I began using SAS
in graduate school in 1992.
Over the 20 years I have been using SAS, one of my roles has been to mentor people at many levels of SAS experience. I have worked with beginning SAS programmers who are just starting out and mid-level programmers who would like to sharpen their skills or increase the efficiency of their code. I have also provided consultation to PHD candidates in the social sciences who are doing quantitative work for their dissertation. I presently work with absolute beginners who are just starting out as well as senior modelers who are looking for effective ways to develop analytic processing tools that encapsulate their models.
I enjoy working with new users of SAS. New users are the data scientists of tomorrow. Some of the habits and knowledge I want to share are things that go way beyond the task at hand. Effective programming
habits benefit the student as well as their future employers and coworkers.
My tutoring style can be described as a "ring around" process where we go through multiple iterations of what we want to accomplish.
At the beginning of the project we will go through a process analysis discussion to make sure we understand what we are trying to do. If you want someone who will sit down with you and start madly typing
code, I am not the tutor for you. Many are surprised to find out the efficiency gains (and fewer total tutoring hours required) when we sit down and map out what we want to do before we fire up SAS.
The next iteration involves having the student talk through (and type) what they are trying to accomplish in each particular step and have me talk them through how the SAS language
can be used to accomplish that task. I encourage the student to code for clarity ahead of efficiency, for at this point it is more important to have code that can be easily interpreted rather than run at lightning speed.
The final iterations are for refining the analysis, improving the format and quality of the output, and tightening up the documentation in the code.
The description above is the ideal. However, if you are inheriting messy code and want help, I can work with you. If you are up against the wall and need some quick assistance I can do that too. I would rather have gigs that are not cram sessions of desperation, but life sometimes works that way.
I have also been working extensively with WPS (World Programming Software) which is a low-cost alternative to SAS that may be of interest to people and companies at all levels. I have converted the code of entire lines of business
to WPS and can give valuable insight.