In the short time that I've been with SAS, I've had the pleasure of talking to many SAS users, developers and programmers, and I've had more than a few conversations with the men and women who work in SAS technical support. One of the things that's amused me is how many of them take pride in calling themselves "geeks."
Although, I've often thought of myself as a geek because I read constantly and would rather work a crossword puzzle solo than play board games with a group of laughing friends, I've never really thought of "geek" as a compliment. I've been thinking this over during the past several weeks and it occurs to me that this geek line of thinking may be another facet of Jim Goodnight's organizational culture.
Within SAS culture, everyone is given the freedom -- and are in fact, encouraged -- to bloom where they're planted. I'm a writer and editor. I'm happy in my work and strive everyday to make more contributions to SAS' growth. This same freedom and encouragement may make "geeks" feel empowered to grow and strive - to feel as significant in their contributions as I do in mine (geekdom and all). I hope you'll tell me if I'm on the mark or way off base.
When the idea for a SAS presenters series popped into my head, I wanted to help SAS Global Forum blog readers get an insider's view into the what the presenters were thinking when they sat down to write a SAS Global Forum paper. Just like any reporter, though, I also wanted to get to know the interviewee just a little better.
I don't know if these presenters consider themselves to be geeks or not. I didn't ask them, but I can tell you that you'll find that they are interesting people with an amazing array of hobbies and talents. My advice is to take the time to meet the authors of the paper presentations that you attend. Get to know the reasons behind the paper. And try to get to know a little about the author. You'll be much richer for the time you spend.
It has been my pleasure to put this series together. Please watch for all of the posts.