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Taming Information Technology


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Table of Contents

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS PROLOGUE: WHY WE WROTE THIS BOOK Chapter 1: MOTIVATIONS AND METHODS Trends Business Labor Automation Our studies Questions Methods Descriptions Analysis Roadmap Summary Chapter 2: PEOPLE AND COLLABORATION The Story of George, Web Administrator Complex Technical Environment Mysterious Errors Remote Troubleshooting Obstacles to Collaboration Debugging George System Administration as Collaboration Chapter 3: TECHNOLOGIES AND COMPLEXITY The Story of Dot, Web Administrator Coordinating Information Grounding System State Manual Interactions Solving the Puzzle of Complexity The Story of the Crit Sit Transient Problem Summarizing System State Making Sense of Chaos Complex Interactions Grounding in a Complex Environment Chapter 4: PRACTICES AND INNOVATION The Story of Christine and Mike, Database Administrators Copy, Test, Document, Revise Formal and Informal Organizational Support Rehearsing Procedures Organizational Awareness Multiple Checks for Risky Operations Managing Risk The Story of Patrick, Capacity Planner Allocation by the Book Allocation by Experience By the Book versus by Experience Managing Innovation Reduces Risk Chapter 5: TOOLS AND AUTOMATION The Story of Shawn, OS Administrator Balancing Customization and Automation Homemade Tools Coordinating with the Customer Customization, Automation, Coordination The Story of Diana and Mark, Storage Administrators Automate as Much as Possible Building One of a Kind Tools The Story of Jimmy, Database Administrator Creating System Administration Tools Chapter 6: ORGANIZATIONS AND INFORMATION The Story of Henry and Ryan, Storage Administrators Optimizing within an Organization Reducing Friction Between Organizations Grounding Past and Future Synchronizing Work Across the Organization Orchestrating Information Flow The Story of Amy, Transition Manager Information Hub Activity Hub Orchestrating Organizations Orchestrating the Flow of Information and Work Chapter 7: COMMUNITIES AND TRUST The Story of Joe and Aaron, Security Administrators Human Judgment Required Working with the Local Community A Global Response to a Global Attack Sharing Tools Locally and Globally Using and Developing Community Tools System Administration across Communities Chapter 8: FINDINGS AND LESSONS System Administrators Depend on Collaboration System Administrators Create and Adapt Tools and Practices Organizations Orchestrate Information Flow and Work System Administrators Depend on their Communities Automation Cannot Replace System Administrators Conclusion EPILOGUE: WHERE ARE THEY NOW? George, Web Administrator Dot and Nora, Web Administrators Diana, Storage Administrator Ryan, Storage Architect Amy, Transition Manager Aaron and Joe, Security Administrators The Journey Continues REFERENCES Index

About the Author

Eser Kandogan is a research staff member at IBM Research - Almaden and manages a group conducting research on visual interfaces to data. He served as the general chair and program chair for ACM CHIMIT symposium and was a member of the program committee for several conferences including ACM CHI, USENIX LISA, and IEEE Policy. He holds a B.Sc. degree in computer engineering and information sciences from Bilkent University, Turkey and a Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland, Computer Science Department. Dr. Kandogan has over 50 publications in areas such as human-computer interaction and information visualization. Paul P. Maglio is a research scientist and manager at IBM Research - Almaden. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering from MIT and a Ph.D. in cognitive science from the University of California at San Diego. One of the founders of the field of service science, Dr Maglio serves on the editorial boards of the Journal of Service Research and Service Science, and was lead editor of the Handbook of Service Science. Dr Maglio has published more than 100 papers in computer science, cognitive science, and service science, and is an Associate Adjunct Professor at UC Merced, where he has taught service science since 2007. Eben Haber is a research staff member at IBM Research - Almaden, where he has worked on topics including IT System Administration (including studies of sysadmins, developing prototype administration tools, and designing new features for middleware management products), as well as research on end-user programming and information visualization. He holds an A.B. in computer science/physics from Dartmouth College, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. As the only person on earth so named, a wealth of additional information about him can be found using any web search engine. John Bailey is a Director of Product Design at CA Technologies, where he creates leading-edge product user experiences for the management of information technology. Previously, John was a research scientist at IBM Research - Almaden, where he did research on service systems, specializing in human factors in information technology service engagement and delivery. He has also been the Lead User Experience Architect for IBM WebSphere Application Server and manager for user-centered design. Prior to working at IBM, John was a Research Fellow with The Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, conducting research in simulation, training, and virtual reality at the US Army Research Institute. He has published in the areas of virtual reality, human-computer interaction, automation, simulation and training, systems administration, and service science. John has a PhD. in Human Factors Psychology from the University of Central Florida.

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