Get Your IBM i Training Online
April 22, 2014 Alex Woodie
Compared to commodity Wintel boxes, the IBM i server practically runs itself. That’s not to say there aren’t some specific technical skills required to operate the machine efficiently. Organizations have several choices when it comes to obtaining IBM i training for their IT professionals, including a growing number of online courses.
Among the IBM business partners offering IBM i-specific training, Avnet Academy appears to offer the most number of courses. The educational arm of the server distributor offers a wide range of online and onsite training courses for many IBM i topics. The website currently lists about 55 IBM i-specific courses, about half of which are distance-learning classes delivered online.
For example, Avnet Academy’s website lists the popular 4.5-day IBM i Administration and Control class scheduled to start online May 12 (cost: $3,665). There is also the four-day System Operator Workshop for IBM i scheduled to start in Durham, North Carolina, on June 3 (cost: $3,500).
Arrow ECS Education offers more than 45 classes covering IBM i-related topics, and many more covering other Power Systems, AIX, and Linux topics. For example, there’s the three-day Advanced System Operator Workshop for IBM i scheduled to begin June 9, which interested parties can take over the Web or onsite at the MicroTek facility in Washington, D.C., (cost: $2,235 for either). You can see the full list here.
Global Knowledge is another IBM-certified provider of IBM i education. The Cary, North Carolina, company currently lists 41 IBM i courses on its website, including the five-day IBM i System Administration class, which starts online June 16 and is also offered onsite in Washington, D.C., starting August 4 (cost: $3,595 for either).
IBM i skills are also taught online by the educational outfit LearningQuest, which is also an IBM authorized training partner. The Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, company lists 36 IBM i-specific courses on its website. Most of the classes can be taken either onsite or online, such as the four-day Control Language Programming Workshop for IBM i Training class, which can be take over the Internet starting May 27 or taken on-premise in Chicago starting July 8 (cost: $3,500 for either).
These four companies are the only outfits authorized by IBM to provide IBM i training. The benefit of using one of these is that you can use any educational credits from IBM that came with your license for the OS or other IBM products. Ingram Micro is in the process of becoming the fifth authorized IBM training provider, as we wrote about earlier this month
But that doesn’t mean you can’t IBM i training elsewhere. For starters, there’s Manta Technologies and its comprehensive IBM i Training Library, which is a collection of more than 100 computer-based courses for programmers, operators, system administrators, and users (cost: $6,500). Manta offers smaller and more targeted combo packs as well, such as the RPG Programming series of eight mini-courses (cost: $756).
There’s also The 400 School, which offers a mix of online and on-site IBM i training. The company, which was founded by IBM i security expert and PowerTech co-founder Dan Riehl in 2003, currently has one online class scheduled: the 5-day IBM i Administration and Control workshop, a hands-on, entry-level course that costs $2,195.
The folks at System i Developer also provide several ways to get IBM i education, including the annual RPG & DB2 Summit, and custom on-site educational and mentoring sessions with Susan Gantner, Jon Paris, and Paul Tuohy. The company also offers e-learning, but currently there are no classes offered.
And of course there’s COMMON, the big user group for Power Systems and IBM i professionals. COMMON offers a range of training and educational options, starting with the upcoming 2014 Annual Meeting and Exposition. You’ll have to travel to Orlando, Florida, to attend the big COMMON show starting May 3, but once you’re there, you have dozens of IBM i-specific classes to choose from over the course of four days.