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Plate of Spaghetti Anyone? Techniques for Learning Existing SAS® Programs

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Paper 207-2011
Plate of Spaghetti Anyone?
Techniques for Learning Existing SAS® Programs
Tricia Aanderud
Independent Consultant, Raleigh, NC, USA

Abstract

When starting a new job or project, a programmer may receive existing programs that need modifications. Often the code's original intent has morphed over the years and many other programmers have made minor changes to it. There may be little documentation to explain the code, the job setup, or even how to run it.

To understand existing programs, you need to learn the environment or structure, learn the code, and learn the data. This paper walks you through the steps for collecting and evaluating the needed information. While aimed at larger jobs, this process can be applied to smaller ones as well. Once you have collected and understood this information, it will be easier to make modifications and even improvements to the program.

Online materials

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