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Date:         Mon, 24 Apr 2000 16:00:18 -0500
Reply-To:     Jim Edgington <Jim.Edgington@LABONE.COM>
Sender:       "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Comments:     To: "msz03@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US" <msz03@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US>
From:         Jim Edgington <Jim.Edgington@LABONE.COM>
Subject:      Re: SUGI+Age
Comments: To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.VT.EDU
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

Part of the problem is SAS is not a language commonly taught in computer science programs in college. It is cost prohibitive for departments to teach it. The college's mission is to teach people to think, not to learn skills specific to any one job. (Can you tell I was Jesuit educated?)

Learning the thought process of programming on SAS is no better than any other language, and every other language is cheaper to maintain. This means your younger programmers are limited to grad students, who have no money and no travel budget to speak of, or entry level SAS people, either new to programming or new to SAS. Those people are trying to learn the language and its quirks and are not the type likely to volunteer to present a paper at a national meeting. (Or able to get the funding to go.) There is also the fact that new people to SAS do not know about SUGI or things like this list. (I didn't know this list existed for the first 3 years I programmed. My first boss didn't know about this list until I told him ...)

Then, people who job hop, tend not to get funding to go ...

IMHO these are the reasons for older people at SUGI,

Jim Edgington

-----Original Message----- From: msz03@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US [mailto:msz03@HEALTH.STATE.NY.US] Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 3:27 PM To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.VT.EDU Subject: SUGI+Age

Just one more thing on SUGI and age of participants. I was once a regular attendee of an annual epidemiology meeting. Each year, there was a student paper competition and several winners (the number escapes me, as do many things as the neurons continue their inexorable descent into total atrophy). Each winner got a FREE trip (travel, hotel, registration) to the meeting and a slot to present the paper. The organizers picked up the tab.

How about a student paper competition at SUGI? Or, maybe broaden it to first-time-presenter competition with 'the meeting' picking up the tab for several winners. Of course, we could get retired consultants submitting their first paper which would further skew the average age to the right. Maybe there should be an age cap. But then there'd be an age discrimination suit. So, maybe it's not that good an idea.

Oh well, it's one possible way to encourage a younger crowd with some new ideas.

Mike Zdeb NYS Department of Health ESP Tower-Room 1811 Albany, NY 12237 P:518/473-2855 F:630/604-1475


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