Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2008 15:26:44 -0500
Reply-To: Mary <email@example.com>
Sender: "SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
From: Mary <mlhoward@AVALON.NET>
Subject: Re: SQL to SAS
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
I was in an environment for 7 years where I had users constantly changing their minds about what they wanted, and thus I constantly had to change code to meet those new requirements. Also, I've had to deal with code written by others that was written to go very fast, but was extremely difficult to modify for any changing requirements, and often had to totally scrap that code in order to meet the new requirements. The way I write code (very clearly, with few gimmicks, easy to modify), I think reflects that background, and also a 15 year help desk/teaching background that understands that new programmers, like many that we see asking questions on SAS-L, are rarely able to handle "gimmicky" code.
Thus, to me, efficiency is a different thing than just code going fast; sometimes it doesn't matter if a program takes all day to run (if it can be run on a Sunday, for instance, when nothing else is running), but programmers are expensive, and the "efficiency" of a programmer's time can be just as important, if not sometimes more important, than the time of a program.
Yes, sometimes program speed is sometimes important, but these tend to be in real time environments like a real-time clinical information system in an operating room, not the kind of batch programs that many SAS users do. I have written SQL in DB2 that flies, but usually I didn't write that in an hour, and I only spent the considerable amount of time working out what the code needed to be when it was really necessary to have the speed.
So I do have a distinct point of view, and that point of view is in the clarity and understandability of code as being my highest priority, but I do think it is helpful for users of SAS-L to see different points of view, as they likely will run into it in real life!
----- Original Message -----
From: Chang Chung
To: SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU ; Mary H
Sent: Friday, August 01, 2008 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: SQL to SAS
i did not meant to undermine your contribution in any way. i was trying to
be funny... but obviously i am not good at being funny at all.
i totally agree with you on that "efficiency" is a broader concept than
pursuing a faster execution speed. I also believe in a healthy
self-correction mechanism of the public forum like this by free expression
of different ideas.