This course was presented as part of an Engineering Doctorate (EngD) course in Large-scale Complex IT Systems at York University. Students had a background in computer science or engineering and were all working on systems research projects in conjunction with industry.
Aim of the course
The aim of the course was to introduce socio-technical systems and explain why socio-technical issues are particularly important in the procurement, design and operation of large-scale complex IT systems.
Because the students taking this course had little or no previous experience of socio-technical systems and were generally from a technical background, I thought that it was important for them to ‘read-in’ to the course rather than try to cover all of the material in a course introduction. I also asked students to watch three videos on socio-technical systems that I made.
I have given this course several times and select material from a range of lectures that I have prepared. Rather than try and suggest a lecture set, I have made all of my lecture slide decks available here.
Restrictions on use
You may use any of the material made available here under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Sharealike International 4.0 license. You must attribute the material to Ian Sommerville.
WARNING: The lecture material may contain copyright images that have been included under the provision for ‘academic fair use’. The material is intended for non-commercial use only. It is not licensed for commercial use and MUST NOT be used for this purpose.
Lecture: LSCITS and socio-technical systems
Lecture: Cooperative work
Lecture: Human failure
Lecture: Organisational failure
Lecture; Research methods
Lecture: Socio-technical systems engineering
Lecture: Recovering from failure
Assessment for the course was based around setting the students a set of readings of work that I have done on making ethnographic techniques accessible to software engineers and asking a set of questions where the students had to apply the knowledge gained from their reading.