SAP is Waiting for You – at CHI 2004, Vienna

By Matthias Vering, Vice President, SAP User Experience, SAP AG – March 26, 2004

You may have read the German version of Tom DeMarco's and Timothy Lister's renowned book on project management Peopleware: It's German title translates as "Vienna waits for you!" (Wien wartet auf Dich!). I am sure you will agree that such a declaration sounds enticing: Vienna is a beautiful European metropolis offering a wealth of historic sights and cultural treasures. This year, however, there's an even better reason to visit Vienna if you are a member of the user interface design community: The CHI 2004 conference will take place there from April 24 to 29, 2004. As a visitor to this Website, you will probably know that the conference, held by the Special Interest Group for Computer-Human Interaction, or SIGCHI, is "the premier international conference for human-computer interaction." At this conference, you will meet up to 2,000 colleagues, see the bigwigs in the field, listen to and maybe even talk with them, discuss the latest trends in user interface design, and feel part of a community that is playing an increasingly important role in the software design process.

CHI 2004 artwork

Figure 1: The CHI 2004 artwork visualizes the conference motto "Connect"

The CHI conference's move to a location relatively close – on a global scale – to SAP's headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, this year inspired us to become a champion sponsor, demonstrating SAP's commitment to placing the user at the center of our software design process. There's no denying that, for business software, user productivity is paramount: Applications that are tailored to the users' tasks and are easy to work with make users more productive. In addition, I can see a trend to create user interfaces through software configuration rather than programming. Standardized user interface modules will help us increase the efficiency of our software development process. But it is not only about effectiveness and efficiency: When developing people-centric software, we also keep a close eye on the user's experience. Productivity, ease of use, and joy of use go together – life is too short to exclude joy from work.

Hofburg, Wien

Figure 2: The Habsburg Hofburg in Vienna

Aiming at developing world-class user interfaces, SAP is inviting the best user interface designers to stop by at our recruiting booth in the Exhibits area (booth L). Talk with SAP's user interface design experts about our new, exciting approaches to people-centric software, and ask about career opportunities at SAP worldwide – be it at the headquarters in Walldorf, Germany, at SAP Labs in Palo Alto, or at SAP Labs in Bangalore, India. About a dozen of SAP's user interface designers will attend the conference and be at your disposal this year.

Djungle in the Tropenhaus

Figure 3: Inside the new Tropenhaus (tropical house), from the "Haus des Meeres" Website)


Certainly, there is more to see in Vienna than the CHI conference and SAP's recruiting booth: There's Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral), Karlsplatz, and the controversial Hundertwasser house. The newly established MuseumsQuartier has become the center of Austria's cultural life, and the Prater has been a park for fun and recreation for generations. On the outskirts of the city, you'll find Schönbrunn Palace and many more places worth seeing. As Vienna has so many interesting attractions, let me just suggest one of my favorites: Don't miss the new Tropenhaus (tropical house), an extension of the Haus des Meeres: "You walk over wooden paths, breathing the moist and warm air of tropical regions. Crossing a suspension-bridge and passing a cascade, you will be surrounded by free-flying, beautifully colored birds and other animals that will come very close to you." (from Website)


Why hesitate? Vienna is waiting for you – and the CHI conference and SAP are waiting for you, too. See you at the SAP recruiting booth at CHI 2004 in Vienna!

P.S. The day after the CHI, there is a free tour to the Ars Electronica Center in Linz. In cooperation with Ars Electronica, SAP has installed numerous interactive media installations, turning the building into a public media arts project.


  • Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister (1999). Peopleware. Dorset House Publishing Company, Inc. (ISBN: 0932633439)
  • Tom DeMarco & Timothy Lister (1999). Wien wartet auf Dich! Hanser (ISBN: 3446212779)


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