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Date:         Thu, 6 May 1999 19:19:01 +0100
Reply-To:     John Whittington <medisci@POWERNET.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@UGA.CC.UGA.EDU>
From:         John Whittington <medisci@POWERNET.COM>
Subject:      Re: SAS Ballot Survey Certification Results
Comments: To: "Hudson, Spencer" <shudson@VIROPHARMA.COM>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="us-ascii"

At 13:17 06/05/99 -0400, Hudson, Spencer wrote (in part):

>1. Should SAS Institute Inc. create a certification program for SAS >software users? Yes = 70% No = 15% No response = 16% >2. Would you pursue SAS software certification? Y = 73% N = 24% NR = 3% >3. Are you more likely to hire an individual with professional >certification over someone without such certification, if they appear >equal in all other areas? Y = 79% N = 18% NR = 3%

Well, apart from all the problems of the (largely self-) selection for this 'survey', one could argue that it would be a little odd if the same people had answered both (2) and (3) - since I doubt that many people who would be considering 'pursuing certification' (for themselves, I presume that means) and also 'hiring'! ... and could we really believe that the majority of people 'doing the hiring' would be prepared to subject themselves to testing?

I agree that the subgroup of people who not only are active on SAS-L but have also chosen to 'speak out' on this topic is an equally biased sample. What we really need to see are the results of giving Q(2) to a random sample of SAS users, and Q(3) to a random sample of 'SAS hirers'!

I would also add that Perry Mason would probably regard Q(3) as somewhat of a 'leading question' - since it talks of a hypothetical situation in which 'all other things were equal', whilst we know that never happens in the real world! Maybe a more realistic/revealing question would be to ask 'hirers' whether they would *avoid* hiring an otherwise apparently competent/adequate SAS programmer simply because (s)he did not have such certification.

Kind Regards

John

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