I read Satya Nadella’s Hit Refresh recently, and it was a very enjoyable book. He’s had an interesting journey and I do think he’s dramatically transformed Microsoft. The book is recommended.
Anyway, the Microsoft MVP Program asked is MVPs would share a refresh moment from their lives, so here’s mine:
Hitting Refresh, Over and Over
I think I’ve started to wear the finish off the refresh button, but it’s been a great life and career.
When I entered university at 17, I expected to study computer science and spend a career writing code for some organization. This was the era before the Internet when terminals were hardwired to mainframes, printers were housed in a separate room (with a page budget each semester), and my 300 baud modem allowed me to watch the screen slowly fill with characters. After two years of learning new languages and solving relatively simple problems, I hit refresh and decided finance and business were the direction for me.
I completed a degree in economics, but injured myself playing rugby during my final year. I hit refresh again, not wanting to spend most of my life draped in a suit and tie, pouring over financial documents at a bank. I took a year off, working, playing volleyball, and surfing at the beach. Midway through this year, I became bored and hit refresh a third time, returning to school to study computer engineering.
A year later, after securing an internship writing code and managing a Novell network, I hit refresh again, abandoning my schoolwork and going to work fulltime. I discovered SQL Server and hit refresh yet again. I moved into the data world, spending the next fifteen years working with SQL Server in a variety of industries and positions.
I hit refresh again after starting SQLServerCentral.com and having that become successful enough to support me in a fulltime role. I left employment for my own venture, which was a completely different type of work from writing code for an employer. I became an educator and journalist, seeking to help others grow their SQL Server skills. I was honored to be recognized as a Data Platform MVP by Microsoft for my work here.
Finally, I hit refresh one last time when Redgate Software purchased my business, and I became an evangelist for them. Today, I continue to educate and train others in Database DevOps, and hopefully won’t hit refresh again until I retire.
This post is part of the collection of #HitRefresh moments. Read more at