As a SAS fan, in a number of roles over the past 15+ years (programmer, statistician, data warehouse developer, business analyst, consultant, trainer, partner), I am also the Queensland Users Exploring SAS Technology (QUEST) chairperson, and I feel very privileged to be able to contribute to the wider SAS community in this blog post.
QUESTors meet four times each year at a venue in central Brisbane, Australia. At the next QUEST meeting, held May 31, I will be presenting Learning SAS – where to start?, what is available?, how can I network?, who should I know?
Having recently attended the SAS Global Forum in Orlando, Florida I was inspired by Joe Theismann’s Keynote Presentation, Game Plan for Success where he spoke about his life experiences and his steadfast attitude towards life. What interested me was his approach to life in adapting to change. He spoke about his injuries, and the paths he has taken, with passion and enthusiasm.
Passion and enthusiasm is something I have always enjoyed in my journey with SAS, and I get a buzz out of sharing with other SAS users in the community. Whether you’re a seasoned SAS user with experiences to share, or a newcomer who’d like to interact with other users, a SAS user group and the many internet-based networking mediums are an excellent way to learn, network, share and collaborate with your local SAS community and beyond. And, as in the words of Joe … “People don’t care about how much you know, until they know how much you care”
My presentation is a guide for programmers and non-programmers (analysts, business users, administrators, management) about learning SAS and connecting with SAS users.
Where to start?
First stop is to gain an understanding of the SAS 9 architecture, the components and how they fit together. This can be easily achieved by reading the SAS 9.3 Intelligence Platform: Overview document. This document is available on the support.sas.com website, which contains a plethora of information relating to documentation, training, support and access to the SAS community.
What is available?
Get to know your local and global resources. Reach out to the people in your local SAS office, SAS partners in your area and other SAS users. Or use websites such as support.sas.com, communities.sas.com, blogs.sas.com, sascommunity.org, LinkedIn.com groups, and sasprofessionals.net for resources and experts.
How can I network?
Going to your SAS local user group is a good first step. Of course there’s social media too, which is also a great way for introverts to interact. These include Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, Blogs and discussion forums. Pick the platform that you use most often and/or subscribe to RSS feeds and keep up-to-date using a RSS reader such as Google Reader.
Who should I know?
You could start off by getting to know the people in your local community. Perhaps aim to meet one new person at each local SAS user group event and maybe connect with them on LinkedIn. Be involved in the discussion forums in your area of interest and leave comments on blog posts. It comes down to your interests and what you would like to learn. There are many ways to connect, participate and collaborate – taking the first step can be the hardest. As Chris Hemedinger said in the closing session of SAS Global Forum 2012 “Social media has spoiled us … information comes to us, we don’t have to find it.”
I hope you too can see that there are many opportunities available in your QUEST to learn SAS – you just have to use them….
Register for QUEST by Thursday May 24 by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
OR register online at www.sas.com/australia/usergroups/quest.