New Manta Training Combos Target New IBM i Hires
September 30, 2013 Jenny Thomas
We here in the Jungle have been among the voices who cry out for more attention for the IBM i. We echo the sentiments of many of our readers, who would like to see Big Blue put more emphasis into promoting and growing this platform that we all believe in.
There are people out there who have never let the IBM i platform fall out of focus, who have in fact dedicated their careers to it. One such person is Bill Hansen, who has been an advocate of education since he started creating the first computer-based training courses for IBM systems back in 1985. In 1994, Hansen and co-founder, John Todd, created Manta Technologies and turned their energies to the AS/400 (as it was called at that time) marketplace.
The name isn’t the only thing that has changed about the IBM i over the years, and Hansen is always looking at ways to adapt his curriculum to the training needs of today’s IBM i users. In recent years, he has noticed a drop in the number of programming students who are already experienced midrange professionals just looking to upgrade their skills to include ILE programming, RPG IV, or other modern programming techniques. He says where he’s seen growth is in students who are new hires with no previous midrange experience.
This shift has prompted Hansen to take a close look at the 117 courses in Manta’s training catalog, resulting in the introduction of some new courses and the first combo pack reorganization in more than 10 years. Hansen said he favors combining related coursework into packs to help new students identify what courses go together in the curriculum. The combo packs also have a built in discount of 10 percent off the price as compared to buying the courses individually.
To capture those new students who are venturing into the IBM i for the first time, Manta has added the five-course Introduction to the IBM i Environment series to the core programming combination packs, which also include the: Program Development Combination Pack, RPG Development Combination Pack, and COBOL Development Combination Pack.
The series, Using Rational Developer for Power Systems (RDP), was also added to the RPG and COBOL packages because Hansen has found from talking with students that the decision to use RDP is no longer an option in many shops as more and more shops are getting away from the green screen.
Existing customers who have licenses for any of these packages will now see the new series in their course menus. Those customers will get free use of the courses until the end of their existing license terms, which Hansen values at $864 worth of training. When it comes time to renew, most customers will pay $195 for the eight additional courses.
Two new combinations packages have also been added to Manta’s offerings. The DB2, SQL, and Query Combination Pack contains 15 database programming courses and exams. A one-year, single-user license for this package is $1,260. The IBM i User Combination Pack includes 16 courses for end-users and managers, and costs $1,360 for a one-year, single-user license.
You can browse Manta’s combo packs and individual courses by visiting www.mantatech.com.