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Mainframe Application Developer Bootcamp

The LearnQuest Mainframe Application Developer Boot Camp Program also features several professional services that address the Curriculum, Instructor, and Client/Learner requirements.

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30+ Years of Mainframe Training

LearnQuest has been delivering custom Mainframe Boot Camps for over 30 years. Mainframe application development is not a dying skill, but the ranks of retiring programmers need to be replenished. The "boomers" who for years have taken care of your legacy systems, are one by one leaving their cubicles, and taking their mainframe skills, business knowledge, and experience with them.

Our Mainframe training curriculum builds new skills, sets and refreshes current skills for individuals. We offer the content, the lab exercises and feedback to becoming a mainframe professional.

Let LearnQuest do what we do best: train your employees in Mainframe technologies. When your employees complete a LearnQuest Mainframe Application Developer Boot Camp, they will have the skills to work with COBOL, DB2 and VSAM programs in an ISPF environment using z/OS JCL. Our Mainframe Application Developer Boot Camp has several key differentials.

A Blended Approach to Training

Our core program consists of COBOL, DB2, ISPF and JCL training. We will review the topics with you, and if needed, add or remove any topics your organization needs.

Core Subjects

  • ISPF
  • VSAM
  • JCL
  • DB2

Optional Subjects

  • Introduction to Programming
  • IMS
  • Assembler
  • PL/1
  • MQSeries
  • REXX
  • Rational Developer for z
  • Debugging COBOL Programs Using Xpeditor
  • CA-Endevor
  • IMS DB with Easytrieve Plus
  • IMS DB with CICS and Easytrieve Plus

View our Mainframe Application Developer Learning Journeys

If your staff needs training in other tools/technologies not listed here, we can usually incorporate it into the boot camp. In short, let us know your training needs and we will do everything possible to meet them.

Curriculum Features include:

  • 70% hands-on labs and exercises and 30% presentation format
  • COBOL: 15 programs of varying degrees of complexity are written
  • JCL: 12 job streams are created
  • DB2: 108 SQL exercises are completed

Additional Boot Camp Program Features:

  • Instructor and student mentoring and coaching
  • A blended learning solution that steadily builds upon topics
  • Progress/Mastery assessments are given once a week
  • An in-house developed Learning Management System designed to maintain all aspects of a boot camp, including registration/enrollment, assessments, and document management.

The 6 week Program

  • Weeks 1-3: During the first three weeks, students acquire basic skills. The boot camp starts off with editing in ISPF, submitting pre-written JCL and viewing the output. COBOL training starts on day two, and the students use their basic ISPF skills to write a simple program, submit the compile, review the output, and run the program (all using supplied JCL). In week three, we teach the students some single table SQL Select statements, followed by a handson workshop using SPUFI to execute these statements. Then we show the students how to embed these statements into COBOL programs.
  • Weeks 4-6: The pace picks up in weeks four, five and six, as those skills are enhanced by introducing more sophisticated/advanced programming logic (subroutines, occurs clauses, packed and binary fields, COBOL sorting, variable length record files) and more complicated JCL (multi step jobs, procs, JCL sorting, FTP processing). Maintenance is part of the job and also part of our boot camp. In weeks five and six, the students are required to change some of their earlier programs to use DB2 tables, to sort the output, and perform other common maintenance enhancement type tasks.

The LearnQuest Application Developer Boot Camp Program also features several professional services that address the Curriculum, Instructor, and Client/Learner requirements:

Pre-Training Technology Overview and Learning Seminars

Technology Overviews and Learning Sessions are scheduled prior to the boot camp kickoff. This "pre-training" activity provides each student a basic level of familiarity in the concepts, topics covered, boot camp structure, and direction for self-study prior to the start of the boot camp.

Cumulative Lifecycle Project Work

LearnQuest provides a project for the students to work on throughout the boot camp, or they can create an example using company-specific documents.

Project Mentoring

LearnQuest offers project mentoring to support the students working on their initial projects. LearnQuest can provide one-on-one and project group mentoring. Post-training project mentoring allows LearnQuest instructors to work with the students on an actual deliverable under the guidance of an experienced professional.


  • CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
  • General Accident Insurance Company
  • General Electric
  • Genworth Financial
  • The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.
  • Health Care Service Corporation
  • Highmark, Inc.
  • Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield Delaware
  • Independence Blue Cross
  • Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford
  • Norfolk Southern Corp.
  • Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc.
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company
  • The State of North Dakota
  • Towers Watson
  • United States Army Corps of Engineers
  • Walmart Stores, Inc.

Delivery Options

The Mainframe Application Developer's Boot Camp can be delivered in your office using your resources, or if you'd like, LearnQuest can provide the entire mainframe training environment. The latter alternative means your IT staff does not have to do any preparation work, and so, more than 75% of our mainframe clients prefer to use LearnQuest provided environments.

Alternatively, LearnQuest's patented Virtual Delivery platform allows the students to listen and talk with the instructor and connect to either your mainframe or ours from anywhere in the world. Our Virtual Delivery platform offers the same experience as if the students and instructor were in the same classroom; however, it eliminates the travel, associated expenses, and your training room utilization.

Students have been 1) current programmers who are being prepared to assume mainframe responsibilities or 2) employees who lacked prior programming experience and had the business experience that your current programmers have without their technical training or 3) new hires to the organization.

Doubt whether a person can become proficient in just a few weeks of training? Don't. We've prepared thousands of students over the years, and the full immersion in all things Mainframe, really makes the difference!

Summary of Benefits of LearnQuest's Boot Camp

For the learner

  • One-on-one mentoring
  • Longer duration to grasp new concepts and apply them to industry-related projects
  • Successful return and integration to the workplace
  • Development of peer-to-peer relationships
  • Each course builds upon the preceding course's concepts to provide continuity
  • Real-time feedback and assessment to evaluate their progress
  • Accountability for their participation, testing, and required course deliverables
  • Unlimited access to the instructor throughout the boot camp

For the client

  • Immediate feedback in the form of conference calls, test results, and progress reports
  • Guardianship over students' learning process
  • Better equipped to make key decisions regarding future staffing and performance management
  • Firsthand knowledge of individual learner's strengths, technical abilities, and capacity for future growth
  • LearnQuest's recognition of the importance of this long-term commitment and the value of the client's investment
  • Traditional, Instructor-Led and Virtual Training Delivery Modalities

Need more Information?

Speak with our training specialists to continue your learning journey.


Delivery Formats


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