Ada Lovelace Day 2009 - Susan Bradley - SBS Diva

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jethro's picture

Ada Lovelace Day is an international day of blogging to draw attention to women excelling in technology.

SusanBradley Women’s contributions often go unacknowledged, their innovations seldom mentioned, their faces rarely recognised. We want you to tell the world about these unsung heroines. Entrepreneurs, innovators, sysadmins, programmers, designers, games developers, hardware experts, tech journalists, tech consultants. The list of tech-related careers is endless.

The Finding Ada blog set up a pledge process to find 1,000 people to publish articles on women who have excelled in IT and are role models for other women in the industry and for those thinking of starting careers in IT.

At SpyJournal we have been focussing on Geek Girl Bloggers in the last 10 months as a special interest in women in IT. At the time of writing the articles published in the last 10 months have attracted more than 35,000 readers.

We have already featured Susan Bradley as a SpyJournal Geek Girl Blogger but decided she was the best in a field of amazing women to focus our attention on for this special event. So without further ado let me present Susan.


To be brought up in the same sentence as Ada Lovelace is  impressive and humbling.  Kudos go to all women in society who forged an unusual path.  Mine is a little more ordinary.

I would like to say that I began my interest in technology in High School where the school had an early model WANG computer, but honestly that’s not where the interest began.  It was actually in college where those of us obtaining the accounting degree had to take Basic and Cobol classes.  The very first computer programming job we were required to so involved IBM Punch cards.  Back in those days if you made even ONE mistake or had a hanging chad anywhere, your software program might fail.  When I started to work at my firm soon after college, I was the one in the office that knew more about computers than the rest.  So it naturally fell to me to work with those “things” and deal with the IT vendors.  To this day I’m not sure how I found the newsgroups but I started out lurking there, then posting when I knew answers.  In the SBS 4.5 era the newsgroups led me to buy a third party pop connector program to gather our email and there was one day that the Consultant that came in to work on the system asked me where I had gotten the program and how it worked.  Word of mouth marketing worked way back then as well.

Many people ask how one can do community and do work at the same time and I’ll be the first to say that if I had a husband and a traditional family of two kids and a dog I probably would not be as involved as I am.  Instead I have one spoiled white poodle, a white Mini Cooper and my family includes a bunch of geeks that live around the world.  I strongly believe in the pay it forward concept as I find that whatever I give, I get back 10 fold.  If you stop thinking about “What’s in it for me” and instead look at the benefits you get back in terms of a worldwide brain trust that you can call upon at a moment’s notice, you soon realize that paying it forward pays you back in ways you never thought of.

In 2000 I was asked to be a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional for my volunteer work with Small Business Server 2000 (at that time).  By this time I had moved from lurking in the newsgroups to answering questions.  Microsoft looks in the community and tries to identify those people that pay it forward and in turn tries to empower them with access and some additional resources.  Some of this access is closer communication to the product and support teams, some is gaining feedback to betas, some is being able to peek behind the curtain and see what they are working on next.

Back in 2003 I was asked to take over the administration of a blog site and at that time I didn’t blog at all.  At first I was wondering exactly what I should blog about so I started putting up tech notes and what not.  Then it turned into occasional opinion pieces and now it’s a blend of technical information, opinions, Mini Cooper news and the occasional rant. 

MinicooperSusan is a partner in the CPA firm TAMIYASU, SMITH, HORN & BRAUN

She is mad keen about her Mini Cooper and the Mini club group photo has her Mini in the front.

Around the world she is known as the SBS Diva, and blogs on her site titled the same. She is well respected by her peers and often referenced by them as the font of SBS knowledge.


Here is a testimonial from another SBS’er Mike Kavka

The things I think of when I think of Susan Bradley are, honesty, and integrity. In the years that I have been following her blog I have seen things I agree with and things I disagree with, but she is always as thorough and honest as possible. I recommend her blog to anyone working with SMBs, and hope that she continues to give out information for many years to come.

Mike Kavka

I will update this article with any further testimonials I am sent by others of her peers in this field, or indeed people who like myself have been helped by Susan. Here is my testimonial:

I have been blessed immensely by her Pay it Forward principle. In my early days of setting up our SBS server Susan not only gave me endless advice at weird hours, she gave me access to her FTP server, sent me a SBS Best Practices textbook free and to this day still takes my MSN calls for help when ever I have a problem or question.

Thanks Susan – this article is one small way of giving back recognition to a lady who needs none from me. May you continue to be an inspiration to women and men in IT as a shining example of triumphing over evil – I mean Apple, I mean – oh just a shining inspiration will do!


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William Lefkovics's picture

I have met Susan in person,

I have met Susan in person, but do not know her that well. I do find her a tireless, consistent, helpful, detail-oriented pillar of the Microsoft technology community. I also know aside from SBS, she has an affinity, either by choice or perhaps necessity, for the security side of IT as well.

I try not to pay attention to my peers based on gender, hair color, ability/disability, facial hair or most other characteristics, but in certain circumstances, it is beneficial that someone does. Susan deserves the recognition.

William Lefkovics, Microsoft Exchange MVP

Anthony Short's picture

I do volunteer support for

I do volunteer support for non-profit organizations running SBS. No money involved here, no employees with certifications. Just best effort to keep the business running. I couldn't do this job without Susan's blog. Pretty much every day I learn something relevant, and often essential to the job. Thank you for all your community work - it really does multiply out across the globe.

jethro's picture

Thanks for the comments - I

Thanks for the comments - I hope more people who have benefited from Susan comment also

Linda Sherman's picture

It's good to hear that you

It's good to hear that you have been featuring Geek Girl Bloggers. Nice feature on Susan Bradley.
I did my Ada Lovelace Day post on Esther Dyson


charles's picture

Nice to learn about this

Nice to learn about this international blogging day - Ada Lovelace Day. Women are equally intelligent or maybe more intellectually-gifted than most men :) Their opinions are worth reading and listening to. Big thanks to their wonderful contributions.

Grow A Better Garden's picture

Very great features.. Good

Very great features.. Good job.