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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Version Control

Two things that make me nuts when I work with SAS:
no here documents
no string interpolation

Ok, now that I got that out of the way. I am thinking of putting together a talk on version control for SAS programmers. Do you currently use version control for your SAS programs? Yes, no, which one, why?

I use git for nearly everything. Not sure how I ever got by without it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Resume Motivation

The other day I blogged about my new SAS-Resources site and some of my motivations for creating it. But I left one motivation out of that introductory post. Not because it is less important, actually it's one of the most important. So important that I wanted to talk about it in its very own post. So what motivation is that? Resumes. Specifically, resumes are broken.

They don't work. They fail you the job seeker. They fail the companies who want to hire you. They're a terrible way of communicating who you are and what you are capable of. Recruiters scan resumes for keywords. So people naturally cram their resumes full of keywords. The result is unreadable. It tells you nothing about the human you may be hiring.

Just as an example, I googled SAS RESUMES. The first hit was a sample resume from
SAS Developer Sample Resume

The good new is, if you want to learn how to write your SAS developer resume, this is a good one to follow. The bad news is, it's just as bad as most of the others. It's lacking one very important thing: a body of work.

A body of work is a much better way of showing who you are and what you are capable of. So when I started thinking about creating SAS-Resources it was very important for me to create a platform that people could use to promote themselves. Not every programmer has time to answer questions on mailing lists and forums, or write lengthy blog posts (ha!), or put together and present papers at conferences. But surely you've written code that could be explained in a recipe. So that another programmer who is wondering "How do I ___ in SAS?" could read your recipe and "like" it. Which creates an online body of work that you could easily share through your public profile (exa: Thus communicating to a potential employer that you are not just a set of keywords and technical terms, but a good coder who can get things done and explain how you did it.

Thursday, March 08, 2012

SAS-Resources Site

Man it has been a long time since I updated this blog! But I have a good excuse. I have been working on a new site to share SAS stuff.

There are already sites for programmers to share information, why would you create another one? Good question!

Pretty much the top three online resources are:, SAS-L, and forums.

SAS-L is an awesome way to get questions answered quickly. If you've got a SAS related question, SAS-L is probably the best place to get it answered. Its user community is nothing short of amazing. However, an email list is not a very good platform to search for, view, and store information.

Same thing with the forums at They are great for getting questions answered. And forums are a little more information friendly for searching, etc. But their main drawback is that threads lose visibility as they age.

The site is a better platform for sharing information. It allows users to create content through articles/pages. It has a tip of the day. It lets users comment on the content that people have shared. But... it uses a wiki format. It's probably just me, but I just cannot get my head around it. I find it confusing as all hell to use.

There are also some other online resources such as blogs, facebook, linked-in, analytic-bridge, etc. These each have their own pluses and minuses, but unfortunately it means a lot of good information gets spread across multiple places.

So I wanted to build a site that will:
Provide one place for SAS programmers to learn from and share with other SAS programmers.
Be dead simple to use.
Reward users for providing good content.
Allow content that users like to bubble-up and be more visible.
Be fun to develop and fun to use.

So those were the requirements I set out for myself a few months ago and here is the result (so far).

Please check it out and maybe share a code recipe, or two, or a few!

Any comments, questions, recommendations are always welcome. Thanks! -s