it depends on how much you want to do. If you want to do some basic stats you'll be fine without being acquainted with another programming language. If you want to do eg data simulations, arrays etc then it would help if you knew eg matlab (which you're likely familiar with if you have an engineering background). R programmers could move to sas easily i guess. Someone has a blog showing how tasks can be performed in both sas and R http://sas-and-r.blogspot.com/
Do you need to know a programming language in order to use the SAS software?...if so, which language?
Not a need but if you are going to do much data manipulation (SAS Data step coding) or macros it helps to have some formal training.
For most things in SAS such as data step code then something like BASIC or PASCAL would be sufficient. You would not need an "object oriented language" for most SAS stuff so far.
SAS Proc SQL implements most ANSI standard functionality of the diverse SQL language world for manipulations of database tables in sets of records instead of row order that a data step does. So SQL might help but be aware that every version has different non-stardard elements, including SAS, and examples or code does not always transfer easily.
For basic work, you don't, as the GUI interfaces can get you a long way for most simple tasks. But as soon as you encounter the first issue where the GUI wizard is not enough, you'll need to know the SAS language so you can manipulate/create code on your own (the GUI interfaces are just code generators).
What's more important than previous knowledge of any programming language is the mindset of a programmer:
Note that this list is far from complete, insofar as any list like that can ever be complete.
As soon as you start with SAS code, have a look at the Maxims. You might find useful hints in there.
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