Have you seen that new show Glee? It is a musical-comedy about a glee club struggling to survive in a cheerleader-dominated world. Fox describes it as “a new comedy for the aspiring underdog in all of us.” I’m feeling like an aspiring underdog these days. But, like the kids in the glee club on the show, at least I have my partners in martyrdom to keep me motivated.
Our study group met for the first time to outline a schedule of “assignments” (which I need desperately to keep me focused). The group is small—just three of us—so I suspect we’ll be getting to know each other pretty well. Our idea is to assign ourselves readings from the Certification Prep Guide and then also a companion SAS Press book (right now the book of choice is Ron Cody’s Learning SAS by Example). We are expected to have covered the material in the books before we meet so that we can have a lucid discussion and bring questions and problems to the table in the hope that the others can help.
Our first assignment is big: chapters 1 through 4 of the Certification Prep Guide and chapters 1 through 5 of the Cody book. But each of us has gotten through a fair chunk of one or the other of the two books, so it isn’t quite as daunting as it seems. For example, I am already on chapter 3 of the Prep Guide, after having completely bombed the quiz following chapter 2 (I scored 60%). Very tricky, those Prep Guide writers (I’m thinking of you Dan Harrell, future PROC CERTIFY; guest blogger). One problem was the whole 4-digit versus 2-digit year thing. Their trick question:
In order for the date values 05May1955 and 04Mar2046 to be read correctly, what value must the YEARCUTOFF= option have?
a. A value between 1947 and 1954, inclusive
b. 1955 or higher
c. 1946 or higher
d. Any value
Thinking I was smart, I answered “a.” Of course the answer is “d,” because the scenario in the question used 4-digit numbers, so that, at least from the way that I understand it, the YEARCUTOFF= option is not necessary.
An inauspicious start. I hope it gets easier.
I’d love to hear from any of you who have taken the exam using the Prep Guide. Does the amount of material we hope to cover in two weeks sound about right? Too much? Too little? We welcome your comments, suggestions, and questions. And the invitation is still open if you want to join our own little glee club. Just send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this post.