System administrators as broker technicians

Nicole F. Velasquez, Suzanne P. Weisband

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research investigates the work practices of system administrators. Using semi-structured interviews and an analysis of existing system administrator literature, we theorize that system administrators act as technical brokers who bridge two communities, the end users they support and their own technical community. We also show that system administrators, like other technical workers, rely on contextual knowledge. This knowledge is largely acquired through practice and less through formal education and certification. Through a discussion of common reactive and proactive system administrator duties, we present system administrators as broker technicians who must mediate between the end users they support and their technical community. We end with a discussion of the changing role of sysadmins as their tools and users get more sophisticated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHIMIT 09 - Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology
Pages1-8
Number of pages8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
Event3rd ACM Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology, CHIMIT 09 - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Nov 7 2009Nov 8 2009

Publication series

NameCHIMIT 09 - Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology

Other

Other3rd ACM Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology, CHIMIT 09
CountryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD
Period11/7/0911/8/09

Keywords

  • System administrator
  • Technician
  • Work practice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Information Systems

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  • Cite this

    Velasquez, N. F., & Weisband, S. P. (2009). System administrators as broker technicians. In CHIMIT 09 - Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology (pp. 1-8). (CHIMIT 09 - Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction for Management of Information Technology). https://doi.org/10.1145/1641587.1641588