In this interview, SAS programmer Sunil Gupta talks about applying his programming mathematical skills in the in the medical field in areas of computer applications in the medical field, and medical device industry, and got involved in clinical studies, which led him to SAS. As with many programmers, he cites continuous learning as on of the top strategies he and other lead programmers employ over the course of their strong careers. He talks about consummate look for ways to enhance the skill set take a look at the blog’s that are hosted, making use of metadata, and the dictionary tables available that provides information on data sets, and variables that can be used with American programming techniques to make full views. He also speaks at length about his favorite SAS procedure: broadcaster. For him, broadcaster stands above practically any other procedure, and that’s mainly because PROC SQL is the only procedure that is closest to the power of the data step.
Interviewer: Tell us about your professional background in your career path including your SAS book?
Sunil Gupta: Yes well my undergraduate degree Bachelors of Science in applied math, and that a master’s in bioengineering, and I’ve had a strong interest in applying my mathematical programming skills in the in the medical field and so, I specialized in computer applications in the medical field, and I got into medical device industry, and got involved in clinical studies, so with that I started using SAS at a very early stage, and using it to the power that the data management doing the analysis a lot of connecting quite a few studies with that of course proving that the various devices are safe and effective, and along the way I have attended quite a few science conferences, and during that time I was able to have an opportunity to teach a class on faster topic was on a certification, and because of the strong interest that my students had from that I had the idea to convert that class material the course material into a book, and at that time there was no resource available to help guide or prepare students to prepare for the SAS certification exam. So, I kind of put that together to help myself prepared for my certifications then use that to the passed exams, and I was very happy to have that as being one of my books, and another book that I wrote had to do with ODS, and again this was based on a class that I taught at the Western uses a scan on the SAS company that one person, one that I attended was 1994, and I’ve been a regular attendee events I’ve submitted a proposal, and that I was also I was published by a status to conflict results alpha committee system
Interviewer: Incredible. So, it sounds like you’ve had a lot of experience with the teaching as well as the education so from that I’m going to ask you what your three most valuable tips techniques or strategies become a top SAS Programmer will be?
Sunil Gupta: Okay, great yeah I think I think that one of the things that I’ve learned, and that I always look forward to is continuous learning you might have noticed I have quite a few blogs on various topics, and we have done that is because I have a strong interest in mastering concepts so what my first blog was to compare contrast aware versus if, and I want to do that because I saw there are some similarities, and there are some cases that one approach was used instant the other hand, so I put together a blog based on resource that I did. So, I think one of the things that top SAS programmers need to do is consummate look for ways to enhance the skill set take a look at the blog’s that are hosted I put together a blog on that I’ve also compared in contrast hood input another one that I put together is on creating group descriptive statistics using pockets below so continuous learning would be one tip that I would suggest, making use of metadata. Metadata is one of those concepts that kind of when you think about it people may think that it’s more of an advanced topic, well it is very powerful there are some ways that you can get started using metadata that’s not so advanced a really more of a smarter approach to doing programming because then things are data, and a bit much more robust. So, I would say that the second thing is making full use of metadata, and what we’re talking about that is we’re talking about maybe creating a dataset that will help dynamically create for example of the format catalog that’s one of the first things that I recommend programs to do getting their feet wet with metadata is to see how the construction of before mikela can be done by data set, and then of course with the dictionary tables available that provides information on data sets, and variables again that can be used with American programming techniques to make full views, and it’s more intelligent type processing because then we know whether variables are numeric character, and other information such as the length, and width reducible processing there now the third thing that I would recommend is making full use of there’s online plan wiki tool for example taking full advantage of features such as a training that’s being provided, and webinars, and any wiki tools up put together a website which I use regularly has been consulted, and which is SASSavvy, and basically it’s ungrateful resource there’s what if you from people or members of it, and you want to be able to utilize a lot of the resources that are available whether it’s mom Saxons that’s the page or lexingtons or website where you have an access information to Paris conferences, because there’s a tremendous amount of code that’s available, and tips, and some arm information, and what I’ve done that just like notes people are very familiar to notes we have a collection of bookmarks in favorite books marks where you can get a lot of information, I’ve consolidate that into this kind of wiki tool where i can actually look up information there’s keyword search feature in there, so instead of the traditional top-down approach where we will go through the google i can go into SASSavvy for example and type my keyboard, and from there I’ll have organized information on it on the topic that I want they need to have a troubleshooting. So, it makes me much more productive. So, I would say those are the three things that I would recommend programmers to work on to advance in critical time programs.
Sunil Gupta: Yeah I think my favorite SAS procedure would have to be broadcaster well initially when I started off working with SAS I got very familiar with a lot of the procedures, and in fact one of them I actually wrote the code to do, and then I realize oh there’s a procedure for that which is about transplant. So, I got some nice in-flight information as to the background apparently but that our students to realize after that clock is – well is really one of those procedures that stands above practically any other procedure, and that’s mainly because PROC SQL is the only procedure that is closest to the power of the data step , everybody knows that the data step is something that you can write any type of logic, and you have a full count of staff on Sado data Proc SQL is that procedure where you can combine data sets together you can be simple queries you can put filters, and it’s the buckets – well one the block that I wrote on that is something that also gave a presentation at that conferences which is to dynamically create group descriptive statistics this is something that I was doing outside a podcast ago, and it took several steps to do it, several data steps of procedures, and I thought there must be a better way, and I knew lived above Baucus Grove but as visit pushing talk yes could be limit when I wanted it to do several things multitasking. So, I just did some experimenting, and I was really amazed to find out that in one simple, one simple task, one simple procedure using pockets key well I was able to basically replicate what I was doing with special data procedures that took maybe four steps, and to me that really shows the full tower, full flexibility the proc SQL hassle, I would say that would be my favorite procedures.
Interviewer: Alright fantastic, thank you so much for sharing with us today I just have one more question, and that’s if you have any closing words for us
Sunil Gupta: Well I would say that kind of being an SAS program it’s been a very exciting film also in the pharmaceutical industry, and SAS has a lot of tools available to us in the concert industry using the nonprofit board. So, I would definitely encourage you to seek out answers whatever level you are in, whatever industry there are answers for you there are ways to sign up for getting information on your procedure, on your question that you have.So, take advantage signing up for these pains, and that way you can kind of progress, and then I think is your point if you haven’t had a chance to attend any sense conference you definitely want to do that you can do that at a very local level of, and regional, and then maybe warm up to international, in addition there’s success conferences for your particular industry, and that really focuses on that particular net, so, for example, I’ll go to pharmaceutical industry Pharma stuff but there are others, for example, the insurance. So, you may want to take a look at that, and these are fantastic opportunities for you, for example, take your code, take any challenge that you have to talk with experts, talk with us as employees, and the more than willing to listen, and help you, and you know to solve the technical problems that we [unclear]. Thank you so much for this honor