Manta Technologies: Your Resource for IBM i Training
Manta offers a complete library of courses for programmers, operators, system administrators, and users of the IBM i operating system, which runs on IBM Power Systems.
All of our courses are web based and run in all popular browsers.
Learn by Doing, Not by Watching
We at Manta are not surprised to to hear people complain about Zoom meetings, particularly when it comes to a topic we know a lot about: online training. So much of what we've seen in online training is boring, "talking head" videos or screen captures of someone walking through the steps needed to perform a computer-based task. It's like online teachers are trying to reproduce the worst of classroom-based training that involves all talk and no action.
Would you fly with a pilot whose training consisted of watching lectures and videos of other people fly airplanes? So why would you use the same methods for your staff?
Manta's e-learning courses were designed from the ground up to be interactive, self-guided learning experiences. Graphics and animations help present key concepts. Embedded exercises let students confirm their own progress and receive additional help as needed. Wherever possible, Manta's exclusive IBM i simulator is used to have students perform system tasks exactly as they would on a real system. Detailed feedback points out exactly what the student did wrong, down to the level of "you entered the right value, but you pressed Tab when you should have pressed Enter" or "you single-clicked the directory name when a double-click is required."
For coding courses, students are guided through the writing of complete programs, typically entering a line at a time. As with the operations courses, feedback is similar to what you would expect from an expert sitting next to you through the entire process.
For all courses, a comprehensive Mastery Test verifies the student's mastery of the course objectives. Where possible, the simulator is used to turn the test into a comprehensive hand-on session or the coding of a complete program.
Manta does not offer lectures. Instead, it sees its role as training operators, programmers, and system administrators for the jobs that you need to fill today.
Build Your Own RPG Programmers
Almost as soon as Manta started business in 1994, we were hearing about the upcoming shortage of RPG programmers. The warning was out that the programmers who spent their careers in the midrange world were getting older and would soon be facing retirement. At the same time, it was believed that recent college graduates with skills in Java, C++, etc. were not interested in learning RPG, which they considered to be an obsolete language.
Since the average age of RPG programmers in 1994 was about 40, the hysteria was somewhat premature. 26 years later, however, many shops are now indeed facing a crisis. We know of several who expect to see their entire staff of 5 to 10 programmers retire in the next couple years.
The good news — and why we know about these shops — is that they are successfully using the Manta RPG Development Combination Pack to train recent graduates. These rookie programmers bring strong skills to the job, including the ability to design and develop modern, web-based applications. When introduced to IBM i and free-form RPG, they realize that they've discovered two of the greatest secrets in the IT world. This platform and language — rather than being obsolete — are more up-to-date and revolutionary that they ever dreamed possible.
Their new employers are equally ecstatic. Typical of the feedback we have received is the following comment from Mark, the IT Development Manager at an IBM i shop:
Just wanted to share that we have our 1st success with the RPG Free course. We hired a young guy with C and C## who's willing to learn and within in 45 days is an active RPG programmer and working our backlog !!.Thanks, Mark. That was exactly our intention.