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 Chris Hemedinger’s answers.
Chris Hemedinger, Senior Software Manager in SAS Research and Development
Chris, most users and SAS employees know you from your blog, The SAS Dummy, and your book, SAS for Dummies. Tell me something about you that others might not know.
My first job was with the Buffalo Courier Express as a news carrier (OK, paperboy). It was a great gig, delivering the news each morning while most people were still in bed. The job ended abruptly when the newspaper closed. I was 14 years old and laid off. I didn't miss a day of work though, because I took a "second shift" job delivering the Buffalo Evening News. Since then, I've appreciated stability in my workplace and here I am, at SAS.
How many times have you been to SAS Global Forum? What was your most memorable experience so far?
This is my 7th SAS Global Forum (née SUGI). At SUGI 29, in Montréal, a bunch of us SAS folk got stuck for an extra night when our flights were cancelled due to bad weather along the flight path. The next morning in the airport we were easy to spot. We were all wearing bright red long-sleeved conference t-shirts, the only clean clothes that we had left.
I follow your blog posts, and I follow you on Twitter, so I know that you often talk and write to our customers about SAS® Enterprise Guide®. What made you decide to write What's New in SAS Enterprise Guide 4.2?
Every year we try to present a "what's new" talk to promote the new features in our software. Our primary goal is to inform our customers, of course, but we also want them to see how we've improved the software according to their feedback, to help them to be more productive.
During your presentation, were you able to cover all of the most important highlights and information that you hoped to cover?
This major revision of SAS Enterprise Guide has been 3 years in the making, and there is no way that I could cover all of the new features in a short 50-minute talk. But we'll be on the demo floor during the conference to drill into the details that customers want to know. We also have a great support structure on support.sas.com to provide a continuous flow of information for those who need additional information or for those weren’t able to make it to the conference.
Were there unexpected user questions that will send you back to the drawing board?
As more of our customers adopt use of SAS Enterprise Guide, the expectations and requests keep growing as well. We are already hard at work on the next versions of our software, and the questions that we receive provide us with great validation (and the occasional course correction) for our product roadmap. Looking for a SAS program editor with syntax autocompletion? That's coming. Need a version of these features for use on the Web? That's underway as well. And SAS Global Forum attendees will get the first glimpse of these exciting projects.