September 11th 2006, 5 years after the terrorist attacks in the United States, they started to plot a small attack here in Leuven. Later, this attack would be claimed by vICTory-be and Abis.
They attempted to bring eight youngsters, fresh from school, to learn everything about 'The Mainframe'. There went our student life and our holiday. Each day the same routine; wake up early, pay attention, make exercises, go home and sleep. All of a sudden, we found ourselves in a 9 to 5 schedule. You, as a reader, probably understand that I perceived this as an attack on myself!
Two months it would last. Two months looking at a screen ... and why ? Didn't we study enough yet ? Didn't we learn everything at school to start a job ? Apparently not ! From the first day, we were immersed in the courses. We started with the age-old COBOL, the consulting of DB/2 and the writing of online applications with CICS . then telling JES2 what to do with all those data. We also learned about the more theoretical aspects. We studied the basics of the operating system MVS, the Websphere environment, schedule tasks with CA-7...
Our group had a blast. We all tried to survive those weeks by making jokes and laughing a lot. In general, it was much more relaxed than our familiar school environment. For me personally, it was a good transition between school and a "real" job.
Spontaneously, at 10.30 AM, our stomach started gasping for a biscuit or a piece of cake. There sure was enough food . I guess a good mainframe guy needs a belly and a beard. At noon we had a choice between a wide variety of sandwiches like Theo, Rita, Denise, Luna, . or a warm meal. Yes, we were spoilt.
But we were also hard workers. We tried to proof this the last week during the "case study". In this case study, the teachers tried to establish a real-time environment. Several times, we encountered problems that were provoked by our teachers. But this didn't stop us from finishing our project in time and presenting it before the extreme severe jury.
After liters of coffee, kilo's of cake, way to much "finally's" and a good toast, we finished our 2 month project. We were crammed to enter the business world.
To all the people who thought that the mainframe is death, I would like to say: Attention, times are changing!