You're the World's Expert

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Space is big. You just won't believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it's a long way down the road to the drug store, but that's just peanuts to space. - Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

SAS is big. It's not quite as big as space, although sometimes it might seem that it's just as vast. You can't know everything about SAS because your brain would explode. But that's why we have user group conferences and proceedings. The expertise isn't simply distributed all over the world. It's scattered over the decades as well, recorded for posterity in the form of SAS user group proceedings.

If you use SAS often, then the chances are pretty good that there is some corner of SAS, some feature or function, that you know better than just about anyone else. Whether it's some special use of the DATA step, a unique database structure that you use for reporting, a production chart that has become mission-critical in your organization, or some unique use of one of the thousands of SAS procedures, statements or functions: there is something that you know about SAS that no one else knows. For that one aspect of SAS, you are the world's foremost expert.

For me, my "World's Expert" debut was at SUGI 21, when I presented "Developing Native Help for SAS/AF Applications." The year was 1996, and I can say it with confidence: nobody knew more than I did about developing help content with Windows Help and OS/2 IPF, and integrating it with a SAS/AF application.

That's not Nobel prize material, but I know that my conference paper helped hundreds of people. My presentation was attended by maybe 50 people on a brisk March day in Chicago, but the content lives on within proceedings. Even though I don't think it gets much reference now (at least, I hope it doesn't), it was my first user group talk...and I've written or contributed to dozens of others since then.

You still have time to share your SAS expertise with the world. The Call for Papers is still on for SAS Global Forum 2011 (until October 25). In this case, what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas; it is shared with the SAS community around the world and across the years.

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About Author

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.

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