Staff Spotlight: Bruce Kayton, Senior SAS Applications Programmer for SimulStat

When it comes to making a project successful and keeping clients happy, Bruce knows exactly what makes the difference. “It sounds like a cliché,” he says, “but Customer Service. When people see you making their needs a high priority they appreciate it and you in turn are appreciated as part of the team.”

Meet Bruce Kayton, a Senior SAS Applications Programmer from Cape Town, South Africa. As with many Programmers here at SimulStat, Bruce developed a passion for computers early in life. His journey began with studies in Electrical Engineering, followed by a course in COBOL Programming and then work in a variety of industries, from Insurance to Banking, Marketing, Telecommunications and Pharmaceuticals. His first assignment with us, fourteen years ago, was working on SAS Programming of medical devices. Two years later he joined one of SimulStat’s Pharmaceutical clients and has been with them ever since.

“SimulStat has been very good to me over the years,” he says. “I am left alone to do what I do, but Adam Sharp, the CEO, is always available for any questions or concerns. The company goes out of it’s way to make sure their consultants are happy, not just financially, but also developmentally.”

Bruce is a cherished member of our consulting community for many reasons, including his expertise and wealth of experience. He’s an extremely valuable SAS Programmer, able to work independently, as part of a team, and managing projects. These days, he works in a team of macro developers who assist with Clinical Programming, from CDISC implementation to Clinical Reporting, “and everything in between,” he adds. “My specialty is CDISC implementation where we develop a suite of tools to manage meta data and subsequently apply those data standards to clinical studies.”

Bruce’s passion for programming, and extensive professional background, gives him the depth of experience to dive into any challenge confidently. Managing time and priorities is among the greatest challenges he faces. “I am kept extremely busy with ongoing new development and touching all aspects of the Software Development Life Cycle. I also support users in their day-to-day activities whenever they encounter problems with the macro code that I support.” True to his generous spirit, he’s also happy to jump in and help colleagues on the support side even when it means he’ll have to work extra hard to maintain his own development schedule.

SimulStat consistently attracts the industry’s top programmers and professionals who are able not only to meet client needs but also deliver innovative solutions. For example, Bruce had the opportunity to rewrite utility software from scratch for a major operating system. His solution addressed the client’s challenge and added new features. “It manages the bulk submission of programs, but the advantage of the new application is that it allows for multiple programs to run simultaneously.” One result of that solution is that a job stream can complete in 1/10th the time required previously. In fact, it was such a success that he wrote and presented a paper on his work at Pharmasug in 2014.

When it comes to making a project successful and keeping clients happy, Bruce knows exactly what makes the difference. “It sounds like a cliché,” he says, “but Customer Service. When people see you making their needs a high priority they appreciate it and you in turn are appreciated as part of the team.”

Our employees are like family. We do our best to create an environment that’s supportive and helps our employees thrive professionally and personally. “I really like working for SimulStat,” Bruce adds. “It can be a little isolating because I work remotely from home, but working as a consultant also affords me a flexible schedule. In summer I play beach volleyball, which means I get to take off early once a week to do that. My schedule is flexible enough to do that without a problem. I also love to travel, and occasionally, when I do go back to South Africa, I don’t make that trip for anything less than 3 weeks. Few companies allow for that kind of flexibility. As long as it’s OK with the client there are no problems.”

If you’re an experienced SAS programmer, or looking to get into the field, explore our current career opportunities at http://www.simulstat.com/programming-jobs-at-simulstat/

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