Date: Wed, 22 Oct 2003 10:40:26 -0700
Reply-To: "Choate, Paul@DDS" <pchoate@DDS.CA.GOV>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: "Choate, Paul@DDS" <pchoate@DDS.CA.GOV>
Subject: Re: SAS programmer vs. manager
Richard, (pardon my rant) - nobody here is laughing at you. I'm surprised
that no-one mentioned that SAS programmers are usually more MIS than IS.
SAS programmers who deliver information for management get the opportunity
to deal with wide ranging issues and must understand the large pictures. I
get more face time with senior staff, research, and field staff and in
broader contexts than other "programmers" I work with. Information is at
the heart of any business, so SAS experience would be a key asset for a
management function. As a SAS programmer I understand not just the systems
that house the data, the data in the systems, what the data mean, and for
what they are useful.
People skills are not at odds with computer skills. Good MIS skills equate
to understanding the audience and delivering to it, which translates to
management skills. I have been in several situations where colleagues or
superiors with weak analytical skills are afraid of exposure, and cover it
up with this colleague's argument. It's illuminating that I also run into
an opposite bias towards me as a SAS programmer, that I am not a "real
programmer" since I am not tied to a particular data system. Most non-SAS
programmers I've worked with have fairly narrow scopes, whereas SAS
programmers are basically unbounded. Personally, I feel most at home with
research, or as project support on ad-hoc, start-up, or analytical projects,
not in an IT group, although being inside IT gives me the best access to the
material vital for my function.
Being a wonk with any skill means narrow and deep, whereas management values
a broad skills base (and high stress tolerance). But as the other posts
comment, being an information guru doesn't mean you can't make the leap to
being a leader; you just have to be able make the change and find
fulfillment while forgoing an occupation where you have had success.
DDS Data Extraction
From: Richard Liu [mailto:kataliu@EARTHLINK.NET]
Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2003 6:58 PM
Subject: SAS programmer vs. manager
I just talked to my friends over the phone.
He is now a marketer with strong SAS capability in a marketing group in a
Moreover, he graduated from a famous marketing graduate school as well.
However, his colleagues who don't know SAS well were promoted as some kind
of leads and he wasn't.
And the reason he was told was modeler or SAS programmer should just be
quiet and usually hasn't capability to manage people.
I don't know if it is right or wrong. But is it a common stereotype for
"strong SAS" people?
Don't laugh at me. Does that mean people should not show their SAS ability
or will be just labeled as "programmers"?