×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

SAS Named Best Company To Work For In 2010

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the must-like-north-carolina dept.

Businesses 183

theodp writes "If you're in the market for a new job, Fortune has just published its list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2010. Topping the list this year is SAS (SAS jobs), the largest privately held software company, which Fortune notes is populated with more statisticians than engineers or MBAs, and led by a Ph.D. founder whose first love is programming. Google (jobs), which once viewed SAS as model for employee perks, took the #4 spot, and Microsoft (jobs) checked in at #51."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

183 comments

What a joke... (4, Interesting)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885562)

Microsoft made the list, but Amazon didn't? I and a bunch of other Microsofties who've jumped ship in the past couple years would all strongly disagree.

Re:What a joke... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885586)

The bigger joke is SAS - as someone who has programmed in many, many languages it must have the absolute worst syntax/design of any computing language I know... in what other language does x=y actually mean y=x in some contexts????

Re:What a joke... (5, Funny)

Tablizer (95088) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885646)

the absolute worst syntax/design of any computing language I know

Maybe they have to be nice to their employees to compensate for their embarrassing programming language.
       

Re:What a joke... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885754)

congratulations on getting modded up you simpering idiot! maybe with all that infamy you can convince a geek surgeon to remove some ribs so you can suck on your own nub penis you fucking faggot!!!

Re:What a joke... (4, Interesting)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885880)

It's not so much that it has bad syntax, as that its syntax seems to have developed completely independent of any other computer language, and concerns itself with a very different domain of problems. Most of the functions automatically apply to a whole recordset at once, so you can be amazing concise in program certain algorithms... but if you try to write them like you would in any other language, you'll create a miserable mess. It's hard for a 'normal' programmer to wrap their head around, because even the most basic structures are different.

If SAS had been the only language you programmed in, it would probably make a lot more sense.

Re:What a joke... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885922)

More than thirty years have passed since I contributed my modest strength in 1914 as a volunteer in the First World War, which was forced upon the Reich.

In these three decades only love and loyalty to my people have guided me in my thinking, my actions and my life. They gave me the strength to make the difficult decisions, such as have never before confronted mortal man. I have used up my time, my working strength and my health in these three decades.

It is untrue that I or anybody else in Germany wanted war in 1939....

But nor have I left any doubt that if the nations of Europe are once more to be treated only as collections of stocks and shares of these international conspirators in money and finance, then those who carry the real guilt for the murderous struggle, this people will also be held responsible: the Jews! I have further left no one in doubt that this time it will not be only millions of children of Europeans of the Aryan peoples who will starve to death, not only millions of grown men who will suffer death, and not only hundreds of thousands of women and children who will be burned and bombed to death in the cities, without those who are really responsible also having to atone for their crime, even if by more humane means....

But before everything else I call upon the leadership of the nation and those who follow it to observe the racial laws most carefully, to fight mercilessly against the poisoners of all the peoples of the world, international Jewry.

Re:What a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886088)

It's called functional programming. It's not unique.

Re:What a joke... (1, Informative)

GNUALMAFUERTE (697061) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886114)

>>If SAS had been the only language you programmed in, it would probably make a lot more sense.

That means that language is BROKEN.

Re:What a joke... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886294)

No, R is a great example of a functional programming language, primarily concerned with statistical problems, that would make sense to anyone who has programmed before (but might be difficult for someone who has programmed less within the functional realm)... hey, and it is open source!!!

Re:What a joke... (5, Informative)

kd6ttl (1016559) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886656)

The SAS data step language was originally modeled after PL/I. Some recent additions (for example, the "object-oriented" interface) appear to have been modeled after C or other more recently fashionable languages.

If you are speaking of the data step language, it's not correct to say that "[m]ost of the functions automatically apply to a whole recordset at once"; that's a misunderstanding of the default data step iteration over records. Statements in the data step apply to one record at a time, going sequentially or in index order through the input - unless you've done something to make that not happen (which you can do - SAS is very flexible).

In many ways, SAS follows the same principle of least surprise as Perl and some other languages.

Re:What a joke... (0, Flamebait)

Dahamma (304068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885984)

Umm... how about... SQL? Which as you obviously don't know, is the dominant language for databases, and is the primary domain for a company like SAS.

Oh, and also mathematics in general. Yeah, that little detail which has been around a bit longer than programming languages...

Re:What a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886372)

The directional nature of the = sign is one place that mathematics and programming languages generally differ sharply. I've also programmed in SAS and SQL. In SQL the bidirectional nature of the = sign makes total sense, in SAS, it can be ridiculously confusing because it can reverse its nature within a single procedure. It works intuitively for SQL, but in SAS, it seems like someone kludged it together...

Re:What a joke... (1)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886878)

The directional nature of the = sign is one place that mathematics and programming languages generally differ sharply.

Not in a programming language with "referential transparency". Languages with side-effects, where "=" doesn't mean "equality" but means "assigns", are not referentially transparent.

It's a shame that programmers don't even realize how much easier thinking about this stuff can be...

Re:What a joke... (3, Insightful)

poopdeville (841677) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886860)

The bigger joke is SAS - as someone who has programmed in many, many languages it must have the absolute worst syntax/design of any computing language I know... in what other language does x=y actually mean y=x in some contexts????

Uh... any logic with equality.

Re:What a joke... (1)

longacre (1090157) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885620)

I've heard Amazon does not pay particularly well. But I'd be willing to look at an offer if they'd like to prove me wrong. :-)

Re:What a joke... (4, Interesting)

ottothecow (600101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886530)

Is that what this is mostly based on? It seems that way because I notice a lot the firms that made it (and keep making it) are companies known for long hours and high stress.

Goldman Sachs shows up there, lists the most common job as an analyst with about $120k a year in pay. The people I know who went off to work in investment banking are not exactly what I would call happy. They are getting a pile of money, a solid resume, and a ticket to a top business school...but most of them are not planning to return after grad school. There are other finance/Big 4/mgmt. consulting firms on there that have the same sort of characteristics--strong pay and benefits but consistent 80+ hour weeks of stress and deadlines.

I just don't understand how they make it to the top of the list along with companies like SAS or Google (I've heard long hours...but you get a lot of special perks and a lot of time for your own projects). Are they paying their employees to write good reviews? Are these done like college rankings where you get a boost just for being the company that everyone applies to just to get rejected?

Re:What a joke... (4, Interesting)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885622)

Its the pager. Its a killer. The majority of amazon hires quit in under 2 years, because of the damn thing. Add in the fact that some underhanded teams don't mention it up front (many do, but I knew many people who didn't find out about pager requirements until after they hired on) and it doesn't belong on the list. If they got rid of the damn things it would go by the top.

Re:What a joke... (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885832)

A pager? Please elaborate how it is used and for what reasons? I have my assumptions but I'd like to know.... it sounds like a big WTF moment for me is coming...

Re:What a joke... (5, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885864)

According to this review [glassdoor.com]:

Pager duty is a major pain. Smaller teams can expect to be on-call at least one week per month, while larger teams spread out the pain longer. Getting paged in the middle of the night for a high-severity problem that take eight hours of investigation to fix is enough to drive many to quit.

Sounds like they're trying to make routine (as opposed to rare, emergency) use of on-call engineers as a way of maintaining 24/7 staffing without actually paying for 24/7 staffing.

Re:What a joke... (2, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886496)

Oncall once a month for a week....ooooooh...that is sooooo harsh...

Seriously, that is hardly uncommon. In fact, I'd say the majority of places I've worked in the last 10 years have similar rotations, one week per 3-6 weeks. Granted, in most places I've been you only get paged a few times during that week. But one week per month is not that unusual.

Re:What a joke... (2, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886560)

I dunno, it sounds pretty crappy to me to spend 1/4 of your life on call. Most respectable companies will hire 24/7 staff if they want 24/7 staff. I have never heard of chemical companies routinely using on-call engineers to solve problems at their plants, for example. Sure, if something explodes, they'll start calling everyone's cell phones---but that better not happen very often at all.

Re:What a joke... (4, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886180)

The company policy is that the best way to make sure that devs pay attention to defects is to make them the recipient of all the pain they cause. So the devs are in charge not only of writing the code, but also in charge of the service running in production (and on the test network, but that isn't the point here). So if a server goes down- devs take care of it. If a server breaks, devs have to requisition a new one (although a separate team does hardware checking and actually orders it from the supplier, and will also investigate hardware issues upon request). If anything goes wrong with the service itself (due to bugs, bad inputs, etc), the devs take care of it. So the devs share a pager around the team. Exactly how the pager is rotated is decided by the team, but generally its 1 week at a time, round robin. So on an N person team, expect to be on call 1 week in N. When you're on call you're expected to be within 15 minutes of an internet connection and a computer capable of VPNing into the corporate network at all times, and to respond to the page within those 15 minutes (otherwise it pages your boss after 30, then his boss, and on up the line). So basically devs are the 24 hr support crew as well as the developers. Needless to say, most devs don't want to be support, so leave the company very quickly.

Re:What a joke... (3, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886456)

So basically devs are the 24 hr support crew as well as the developers. Needless to say, most devs don't want to be support, so leave the company very quickly.

Oh okay. I did that for almost ten years at my last job with our state road authority. We supported a lot of hardware as well as the software and for a lot of the time I was doing it two weeks on then two weeks off. It wasn't so bad but if you are the kind of person who expects to spend weekends pissed and unable to move then it might result in a few lifestyle challenges.

We got perks for being on call though. But OTH the perks and pay combined were less than my total pay in my next job.

Re:What a joke... (2, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886610)

It really depends on your personality. Some people don't mind it too much. Others can't stand it. Myself, I didn't mind it when I was at work, I'm there I may as well work on that as anything else. And I had no problem volunteering to cover for someone who needed an evening off for family reasons or the like. But that type of crimp on my social life and the necessity of possibly needing to work at any time was a killer for me- I was miserable the entire week, the weekend before (because I was dreading it) and most of the week after (as I decompressed off it). And mind you we did this for no extra pay- it wasn't like I was hourly where being paged in raised my salary or being on call gave me a differential. The most I ever got was a day off if I was up all night. They'd need to pay me at least double to ever put up with that again.

Re:What a joke... (-1, Offtopic)

dvidhussy (1728896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885982)

I've noticed that I laugh a lot at dirty, offensive jokes. I haven't heard a clean funny joke in years. 5 stars for the funniest joke? Hair Regrowth [goarticles.com]

Re:What a joke... (2, Interesting)

VernorVinge (1420843) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886102)

I worked at Amazon for three years. While my colleagues was great, there were no perks like company paid day care or even arcade machines like the .com's of yore. Most new hires are gone within 2 years. My own department had 80% turnover.

Re:What a joke... (3, Interesting)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886340)

"The majority of amazon hires quit in under 2 years"
Bullshit. From where are you getting your data? Yes - Amazonians carry pagers when they are on call. Amazon engineers stand behind their code and their site and don't farm it off to teams in India or China like other companies.

Re:What a joke... (2, Interesting)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886576)

Actually a lot of groups have spun up first-tier support teams in the past couple years, which include support staff in India. So if you can write up some simple rules to follow in the event of a page, routine stuff doesn't even come to the devs, only the unexpected stuff does. From what I understand, this is almost exactly the way Google does it too.

It's the same way at some teams inside Microsoft, only less formalized so you don't get everyone sharing the pain, only a 'select few' who get volunteered by management.

Re:What a joke... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885726)

Not that big parts of M$ aren't f***ed up but you'd rather run somebody else's sales systems rather than building products to benefit the world? Aim low, buddy, aim low...

Re:What a joke... (1)

Skreems (598317) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886598)

I'd rather work somewhere that I can get learn and try new things without having to fight 6 levels of entrenched management trying to scratch and claw a place for themselves. But then, I'm one of those devs who enjoys the process of building software, and the overall goal isn't as much of a driver.

amazon?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886084)

Amazon, in Seattle? You think they should be on the list at all? You've really drank the kool-aid haven't you?
Why don't you spend some time at the A9 campus in Palo Alto and see how it compares to the PacMed campus, you will be surprised at the huge difference in company culture.

(posted anonymous to protect the guilty)

Re:What a joke... (4, Informative)

bangzilla (534214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886304)

To be on the list companies must submit their name for consideration. Amazon didn't, hence it's not on the list. Better things to do than self promotion I suspect ;-)

I used to work for a company like this (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885566)

I was Mobil employee (pre Exxon merger days). Probably one of the best companies I have ever worked for. Progressive work environment, friendly people, ideas were treated with respect, and about as diverse friendly as you can get. They did everything right, but were bought out by Exxon. I've never seen such an about turn in such a short amount of time. It was much like I imagine going from a free country to the iron heel of some repressive regime.

Obviously if your a fortune 500 company, there must be a way to meld a happy work environment with a profitable one? Why isn't this more the rule than the exception?

Re:I used to work for a company like this (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885908)

Obviously if your a fortune 500 company, there must be a way to meld a happy work environment with a profitable one? Why isn't this more the rule than the exception?

The problem is, people are desperate for jobs. Fortune 500 companies are pretty well known, one or two employees who might actually do something aren't going to hurt the company. In short, its easier and cheaper to screw entry-level employees than it is to find and make lasting ones.

Re:I used to work for a company like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886240)

Greed. Shareholders want money. Fuck the employees. If they don't like it, we get trainees and H1B types in there willing to work for half a cup of rice per month (but we charge for water and cooking the rice). This is a big private company. No publicly traded company works like this. Shareholders make sure everyone suffers. On the other hand I've worked for family owned companies that are at least as bad as the worst publicly traded companies. Huge layoffs, passive aggressive to fully aggressive bosses and managers, cheap down to things like toilet paper toilets, work breaks, pay (violating local laws, but so long as they don't get caught...), re-structuring health benefits employees pay for so that the employee deductions remain the same, but benefits decrease, so that managers can have a bonus..... pick your item and its been creatively managed. It also includes brining in people for interviews just so that current employees can be intimidated. So in hindsight, this privately owned company might really be a diamond in the rough. Oh, and where I was, 180 employees, with 8 more than 5 years, 4 more than 10 years, and family members with pictures not on the wall after that.

Rossiya -- svyashchennaya nasha derzhava, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885576)

Rossiya -- lyubimaya nasha strana.
Moguchaya volya, velikaya slava --
Tvoyo dostoyanye na vse vremena!

Pripev:

    Slav'sya, Otechestvo nashe svobodnoye,
    Bratskikh narodov soyuz vekovoy,
    Predkami dannaya mudrost narodnaya!
    Slav'sya, strana! My gordimsya toboy!

Re:Rossiya -- svyashchennaya nasha derzhava, (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885636)

No habla espanol

True (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885588)

YMMV, but having previously worked for both Google and SAS I can attest to both being wonderful working environments. A good working environment and having motivated people in your office really lifts general mood and ambition.

mmmm... (4, Insightful)

conureman (748753) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885596)

M&Ms.

Re:mmmm... (3, Insightful)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886116)

Mod parent up, M&Ms are on topic.

That has got to be the best use of the candy since WW2 [wikipedia.org] and one of the reasons SAS is #1. That's the type of mindset I would like my boss to have.

Where's Apple? (5, Funny)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885654)

I checked the list twice.

Where's Apple?

Re:Where's Apple? (5, Insightful)

the linux geek (799780) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885698)

You answered your own question. Apple is not on the list. Evidently, they are not a particularly wonderful company to work for.

Re:Where's Apple? (5, Funny)

martas (1439879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885854)

well, it would be OK, except for the daily Jobs worship hours...

Re:Where's Apple? (1)

TwiztidK (1723954) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885932)

I figure the daily Jobs lashings would be worse.

Re:Where's Apple? (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886062)

...and their fitness program is to take the stairs so you don't have to worry about being fired in an elevator [salon.com].

OT, but Larry and Jobs think of netbooks in 2000?? (1)

starbugs (1670420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886292)

...and their fitness program is to take the stairs so you don't have to worry about being fired in an elevator [salon.com].

That is one of the most interesting articles about Apple I've read.
Funny that Apple is the only major company that hasn't jumped in on the Netbook bandwagon.

sorry for being OT

Re:Where's Apple? (1, Funny)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886836)

Master Jobs Guide us
Master Jobs Teach us
Master Jobs protect us.
In your light we thrive
In your mercy we are sheltered
In your wisdom we are humbled.
We live only to serve
Our lives are yours.

Re:Where's Apple? (1)

Korbeau (913903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886846)

Master Jobs Guide us
Master Jobs Teach us
Master Jobs protect us.
In your light we thrive
In your mercy we are sheltered
In your wisdom we are humbled.
We live only to serve
Our lives are yours.

Should have said our "jobs" are yours :)

Re:Where's Apple? (1)

mjwx (966435) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886966)

well, it would be OK, except for the daily Jobs worship hours...

and the beatings

Re:Where's Apple? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886490)

In fact, Apple might be in the worst 100 companies to work for. It is particularly known for treating its employees badly.

Re:Where's Apple? (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885936)

I checked the list twice.

Where's Apple?

You're trying to be funny, and apparently succeeding, but the answer is: in the past. Apple used to have a great work environment, paid sabbatical for full-timers, etc etc. All that shit is now gone and working for Apple is like working for anyone, except that you have to fear being taken over by the turtleneck.

Re:Where's Apple? (5, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886424)

Would you say that Apple's employees are worried about their Jobs?

Re:Where's Apple? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886764)

Would you say that Apple's employees are worried about their Jobs?

Being summarily fired by the CEO after a chance encounter used to be called "being Steve'd." The term was also applied to projects that were cancelled by the Jobs after a bad demo.

Re:Where's Apple? (3, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886546)

The rumors I hear around is that Apple is a hard company to work for. Long hours, late nights, working weekends.....it's not easy. The people who work there really love the products, so they are willing to put up with it.

I don't know if that is true or not, but those are the rumors I hear.

Re:Where's Apple? (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30887090)

Adding to that, what I've heard is that the pay is nothing great - possibly actually below industry average (unusual for a high-profile company). Good pay doesn't make the working experience better, but it makes up for some of a bad experience.

As you say, it's a company for people who really *like* the company, for its products or image or whatever.

Microsoft made 51st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885658)

...Just ahead of the WalMart and the New York City Landfill err. Sanitation Engineering Department. Its not a good time for msfties, with stock flat for ....2 decades now... overpaid execs continuously crowing 'back in my day blah blah blah blah', perks evaporating like week old pepsi, valuable skill sets that need to include 'thrown chair avoidance', and marketing bunnies insisting 'we don't give a crap if its done, it has to ship tomorrow. You stay here all night and call me at home every 90 minutes with your progress till 11:30, but don't call me from 8:30-10:30 as I will be in the hot tub.' Its no surprise that the parking lot suffers a traffic jam every day at 4:31 pm. Would you work there if you could get a job at HP, or Intel, or Oracle or Google or Chrysler or Wal*Mart?

Re:Microsoft made 51st (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885958)

Could it really be...twitter? Are you back? We've missed you, little buddy!

Re:Microsoft made 51st (1)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886056)

Its not a good time for msfties, with stock flat for ....2 decades now...

Microsoft stock has only been flat for one decade. It saw phenomenal growth from 1990 to 2000. Their largest growth started around 1996 when Windows 95 added support for IP and the internet. They had a huge drop in 2000 when Bill Gates stepped down as CEO. That's also about the time the anti-trust case against them was affirmed on appeal (although the penalty was thrown out). Microsoft stock has generally been $20-$30/share ever since.

Who dares wins (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885708)

The SAS is certainly an elite outfit, probably better than the Green Berets. If the US military did have "the Unit' as portrayed by the CBS TV series then that would be the equivalent.

Of course you have to be a Brit to join it, its not like the French Foreign Legion.

I wish them the best of luck in finding and killing Bin Laden.

Re:Who dares wins (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885804)

Bin Laden is dead. They keep using him like dog racers use that metal rabbit. Stupid dogs.....stupid people.

This is funny if you're in the UK (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885712)

The Special Air Service is part of the armed forces.

Re:This is funny if you're in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885990)

Cool story bro.

Re:This is funny if you're in the UK (1)

MakinBacon (1476701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886198)

I'm not British, and I still thought they were talking about British special forces when I initially read the headline.

Re:This is funny if you're in the UK (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886226)

Suggested tag: whodareswins

Re:This is funny if you're in the UK (2, Funny)

Stupid McStupidson (1660141) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886224)

Came to read about commandos being the best employer. Left disappointed. Watched "Who Dares, Wins" to recover.

Dumb question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885744)

Hey, anyone know where one could find similar little blurbs for companies not on that list? Employee pay by job and all that that?

Government departments should be included. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885792)

I think the list should include more than just companies.

The Office of the president (especially under the Clinton administration) would win.

Nobody ever got better perks.

Re:Government departments should be included. (2, Insightful)

slashqwerty (1099091) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886120)

The Presidency has been rated one of the worst jobs due to the massive responsibility, stress, constant criticism, and threat of being assassinated. The illegal 'perks' you're obviously trying to joke about got Clinton impeached and nearly booted out of office. If that had occurred he may have lost some of the other perks he is entitled to while simultaneously finding himself in a rather unsavory place in history.

Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and Pro (1)

Agamous Child (538344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885898)

Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and Programs???

Re:Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and (1)

Agamous Child (538344) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885902)

God damn the slash preview code sucks.... I meant to add that the SAS stuff is JUNK, pure JUNK.

Re:Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and (1)

Theswager (1455957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885948)

Their JMP Statistical software is nice despite the the annoying scripting syntax. For a piece of software which is so full of features it is very lightweight and bug free. great for analyzing large amounts of data.

Re:Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and (4, Informative)

guacamole (24270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886822)

Yes.. very odd, non-conventional programming paradigms. The core of the systems seems to have been invented at the time when modern computers didn't exist.

The good thing about SAS is that it implements tons of statistics procedures (a lot more than say MATLAB) which are relatively easier to access than the same functions in GNU R. Doing any kind of standard (e.g. any Masters-level) statistics or econometrics in it is a breeze and this is why so many businesses are standardized on SAS. Academic statisticians and economists tend to like SAS too for things that are already implemented in it. But programming your own custom procedures in SAS is a pain in a butt..

SAS also beats other software in management of large data sets. The DATA step is odd, but it works where R or MATLAB would not work.

Re:Have any of you ever seen the SAS Language and (1)

story645 (1278106) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886896)

It's gonna be used in my applied stats course next semester. Took me a few minutes to even put the two together, and had never heard of it before the professor mentioned it. All I know about them is that they offer certification.

Culture of SAS (5, Interesting)

Theswager (1455957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30885906)

As someone who lives about 1 mile away from SAS, knows lots of people who work there, and has talked to a lot of local business owners about SAS, and has eaten in their 'cafeteria'(gourmet restaurant for employees). SAS is an amazing place to work. At the same time many of the people who work there are not motivated like people in places like Google or other silicon valley type companies. SAS has a few cash cow products that they maintain and beyond that there is not much innovation. Jim Goodnight is a control freak about what the company does and is surrounded by 'yes men' executives. Many people who start to work there never leave and it functions as a self sustaining source of money with low work hours for all involved. That being said I do like the statistics software from them that I have used(JMP)

You can't survive if you don't evolve with changes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886040)

SAS may be a good place to earn money, but that will change in a flash .... specially if they don't have other products in the works.

Companies that relies on just a few products, die slow miserable deaths in short periods of time. Software products have a very short lifespan and unless the product line evolves, they easily become obsolete. A company can't survive without new customers and just on support contracts for an obsolete product.

Re:You can't survive if you don't evolve with chan (2, Informative)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886182)

I think if SAS dies, it's more likely to be a long, leisurely death. Their lock-in for business software is quite high--- it's a huge pain in the ass to completely transition a large company from SAS to anything else. Even if they stopped getting new customers altogether, I think their market share would decline only slowly.

Re:You can't survive if you don't evolve with chan (1)

Your.Master (1088569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886430)

"die slow miserable deaths in short periods of time"

Can you explain how you die a slow death in a short period of time?

Re:You can't survive if you don't evolve with chan (5, Insightful)

guacamole (24270) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886754)

Popular science/math/statistics applications generally have a very high market persistence... They are like well entrenched programming languages, which is actually what they are. People and organizations have invested an incredible amount of effort into software development, training, etc, to abandon a software packages like this one overnight. SAS software is a kludge of GUI tools written around a core SAS engine that was written at the time when modern computers didn't exist (and it shows), and yet this software is still going strong pretty amazingly. More recently, GNU R and STATA have become viable competitors for the raw statistics portion of SAS (they can't touch its business applications), and SAS might have lost a small market share in that area, but I really doubt it's on its way to die. Only time will show.

Rubish (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886904)

At SAS - yes I work there - we grew our business every year for the last thirty years. Please explain to me how we were able to do this without innovation. We also put more money back into R&D than any other IT vendor that I am aware of.

We now offer a range of targeted solution, campaign management, telco retention, supply management you name it that allows to rapidily employ our analytical engine (BTW fully Grid enabled if you wish) to specific business problems.

Goes to show that just because you ate in our cafeteria doesn't mean you understand what we are selling these days.

Re:Culture of SAS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886908)

I don't think there's anything wrong with that. As long as the company is sustaining revenue what does it matter? They have a decent product with demand, much better to operate like that than to be one of these growth companies which makes far too much money, shotgunning it into random new products and acquisitions.

Private companies are better employers (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30885924)

I have worked for several companies over the years. The best job I have ever had is with my current employer. Why? They are a "private" company. Note SAS is a "private" company. Huge public companies are always a slave to earnings and pleasing shareholders. Thats why a company like Intel can show record profits or increases and yet they lay off 5,000 people. The moral of the story. Try getting a job with a good private company.

bogus methodology (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886030)

Fortune's methodology is completely bogus because it doesn't interview former employees. I used to work for #2 but quit when I learned that I would get paid 1/2 as much for selling stocks and mutual funds that were not recommended by the company.

Re:bogus methodology (2, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886570)

I'm going to have to agree with you, look at their explanation of why Microsoft is so great:

Thousands of "Softies" worldwide hosted parties to celebrate the launch of the company's new operating system, Windows 7

Really? Microsoft is great because of Windows 7 launch parties?

Re:bogus methodology (1)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 4 years ago | (#30887046)

It's possible what they're pointing out is that MS employees like what they do, and the products that they work on. That somebody would throw a private party in celebration of a corporate (rather than employee) milestone indicates that they really like their corporation.

Alternatively, it might be pointing out the parties that MS organizes/sponsors. There's a pretty good morale budget at MS, and the better managers will organize events that don't even use much of it so as to stretch it longer. As an intern there, we (my team) had bi-weekly "beerfests" in the afternoon, team lunches on a regular basis, frequently hung around to socialize after hours (not that there are official hours; "after hours" could be as early as 3:30 PM), and of course parties. Win7 launch was an excuse for lots of parties, of course, but it wasn't the only time they happened either - not by a long shot.

In any case, as an intern, it was a pretty sweet job. Of course, they give us lots of special perks - it's basically trial employment, and if they make us an offer they want to be sure we take it - but the stuff I did with my team (where I was the only intern) was also a lot of fun.

Microsoft is number 51... (1)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886136)

I wonder if that includes working at the MS store in malls or not. Sometimes working behind the scene's its a whole lot better then in the front. Company's like Microsoft are very large with MANY different types of job types to fill, from sales to coders and many things between and I'm guessing each one one have it's own ups and downs

SAS is a great place to work... (1)

brennanw (5761) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886156)

... if you're a full-time employee. I found it a little difficult to work there as a contractor. The people I worked with were great, but there was friction because they were pretty much all expecting to be lifers and I considered it a short-term gig. The culture there (at least, when I was there around 2000) was very uncomfortable with the "mercenary" mindset of "do job, get paid, leave."

Re:SAS is a great place to work... (3, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886604)

The culture there (at least, when I was there around 2000) was very uncomfortable with the "mercenary" mindset of "do job, get paid, leave."

That's sort of the whole point of their corporate culture, though, and why the employees like it there, isn't it? The expectation is that neither management/owners nor employees will treat it as a purely mercenary endeavor, so employees aren't using it as a springboard to the next job that offers a 5% higher salary, and management isn't going to screw over employees at the first opportunity.

Ratings are a joke (3, Insightful)

plopez (54068) | more than 4 years ago | (#30886260)

I've worked for a top rated corp. What a joke. On paper, they looked good. But if you didn't conform to the culture it sucked. Official policies mean little, it all come down to the managers in your local department.

Yuo Fail it!! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886270)

areV a 4athetic

The article ranks Microsoft as #15, not #51 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30886288)

http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2010/size/

First love (3, Insightful)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#30887000)

whose first love is programming

I did an SAS course around 20 years ago. Had to support it on my SunOS system. Then, it was basically an OS360 environment ported to X11. It was horrible to look at and no single "modern" -that was 1992- concept was to be seen. The "concept" of supporting both STDOUT and STDERR was wildly exotic.

Most SAS users I met were completely clueless about programming and were basically summoned by their depts to perform some wild additions on homogeneous data sets. The statistical functions were probably used by the small base of power users. Back then I'd had wager that a handful of Perl scripts -that was Perl 4 back then- would have solved most problems at a fraction of the cost and would have constituted in more generally trained developers. However, in SAS' niche, product decisions are hardly ever taken by tech savvy people but mostly by accountants that are overwhelmed by (non-)features from ads.

Anyway, the software was sold and SAS made loads of money out of it. Good for them. Stating that the founder's first love is programming is stretching it a bit.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...