Had an ah-ha moment while visiting the New SAS User Community? Good chance @Kurt_Bremser's the reason. As we mark that popular forum's first anniversary on Customer Experience Day, it's fitting to celebrate his many contributions there.
Participating in 16% of conversations is amazing enough. (That board has 2,600+ topics, y'all!) 53% of its solved topics evidence Kurt's influence as a commenter.
His article, Maxims of Maximally Efficient SAS Programmers, is the 13th-most read article in the SAS Communities Library and leads all 1,000+ articles in likes (130), replies (51) and number of users commenting (28.) You'd be wise to tag or bookmark it. No worries if you forget. Just scroll to the bottom of one of his community comments; it's linked in his signature.
Concierge Award recipient
Kurt leads in number of New User board visits and is second only to the legendary @Reeza in authoring solutions (answers that original posters have marked solved.) He, Reeza, @PaigeMiller, @novinosrin, and @ballardw recently earned the Concierge Award, a community badge for extraordinary effort helping new SAS users hit their stride with SAS software.
I thought you all might enjoy getting better acquainted with Kurt and was thrilled when he agreed to be interviewed. See the Q&A below. I'm sad he's planning to retire in 2022 and bet many of you are too. Want to see a similar profile of other helpful community members? PM me their community name.
Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I was born in Vienna, Austria and lived there for a long time, until we moved our family to Neulengbach in Lower Austria (an American would consider that a suburb of Vienna. )
How did you become a SAS user?
When I was "drafted" into the data warehousing group in our company, we were just starting out using SAS. That was back in 1998. Probably the best thing that happened to me, business-wise. Today I am the one mainly responsible for the data warehouse (admin and developer), but my successor is already taking loads off my back, as I will retire in 2022.
How do you spend your days as a SAS user?
Check if our server is up and healthy. Read my inbox and deal with what comes in. Work on requests and demands assigned to me. Repeatedly check what's coming on the SAS Communities, and participating if I can be of help. And learn if it's something of interest that I didn't know.
Tell us about the most exciting project you've worked on. What was it and why was it exciting for you?
Basically, that was right at the start. Since I was (more or less) the only one with UNIX experience, I managed the transition of our data warehouse from the mainframe to UNIX. First SINIX, then AIX. Introduced Enterprise Guide to our users while doing that. Getting away from having to share computing power with all the "production" jobs and returning to my most beloved operating system was a real thrill. In the end, we increased end user's productivity by orders of magnitude.
What is your favorite tip for success using SAS?
Use it. Play around with it. See if you can make things better (easier to use, run faster, use less resources, whatever). Make mistakes. Learn from all that. And read my Maxims (shameless plug.) And attend my upcoming presentation at SAS Global Forum 2020 (even more shameless plug.)
What would you like to learn?
Anything that comes my way. Right now, this means parts of the famous guitar solo from Hotel California (see next answer).
What do you do for fun?
I play the guitar (mainly electric.) Have been playing it since age 13, and right now I am in two bands, one that I have been with for 30+ years (and more than 40 years with the drummer), and another I set up with my wife and oldest daughter. Country, R&R, some Rock (see above question). Until a few years ago, I also was a game official for American Football over here. Biggest game that I was in was the final of Eurobowl III.
What's the best advice you've gotten from Kurt or anyone in the New SAS User Community? Share about it in the comments.
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