Tech 101: Learning Series Teaches Tech Fundamentals to Future General Managers

December 9th, 2019

Topics: eCommerce Operations

Over the past several years, the Center for Digital Strategies heard from Tuck students and alumni that some students need to learn the basics of the ever-changing technologies—and the digital strategies behind them—required of today’s digital business leaders. Essentially, there was a gap in understanding the fundamentals of technology that needed filling. The CDS stepped in to fill that gap last year with the launch of our Tech 101 Learning Series, open to all Tuck MBA students, faculty, and staff. 

The goal of the series is to expose students—at a high level—to the trends, technologies, and business models of the digital economy. Series presentations cover an array of topics, including technology stacks, cybersecurity, digital business models, blockchain, and cloud computing. Each session focuses on one topic and presents the information through the lens of what general managers need to know about the technology.

For example, when center Executive Director Patrick Wheeler presented to a packed room on “The Tech Stack,” he didn’t anticipate anyone to leave the 1-hour presentation ready to dive into the programming language du jour. Rather, the goal was to introduce participants to the concept of technology stacks and help them better understand how the layers of technology and software that make up modern products and businesses work. This helps not only in making wise decisions, but also with managing technical talent. 

By introducing students to technology fundamentals, the goal of Tech 101 is to get them closer to asking the right questions of the right people, at the right time, and making informed decisions based on those responses when they’re called upon to do so as business leaders. 

“I like the series because of the common language it creates and the different perspectives its participants bring to the content,” says Will Maness T’21 and CDS Associate. Maness elaborates, “A digital marketer, technology risk analyst, and internal strategy consultant all have very different ideas about big data, artificial intelligence, or cloud computing. Once given the same language and framework to debate our perspectives, we can learn more deeply from each other and craft perspectives on critical issues facing today’s business leaders.”

Now in its second year, Tech 101 continues to inform and educate participants. Given technology’s proclivity for change, the center frequently receives feedback for additional Tech 101 topics. This winter, we plan to host sessions on machine learning and artificial intelligence.

We are always looking for interesting topics to learn about and discuss here on campus, so if you have an idea for our Tech 101 series or are looking for other ways to engage with students and the center, please let us know!

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