In early February we were on tour again with the Fujitsu EPS Academy. Our destination: Frankfurt/Main, Germany. Our mission: Introducing the mainframe to students. The mobile EPS Academy Test Center arrived at the site for a hands-on session covering the key aspects of middleware. Our team brought along a fictitious scenario from the automotive sector, among other things, so that students could put their theoretical knowledge into practice using a BS2000 mainframe.
Universities rediscover the mainframe
Young computer science students will find excellent career opportunities in the mainframe segment thanks to the rapid growth driven by digitalization and demographic change. Airlines, banks, insurance companies, retail and commerce, industry and public administration: All of these areas need specialists with mainframe know-how and software programming expertise. Many universities have recognized this trend and are once again putting a strong curriculum focus on mainframes – the Goethe University is just one example. Prof. Dr. Philipp Brune collaborates with the Fujitsu EPS Academy and invited us to support introductory mainframe lectures at the university in 2017.
Students get real insights into mainframe technology
This time around the guest lectures were held off-campus at the Fujitsu site in Frankfurt. Using notebooks running on the infrastructure provided by Fujitsu, the students had online access to a mainframe so that they could practice working with BS2000 middleware components in a live environment. The task: Delve into a distributed application landscape and learn about the flow of information and communication. The day’s agenda was quite ambitious – the range of topics included the operation of a transaction monitor via databases, and the integration of users in the environment via the web, not to mention tasks related to managed file transfer.
Cool experiences, exciting topics
The combination of theory and practical know-how generated a lot of enthusiasm among the students. Their feedback was unanimously positive. And Prof. Brune was also very impressed: “The seminar on BS2000 middleware as part of the Enterprise Mainframe Computing master course was a great success and enriched my lecture considerably. Everyone also had a lot of fun because the session covered both theory and practice with an appropriate degree of depth. The comparative view of the BS2000 world and its basic concepts expands the students’ overall understanding of the mainframe paradigm and the S/390 architecture – they realize that this not about a product, but rather a key concept in enterprise computing.”
Of course, this kind of feedback boosts motivation – and that’s good, because the Fujitsu EPS Academy team puts quite a lot of work into preparing and conducting these kinds of guest lecture programs.
The next event is already scheduled
The Winter School hosted by the EPS Academy – in cooperation with the HFT Stuttgart and the NEXT e.V. user organization – is another type of event to help students discover the world of mainframes. The Winter School is a four-day event that includes an intensive workshop and a wide range of fun activities for participants. And the Mainframe Challenge 2018 will also be taking place between March 5th and 8th in the German alpine foothills. Perhaps we will see you there!