Monday, January 11, 2016

IEEE Collabratec: Online Professional Collaboration System

The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) have a new system called "IEEE Collabratec" for on-line professional collaboration. I have been a member of IEEE for years, but rarely do more than read the publications, as they do not have many meetings nearby. I was skeptical of the idea of an on-line collaboration platform, but decided to try it. I entered the email address and password which I use for the IEEE website (I only use this once a year to renew my subscription).

The system asked me to search for topics of interest, so I entered a few (it did not seem to have those already entered against my membership). The system then invited me to select from a long lists of groups. This was a little confusing as geographically based groups seemed to be mixed in with topic based ones (and there was no pre-selection based on the interest areas I had already input). I then got an error message, perhaps became I had entered too many.

The system offered to help find me a job so I filled this out (apart from the desired salary). The system asked if I had published any papers and I was able to search the IEEE Digital Library and find four.

The result is a public profile of
https://ieee-collabratec.ieee.org/app/p/tomworthington

The process was not too onerous. It was useful that some fields were pre-filled from the existing IEEE membership system. It would be helpful if other information, such as employment record and qualifications could be imported from LinkedIn.

What was disappointing was the apparent lack of any actual "collaboration" facilities.  At one point I was offered a Google Docs account, but I already have several of those from various projects and did not really want another. If this is all the collaboration facilities IEEE is offering, then the result is disappointing.

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