In many parts of our world, mainframe computers are thought to be anachronisms, remnants of a past long gone. But in reality, IBM mainframes continue to process huge amounts of transactions for major banks, insurance companies, manufacturers, and other enterprises. IBM announces new versions of the hardware every two to three years, and the software has been extended way beyond its origins.
Code originally written in the 1970's up through today still runs on "big iron", usually with little or no rewrites due to hardware and software upgrades. While some organizations have replaced their mainframe with server farms and other options, many mainframe shops continue to run applications coded decades ago. They still work just fine.
I originally joined IBM as a systems engineer in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1968. In 1971 I transfered to the customer education center in Denver where I taught application programming courses. In 1975 I left IBM to work for myself, writing and teaching programming courses for IBM mainframes. I've prided myself on providing current, clear, and useful courses for the OS/370 programming community as it has grown and evolved into today's z/OS world.
I 'retired' around 2013, but I've kept my course materials available. Even though most of the courses have not been updated in some time, most of the content is still likely to be relevant. The core machine instructions have not changed, for example. And most COBOL applications are written using techniques and styles that still work today.
For over 40 years I taught in Colorado and traveled around the U.S., and even to a number of foreign countries including England, Sweden, Kuwait, Singapore, Ireland, Denmark, Finland, and more, teaching lively classes for IBM mainframe programmers.
Since the outbreak of the Covid pandemic, in-classroom training has essentially disappeared, and programmers mostly work from home.
A recent trend has been to be contacted by individuals who would like to buy my training materials in order to renew or expand their programming skills. Since corporate training has pretty much gone, these people have expressed a willingness to pay for the materials out of their own pocket. But even though the prices for my materials have been greatly reduced, it can be a strain on an individual's budget.
So I came up with the idea of providing our materials for self-study, and suggesting organizations create a library of these materials available to their employees on an on-demand basis. No need for an instructor (although you can still use the materials that way). The materials can be used for self-study, instructor-led training, or group study.