Driven by technology, inspired by art

As a programmer, teacher, writer and artist, Kriss Harris is in constant pursuit of his life's biggest passions.


  • Take advantage of SAS tutorials and practice exams if you plan to earn a certification. The extra prep work will save you time and effort.
  • Keep yourself motivated and inspired by going to conferences. Write down your goals so you know what you're working toward.
  • Always stay open to learning new skills because they can lead to new opportunities, but never abandon your true passion.


Kingston University
Degree in statistics and internet computing

The University of Sheffield
Master’s degree in statistics

Industrial placement & first job
Statistician at GlaxoSmithKline

Next career move
Contract computational statistician at Eli Lilly



"I tried to prepare for the [SAS certification] exam on my own, but I was just a beginner. I used a worksheet, and my team helped me learn how to produce macros. It's easier to learn SAS now because there are so many tutorials, but back then I had to learn everything myself."

The number of times (and counting?) Kriss has attended SAS Global Forum. He's been a speaker at the conference at least eight of those times.

SAS offers more than 25 certifications to help you advance your career.


"I've written a book on how to do graphics using SAS. I decided to work with a co-author and it's been great; the process has helped me learn that the power of 'we' is better than the power of 'I.'"

I'm the oldest child in my family, so I've always been a problem solver.


Q: What first got you interested in statistics?

A: When I was a kid, I wanted to be an artist, but I knew I would learn computers because my family always said that I was good with computers. I was also into maths a little bit. And then, when I was 14 or 15, I heard about statistics, so I took a module and got more interested in it. When I went to Uni, I got an industrial placement at GlaxoSmithKline, and when I finished my degree, they offered me a job there. They thought well enough of me to offer me a job as a statistician supporting drug discovery.

Q: When did you first get introduced to SAS?

A: I didn't use SAS that much in my first job. I had heard of it, but I didn't know how big it was during that time because we used point-and-click technology. It wasn't until I was trying to get another position at my company within preclinical stats that I first became aware of SAS. I eventually wanted to move to clinical and become a SAS programmer instead of a statistician, but I needed to learn more Base SAS, and potentially obtain the SAS Base Certification, to get there.

Q: So you got certified in SAS to qualify for a new position? How did you prepare for the certification exam?

A: When I first learnt SAS, I used a worksheet of questions developed by the statistical department, and my team helped me learn how to produce macros. It's easier to learn SAS now because there are so many tutorials, but back then I had to learn everything myself. 

Read more of Kriss' story

One of the things I've done is written down my plans because you have to know the reasons behind why you want do it; knowing the reasons behind your plans gives you the fuel to go after them.


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Kriss learned early in his career that getting certified in SAS could help him forge his own path. He studied for and passed the Base SAS certification exam because he wanted a new position at work, but didn't have the experience to land the job without proper training. Once he earned the certification, he was able to make the leap and get the job.


Teaching others to use SAS has become one of Kriss's passions. He began by teaching SAS graphics to programmers, statisticians and scientists. He's now continuing his teaching online by posting instructional videos on his YouTube channel.


Kriss worked with co-author Richann Watson to write the book SAS Graphics for Clinical Trials With GTL Examples. The book shows users how to use GTL to create figures that are needed to support clinical drug development.

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