Date: Wed, 18 Jun 2003 13:36:22 -0600
Reply-To: Jack Hamilton <JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Jack Hamilton <JackHamilton@FIRSTHEALTH.COM>
Subject: Re: Need answers to SAS certification questions
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii
"Sigurd Hermansen" <HERMANS1@WESTAT.COM> wrote:
>Before we try and convict the developers of the SAS Certification
>seems appropriate to take a few moments and verify that the questions
>responses posted on SAS-L came from the official SAS certification
>itself. I have seen questions from a employment screening exam and
>Web course. Both included questions as bad or worse as the posted
>It does not seem possible to me that really bad questions could slop
>any systematic evaluation process.
I would not have thought it possible had I not taken one of the early
set of questions offered on the web.
>Whatever the evaluation process, developers of the SAS Certification
>should take a look at the questions from the 2003 SAS Bowl at the
>SUGI. I don't know for sure who developed those questions, but I found
>relevant and challenging.
Even a few of those were arguably incorrect.
>Perhaps I found the questions challenging merely
>because I could answer so few of them. The fact that the elite
>team from across the pond actually understood the questions clearly
>separated them from the chaff (the SUGI Executive Committee, who
>the questions as if Ray Pass were asking them in Navajo). Questions of
>quality of those for this latest SAS Bowl (forget the prior events)
>reliably identify truly advanced SAS programmers and developers. At
>ask those involved in developing the 2003 SUGI Bowl questions to
>certification exam questions.
Yes, involving working SAS programmers outside of SAS Institute would
be a good idea.
>I wonder who will require SAS certification, or at least give
>programmers or developers who have SAS certification. After
>hundreds of candidates for SAS and other programming jobs, I'd say
>experienced SAS programmer can classify a candidate
>in about fifteen minutes with reasonable accuracy as a beginning,
>intermediate, or advanced SAS programmer. Will the certification exam
>identify those that might fool an interviewer? I still wonder whether
>passing a certification exam reliably identifies competent
>Whitlock has suggested that a good certification exam would pose a
>and require the examinee to write, test, and execute a SAS program to
>the problem. The examinee would have SAS manuals, context help, and
>normal tools available for the exam.
That has potential, but the ability to write a short program under
pressure may not correlate with the ability to write a complex program
in a few weeks. Looking at previously written code is also a good idea,
although of course you don't know how much of it was actually written by
>I prefer Ian's method of testing. I
>would not fly with a pilot that has passed a written certification
>has not demonstrated that he or she can actually fly an airplane.
I think I'd prefer both.
Manager, Technical Development
Metrics Department, First Health
West Sacramento, California USA