Hatching success at SAS Professionals

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I'm at the SAS Professionals Convention in Marlow, UK, where over 100 SAS users participated in one of the largest SAS certification events ever held.

Also present at the event: a mother duck working to achieve a milestone of her own, by hatching a family of ducklings. According to the local SAS staff, the ducklings are due in just over a week's time. (They used PROC FORECAST to predict the date, I think.)

Nesting ducks on the grounds

The staff here are protective of the duck and her shell-covered family. They have posted signs around her nest and fashioned a 3-walled crate to keep her safe.

The same thing happened last year at this event -- except that the ducks were further along and hatched during the conference. With over 200 people present, it wasn't safe to allow the mother duck to do what comes naturally by leading the ducklings to wherever ducklings must be led. So the staff acted as a surrogate nanny, gathering the ducklings to a safer part of the grounds, and allowing the mother to follow -- right through the inside of the building, mind you -- and then meet up with her chicks. Mama Duck took over from there, and all was well. And the SAS staff and customers who witnessed it had something to talk about. And of course they still talk about it.

Today, no ducklings hatched, but there were dozens of newly certified SAS programmers who have cracked through one more shell, allowing them to grow professionally and socially along with their new-found colleagues and friends in the SAS Professionals community.

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Chris Hemedinger

Senior Manager, SAS Online Communities

+Chris Hemedinger is the manager of SAS Online Communities. Since 1993, Chris has worked for SAS as an author, a software developer, an R&D manager and a consultant. Inexplicably, Chris is still coasting on the limited fame he earned as an author of SAS For Dummies.  He also hosts the SAS Tech Talk webcasts each year from SAS Global Forum, connecting viewers with smart people from SAS R&D and the impressive work that they do.

5 Comments

  1. I hope they didn't use PROC FORECAST as the ducklings hatched last night! Mother and chicks seemed to be doing well despite around 150 convention attendees being there with them - careful eyes were still watching over them though :o)

    Another good day at the convention, thanks for the insights into EG 4.3 Chris and answering all our R&D questions!

  2. AnnMaria, you really should! It's primarily a SAS education-driven event, and you might be able to secure a speaking slot in one of the expert streams.

    Or, just go and soak in the SAS knowledge along with the beautiful English countryside.

  3. Inspiring!

    If ducks deserved all the attention of the SAS team, more so the, we programmers aiming to attend the accreditation.

  4. Sheryl Sabinski on

    Unfortunately I moved to America a week prior to this event and had to miss it. If I'm lucky my husband and I will be planning to come back whilst the event happens next year and I can attend (fingers crossed for more ducks too, haha).

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