Technology for Non-Technical Managers Syllabus (Full Semester)

Note: This is a sample syllabus. The real, updated syllabus is located at, which is password-protected and is available for students and guests only.

In addition to the one-week long intensive version of this course, Washington University asked me to teach the course during a full semester as well. This is the syllabus for the semester-long course.

U48 3411—Technology for Managers: Tools & Strategies
Washington University University College
Scott Granneman

Spring 2007
Tuesdays 7:45—9:45 p.m.
Eads 13

Instructor: Scott Granneman

Adjunct Professor
Washington University in St. Louis
Don't Click on the Blue E!: Switching to Firefox (O'Reilly: 2005)
Hacking Knoppix (Wiley & Sons: 2005)
Linux Phrasebook (Pearson: 2006)
Podcasting with Audacity: Creating a Podcast with Free Audio Software (Prentice Hall: 2007)
Google Apps Deciphered: Compute in the Cloud to Streamline Your Desktop (Prentice Hall: 2008)
Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users: Advanced Capabilities and Techniques (Apress: 2010)
Contributor, Ubuntu Hacks (O'Reilly: 2006) & Microsoft Vista for IT Security Professionals (Syngress: 2007)
Former columnist for SecurityFocus & Linux Magazine
Former professional Blogger for The Open Source Weblog (also see personal blog)
Full list of publications at /writing
Business Owner
Principal, WebSanity
Contact Info
scott at granneman dot com
314-644-4900 (office)
314-780-0489 (mobile)
Twitter: scottgranneman

Course Description

This course is designed for managers involved in making business decisions involving technology. Students are expected to know how to use a computer, but this course is not a hands-on tutorial. Instead, we will discuss a range of issues focusing around modern technologies used by businesses around the world. Topics include networking, communications, open source software, content management systems, computer based training, Web services, Web site usability, wireless, productivity tools, and more.

Required Texts

Readings will consist of articles, analyses, & ephemera from the Internet.


Your grade will be based on the following factors:

Grades will be based on an average of the above as follows:

100 A+
94-99 A
89-93 A-
86-88 B+
83-85 B
79-82 B-
76-78 C+
73-75 C
69-72 C-
66-68 D+
63-65 D
59-62 D-
0-58 F

Accommodation of disabilities: If you have a disability that might affect your ability to complete the required assignments, please contact me during the first week of class to discuss an accommodation.

Academic Integrity

Policy regarding academic dishonesty: This course will follow Washington University's policies concerning academic dishonesty. Academic dishonesty will result in failure for the assignment in question and/or referral to the college's Academic Integrity Office, which has discretion to impose a stricter penalty. While academic dishonesty includes cheating on exams and quizzes, it also includes plagiarism in written assignments. Plagiarism is not only passing off someone else's work as your own, but also giving your work to someone else to pass off as their own. It also includes submitting work from another course. While I strongly encourage you to discuss your work with each other in and out of class, and while you may research issues together, your writing should be your own. The papers you submit must be your work alone, and must include citations to all references in your work. Please include the URL, or web address, for articles and resources found on the Internet.


It is paramount that we respect each other online, in both email and the discussion group. Follow this simple rule: disagree with the idea, but not the person. In other words, it's OK to say "That's a bad idea, because …", and it's not OK to say "You're a bad/stupid/inconsiderate person, because …". If you have an issue with a classmate's behavior online, please bring it to me privately by emailing me at If you'd like to find out more, please feel free to read The Core Rules of Netiquette, by Virginia Shea.

Tentative Schedule

1 ~ Introductions; searching & information literacy

2 ~ Knowledge management & flattening hierarchies
Guest: Robert Citek

3 ~ Computing history 1968-1992

4 ~ Computing history 1992-2007

5 ~ Web evolution & design

6 ~ Web development process
Guest: Jans Carton

7 ~ Technology & the law
Guest: Denise Lieberman

8 ~ E-commerce & payment systems
Guest: Jerry Bryan


10 ~ LAN management: hardware, networking, software
Guest: TBD
Midterm essay due

11 ~ Security vulnerabilities

12 ~ Programming & development
Guest: Bill Edney

13 ~ Open standards & open source
Guests: Robert Citek & Craig Buchek

14 ~ Procurement, management, investment
Guest: TBD

15 ~ Security tools

16 ~ Future trends

17 ~ Final thoughts & goodbyes, wrap ups & evaluations
Final essay due

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