In hopes of adding to your SAS Global Forum experience, we've kicked off a SAS presenters series. Here, we’ve asked some of the SAS presenters five questions to learn more about what makes them tick, why they chose to present and what they hoped you would take away from the presentation. Take a look at Alec S Fernandez’s answers.
Alec S Fernandez, Software Developer, Release Management
Alec, tell me something about yourself that would make your personality come alive for the readers.
I love saltwater fishing. Well, I love comedy and when I go blue water fishing, it's a comedy. I tried kite fishing but ended up running over the kite with the outboard. The kite turned into a teaser, and it took us 30 minutes to cut and free the huge tangle of kite and trolling lines and everything else. I've never seen a bigger tangle outside of our java xref dependency analysis.
I used to work in Bldg R in SAS’ headquarters. My office was decorated with Goya's painting, The Third of May. It was a holdover from my days doing phone duty in SAS Tech Support where customers held us to account for the software written by others. I kept the painting in my office so that I could remember that mindset when I began writing apps. When I’m tempted to say "close enough," then I see that painting, and I do a little more work to add a little more fault tolerance. Now I work out of a home office in a flat in the center of Madrid with my wife and three daughters.
Have you been to SAS Global Forum before?
I’ve been to [SUGI] SAS Global Forum a half dozen or so times. Watching Sir Rick Langston at Futures Forum was a treat. He's always got something funny to say about a customer's hat or something. The funniest moment was when David Shamlin was trying to convince a customer to upgrade to version 8.0, but the customer was concerned and stated that he was against upgrading to any .0 release. After a half hour of trying every attempt at logically reassuring the customer that the software was very thoroughly tested, David finally said "What do you want me to do to make you feel secure. Do you want me to give you a hug?" Oddly, this too was insufficient to convince this most coy of customers.
What problem or customer pain were you hoping to solve with your presentation The SAS® 9.2 Software Deployment: A Deployment Experience Your Mother Would Love?
I wanted to show the user how to deploy EBI software in the typical formations in fewer than 3 hours. We want everyone to feel as comfortable deploying EBI as they have been deploying Foundation SAS. Dr. Goodnight asked us to reduce the complexity of deployment and improve the customer experience, and I'm excited to display what I believe is a radically improved deployment experience.
During your presentation, what were the most important highlights or questions that you hoped to cover?
One of the most exciting things that I covered was the unattended software delivery via the internet. An unattended installation and configuration experience allows the user to kick off the download the night before, and in the next morning prepare your machine with the preinstall checklist. Launch the install and answer a few questions, and then enjoy your lunch as the SAS Deployment Wizard does all the work. You should be able to log into the Portal from your iPhone by the time they bring out dessert (unless you skimped on lunch).
Were there unexpected user questions that will send you back to the drawing board?
The most interesting question I’ve ever been asked was, “Why does it take 4 days and a team of consultants to deploy a SAS Software offering?”