Code Like It Matters: Writing Code That's Readable and Shareable

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Paul Kaefer

UnitedHealthcare

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Abstract

Coming from a background in computer programming to the world of SAS yields interesting insights and revelations. There are many SAS programmers who are consultants or work individually, sometimes as the sole maintainer of their code. Since SAS code is designed for tasks like data processing and analytics, SAS developers working on teams may use different strategies for collaboration than those used in traditional software engineering.

Whether a programmer works individually, on a team, or on a project basis (delivering code and moving on to the next project), there are a number of best practices that can be leveraged to improve their SAS code. These practices make it easier to read, maintain, and understand/remember why the code is written the way it is.

This paper presents a number of best practices, with examples and suggestions for usage. The reader is encouraged not to apply all the suggestions at once, but to consider them and how they may improve their work or the dynamic of their team.

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