SAS/Grid Program Manager
US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
How long have you been using SAS®?
What SAS products have you used in the past? What products and solutions are you currently using?
Past: Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/ETS, SAS/GRAPH, SAS/AF, SAS/IntrNet.
Current: Base SAS, SAS/STAT, SAS/ETS, SAS/QC, SAS/OR, SAS Add-In for Microsoft Office, SAS Grid Computing, SAS Enterprise Guide, SAS Enterprise Miner.
What is a problem you have solved using SAS?
As the SAS programming lead, I helped construct the VA's largest intranet Web reporting application using SAS/IntrNet.
What is the most innovative way you have used SAS?
I used MP CONNECT sessions (a feature within the SAS/CONNECT module) and hash object processing to convert a job that previously took more than 24 hours to now complete successfully in less than 50 minutes.
What is your most memorable SAS moment?
Every visit to the SAS campus in Cary is memorable – it is most impressive. Also getting to meet Jim Goodnight, CEO of SAS, at SAS Global Forum 2012 was an unexpected thrill.
How has SAS changed in the time you have been using it?
- ODS for report delivery was a huge step forward.
- The implementation of hash tables has resulted in measurable gains in job run times. Running jobs in parallel on our new grid has further enhanced those run times.
- Being able to run tasks in parallel via a grid deployment greatly reduces run times and takes better advantage of potentially idle hardware.
Have you ever attended a SAS users group meeting or SAS Global Forum? If yes, please list them.
- I’ve attended every SAS Global Forum meeting since 2000, with the exception of a couple years when I had conflicting family obligations (2006 and 2011).
- I have been attending local SAS users group meetings (Red River Valley, or RRVSUG) for more than seven years. I also served as RRVSUG President for two years.
- The VA started an internal SUG in 2011, and I'm part of its steering committee. We presently run monthly presentations through a virtual environment as our user base is scattered across the country.
Has your work with SAS been influenced by any other members of the SAS community?
- Chevell Parker's work and support of the ODS tagsets was an invaluable part of enhancing the original Web application I helped create for the VA. He's as friendly and helpful as anyone working at SAS.
- All the SAS Global Forum papers which revealed the power of hash tables had a huge influence on my DATA step coding approach (by Paul Dorfman, Judy Loren, and others).
If you could point a new SAS user to one resource, what would it be?
SAS Training's live Web classes are very well-run and affordable. Buying a block of the EPTO credits is definitely worth the investment.