Book: Taming Information Technology

Taming Information Technology: Lessons from Studies of System Administrators

Eser Kandogan, Paul P. Maglio, Eben M. Haber, John Bailey

Information technology is the foundation of modern life. When talking on the phone, using the Web, or getting money from an ATM, we rely on computers, networks, and databases – systems of information technologies. What keeps these systems running? The answer is people: computer system administrators. Most of the time, the people are invisible.  They work out of sight, down in the data-center, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We only notice them when there is a problem – when we cannot get our email or access our money.  Most of the time, the systems are remarkably robust. How do system administrators keep systems running as well as they do? And how can we help them be better at their jobs?  Taming Information Technology answers these and other questions. Through real-life stories, it documents how dynamic arrangements of people and machines work together to tame complex information technology by developing and adapting tools and practices to create effective work environments and keep systems running.

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