is IBM’s piece, the Academic Initiative. Through more than 1,000 programs in colleges and universities in 67 countries, the Academic Initiative helps introduce a new generation to mainframe and show them that there’s more to mainframe than rooms of giant dusty computers and green-screen interfaces. Offering college-level courses and mentoring to guide newbies through those first phases of entering mainframe, the Academic Initiative increases the awareness of the need for mainframers and how vital those positions are to the way our whole world works.
After college, new and existing mainframers can continue to grow their skills by taking IBM System z mainframe courses with Global Knowledge. As IBM’s premier Global Training Partner (we won the first ever GTP of the Year award this year – no biggie) Global Knowledge offers students of every experience level the hands-on training they need to not just do their jobs, but do their jobs BETTER. Global Knowledge has experienced, dedicated instructors to provide in-class support and guidance and offers multiple ways for students to take a course, so whether your company needs us to come to you, you want to come to one of our training centers, or, hey, maybe you’re too busy saving your company from a disastrous mainframe outage to leave work and need to take a virtual class, we’ve got you covered. Because we offer courses for mainframe beginners and those who’ve been around the block a few times (and everyone in between), Global Knowledge can grow with you and provide you the training you need as you move through your career.
If mainframers disappeared, so would our way of life, and personally I’ve racked up way too many frequent flier miles to just be OK with living in a world without the power of System z to let the mainframe skills shortage grow. So train people, train! IBM is doing its part by bringing in new blood, Global Knowledge is doing its part by helping mainframers expand their skill base so that they can do more at work (and do it better and faster).
So, what are you doing to prevent the mainframe apocalypse?