One of the perks of being a SAS Press Author is being invited to give presentations at local SAS users group meetings. There are over 70 registered local SAS users groups distributed throughout the United States, from sea to shining sea. Local groups serve a given geographic area—often near a major city—and generally hold meetings once a quarter. The meetings tend to be full-day affairs, with a continental breakfast, opening comments, two or three SAS technical presentations, a break for lunch, two or three more SAS presentations, a raffle of SAS-related giveaways, and then closing comments. They are attended by from several dozen to over one-hundred SAS professionals from the surrounding area.
A local SAS users group meeting offers you an opportunity to drop out of work for a day to talk SAS with other computer professionals. You can learn new SAS programming techniques, learn what other SAS programmers in your area and industry are doing, find out about the latest SAS features, and network with local SAS specialists. You are sure to return to work reenergized and ready to use new ideas you got from the meeting to improve your own SAS programs.
You can find a local SAS users group in your area via the Users Groups page on the SAS support web site: http://support.sas.com/usergroups/index.html . On that page, simply click on “U.S.” in the navigation tree on the left; click on the “Find a Group” tab on the next page; then go on from there.
I have been lucky enough to be invited to give presentations at a number of local SAS users groups in various cities throughout the US. Some of the cities I have been to are:
- Boston, Massachusetts for the Boston Area SAS Users Group (BASUG).
- Fort Worth, Texas for the Tarrant County SAS Users Group (TCSUG)
- Livonia, Michigan for the Michigan SAS Users Group (MSUG)
- New York City for the New York Area SAS Users Group (NYASUG).
- Portland, Oregon for the State of Oregon SAS Users Group and the Portland Area SAS Users Group joint users group meeting
- Toronto, Canada for the Toronto Area SAS Society (TASS)
- Twinsburg, Ohio for the Ohio SAS Users Conference
- Washington, DC for the DC SAS Users Group (DCSUG)
It is always interesting to meet other IT professionals who are using SAS to process their organization’s data. We all tend to be doing the same types of things— accessing data sources, reading them into SAS, performing complicated analysis, and creating publishable result sets —but, the data, the industry, and the context all differ. It is fun to meet new people who are at various stages of their SAS programming careers; or who have another profession, but use SAS as their prime data analysis tool.
With any luck, I will catch up with you at a future local SAS users group meeting. I will look forward to SAS and the city that you work in!