Saturday, January 05, 2008

MIT’s new Open Courseware (OWC) web site

I was listening to IT Conversations earlier this week while jogging and heard the mention of MIT’s new Open Courseware (OWC) web site. After checking it out I found that OCW is a free publication of course materials used at MIT. The site provides access to course lecture notes and audio and video files, labs, and resources on a variety of subjects.

Of late, I have been diving into the business aspects of development. I must say to my shame I should have had this perspective much earlier in my career. Do not misunderstand me, I have always developed to solve a business need, but I am looking further up the value chain to explore how software applications in particular and technology in general can enhance innovation. With that said, I find OWC’s link to the Sloan School of Management providing helpful resources. For example, the reading list from the Management Information Systems: Generating Business Value from Information Technology provides a list of resources to read. One of the resources listed is an article from Harvard Business Review, October 2002, entitled Six IT Decisions Your IT People Shouldn't Make. A quote from the article states:
Our center runs a seminar called "IT for the Non-IT Executive," and the refrain among the more than 1,000 senior managers who have taken the course runs something like this: "What can I do? I don't understand IT well enough to manage it in detail. And my IT people - although they work hard - don't seem to understand the very real business problems I face."

I want to better understand real business problems and more effectively utilize software to solve them.

Finally, while this does not present an MIT education, it does provide supplemental materials for one’s academic and professional pursuits.

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