Collaboration in Managing Computer Systems
Workshop at ACM Group 2012 | Sanibel Island, Florida | October 2012
Call for Participation
Computer systems exist to achieve human goals, such as communication, creativity, and information retrieval. Computer management is the set of those tasks that divert us from our goals: configuration, installation, troubleshooting, etc. Enterprises must maintain large numbers of people whose entire job is management, and it seems that all of us spend more time than we’d like keeping our computers running.
Collaboration is critical to the management of computer systems. This is true at every scale, whether it is our parents asking us for help when “the internet isn’t working,” ourselves searching for the meaning of obscure error messages online, or the teams of specialized enterprise administrators who must work closely together to monitor, understand, and maintain the large IT infrastructures that keep modern society going. User studies of enterprise administrators and IT security practitioners have shown that they engage in an incredible amount of collaboration, and that it is imperfectly supported by existing tools. Users also engage in collaborative practices when managing their home networks.
Following in the footsteps of the interdisciplinary ACM CHIMIT symposium (a venue for research in all areas relevant to HCI and the management of information technology), we are holding a one-day workshop at GROUP, focusing on collaboration in computer management. This workshop’s goal is to bring together researchers, designers, and practitioners who study or have experience in collaboration and computer management. Our goal is lively discussion and exploration of how the latest collaboration research could be applied to reduce the effort of keeping computers working.
Topics for submissions include, but are not limited to:
- Tools and techniques for improved collaboration, including social networking for sharing complex system information and awareness.
- User studies of real-world collaboration in computer management.
- Experience reports by practitioners and researchers.
- Computer supported cooperative work – in enterprise IT, how do those who manage an organization’s IT interact with the users they support, their technical community, and other stakeholders?
- Knowledge Repositories – how can shared knowledge improve computer management?
- Processes and practices – examples of best practices and improved processes for collaboration in IT management.
One possible workshop outcome is to write a paper describing the state of the art of collaboration tools and research for the domain of computer management. Participants would frame this paper during the workshop, and complete it following GROUP for submission to a suitable venue (e.g., ACM Interactions), and/or publication on CHIMIT’s web site (http://chimit.acm.org). If sufficient novel and interesting work is submitted, it might be developed for eventual submission to an appropriate journal special issue or published under the auspices of CHIMIT.
Participation & Contribution Guidelines
In order to foster maximum interaction, the number of participants will be limited to between 15 and 20 people. Participants will be selected based on refereed position papers. Contribution categories are as follows:
- Those with a general interest in the area will be asked for up to 2 pages (regular SIGCHI format) describing their background and potential contributions.
- Those with specific research contributions, either proposed or completed, may have up to 5 pages (regular SIGCHI format).
This workshop will be one-day. The schedule will be dependent on the number and type of contributions, but will include time for the organizers to frame the problem space, participants to describe their positions, and everybody to discuss how to synthesize these positions into coherent work going forward. Audio/visual equipment should include a projector to help people share their ideas.
Dates subject to change based on conference registration deadlines, but will be approximately:
- Position papers due: as soon as possible
- Notification of acceptance: October 1, just in time for the early registration deadline
- Workshop: 28
Submission via E-mail
Please submit your position paper or work-in-progress to the organizers via e-mail, at eben (shift-2) acm.org, and hawkey (shift-2) cs.dal.ca.
Kirstie Hawkey is on the Faculty of Computer Science at Dalhousie University. During her post doctoral research at The University of British Columbia, she worked on the HOT Admin project, which investigated the human, organizational, and technological aspects of IT security work. In addition, she has served on the program committee and as program chair and general chair (2011/2012) for ACM CHIMIT. She is currently investigating how interactive visualizations and system models help system administrators in their work.
Eben M. Haber is a research staff member at IBM’s Almaden Research Center. He spent much of the last decade studying enterprise IT administration, including undertaking field studies, developing prototype tools, and designing new features for middleware management products. He has filled organizational and program committee roles for ACM CHIMIT 2008-2011 (including general chair in 2009), and is a co-author on the forthcoming Oxford University Press book, “Taming Information Technology: Lessons from Studies of System Administrators.”