If you’ve read my posts you’ve probably noticed that SAS is a language that bugs me a bit. There’s just too much variation in how something works in one place relative to over yonder. This needs an equal sign, that one a comma, that one neither, this one both, that one a parenthesis, and so on and so forth. It’s sort of like Wily E Coyote. Wily E, is one smart dude but you never know what he’s going to do next. SAS syntax seems that way to me.
It makes it hard to prepare for a test, and probably to write test questions. When I did the Oracle SQL Expert, Oracle didn’t screw around. They simply came at you with hard, and direct, questions about the subject. There wasn’t any discombobulation in the question. SAS is more like old school Microsoft that way. It’s like they have to trick you, although I’m sure they would see it differently instead of directly challenging you.
To put that in perspective, I had enough time to check every question on the test. There were a handful, under 5, that I absolutely didn’t know or took a guess at. The rest I thought I knew, or I was at least comfortable with the answer. Yet, I missed several of those. My guess is that I scanned a few questions too fast and didn’t get the one hiccup in the question, or the code, that caused it to go one way or another.
And, to be blunt, there’s a lot of opportunity for that sort of thing in the language.
On the other hand, I should probably have taken 2 more days and tried every screwy thing I could think of with the code. I did that in a couple of posts but I clearly didn’t do enough of it.
All of that sounds like I failed the test. Nope! It definitely says PASS!.
Similar to my SSIS/MCSA stuff, I probably won’t write about SAS for a while. I wrote 60 posts in 6 days. Since May 5th I’ve written, my guess, between 40,000 and 50,000 words of content, or, a middle-sized book. That is a lot of writing and I need a break. I’m not sure what project I’m going to take on next. I have a number of ideas: SSAS, SSRS (leading to the MSCE), SAS Advanced or Hadoop. I may even do a few more basic SQL posts, which I’m kind of overdue in writing. There’s a really old-school command line game that I’d like to write in T-SQL.
Anyways, if you happen to stumble across this, I hope it helps you, it helped me to write it.