Usability at Siemens-Dematic
I spent nearly 6 months at Siemens-Dematic working in their Software Products Engineering group, which develops and maintains tools used by their Software Applications Engineering group. My supervisor was Tom Klanderman (a Calvin graduate) and my primary contacts were Roland Schmidt and Jim Terpstra (another Calvin graduate). My primary responsibilities were as an advisor to Siemens Dematic's global task force on usability and interface design. I also performed other smaller studies as issues arose.
The primary impact that this has had and will have on my work at Calvin is that I gained experience working with interface design issues and with the Microsoft.Net framework and tools. I will apply these experiences in CS 262 (Software Engineering) and IS 341 (Database Administration), respectively. Additionally, my contacts have helped two members of our department (Adams and Frens) to secure a contract with Siemens for a 14-week training course with the potential of future extensions.
The publications and scholarship resulting from this externship are as follows:
• Vander Linden, K. (2002). A pilot usability study of sort director installation and configuration. Technical report, Siemens-Dematic, Rapistan Systems.
• Vander Linden, K. (2002). Contiguous zone partitioning in multi-bay warehouses. Technical report, Siemens-Dematic, Rapistan Systems.
• Vander Linden, K. and Reeder, B. (2002). Global strategy for human-system interfaces, information collection, phase I. Technical report, Siemens-Dematic, Rapistan Systems.
• Vander Linden, K. (2002) "Affordable Usability" Seminar, SPE, Siemens-Dematic, Rapistan Division, December 19, 2002.
I greatly appreciate the opportunities that the Externship and sabbatical afforded me this past year and expect them both to continue returning dividends for some time.