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RE: st: I wish I'd known that -

From   "Martin Weiss" <>
To   <>
Subject   RE: st: I wish I'd known that -
Date   Mon, 30 Aug 2010 15:14:34 +0200


" However, I would still like to hear more from those who have recently  
learned Stata, and who are possibly still struggling with it."

I do belong to this group, even though (most of the time...) I am no longer
struggling with Stata. I only bought my licence in December of 2007, so it
has only been 2 and a half years. I recall moments full of desperation
initially, when I, for example, rummaged endlessly through the menus trying
to find a certain dialog box that I knew was useful. Then I learned about

Then I started listening carefully to Statalist output, rerunning all the
examples being posted by the pundits, which led to new questions ("Why does
the // comment sign only work from the do-file editor?") Also, the tips in
the SJ were extremely helpful, as was the "Speaking Stata" column by NJC.
When the moving wall at the SJ was established
(, it gave my
efforts an enormous boost. The two most important articles are by far the
ones already pointed out by Austin in, about
-foreach- and -bysort-. Would I have wished I had read them "earlier" than I
did? Not really: To appreciate their content, you must have tried all the
alteratives to the techniques advocated in there and failed miserably :-)

Learning Stata is not much different from learning a language. Apart from my
mother tongue German, I have learnt five other languages over the years:
Latin, Ancient Greek, English, Spanish and Italian. You need a lot of
stamina to get over the initial frustration that is bound to occur (think
the distinction between -if- and -if-, But once you are
past it, it is pure pleasure and smooth sailing. Obtaining help from
like-minded people, as we regularly do on Statalist, is a great way to ease
the initial pain. Thanks to all listers who made this possible for me!


-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Ronan Conroy
Sent: Montag, 30. August 2010 14:06
Subject: Re: st: I wish I'd known that -

First, may I thank the many people who replied both on the list and  
privately. I will be summarising suggestions.

However, I would still like to hear more from those who have recently  
learned Stata, and who are possibly still struggling with it. Many of  
the suggestions have been made by people who, like me, have been using  
Stata for years and have forgotten what it was like not to know how to  
use it.

Ronan Conroy
Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland
Epidemiology Department,
Beaux Lane House, Dublin 2, Ireland
+353 (0)1 402 2431
+353 (0)87 799 97 95
+353 (0)1 402 2764 (Fax - remember them?)

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