Welcome Employers! Below you will find more details about what our students can offer your organization.

What Skills do our graduates bring to your organization?

BIL Graduates have completed intense and thorough training in IBM z/OS COBOL and DB2 programming, and are ready and anxious to “hit the ground running” on your team! The Curriculum below is a complete listing of technologies which our students have mastered:

1.    Introduction – Computer History and Basic Concepts

In this unit we introduce IBM’s System Z, how it is unique among
today’s commercial computer systems.  Also, requirements for receiving the Certificates in COBOL, IBM Badges, job placement/skills provided for students who complete the course.  A brief description of the COBOL
Computer Language and its usage in 2019 corporate America.  Students
gain a  comprehensive knowledge   IBM mainframe systems history,
from the 1401, S/360, through the z14.

2.    z/OS Basics

In this unit we cover computer basics and how programs execute,
I/O systems, general computer history from ENIAC through the IBM Z14.  Legacy and current data storage platforms are reviewed, including
punched cards, tape, disk(DASD) and optical/SSD.  Students learn concepts of real versus virtual storage, the role of a computer’s CPU, and
networking concepts.  IBM Mainframe terms are presented and how they differ from smaller computer terms.  The z/OS File System basics are
covered, including different types of data sets and a comparison with
Windows and Unix file systems. Major subsystems on a z/OS
mainframe are explained, including communications (networking),
security(RACF), database/online systems, and Job Entry (JES). Students
learn how JES queues work, and how programs run via batch and task

3.    Advanced z/OS File Systems and Introduction to JCL

Covered in this unit include an advanced look at the z/OS File System (zFS), how application programs written in COBOL are compiled,
link-edited, and executed.    Job Control Language is introduced, along
with COBOL Input and Output file processing.

4.    Advanced JCL

Each statement in a JCL job stream are presented, what they do, and
keywords and parameters are discussed.  Since JCL is the “heart” of the
mainframe, as much time as needed will be given so the student is
comfortable using JCL and understands what it does and how it works. 
In addition to user jobs, started task, catalogued and inline procedure
JCL streams are presented.

5.    The z/OS Programmer Interface (TSO/ISPF)

Students learn how to navigate all functions of TSO and ISPF, including
editing and browsing data sets, allocating and deleting data sets, and how to execute programs by submitting a job stream. SDSF is presented and
students learn how to navigate viewing of jobs on input, output, and hold queues. Students also learn how to check job output for compile and
execution errors, as well as common z/OS system and JCL errors.

6.    Introduction to COBOL

In this unit, students will be introduced to the COBOL language, basic
program structure, the four divisions, basic data and file descriptions, as well as Working-Storage and Procedure Division statements.  Record
layout and field characteristics in COBOL are presented and discussed.  
This unit continues with conditional processing, program loops, and
Structured Programming techniques.  The student learns how to compile,
link-edit, and run their COBOL source code, and how to verify output
from a job using SDSF.

7.    Intermediate COBOL Programming

The student in this unit will learn more advanced features in the Working Storage division of a COBOL program, and how working storage can
be used to write headers and efficiently output records.  This unit also
includes Top-Down Programming techniques used by industry to
ensure efficient coding for easier documentation and debugging.

8.    Two-Dimensional Table Handling (Arrays) in COBOL

This unit will cover how COBOL can be used to read and process
two-dimensional arrays which are written as an input file.

9.    Database Handling in COBOL – VSAM Files

In this unit, students will learn the principles of how a database works on the mainframe, and how IBM’s VSAM file system can be used as a
database.  The IDCAMS utility and how COBOL integrates with VSAM
databases are presented and students will code several COBOL/VSAM
applications that perform record lookups, transaction processing, record adding and deleting to/from a VSAM database.

10. The SORT and Report Writer features in COBOL

Students will learn how to sort standard z/OS Sequential Data records by field index, as well as learn to use the Report Writer feature to
format professional-looking reports.

11.  Introduction to DB2

This unit introduces the most commonly used database subsystem on themainframe, IBM’s DB2.  Students will learn how DB2 works as a database, along with basic Structured Query Language and how to run SQL from
the SPUFI/DB2I  interface to create and manage tables.  Also covered in this unit are DB2 concepts including the role of the DBA, relational databases, key fields, storage groups, table spaces and schemas.

12. Advanced COBOL and DB2

Students will learn how to code a COBOL program that contains SQL
for a DB2 database, as well as how to code JCL to create the necessary
modules needed to execute the program.  Students will write COBOL
programs that process transaction data to update tables in a  DB2 database, as well as search for records, insert and delete rows from a table. 
Students will also learn how to code JCL to precompile, compile,
link-edit, bind, and execute COBOL/DB2 programs, as well as the
concepts of the DBRM and  the steps needed to BIND DBRMs into
Packages and Plans, and execute the programs using the DSN/TSO

13. Job Seeking and Corporate Communication Skills

In this unit, students will learn how to write an attention-getting
resume that will demonstrate IBM Mainframe skills, as well as positive work ethics.  Job interview skills will be taught, with role playing and
techniques for impressing a technical and PR manager at the interview.  On the Job skills will be taught where students will learn how a
large-scale enterprise IT department is typically organized, how to
communicate orally and in writing with supervisors and co-workers. Big Iron Learning Academy will assist the students completing this course, with job placement to the best of our ability.  That support will continue as long as the student needs assistance getting their first mainframe
programming job.

14. Master The Mainframe

Students participating in this course will be required to complete all
three parts of IBM’s Master The Mainframe learning system before
receiving a Certificate of Completion/Expertise from BIL. Optionally,
students are encouraged to continue their out-of-class learning with
IBM’s z/OS Kickstart (powered by Interskill).

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