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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.

Save 25% on Any Manta Combination Pack!

Every month, Manta offers a combination package on sale at a huge discount. In celebration of our 22nd birthday, we decided to let you choose which package you'd like. For all of June and July, you can get any Manta combination pack — including the complete IBM i Training Library — at 25% off.

Why Manta? Because you plan to be here for the next release.

You expect — and we agree — that training should provide the skills that you can apply to your job, regardless of what release of IBM i your shop is currently using. Because of this, we do not peg our courses to particular releases. When we update a course for a new release, we clearly identify when a new feature was added, and make it easy to bypass the material if your shop is not yet there.

The bottom line is that every Manta course teaches you the skills you need to perform your job, no matter whether your shop uses i5/OS V5R4 running on a System i machine or IBM i 7.3 running on an POWER8 machine.

Check us out. This site includes our complete catalog, as well as a sample session from each of our 123 courses and exams. You'll like what you see.

Free-Form RPG Programming Status

Fundamentals of Free-Form RPG, File Processing with Free-Form RPG, and Rounding Out the Essentials of Free-Form RPG are now available. These are the first three of seven courses in the new Free-Form RPG Programming series, which is intended for students new to RPG.

People who already know RPG should take the Coding Free-Form RPG course to learn the differences with the free-form format.

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President's Letter

I'll be attending my high school reunion in a couple weeks. This is a big one (50), which naturally leads to reflection as to how I got from there to here. As with many people, my current job has nothing to do with what I studied in college. In my case, the field of computer-based training did not yet exist when I graduated from high school. I learned how to program and pursued an advanced math degree, eventually teaching college subjects including Fortran, COBOL, and calculus. This all changed 40 years ago this week, when I left college teaching to develop self-study training for operators and programmers of IBM mainframe systems. Self-study, multimedia education for IBM users was an exciting new industry made possible by political and technological events: IBM's consent agreement to unbundle training from system sales and the invention of the Sony U-Matic video cassette player.

My training as a course developer consisted of reading the "Mager six-pack," a set of paperbacks by Robert F. Mager that describe how to design training for adult learners. His books became the foundation of the development methodology that I used when I formed my own company in 1980. Following are Bob's key ideas:
  • As trainers, we are teaching job skills. When designing a new course, start by making a list of what the student will be expected to do on the job.
  • Document the skills to be taught in the form of measurable behavioral objectives. For a programming course, that means most objectives should start with "Write a program to..." An objective that begins with "Understand" or "Appreciate" is neither measurable nor something the student will be getting paid to perform.
  • Identify the skills that most students already possess and document them as assumed prerequisites. There is no need to teach something they already know. The desired skills minus the prerequisite skills become the focus of the new course.
  • Before writing one word of the course, develop exercises that will test whether the student has mastered the objectives. Doing so up front will keep the course on track. The exam will eventually become the course mastery test. It can also serve as a pretest for students who claim to already have the skills in question.
  • Avoid trick questions. The measure of a great course is to have all students achieve 100% mastery. We are expected to send them back to work fully able to perform the tasks we promised.
Over the years, I moved from System/370 mainframes to the AS/400. Rather than continue developing courses for companies like IBM, I formed Manta to sell directly to the business consumer. "Multi-media" has changed from meaning "text/video/audio" to "computer-based training" and then to "web-based training." After 350 or so courses, however, the fundamentals have stayed the same. The primary job of companies like Manta is to provide IT professionals with the skills they need to perform their jobs, training them as efficiently and as cost effectively as possible.

It has been — and will continue to be — a most satisfying career.

Keep learning,


William A. Hansen, Ph.D.