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Re: st: What to Tell others to learn Stata in a short time period


From   Nick Cox <njcoxstata@gmail.com>
To   statalist@hsphsun2.harvard.edu
Subject   Re: st: What to Tell others to learn Stata in a short time period
Date   Sat, 10 Sep 2011 10:02:04 +0100

These questions often arise and several excellent points have already
been made. I usually make comments like these.

1. Stata is a large and complicated program and anyone expecting that
there is a really easy subset of Stata you can learn very quickly is
probably going to be disappointed. Or to put it differently, you can
learn a lot quickly but learning to correct the mistakes you make
equally quickly comes only with experience and ultimately an
understanding of how Stata works. It's clearly also true that you need
only learn what you need. I teach Stata too from scratch and I'm
impressed that the students usually learn to appreciate Stata as
something different and with its own power very quickly. If I were
starting all over again I would probably find the idea rather scary. I
started with Stata 2.1 (2.05, actually in Larry Hamilton's book) and
you could just take the manual [sic] home with you and study it in the
bath or on the train, but that's no longer true.

2. I keep thinking that [U] is underrated and that users are best
advised to keep re-reading [U]. Each time, stop when it gets too
difficult. So long as you have access to Stata 11 or 12, the issue of
extra cost does not arise as the manuals are included in .pdf form. I
see people trying to write their own programs who clearly have not
studied the relevant chapters in [U], which I don't recommend. That
said, it is also true that statistical software is not a spectator
sport and the sooner you get writing code the sooner you will start
learning from your mistakes. Also, just about every book written on
Stata is excellent in its own way.

3. I think it has to be underlined that Statalist is a discussion list
and not a help line. It's a fine distinction and we don't filter
questions or ignore all questions -- anyone can answer very elementary
questions and it's often done -- but the list would collapse if every
learner posted their first questions and it's a disservice to
Statalist to recommend otherwise. The advice on posting clearly
recomends looking at several different resources _before_ you post.

Nick

On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 8:51 AM, Teresio Poggio <terlist@gmail.com> wrote:

> Sorry for not considering these constraints.
>
> Mentioned on-line tutorials and resources are excellent and free (not
> considering the constraints and costs for internet connection). Why
> not selecting some of them and prepare a set of resources for off-line
> browsing, that may be copied on cd-rom or usb sticks?


 On Sat, Sep 10, 2011 at 9:23 AM, Muhammad Anees <anees@aneconomist.com> wrote:
>> You are right Poggio and Sarkar!
>>
>> But most of the time, we in Pakistan do not have access to such
>> materials due to many technical and financial reasons including power
>> and net disconnectivity, and low level of income which restrict our
>> use of internet to access such material and purchase books which cost
>> thousands of Rupees when converted the Dollar price to rupees. This
>> restricts the use of Stata by many of our students and colleagues in
>> Stata. I usually motivate my students to use Stata because of its
>> diversity of usability in basic econometric both for micro and macro
>> models, qualitative techniques. I want them to have some ready to
>> access resources so they are very independent in using Stata, have
>> access to resources which are are either free or have very cheaper
>> access. The two I mentioned in the previous email tell this
>> indirectly. I just want to list a few resources so I could present
>> this to them and they Start loving Stata to use.
>>
>> Hope some resources are listed in this thread.
>>
>> Thanks for your time to help me in this regard.
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