How to be a freelance contractor


You start a new contract as the outsider, and everybody (who doesn’t already know you) treats you with suspicion. My plan for a new contract is always to produce something tangible in the first week. It could be a neat way to solve a problem, a simple explanation to a problem experienced by several colleagues, or a new report/data set/macro.

After that you may be asked for your advice, and you should work hard to give it as simply as possible. Then you get asked more questions, which develop into trust. It never happens overnight, but a freelance contractor is a resource to be valued and used!

New advice when registering as a blog member


Remember to use your full personal name, not a business name (unless you’ve asked me first), and a full last name is expected and required to complete registration, not “X Y” where your user information is considered to be hiding your identity. If you supply a name like “X Y” then your profile will be set to Pending, which will be deleted automatically after 1 month if not corrected.

NEW: An activation email will be sent to your registered email address to confirm that it is valid. If you do not receive it within a few minutes, then please contact Philip Holland at, as your email address may not have been accepted, but can be corrected.

It is also recommended that you do not use an email address as, or include your company name in, your user name, because user names cannot be changed, but your email address or company might change in the future!

You can register for Free blog membership here: Join Now Button

Premium SAS Support for Commercial Clients


Free membership gives you access to the SAS Skills Discussion Forum for non-programming questions about SAS. Programming and Recruiter memberships, which require monthly low-cost subscriptions, give you access to the same forum and to the SAS Programming Forum, where you can ask SAS programming questions. However, all questions and answers are visible to all members with access to each forum, which may not be quite what you are looking for.

To fulfill any need for confidential correspondence you may have seen a recent addition to the blog menu. The Premium SAS help desk service, called [sas.answers @ Holland Numerics] (which has actually been around since 2002), is different. It does not require even Free membership of the blog, but it does require a separate subscription payable using PayPal. What makes this service special is that it provides an in-house web-based interface for you to ask questions, which automatically generates an SMS message and an email to Holland Numerics, with a copy of the email sent back to you too. There is also a service level agreement to provide an answer to every question within 48 hours, and that answer will be privately sent directly back to the sending subscriber! Please note that, if a monthly subscription is not necessary, then a single question can be asked instead for a reduced fee.

Full details of the [sas.answers @ Holland Numerics] help desk service can be found here.