Inclusive language: in coding, in your wardrobe, in life


Some months ago I saw Scott Hanselman (a technology influencer from Microsoft) wearing a t-shirt with "#include <everyone>;" printed with a rainbow gradient. (Here's a picture of Scott in the shirt.) It's a clever syntactic wordplay that reminds us to value diversity and inclusiveness in our technology communities. The syntax is from C#, a programming language that I've used more than any other in my career -- except for SAS.

I loved the message, and couldn't stop thinking about how the SAS programming language also features an INCLUDE statement (and it predates C# by decades). In the spirit of "SAS coders can have cool geek shirts too", I made this simple design and put it on a shirt:

"Include everyone" shirt
A shirt for SAS nerds

I published the design to a t-shirt marketplace for community creations. I ordered some for myself (a shirt and stickers) and shared the page with my connections on LinkedIn. (The site pays a small commission for each item ordered, but I'm not interested in making money on this endeavor. To offset my anticipated "profit," I made a donation to The Trevor Project.)

Since sharing this on LinkedIn and within SAS, the response has been tremendous. I've had to double my initial donation to stay ahead of the orders, which are still rolling in. Around campus I've been stopped by people who see me wearing the shirt (I have 2 in my rotation); they either to ask me how to get one or they tell me that they already ordered their own (or some for friends and family). I even changed the marketplace entry to allow for kids sizes and onesies -- because people asked.

The importance of inclusiveness in tech and community

I wish I could say "it goes without saying that we value diversity on our SAS community" -- but it doesn't..."go without saying." That's why I think it's important to say it as often as possible, and to wear it on our sleeves (so to speak) when we can.

I'm proud that SAS has a strong diversity & inclusion message and backs it up with action -- internal and external. As a developer, I had a front-row seat to the efforts behind making our software usable by people of many languages and cultures, and to make it accessible to people of all abilities. I've seen our language evolve with our awareness of how important it is to behave "with inclusivity" in mind. And I personally have close friends and family members who need to see us making this effort to lessen the impact of being marginalized in this noisy world that sometimes has tremendous cultural inertia.

Super FREQ and PROC Star - bonus designs

I enjoyed making this design and didn't want to stop. TeePublic, the marketplace site, hosts thousands of designs and it can be quite addicting to shop there. But as many geek themes as I found, there weren't many that are specific to SAS. I decided to fill the gap.

I made two additional designs: "Super FREQ" and "PROC Star". Some of you might recognize these as special ranks that we award on the SAS Community for top contributors. I don't want to take away from the specialness of that, but there is nothing to prevent you, a SAS enthusiast, from proudly declaring your SAS nerd persona by wearing one (or all) of these shirts. I promise to add any additional proceeds to my donations to The Trevor Project.

The complete list of designs (so far) with links:

If you order any or all of these, leave me a comment here or tweet a pic to @cjdinger, or share on LinkedIn and mention me!

Notes and disclaimers

For now, this is my effort and are not official designs from SAS. It's something I wanted to have for myself and was inspired to share. I was careful to steer clear of copyrighted text and images/logos. I'm friendly with our Legal department -- I want to keep it that way.

TeePublic offers a very good satisfaction promise. I've had people tell me they had to exchange their shirts for a different size -- and it was easy to do at no cost. Note that I don't know if it's possible to order from all countries, or what an international shipping cost might be.

If ordering a shirt, I recommend you consider a size larger than your usual, and two sizes up if selecting a "women's cut." To their credit TeePublic advises the same -- I'm just telling you to heed that advice.


About Author

Chris Hemedinger

Director, SAS User Engagement

+Chris Hemedinger is the Director of SAS User Engagement, which includes our SAS Communities and SAS User Groups. 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


  1. Beverly D. Brown on

    Ooooo, I need one of those PROC FREQ shirts! And you're not kidding about up-sizing. My "include everyone" shirt as a small would fit like a sausage casing.

  2. Robert Anderson on

    Thanks, now I know where to get these shirts. Meant to ask you when I saw you at CKO, but couldn't.

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