David Redmiles gave the opening keynote address at the Brazilian Symposium on Collaborative Systems (SBSC 2012). David also participated in the writing workshop at SBSC as a mentor. The symposium took place from Oct. 15-18, 2012 in São Paulo, Brazil.
Awareness, Trust, and Tool Support in Distance Collaborations
Our day-to-day activities and especially our work increasingly involve distance collaborations. As individuals, we work in isolation and integrate results via collaborative technologies. Also, with great frequency, we see new kinds of collaborative technology and variations on existing technologies supporting new tasks or new aspects of activities. This trend of distributed, collaborative work and the technologies supporting it fuel one another and the combination motivates the research that my group has performed for the past several years. The problems are fascinating in their diversity and human-centered nature. Indeed, while we study and develop technologies for supporting distance collaborations, we equally study individuals’ and organizations’ reactions to, use of, and disuse of these technologies. In this talk, I will discuss a wide range of technologies we have developed, theoretical findings we have made, and approaches we take in researching distance collaborations. While the theories and concepts apply to multiple domains, the examples discussed are almost exclusively in the context of collaborative software engineering. Examples of the topics I will discuss include the following: tool support, visual user interfaces, awareness and trust among collaborators, effects of gender and culture, and empirical work in organizations and laboratory settings. Most of all, I wish to share with the audience the excitement and the overall promise of research in this area.