When I travel to San Francisco in April for SAS Global Forum 2013, it will make my 12th time to attend the international SAS users group conference, and my 7th consecutive year.
A lot of people assume that I automatically go every year, but the truth is that SAS employees have to earn their spots. For most of us, that means we need to write and present a paper. And all papers must be selected and approved by the section chairpersons who serve on the SAS Global Forum committee.
Since my slot is never guaranteed, every year I propose several different paper topics. Using this scattershot approach, I always hope for one or two to be selected. Any more than that (and it's happened) makes for a very busy time leading up to the event, as well as a tough schedule to juggle during the conference week.
I'll have two papers for the 2013 conference, which I consider to be a manageable number. Here's what I'm working on...
Title: For All the Hats You Wear: SAS Enterprise Guide Has Got You Covered
Conference section: SAS Enterprise Guide: Implementation and Usage
Abstract: Are you new to SAS and trying to figure out where to begin? Are you a SAS programmer, already comfortable with code but unsure about new tools? Are you a statistician seeking to apply your techniques in a new way? Are you a data manager, just trying to get your data in shape? Perhaps you're a Jack (or Jill) of all trades trying to manage work in the simplest way possible. Regardless of your background, SAS Enterprise Guide is full of features and techniques to help you achieve your objective. In this paper, we show how you can turn SAS Enterprise Guide into your tool to get work done immediately, without conforming to an entirely new way of working just to become productive.
How I got this one: I was lucky! MaryAnne DePesquo, who chairs the section this year, invited me to present on this topic. This is a great example of how the connections you make at in-person events like SAS user groups can open up new opportunities.
Title: Create Your Own Client Apps Using SAS Integration Technologies
Conference section: Application Development
Abstract: SAS Integration Technologies allows any custom client application to interact with SAS services. SAS Enterprise Guide and SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office are noteworthy examples of what can be done, but your own applications don't have to be that ambitious. This paper explains how to use SAS Integration Technologies components to accomplish focused tasks, such as run a SAS program on a remote server, read a SAS data set, run a stored process, and transfer files between the client machine and the SAS server. Working examples in Microsoft .NET (including C# and Visual Basic .NET) as well as Windows PowerShell are also provided.
How I got this one: During the call-for-papers period I reviewed the description for the Application Development section. The chairpersons indicated interest in Microsoft .NET and SAS Integration Technologies -- two topics that I know something about. So I wrote a proposal that I felt I could achieve (important!).
Now it's time to actually write the papers and develop examples that support them!