Let's face it: showing off your skills can be a lot of fun. But so is learning something, most often by trying something that seems stupid at first, and ends up with the proverbial "now that's funny".
PS I'm the data warehouse administrator for the local branch of a major world-wide operating insurance company. I play the guitar (mostly electric) in bands, I've had a career officiating American Football, I go to the shooting range every now and then.
FYI, the community is managed by a group of awesome team: @cjdinger, @AnnaBrown, @ShelleySessoms and @BeverlyBrown who started a Super Users program in 2016. This is to recognise the strongest members for their outstanding contributions as you have noticed. You can find information about the program and those that are Super Users https://communities.sas.com/t5/Getting-Started/The-SAS-Support-Communities-Super-Users-Program/ta-p/... There is also PROC Stars https://communities.sas.com/t5/Community-Memo/SAS-Support-Communities-launches-PROC-Star-program/ba-...
As you've discovered the SAS community is very supportive and personally while I haven't made +10k posts, I like to give back to the community, sharing when I can, as I appreciate the many mentors and supporters that have helped me in my years as a SAS user.
I agree with @Kurt_Bremser that "showing off" is some fun. Solving problems of certain forms is actually entertaining and learning new approaches to some items is helpful. There is also a certain amount of entertainment value in the posts that my first internal response is "take the coffee cup out of the cd tray, turn the computer off, and get a job with a shovel".
I am an analyst that spends entirely too much time dealing with data quality issues arising from undocumented file layouts, not following the assigned layouts, finding interesting garbage to entire into fields and similar.
So part of my "mission" is too help provide others get around, or preferably learn not to create, such problems.
I used to enjoy showing grad student interns how 4 lines of Proc Means code would accomplish in 1.5 seconds what their hours of Excel manipulations couldn't (or would take 4+ hours due to file sizes). So some of my responses here continue on in that vane.
A good and relevant question.
Personally, while I do have +1000 responses in here, I see myself as a learner. Obviously, it is nice to be able to help people solve their problems, but I find that my own SAS/problem solving skills have evolved by orders of magnitudes in here.
I see my efforts at the communities as training/learning. Watching other peoples solutions to problems often lets you see things from a perspective you would not have though of otherwise.
I work as an analyst in an insurance company. Basically, my job is making sense of data through visualization and statistical modelling. Since I started to use the SAS Community frequently, I often run into SAS problems at work and think "I've seen this kind of problem before". And thanks to the many skillful contributors in here, I have usually also seen an efficient solution.
I don't meet your criteria for being a top poster, but I think I can help answer your question above what has already been said. Of course, I can't speak for everyone, thus others will have to chime in with their agreement, disagreement, or additional rationale.
I started using on-line forums because I needed answers that I couldn't find elsewhere.
That quickly led to a paying-it-forward rationale because I felt that others would be more likely to answer my questions if they saw that I answered more questions than I asked.
Then I discovered that answering others' questions was, in itself, one of the best ways to learn SAS.
An unexpected motivating factor came in when, as a result of my participation, I was asked to co-author a number of papers and, when attending conferences, many people knew and welcomed me when I attended a meeting or event. Additionally, I think that the reputation I got from participating on on-line forums, has led to many expense paid trips to SAS Global Forum and many user group meetings.
Participating in on-line forums is addictive.
I intentionally don't meet your criteria as, after a number of years, I realized that my trying to beat others in answering posts was, in fact, keeping others from reaping the same benefits I've received. As such, I try to only answer questions these days if I notice that no one else has provided an optimal answer/solution. Of course, the addictiveness aspect sometimes conflicts with that rationale.
While I have a Ph.D., have been using SAS for more than 45 years, and am now retired, I still consider myself a learner. SAS is always expanding and adding new functionality, so there is always something new to learn.
Art, CEO, AnalystFinder.com
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