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How to Become a Top SAS Programmer
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Beth,

 

Thank you and All Analytics for the opportunity!

Prospector

Michael, thanks again for your time today. I enjoyed our conversation! 

Blogger

We'll have to keep our eye for that!

 

Blogger

Beth,

I am seeing about the same number of SAS programming professionals as previously.

Prospector

@michaelraithel -- but are you seeing a larger number?

Blogger

Beth,

I want everybody who participated to think about their SAS programming careers and whre they are going with them.  Don't be complacent; go for it; become the top SAS programmer in your organization!

Prospector

Michael,

No; I am sure there are a lot of SAS experts doing analytics.  I am just not seeing a smaller number of SAS programming professionals in the venues I visit.

Prospector

Michael, you've given us a lot to think about here! Any last thoughts before we sign off?

Blogger

Michael,

Good point.  Well, if you are making good $$$ in a heads-down environment, your contributions to the SAS world will have to be in the evening and on weekends; by participating in SAS social media.

Prospector

are you saying the demand for analytics professionals doesn't translate to a higher demand for SAS experts?

Beth,

I have not noticed any shortage in the number of SAS programmers.  I don't think the perception or challeng of becoming a top SAS programmer has changed.

Prospector

I think the problem with heads-down environments is that some of them, at least, tend to make a lot of money

Michael, we hear so much about the impending talent shortage in analytics. Have you seen this manifest itself specifically in SAS programming? If so, does that change the perception of and challenge of becoming a top SAS programmer?

Blogger

Beth,

I would not thrive in a heads-down environment, myself:-)!

I think individuals in such an environment will have to decide for themselves whether it is "dangerous" to stick out or not.  And, they will make the right decision based on whether they need that job or not.

Prospector

For those of you still with us, do you have any questions for Michael? 

Blogger

Beth,

In the book, I both suggest getting a mentor (for newer SAS professionals) and becoming a mentor (for experienced SAS professionals).

Mentoring other people is a great way to strenthen not only your organization, but your position in it.

 

What works is for one to actively approach other programmers and chat them up; asking if they need help with an idea or approach to a programming problem.  Not doing their work for them; helping them get the ideas or techniques straight.  Do that enough and people know you are the go-to SAS professional in your organization.

Prospector

@michaelraithel -- for career advancement purposes, I have to wonder if the effort to become THE SAS expert at such a heads-down environment is worth it. Maybe it would be better to seek programming work elsewhere!

Blogger

Michael,

 

Unfortunately, those places do exist; I've talked to people who work in them.

To become a top SAS programmer in such places is going to be challenging.  A person is going to have to overtly make the moves to stick out of the crowd and become THAT SAS expert.

Prospector

Ah, ok -- what about mentorship. I love that idea, and would think it'd be particularly beneficial at larger organizations with lots of programmers. What have you seen that works well in terms of successful mentoring?

Blogger

Michael - there are some workplaces where employees are encouraged to communicate their 'wins' and share kudos for deserving colleagues, all of which help build up the 'top SAS' persona. But what about places where everyone keeps their heads down and communication is very scarce?

Beth,

 

Yes, I was thinking of formal code reviews for programs going into production.  The entire team learns from them.

Prospector

Michael, so these code reviews -- these would take place internally, as a formal process, or less formally either internally and/or externally -- or both?

Blogger

Beth,

 

Absolutely!  I advise people to participate in code reviews; those strengthen both the original program and the group's SAS knowledge.

 

It is also useful to have a SAS mentor when starting out; somebody who will share her programs with you so you can learn different approaches and techniques.

Prospector

Michael, is it a good idea to get a hold of others' SAS programs and learn from those?

Blogger

Beth,

 

The Little SAS Book series is popular.

I like Ron Cody's comprehensive:  Learning SAS By Example:  A Programmer's Guide

Prospector

NJPA,

 

Yes, the SAS programming 1 and 2 classes are a very good way to get up to speed.

 

Prospector

Michael, is there any particular SAS documentation you'd point people to for learning SAS programming... at basic and more advanced levels?

Blogger

I'll also encourage everyone to vote in the flash poll on the right-hand side of the page when you get a chance!

Daniel

I think that having a varied programming language experience is a good thing!

Prospector

That was a great session - and for all of you folks in the audience, now's your chance to talk with Michael Raithel directly

Yes, I need to know more form pros in the filed -- WESTAT has STAT in its name ; know of them in DC area. Had some SAS programming in main-frame,  while in DC at PRC - for a Govt Contract. Not much of SAS rather had PC SYSTAT in a single lone Stastisitican in a very large insurance company for over several yrs Could nor  afford / convince the group Mgmt for a SAS On th Main-frame license. Those were still PC based analytics -- Dr. Leland Wilkins PC SYSTAT -- wonderful for a long time SAS needs to have a more moderate pricing. Their taking out SAS  Learning Edition and replaced with ON-Demand. 

 

Prospector

Thank you for your time! This was great

 

Prospector

General question -- does facility with other languages have any direct overlap with SAS?

that's good to hear, borjonx -- so there's a lot of potential there, and it'll deliver ongoing value

Yes it will - I've already evaluated base products from several vendors; they're going to get us started w/a base product that we'll then expand on.  The eco-system is just toooooo cool - very powerful/flexable, reliable, etc.

Prospector

all this GUI work *WILL* eventually replace 'hard core programming' - this has been happening slowly but surely.  If you don't beleive me go program something in assembly, then in Fortran, then in Java, etc.  (finally in PHP!)   :)

 

Prospector

listserv... that sounds quaint :)

borjonx - thanks for the perspective. do you think the pilot will end up being 'picked up'?

What do you consider our organization, Beth? I think there's an element of culture that has to be put into play, as as well, but I was getting calls from around the country within a month of becoming 'the guy' on a particular aspect of our jobs.

What is the time required to become proficient in SAS programming?

Prospector

I took programming-1 and programming -2 class couple of years back and they are really good.

Prospector

org is talking about increasing focus on analytics, especially around big data. 

Prospector

Cost Benefit.  Someone at my org shined light on cost savings, we found out folks at another site had some great SAS success, so we're going to pilot an upcoming project.

Prospector

Easier at small orgs than larger ones, though.

Blogger

Becoming the 'go-to' person is actually easier than it sounds. do it right once or twice and everyone will flock to your door

Using SAS from last 5-6 years.

Prospector

borjonx and murle - what's bringing you to SAS now?

I am also new to SAS programming, but willing to learn any and everything for upcoming projects.

New to SAS , experienced otherwise.

Prospector

I've never touched SAS, but have 20 yrs other languages.  Will be jumping on first project this Fall.

Prospector

I'm a beginner!
I'm curious about the pay scale. How much do entry level SAS programmers make and what kind of increment in salary can I expect?

Prospector

 Listeners, where do you fall on the SAS programming experience spectrum? Beginning or seasoned?

Blogger

Is there an element of politics to play? As in, I'll do 'extra credit' work for a higher-up, but not for a colleague?

Above and beyond your job -- that's an interesting idea and it's one that our management has pushed, too. "Do more." What's the best way to find those opportunities?

It's an Adobe Flash Player - you allow those in prefs?

Prospector

bensenb - maybe refresh the page

your firewall is probably blocking it

Prospector

I will say that nearly 30 years of experience should count 

Still do not see or hear the audio player...

Prospector

wow - that's a pretty hard-hitting question!

Yes - the audio is on, and live chat is working as well.

Prospector

Should I be seeing the audio player yet?

 

Prospector

And of course, the academy!

Hey everybody - should be a very interesting show today

Thanks Beth

Prospector

@NJPA, at start time, the audio player will appear in the window above. 

Blogger

Hi, How do i connect to the broadcast.

Prospector

It's a great book.  I recommended it to the SAS Certificate students at UW-Milwaukee.

Prospector

Listeners, while you're waiting, check out the book here: http://www.sas.com/store/prodBK_64750_en.html 

 

Blogger

I'm looking forward to talking to Beth again; live!

Prospector

I'm looking forward to welcoming Michael Raithel, author of How to Become a Top SAS Programmer, to today's show.

Blogger

Hi everybody. We'll be starting today's radio episode at the top of the hour, 2 p.m. ET. Till then, feel free to introduce yourselves as you join us here.

Blogger

@dipal.patel -- at start time, the audio player will appear in the window above. 

Blogger

Looking forward to the program.

Prospector

How do i connect to the broadcast that starts at 2?

 

Prospector

Looking forward to "seeing" everybody on Tuesday afternoon!

Prospector


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