Pledgebank.com Pledge - Ada Lovelace Day

There is this pledge at pledgebank.com I signed up for. Suw Charman-Anderson committed to write a blog about a woman in technology that she really admired, in honor of Ada Lovelace Day (March 24), but only if a certain number of others would do so as well. Suw got more than she bargained for, as many people also signed up. My tribute, such as it is follows, in keeping my pledge, and I am pleased to do this.

We call her Mouse or Mouseling. The people that she works with every day or who interact with her on a regular basis call her something else I suppose. I met Mouse at an information security conference several years ago. She intrigued me because she is not your typical geek or hacker or whatever you wish to call those delicious bits of humanity who see things differently than your standard critter. Mouse, aside from being personally tidy and seemingly without personal drama is also well read, extremely intelligent and has diverse interests. Mouse is also a bit shy, which makes sense to me as I have made feeble attempts to put myself (cerebrally) into her mousey shoes.

She hasn't won a Nobel Prize (yet) and I suspect her public honors are few (yet), however, she is one of the most amazing people I have ever met in my life.

What sets Mouse apart is her passion and heart for her craft and sharing it with like minded people. Mouse's most recent passion has been about the insecurity of voting machines. I have observed this very private person who gets a bit shaky when interviewed, declaim with absolute authority her views and when you watch and listen to her, you know she is right, for her research and reasoning skills are impeccable. I have overheard conversations in which with the same authority, tempered with compassion, Mouse has held her own with others in my community who one would think might carry more intellectual weight. And Mouse has heart. She surely does not know the acts of kindness towards others that I have observed her do: whether it be snagging a bottle of water and a bite for a weary team mate or answering questions from some wonderful newbie; she is there.
It may not seem so important to you? But I have been in the geek community for a long time. That kind of patience and empathy is very important.

So Mouseling! I raise a glass to you in honor of Ada Lovelace Day. May your triumphs be many. You have indeed earned them. And thank you so much for the example you have set before me.

Regards,

V
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