Badging & Certification

Developing the Next Generation of Mainframe Talent

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When it comes to acquiring new skills, most everyone will agree that mentoring and coaching from subject matter experts is vital to the knowledge transfer process for those who are in the earlier stages of learning something new. It’s also a safe assumption that most everyone has found themselves on both sides of the mentoring and coaching equation. We look to more experienced people to help us become more knowledgeable, and once we have attained an advanced level of understanding on a topic, we start paying it forward by sharing our own knowledge with others.

But how many can truly say their experience as a learning mentor or mentee was as good as it could have been? An outstanding mentoring and coaching experience is more likely the exception rather than the norm, and this is precisely why IBM Business Partner Interskill set out to improve the effectiveness of mentoring and coaching through specialized training intended to help both the teacher and the student realize greater value from the mentoring and coaching process.

Interskill is the leader in online mainframe training and is strongly committed to the ongoing vibrancy and vitality of the global mainframe computing workforce. One of the most critical issues related to ongoing mainframe workforce vibrancy and vitality is knowledge transfer. Knowledge transfer is the vital passing on of wisdom and experience from seasoned mainframe veterans to the Z Next Generation before the senior mainframers retire. This process of knowledge transfer cannot be achieved with a 1 week ‘brain dump’ on the eve of retirement. The process of knowledge transfer must be achieved through effective coaching and mentoring of mainframe knowledge and skills well in advance of the mainframe veterans’ retirements.

Knowledge transfer is undertaken in parallel with structured mainframe training because knowledge transfer provides what structured mainframe training simply cannot.  It provides the Z Next Generation with vital understanding of the industry’s and/or the organization’s IT and mainframe practices, business and technical practices, cultural attitudes, tricks and techniques, local configurations, documented processes and procedures, local history, back-story and folklore, and importantly it provides a priceless sense of belonging in the global family of mainframers.

The difficulty has always been that senior mainframers are not only very busy people, they may not always have the coaching and mentoring skills required. So typically, senior mainframers either labor exhaustively and time consumingly to achieve some level of coaching and mentoring, or they don’t do any coaching or mentoring at all.

As a solution to this industry problem, Interskill has partnered with the multi-award winning IBM Digital Badge Program to better equip senior mainframers to provide knowledge transfer. Interskill has just released a new online, self-paced elearning course “Coaching and Mentoring for Technical Specialists” and the IBM Digital Badge Program now awards an IBM Digital Credential for that course’s completion.

The Coaching and Mentoring for Technical Specialists elearning course trains mainframe managers and senior mainframe personnel in the science, techniques and skills essential in effective Coaching and Mentoring for Technical Specialists. It equips senior mainframers to provide priceless knowledge transfer to the Z Next Generation while minimizing the time and effort required. On the flip-side, this course will also train the Z Next Generation how to better initiate and leverage coaching and mentoring from managers and senior mainframe personnel, as a superior form of mainframe training and a valuable accelerator to their mainframe computing careers!

This course is now available for the hundreds of thousands of licensed Interskill users worldwide, including all IBM personnel worldwide.

Whether you’re a mainframer or a practitioner in another information technology discipline, an experienced professional or just starting your career, having a firm understanding of how to effectively leverage mentoring and coaching will greatly enhance and accelerate the knowledge transfer process.

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