The main activity of WG 10.4 is to conduct in-depth discussions of important technical topics in the form of focused workshops. A principal theme since the first meeting has been the understanding and exposition of the fundamental concepts of dependable computing. Other major topics that have been the subject of workshops recently include evaluation of dependability and resiliency, experimental methods, dependable operating systems, and failure diagnosis.  Electronic versions of the slides presented at the various workshops are available from the 37th WG meeting in 2000 onward.  In addition to one or more workshops, each meeting also includes research reports that are presented by members and guests, and the WG business meeting. Electronic versions of the presentations made during the research reports sessions and the open part of the business meeting are also available for meetings starting in 2005.

The first meeting of the WG 10.4 was held in Portland, Maine, USA from June 22- 23,1981, and was attended by the 29 founding members. Since then, the membership has grown to over 68 members (including over 14 Emeritus members) from more than 11 countries. Sixty-seven WG 10.4 meetings have been held through 2014 in various locations, including the United States, France, Japan, Brazil, Canada, Germany, Italy, UK, Australia, Austria, Cape Verde, India, South Africa, Sweden, and Tunisia.