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Suzanne Niles

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Suzanne is a lifelong explainer by nature and profession – a hybrid tekkie/artist with an itch to document, illustrate, celebrate, or commemorate just about anything in a way that brings a smile of understanding, satisfaction, or just plain joy. The medium for expression can be a document, an illustration, a photograph, a video, a website, a slide presentation, or even a song!

After three years at Wellesley College, she abandoned liberal arts for programming and ended up with a degree in computer science from MIT (back when computer science was just a concentration in the Electrical Engineering Department). Her bachelor’s thesis was an early sign of the mixup between tech and art – a program for handwritten character recognition.

She began her technical career as a systems programmer for the groundbreaking commercial data management system EXPRESS, based on Ted Codd’s innovative work in relational databases, using the early time-sharing operating system Multics. Programming gradually shifted to an interest in customer support and then to user documentation that resulted in a complete 1000-page reference manual for the entire system and a number of quick-reference guides.

A second career developed during the time she was raising her two sons. Again combining tech and art, she became a children’s singer/songwriter working from a do-it-yourself home studio, doing end-to-end songwriting, production, engineering, arranging, and performing. Her award-winning album Sea Songs
has been sold in several aquarium gift shops worldwide.

Suzanne first worked with our founder Wes Kussmaul in 2004, when she edited his book Quiet Enjoyment (forerunner of the current Quiet Enjoyment, Second Edition). After a decade hiatus during which she wrote white papers explaining data center power and cooling for American Power Conversion (now part of Schneider Electric), she is now back with The Authenticity Institute, producing videos to illustrate and explain our critical messaging.