Quote for Unicum Beruf on How IT Changes Your Job (in German)

German student magazine Unicum (Beruf) asked for a quote on the impact that IT and the software industry is having on everyone’s job, so here it is:

Die IT verändert die Arbeitsweisen in vielen Berufen. Initial galt dies nur für die IT-Branche selbst und hier insbesondere für die Softwareentwicklung, inzwischen aber sind deren Arbeitsweisen auch in nicht-IT-Unternehmen und Fachabteilungen angekommen. Von der inzwischen ubiquitären Email und der elektronischen Text- und Tabellenverarbeitung über Text-Messaging hin zu heutigen Formen dezentraler entkoppelter Zusammenarbeit wie sie Dienste wie git und GitHub ermöglichen. Aber nicht nur spezifische Software beinflusst die Arbeitswelt, Unternehmen folgen häufig auch den Metaphern der Softwarewelt und wollen heutzutage “agil” sein, wie von der agilen Softwareentwicklung seit 20 Jahren vorgelebt.

The quote or whatever they’ll make of it will appear in an upcoming Unicum issue.

You might also like my paper on the open source developer career.

Wed Nov 19: At Offener IT Gipfel and Hochsprung Award

Today, I was in two places at once. I participated in the Offener IT Gipfel of Germany’s green party where I had been invited to give a talk on open source and to participate in a panel moderated by a member of the German national parliament.

(Local copy.)

I was also present at the Hochsprung Award ceremonies by way of a video recording where we received first prize for our Startupinformatik concept for creating student startups from our computer science Master program.

(Local copy.)

I would usually would have chosen to be in Erlangen to receive the award in person, however, I had long been announced in the Offener IT Gipfel program and could not withdraw, after the Hochsprung-Awards had been decided. My students represented me well.

Summary and Translation of Microblogging Can Enhance Productivity Interview

Courtesy of SAP, here an English-language summary translation of the interview with Oliver Günther on micro-blogging and productivity.

Originally: “Das Microblogging kann die Produktivität durchaus steigern.” Computer Zeitung, June 15, 2009.

The integration of micro-blogging in corporations makes sense, concludes a project by SAP Research in Palo Alto and the Institute for Business Informatics at the Humboldt University in Berlin. In an interview, professor Oliver Günther says that a majority of the focus group that was interviewed in Silicon Valley regard micro-blogging as a collaboration tool that potentially enhances productivity. High potential is seen in the interaction between company and client, in advertising, public relations, and informal communications within a team. Possible applications could be in creative processes or just in the exchange of hints in the service team. Micro-blogging can substitute communication by e-mail or instant-messenger putting it on the micro-blogging platform which is an easy to use tool with broad distribution. However, micro-blogging is not regarded as suitable for every business or every department. It very much depends on the corporate culture: communicative corporate cultures such as in IT would profit. Conservative cultures such as in banking would have problems with integrating this communication channel into their culture. The same applies to the enhancement of productivity. In some cases it will lead to it, in others, micro-blogging only distracts. The communication channel exists and employees and clients expect management to address the right usage of it. Not just addressing and implementing the tool is necessary for making it a success but also management actively participating in it. Last but not least, the clarification of data privacy issues is of paramount importance for the acceptance of micro-blogging in a company.

Full article in German.

Micro-Blogging in the Enterprise Can Improve Productivity

Oliver Günther, a co-author of our micro-blogging in the enterprise study and a Professor at prestigious Humboldt University (of Berlin, Germany), was interviewed by the German tech weekly “Computer Zeitung” on the subject matter. He re-iterated our main point that micro-blogging can improve productivity in enterprises (but also that more work needs to be done). Please see for yourself:

If you’d like to know more you can meet me at the 2009 Theseus Symposium in Berlin, Germany, on June 30th this year, where I will be presenting our work on micro-blogging.

FOSSBazaar: Open Source Under the CIO’s Radar Screen: Good or Bad?

Commercial open source has a peculiar sales process. Frequently, when a firm decides to buy (license) a specific type of software like a content management system or a wiki engine, they’ll find that their company already employs multiple solutions, downloaded for free from the Internet. By some measures, this is dangerous to IT governance, as it bypasses corporate purchasing and operating regulations. On the other hand, open source empowers IT users to make their own decisions early on without having to go through lengthy approval processes, keeping them nimble and speedy. So, is commercial open source good or bad for IT operations and the CIO?

Read more on FOSSBazaar…

Archived copy of article.