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st: RE: recommendation for learning to write Stata ado-files

From   "Nick Cox" <>
To   <>
Subject   st: RE: recommendation for learning to write Stata ado-files
Date   Tue, 3 Jun 2008 17:53:04 +0100

The User's Guide [U] is invaluable. [P] is less important for initial
learning, important as you progress. 

At some point the question of whether to learn Mata as well as Stata
will arise. 

Looking at other programs and help files is invaluable. Often somebody
else's program is an excellent starting point. (Of course, you should
acknowledge what you borrow.) 

It's a bit invidious to pick from user-written books: nevertheless Kit
Baum's forthcoming book is very good. (Declaration of interest.) 

Getting to write do files before you write programs and getting used to
little programs before you write large ones are usually advisable. 

People who haven't programmed before sometimes under-estimate how
difficult it can be. 
If you are not a detail-driven person accustomed to being very careful
about small points as well as large ones, programming can be very
frustrating. Even if you are, it can be very frustrating. 

On the other hand, programming can be a lot of fun as well as useful.
Being able to customise what you do is very rewarding. 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Andrea

Does anyone have a good starting point for learning how to write ado- 
files (in case it is part of the Stata manuals, I don't have them!).  
Is there a book you would recommend? Or do you usually just learn by  
looking at existing ado-files?


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