I just got back from a conference where, as usual, I had a lot of fun. It was tiring, both mentally and physically, but at the end of each day I was sure that I’d learned something new. This is the environment that makes me love doing research: being surrounded by people who are all passionate about the same issues, discussing all of the problems and solutions that we’ve found. At its best, a conference is an in-depth conversation with people who know your research. At its worst, though, a conference can make you feel that you are utterly unprepared; that everyone around you knows more than you ever will; that you’ve just been wasting your time so far, while everyone else has been sprinting ahead.