Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2010 16:13:09 -0400
Reply-To: Michael Raithel <michaelraithel@WESTAT.COM>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Michael Raithel <michaelraithel@WESTAT.COM>
Subject: Re: Skill Sets needed to be considered a SAS programmer
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Lizette Koehler posted the following:
> I was just wondering how you know when your skills are sufficient in
> SAS to
> be classified as a SAS programmer?
> I have been doing SAS off and on for over 10 years. So I can code it,
> but I
> am not strong in some areas like MACRO or SQL SAS.
> How would I judge that I could take on a job function that requires a
> programmer? Is there a skill set cheat sheet? Or something I could
> use to
> gage my level of SAS coding with job requirements out there?
> I would love to go more into a research type function that would allow
> me to
> ask questions of raw data and produce valid analysis of it.
> However, I am not sure how much more training I need to do in SAS
> before I
> could be considered for some of those types of jobs.
> Also, would that require Programming Life Cycle knowledge as well? If
> what should be I learning in that area.
Lizette, I see that you have received some good advice from Kevin, Jack, Mary, and Joe. I started to write earlier, but scrapped the message because this is such a huge question. I was going to write:
Lizette, you know when your skills are sufficient in SAS to be classified as a SAS programmer when you can get a job as a SAS programmer. Kind of the "What is this horse worth? Well, whatever you can get for him." kind of logic.
Rather than trying to sound glib--and certainly not calling you a horse--I mean that if the accumulation of SAS programming skills you already possess allows you to get a job programming in SAS, then, voila; there you are!
So, I would suggest that you consider pouring over current advertisements for SAS programming positions and comparing what the stated needs are against the SAS skills that you have. How close are your SAS skills and experiences to the mainstream of what is being advertised? Do you really need more Macro or PROC SQL at this point to go after the jobs that carry the salary that you need? What about your non-SAS expertise--e.g. you have worked with health care data, you have worked with cancer registry data, you have worked with human resources data, etc.--are there SAS programming jobs in those areas where your subject-matter expert status would outweigh your SAS experience and give you an edge?
Researching what is hot and what is not for SAS programmers in the current workforce is a good way of evaluating just where you stand, SAS-programmer-wise. Maybe there is a SAS programmer job out there, right here; right now for you with the SAS experience you have. I certainly hope so; and I am sure that the rest of the list does too!
Lizette, best of luck in all your SAS endeavors!
I hope that this suggestion proves helpful now, and in the future!
Of course, all of these opinions and insights are my own, and do not reflect those of my organization or my associates. All SAS code and/or methodologies specified in this posting are for illustrative purposes only and no warranty is stated or implied as to their accuracy or applicability. People deciding to use information in this posting do so at their own risk.
Michael A. Raithel
"The man who wrote the book on performance"
Author: Tuning SAS Applications in the MVS Environment
Author: Tuning SAS Applications in the OS/390 and z/OS Environments, Second Edition
Author: The Complete Guide to SAS Indexes
Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love, to
work, to play, and to look up at the stars. - Henry Van Dyke