2014 is a bit of a special year here at iTech-Ed Ltd. It was our 10th anniversary on 1 February. I thought you might be interested in some of the changes that have taken place in that time.
Before we set up iTech-Ed Ltd, I had worked for Xephon for 18 years. Xephon ran briefings on mainframe topics, ran surveys on mainframe topics, and created user guides to things like databases. In 1986, they decided to try a small publication by CICS professionals for CICS professionals. They called it CICS Update. It sold very well – remember there was no Google or Internet in those days and it was difficult to easily get your hands on working bits of code and alternative solutions to common problems. VM Update followed in 1987, and then a whole range of mainframe-based publications. I was there at the very beginning and over the next 18 years edited most of them.
In 2004, Xephon sold the name and the publications to TCI publications. We set up iTech-Ed and we got the contract to edit around five or six of these Updates each month. My first activity, at one minute after midnight on 1 February 2004, was to upload the new issues to the Web site.
Over the next three and half years, iTech-Ed was responsible for encouraging technical people to write articles, editing and checking them to produce each edition every month, paying contributors, and sending the publications to the printers and putting them on the Web site. A small team of experts checked the text for punctuation and grammar as well as technical accuracy.
At the same time, iTech-Ed was carrying out consultancy work and producing technical documentation that was used in-house by a number of well-known companies. And we also started blogging at Mainframe Update using Blogger and Mainframe World on IT Toolbox
Towards the end of 2007, the Updates ceased publication, and the very first Virtual IMS user group meeting was held using Webex. The user group was immediately very popular and was sponsored by NEON Enterprise Software. That year also saw a growth in number of companies using our Web design and development services.
In 2008 the company took its first steps in offering advice on social media and how organizations could use it both to get their message out there and also to interact with customers in a positive way. It was a hard job back then. I also qualified as a Microsoft Office trainer – MOS MI – and ran a number of on-site training courses.
We picked up the Arcati Mainframe Yearbook – the de facto reference work for mainframers – and have worked with Arcati for many years producing this. The 2014 edition is now available from arcati.com/newyearbook14.
I was made an IBM Champion in 2009 and have been a champion every year since. As well as producing internal documentation for companies, I have had numerous articles published in a variety of Web-based and printed publications, such as Enterprise Tech Journal. In 2010 I attended Microsoft SharePoint Administrator and Developer training. And I started my regular blog on Destination z in July 2011, where I’ve written about Big Data , the Internet of Things, Deep Learning, and, of course, mainframes.
Also in 2011, Fundi Software took over as sponsor of the Virtual IMS user group and we then launched the Virtual CICS user group. Both of them enjoy regular meetings and newsletters and have around 400 members. I chair both of these user groups, and we use Citrix GoToMeeting to facilitate the webinars.
Over recent years, we’ve published guest blogs and I’ve ghost written blogs for many other blog sites. I’ve also contributed to IBM’s IOD blogs for the past couple of years. And I’ve created podcasts for a number of different companies.
So, here we are – 2014. 10 years in business and still very much in demand and looking forward to the future. If you want to get in contact with us, our Web site is itech-ed.com or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. You can Like us on Facebook at fb.com/itech-ed, follow me on Twitter at @t_eddolls, connect on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/in/teddolls, or follow us on Google+ at google.com/+TrevorEddolls.