I love SAS. I’ve been using SAS many years. I’ve got a medical background back in China and after I immigrated to Canada, so, mostly I do the research part and not the practice part anymore. I love research, and I use SAS in my research, and I also use OR. When I was doing my Ph.D. at the University of Toronto, I taught the graduate courses biostatistics using SAS; it is really powerful and very useful. I would say that the vast package of the statistical platform in the world right now although OR is a little more advanced than SAS, but the gold standard should always be SAS.
Currently, I’m working at the Everest clinical research, certain pharmaceutical companies with their clinical trials. My daily job involves using SAS every day, and I use SAS for data handling, data management, data processing and also statistical analysis.
Can you propose 3 valuable tips or strategies that are necessary to become a top SAS programmer?
I’m not fully qualified to give you any suggestions or otherwise because I’m still learning, SAS is a huge package, nobody can be an expert in every aspect SAS, but according to my experience I would say the first one is to practice more; right? Because there are thousands of SAS functions and SAS utilities out there on the website and any forum, communities you can just to talk to anybody if you have any issues or problems. I would say twice or more because you know there are similar functions in SAS that are doing a similar job, for example, the “Index” function and also the “Find” function. They can be used the same way whether Index may be different I would say twice more…. you can have more knowledge and a better understanding of SAS function.
And the second or one I would say try to learn another language, for example, the OR and any other language because the Syntax is different from SAS. It will be helpful to help you understand what we are doing in two different approaches to the same goal, and you can have a better understanding and a better grasp of the utilities behind the scene.
And the third one I think is to talk to more experienced SAS programmer and people who have more experience using SAS because they’ll always give you very useful recommendations. You don’t have to waste too much time if you have a problem or have an issue.
Which SAS procedure do you find the most useful (do you use most often)?
Every procedure is really useful, is really powerful because you know every procedure is just like it and you can’t erase it, it’s self-contained; everything in there. I would not say I prefer one over the other but if you force me to say something I would say the most commonly used…. I use the procedure PROC FREQ, PROC TRANSPOSE, TRANSPOSE is very because you have a different data structure and you use PROC TRANSPOSE to change the data structure any way that you want, and the PROC FREQ is very useful as well because if you use PROC FREQ a single time is like…. it’s really a SAS and he can you can see exactly the variables in that data set and also the frequency and percentage
Any closing words?
I’m still a learner, so I hope we know that there will be more people joining this huge community and we can learn and study together and also, we can make SAS better.