New to SAS? Here are tips from the translator of The Little SAS Book, Fifth Edition.
Hongqiu Gu, Ph.D. works at the China National Clinical Research Center for Neurological Diseases at the National Center for Healthcare Quality Management in Neurological Diseases at Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University.
He shared these important tips to learn SAS well:
1. Read SAS Reference Books
I have not counted the number of SAS books I have read; I would estimate over 50 or 60. The best books to give me a deep understanding of SAS are the SAS Reference Books, including SAS Language Reference Concepts, SAS Functions and CALL Routines Reference, SAS Macro Language Reference, and so on. There are lots of excellent books published by SAS Press, and usually they are concise and suitable for quick learners. However, when I realized that SAS could give me a powerful career advantage, I needed to learn SAS systematically and deeply. I believe the SAS Reference Books are the most authoritative and comprehensive learning materials. Besides, all the updated SAS Reference Books are free to all readers.
2. Use the SAS Help and Documentation frequently
No one can remember all the syntaxes or options in SAS. However, don’t worry, SAS Help and Documentation is our best friend. I use the SAS Help and Documentation quite often. Even as an experienced SAS user, there are still many situations in which I need to ask for help from SAS Help and Documentation. Every time I use it, I learn something new.
3. Solve SAS related questions in SAS communities
As the saying goes, practice makes perfect. Answering SAS related questions is a good way to practice. Questions can come from daily work, from friends around you, or from other SAS users on the web. From 2013 to 2015, I spent a lot of time in the largest Chinese SAS online community answering SAS related questions and I learned many practical skills in a short period.
4. Make friends with skilled SAS programmers
Learning alone without interacting with others will lead to ignorance. I have learned a lot from other experienced SAS users and SAS developers. We share our ideas from time to time, and benefit a lot from the exchange.